Trump gambles with Pakistan
Trump didn’t gamble hard with China or North Korea; he actually didn’t have a lot of options. Defending the U.S. from a NK nuke, defending South Korea and Japan from NK missiles, rolling back this South Sea China mess, installing THAAD, rebalancing our trade relationship with China, all of these were things Trump took a stand on – but really had little latitude, much of this is fundamental (defense), was forgone (THAAD) and/or inevitable (trade rebalance).
Trump looks radical but honestly, he just isn’t fighting battles sacred to the establishment, which seems radical.
This report below however, is a sharp departure from that safe territory. The President is upset with the war’s progress in Afghanistan and you can hardly blame him. I also think he’s real pissed at Pakistan because they provide safe haven for the enemies of the U.S. who continually re-infiltrate Afghanistan from those border areas and raise hell.
A key component of the new recommendations made to the president during this weeks Afghan introspection events at Camp David – is a change in accountability in our relationship with Pakistan, a strong recommendation – but not one that should be part of the Congressional guidelines, as suggested by McCain.
But changing our relationship with Pakistan is NOT like any other foreign policy decisions Trump has made to date. This one is risky.
This story below from Reuters is probably a trial balloon, notice they are careful to say nothing final has been decided by Trump himself yet, just that he isn’t happy. We live in interesting times.
The FP report quoted a White House official as saying that “the President thinks we’re being ripped off by Pakistan. The president wants to cut off all military aid to Pakistan. That’s part of the strategy”.
The official further said that the Department of Defence view Pakistan and the United State’s relationship as ‘troubled’.
During the discussions at Camp David, there were differences of opinion over taking a harder line on Pakistan for failing to close Afghan Taliban sanctuaries and arrest Afghan extremist leaders.
US officials say the Afghan Taliban are supported by elements of Pakistan’s military and top intelligence agency, a charge Islamabad denies.
Pentagon has already frozen support to Islamabad under the coalition support fund, which provides Pakistan with payments to finance counter-terrorism operations. Mattis claims he could not find evidence that Pakistan had taken enough action against the Haqqani network.