Michael Rubin, National Interest: America’s Afghanistan Withdrawal Opens Door to Pakistan Terror Designation
A combination of Pakistani triumphalism amidst the backdrop of U.S. withdrawal and any subsequent Taliban atrocities will ignite public opinion and lead American politicians to take symbolic action.
Pakistanis often complain that the United States is a fair-weather friend: American leaders can be generous and even deferential when Washington needs Islamabad’s assistance but the moment the United States no longer does, it can be punitive toward Pakistan.
Frankly, such criticisms are correct. Pakistan has long been America’s second choice. Upon the 1947 partition of India, American policymakers wanted to ally with both India and Pakistan to create a bulwark against communism. With hundreds of thousands if not millions killed, many more displaced, and the Kashmir dispute growing, though, neither Pakistan nor India were interested in working together. President Harry S. Truman claimed neutrality though Pakistanis suspected he was tilting toward India. In October 1947, for example, the State Department rejected Pakistan’s request for $2 billion in financial and military aid. Pakistani leaders also felt slighted when, in October 1949, Truman invited Indian prime minister Jawaharlal Nehru to visit Washington, without offering a similar invitation to Pakistan’s leader.
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WNU Editor: Pakistan is not a real ally of the U.S. in the conventional sense. They have their interests. The U.S. has its interests. And for the past 20 years the Afghan war brought billions to the Pakistani economy because Pakistan demanded it in order to help the U.S. in Afghanistan. The U.s. (of course) was happy to spend it.
But this arrangement is now over.
If Pakistan goes all out to assist the Taliban in winning the Afghan war a new arrangement will need to be implemented. Calling Pakistan a “state sponsor of terror” will be a good start.