Pakistan: No Deal Allowing US Use of Pakistani Airspace

US officials claim deal with Pakistan is close

The US may be out of Afghanistan, but interest in keeping the war going is centering on trying to setup the ability to launch airstrikes there, and that is going through Pakistani airspace.

They tried that before, during the ground war, and it went so poorly for Pakistan that recent Pakistani governments have rejected any effort by the US to slide back in.

So it was a surprise when US officials said that Pakistan really wants a memorandum of understanding, and that the US would get access to Pakistani airspace in return for helping Pakistan fight terror.

Pakistan was quick to issue a statement denying this. They insist they’re already getting US cooperation, and that there is absolutely no understanding imminent on the airspace deal.

US airstrikes in Pakistan were wildly unpopular, particularly in the tribal areas. The return of US warplanes to their airspace, even if it’s just to attack Afghanistan, is potentially a risky move for Pakistan’s government.

Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is Senior Editor for He has 20 years of experience in foreign policy research and his work has appeared in The American Conservative, Responsible Statecraft, Forbes, Toronto Star, Minneapolis Star-Tribune, Providence Journal, Washington Times, and the Detroit Free Press.