Commentary Magazine


Contentions

Not the Right Moment to Talk About Aid to Pakistan

On the very day that American forces were invading a compound in Pakistan’s Abbottabad Valley to kill Osama Bin Laden, the New York Times was reporting about the widespread dissatisfaction in that country with the pace of the distribution of American aid there.

Given the fact that Bin Laden was found living in a populated area of Pakistan within sight of a government military installation, yesterday’s Times article on the subject was unintentionally ironic, but it also illustrated the difficulties that the United States faces in the region. Although America has promised to give Pakistan $7.5 billion in civilian aid over the next five years, the Pakistani government is so thoroughly corrupt that it has proven impossible to deliver the money to infrastructure, health, or education projects that are desperately needed. Apparently only $179.5 million of the first $1.5 billion of the five-year program had been disbursed by last December.

The result is that most Pakistanis distrust the United States and see Washington as trying to ineptly buy their love. They also seem to be more focused on their resentment against American drone attacks on terrorist targets inside the country, a sentiment that will only grow in the wake of the killing of bin Laden without any cooperation from Islamabad or the Pakistani military. But in the wake of the realization that Pakistani officials may have shielded Bin Laden, attempts to speed up or increase U.S. aid are liable to fall on deaf ears.

America desperately needs to keep Pakistan out of the hands of Islamists because of its strategic position as well as its nuclear capability. But the price America has paid for support for American efforts in Afghanistan has been our acquiescence toward the Pakistani government’s two-faced policy on terror. Punishing Pakistan might be self-defeating for the United States given the stakes there. But changing the situation via well-intentioned American aid seems to be as much of a failure as any other strategy we have employed in the region.


Join the discussion…

Are you a subscriber? Log in to comment »

Not a subscriber? Join the discussion today, subscribe to Commentary »





Welcome to Commentary Magazine.
We hope you enjoy your visit.
As a visitor to our site, you are allowed 8 free articles this month.
This is your first of 8 free articles.

If you are already a digital subscriber, log in here »

Print subscriber? For free access to the website and iPad, register here »

To subscribe, click here to see our subscription offers »

Please note this is an advertisement skip this ad
Clearly, you have a passion for ideas.
Subscribe today for unlimited digital access to the publication that shapes the minds of the people who shape our world.
Get for just
YOU HAVE READ OF 8 FREE ARTICLES THIS MONTH.
FOR JUST
YOU HAVE READ OF 8 FREE ARTICLES THIS MONTH.
FOR JUST
Welcome to Commentary Magazine.
We hope you enjoy your visit.
As a visitor, you are allowed 8 free articles.
This is your first article.
You have read of 8 free articles this month.
YOU HAVE READ 8 OF 8
FREE ARTICLES THIS MONTH.
for full access to
CommentaryMagazine.com
INCLUDES FULL ACCESS TO:
Digital subscriber?
Print subscriber? Get free access »
Call to subscribe: 1-800-829-6270
You can also subscribe
on your computer at
CommentaryMagazine.com.
LOG IN WITH YOUR
COMMENTARY MAGAZINE ID
Don't have a CommentaryMagazine.com log in?
CREATE A COMMENTARY
LOG IN ID
Enter you email address and password below. A confirmation email will be sent to the email address that you provide.