US: Pakistan Must ‘Bite the Bullet’ on Supply Route to Ease Tensions

Officials Say This Would Be 'Important Step' to Improving US Ties

Fresh off of withdrawing negotiators from the country, US officials are now pressing Pakistan to “bite the bullet” and agree to unconditionally allow NATO supplies into Afghanistan, saying that this was the only way to “ease tensions with the United States.”

Pakistan closed the border to Afghanistan in late November, after US warplanes attacked a pair of Pakistani military bases, killing 26 soldiers. The Pakistani parliament has conditioned reopening the border on the US agreeing to halt drone strikes and apologizing for the November attack.

In May the Pakistani cabinet empowered the military to negotiate an agreement with the US on the border issue at some lesser terms, but this too has stalled, with the US flat refusing to apologize for the attacks and has escalating the drone strikes. The fallback alternative, an increase in the fee for border crossings, was also condemned by the US as “price gouging.”

At this point it seemed pretty clear that the US wanted Pakistan to simply knuckle under on the issue and give the US back the route with no strings attached. Having repeatedly insisted that the US is “losing patience” with Pakistan over perceived slights, they are now making the demand more or less formal, insisting that Pakistan must not only take the constant US attacks, but be grateful and thank the US for the privilege.

Last 5 posts by Jason Ditz

Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is news editor of Antiwar.com.

  • Nathan

    It may sure bite the bullet if the bullet has the $$$$$ sign on it.

  • Andron

    How about the most obvious of all solutions – A SINCERE apology and payment of compensation for the murdered soldiers?
    With power comes responsibility and with the power that the US holds should come responsibility TO DO THE RIGHT THING.

    • MvGuy

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  • bob35983

    Pakistan "must"? Oh yeah? What is Uncle Sam gonna do if "must" is missing in the Pakistan diplomatic dictionary? Stomp His feet? Hold His breath 'til He turns blue?

    "Price gouging"? Uncle Sam, the genial free-trading capitalist merchant that He claims to be, doesn't seem to recognize the free market at work! He wants X & Mr. Pakistan has the only one available. Mr. Pakistan is obligated to his shareholders – citizens of Pakistan – to extract the highest profet possible.

    Don't like the price? Then carry your silly ass home.

  • paulBass

    what skilled diplomats the usg has, "bite the bullet" real smooth. they sure have a way with words.

    • MvGuy

      During the American civil war….. wounded soldiers who required their limbs amputated were given a bullet to bight down on during the intense pain they would feel…. Hence that expression "bite the bullet" It is not a term of diplomacy, but one of war and loss………

      • paulBass

        im aware of where it comes from, but it seems a bit inappropriate given the situation that caused the impasse was the shooting and killing of Pakistani soldiers by the Americans

  • Walter Cole

    And doesn´t the sick US authorities think the continuous murdering of innocent Pakistanis is biting enough of their damn bullets?

    • camus10

      sick authorities – therein lies the problem. we keep treating client states and "allies" as r hoes

  • December

    The US should bite the bullet and pay Pakistan for using their roads.