US Considers Other Measures Against Pakistan as Blowback Looms

Mattis Downplays Risk of Pakistan Shutting US Out

Substantial cuts to US military aid to Pakistan are already fueling a lot of anger within Pakistan, and calls for some sort of retaliatory measure. Secretary of Defense James Mattis downplayed the risk of this, however, saying he’s seen no sign Pakistan is even considering cutting the US out of its airspace, or preventing the US using its supply line through Karachi.

That could quickly change, however, as Pakistan doesn’t seem settled on doing nothing, and other US officials are openly saying the administration is considering taking additional actions against Pakistan beyond just the financial cuts.

It’s not clear what else the US might do, but Pentagon officials say they have “many differet things” that they might try against Pakistan, and with President Trump loudly condemning the Pakistanis, the opportunities to worsen US-Pakistan relations are substantial.

For Pakistan, the idea that 16 years of supporting the US war in Afghanistan has the US angrily condemning them is fueling a lot of resentment, and has raised a lot of political pressure on the government to retaliate in some way. If the US keeps piling on new actions, Pakistan’s calls for retaliation will likely grow.

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Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is news editor of Antiwar.com.