Over the weekend, the Pentagon announced that they have cancelled $300 million in military aid to Pakistan. They say this is because the Pakistani government is “not doing enough” to support the US war in Afghanistan, and to fight militants on the border.
This, along with other moneys withheld from Pakitan in the past, brings the total cut over the past year to $800 million. Pentagon officials say that they are seeking Congressional approval to spend the money elsewhere, though they declined to say on what.
The Pakistani government was critical of the move, with Sen. Mushahid Hussain noting that the money being withheld was never meant to be aid in the first place, but rather was money owed to Pakistan by the US military for services provided during the war.
Yet the US has repeatedly treated this as aid, and has withheld, frozen, or outright cut the funding several times in the past. While the US appears to believe this is a simple way to “punish” Pakistan for not behaving as they’d prefer, it also risks alienating Pakistan, and convincing them to stop providing aid to the US at all, knowing there’s a good chance they’ll never get paid for it.