One might reasonably have assumed that the Pakistani government — which has received well over a billion dollars a year from the United States since 9/11 in order to fight al-Qaeda and the Taliban — would be embarrassed by the fact that bin Laden was discovered on its soil, clearly enjoying for years the protection of highly placed Pakistani officials. In response to that embarrassment, it would have been reasonable to expect the Pakistani government to start working hard to demonstrate its trustworthiness to the Americans, to show them that all the money that the U.S. has poured into Pakistan has not been wasted, and that as it continues to flow, it will not be wasted.
Instead, the Pakistanis reacted with all the rage and indignation that I have just outlined – to which the U.S. government’s response has been (characteristically) to try to “rebuild trust” with the Pakistanis, as if the difficulties in the relationship were all our fault. All this has been illustrative of where Pakistan stands in the fight against the global jihad, and where it has stood since September 11, 2001. The U.S. has paid billions to Pakistan since then in order to aid its government’s fight against al-Qaeda and the Taliban. It has been revealed, however, that much of that money has gone to those same organizations, and that the ISI, Pakistan’s spy service, has significant ties with al-Qaeda.
In light of that, it’s clear that Kerry is wrong. It is time to cut off aid to Pakistan. It is long past time. If the aid is to continue, Obama and Kerry should at least require the Pakistani government to come clean. It strains credulity to the breaking point to imagine that Pakistani officials, including the nation’s president, didn’t know that bin Laden was in the country, and in a safe house near Pakistan’s military academy. The circumstances of bin Laden’s last years and death indicate that Pakistan has been an even more unreliable and two-faced ally than anyone has realized up to now — and that is saying a great deal. It has now been several years since a report from the London School of Economics documented how Pakistani military intelligence was aiding the Taliban in Afghanistan, and was actually represented in the Taliban’s governing apparatus. The situation has only gotten worse since then.
The fantasy-based policymaking that has counted Pakistan as a U.S. ally for so many years has been thoroughly discredited. Yet no one in the ever-feckless Obama administration is making any move to change our failed approach to affairs with this rogue state. It is the height of stupidity for the U.S. to continue to put itself in the position of being played for a fool and used as a cash cow by a Pakistani government that is more obviously than ever in league with our enemies.
And John Kerry should know that, and care.