Monday, January 1, 2018

Trump slams Pakistan in first Tweet of 2018

In his first tweet of the new year President Donald Trump slammed Pakistan. "The United States has foolishly given Pakistan more than 33 billion dollars in aid over the last 15 years, and they have given us nothing but lies & deceit, thinking of our leaders as fools," Trump tweeted Monday morning. The New York Times reported last week that the US might withhold $255 million in aid to Pakistan because of Trump's frustration.
The United States has cut both military and economic aid to Pakistan sharply in recent years, reflecting mounting frustration with the nuclear-armed country's support for the Taliban in neighboring Afghanistan. That frustration has dogged U.S.-Pakistan relations for more than a decade, but has spiked anew as the militant Islamic group has advanced in parts of Afghanistan that U.S. and allied forces once helped to secure.

Coupled with warming U.S. military and business relations with India, Islamabad’s strategic importance as an ally to Washington has fallen off the map. American civilian and military aid to Pakistan, once the third-largest recipient of U.S. foreign aid, totaled less than $1 billion in 2016, down from a peak of more than $3.5 billion in 2011.
Pakistan can turn to other sources of aid, including China. Last year the two countries launched a plan for energy and infrastructure projects in Pakistan worth $46 billion. U.S. defense companies including Lockheed Martin and Boeing Co. are entering the Indian market, and the country has become the world's second-largest arms buyer after Saudi Arabia.