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Entries in Waziristan (1)

Saturday
Jan082011

More US Aid to Pakistan, Despite Misgivings

Photo Courtesy - ABC News(WASHINGTON) -- When Vice President Biden visits Pakistan next week he will reportedly carry a substantial aid package to the country, considered a top ally in the war on terror.  Pakistan is a troubling ally, however, with much of its population distrustful of the United States' presence and largely because of that distrust, it's a government less cooperative than Washington would like.

The Washington Post, quoting a senior Obama administration official who requested anonymity, reports the aid will include military, intelligence and economic elements for a country already targeted to receive $3 billion from the U.S. in 2011.  Pakistan complains U.S. aid, particularly helicopter gunships, is slow to arrive.

The decision to increase aid came in the White House review of its Afghanistan war policy.  It goes against the advice of some officials grown tired of the Pakistani military delay in operations in Waziristan, where the U.S. would like to see terrorist training camps targeted.  Many U.S. officials feel Pakistan is not aggressive enough against terrorist operations along its border and inside its tribal belt.

This move could be seen as calling the bluff of Pakistani officials who complain that the U.S. does not understand their security needs, or as a redoubled effort to overcome Pakistani doubts about U.S. goals in their country.

The timing of the aid increase may be a key factor.  The administration official told the Post that Pakistanis may realize they have more "cachet" or influence right now, with Afghanistan and Pakistan the administration's top foreign policy challenge, but they may also realize their time is over for "maximum leverage" in terms of getting something from the U.S. 

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio







ABC News Radio