On January 1, U.S. President Donald Trump sent out a tweet accusing Pakistan of “lies and deceit” and then threatened to cut off all assistance that was in the pipeline. After some backtracking, saying it would slash only some funds, the administration returned to its initial position, announcing that it would in fact suspend all security-related assistance, including the Coalition Support Fund program, a very lucrative cash cow that has accounted for close to half of the $34 billionlavished on Pakistan since 2002.
This is not the first time, of course, that U.S. officials have called Pakistan out for its perfidy despite American generosity. Former President Barack Obama did so, albeit with more finesse, and even acted militarily against Pakistan in May 2011 when he ordered in U.S. Navy SEALs to kill Osama bin Laden, who was hiding in a safe house less than a mile from the premier military academy where Pakistani officers are trained. But Washington rarely followed through with its threats.
This time, the situation is different. The mere fact that the Trump regime is now on the verge of making good on its threat should cause some concern within the corridors of power in Rawalpindi, the headquarters of the overweening Pakistani military establishment.