US suspends security assistance to Pakistan

The United States is suspending security assistance to Pakistan over what it sees as a failure by the Pakistani gover...

Posted: Jan 5, 2018 11:41 AM
Updated: Jan 5, 2018 11:41 AM

The United States is suspending security assistance to Pakistan over what it sees as a failure by the Pakistani government to adequately clamp down on terror groups within its borders, the State Department announced Thursday.

"We will not be delivering military equipment or transfer security related funds to Pakistan unless it is required by law," State Department spokeswoman Heather Nauert told reporters.

The value of the assistance is still being determined, Nauert said. A senior State Department official who briefed reporters after the announcement said it will encompass $255 million in foreign military financing from the 2016 fiscal year, which had not yet been disbursed and which the administration previously announced it would be withholding, as well as coalition support funds from the same year and other unspent money from previous fiscal years.

"We're still working through the details of exactly what's going to be captured there," said the official.

Historically, the United States has provided Pakistan over $1 billion in security assistance annually. Some of that money has already been paid out or withheld for the 2016 fiscal year, but if the freeze on these funds is extended to the 2017 fiscal year -- a decision the official said had not yet been made -- the amount could top $1 billion.

The Trump and Obama administrations had previously withheld $350 million in FY2016 coalition support funds due to similar concerns about Pakistan's failure to go after Taliban and Haqqani fighters.

The US does not plan to suspend any civilian assistance to Pakistan, the official said, and will make exemptions for some security funding "on a case-by-case basis."

All of that money could be provided to the Pakistani government in the future if it takes certain "specific and concrete steps" relayed to it by the administration, the official noted, telling reporters the administration wants Pakistan to see the decision "as an incentive, not a punishment."

"The United States stands ready to work with Pakistan in combating all terrorists without distinction," Nauert said at the agency's news briefing, "and we hope to be able to renew and deepen our bilateral security relationship when Pakistan demonstrates its willingness to aggressively confront the Afghan Taliban, the Haqqani network and other terrorist and militant groups that operate from within its country."

The move should not come as a surprise to Pakistani leaders, Nauert said, adding that the assistance could be made available to Pakistan in the future if it takes certain steps to deny terrorists a haven and more aggressively confront groups "who threaten US interests."

In an interview with CNN's Wolf Blitzer, former Defense Secretary Leon Panetta questioned the decision, saying it risks pushing Pakistan toward a closer relationship with China and Russia -- US adversaries that have been strengthening their economic ties with the Pakistani government in recent years.

The announcement is the latest in a string of actions and sharp statements by US officials targeting Pakistan.

President Donald Trump rang in the new year on Monday morning with a pointed tweet, accusing the government of "lies & deceit."

The next day, US Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley addressed reporters and accused Pakistan of playing "a double game for years" in its counterterrorism cooperation with the United States.

"They work with us at times, and they also harbor the terrorists that attack our troops in Afghanistan," Haley said. "That game is not acceptable to this administration."

In August, the Trump administration unveiled its South Asia strategy, aimed at turning the tide in Afghanistan, where the US has been engaged in a protracted 17-year war. Speaking at the time, Trump accused Pakistan of giving "safe haven to agents of chaos, violence, and terror," and said the time had come "for Pakistan to demonstrate its commitment to civilization, order, and to peace."

"It's been more than four months since the President's speech," Nauert said at the State Department Tuesday. "And despite a sustained high-level engagement by this administration with the government of Pakistan, the Taliban and the Haqqani network continue to find sanctuary inside Pakistan as they plot to destabilize Afghanistan, and also attack US and allied personnel."

Earlier Tuesday, the State Department announced that it had placed Pakistan on a special watch list "for severe violations of religious freedom," as part of its obligations under the International Religious Freedom Act of 1998 -- action that was unrelated to the decision on security assistance.

West Lafayette
Overcast
70° wxIcon
Hi: 85° Lo: 60°
Feels Like: 70°
Kokomo
Scattered Clouds
71° wxIcon
Hi: 83° Lo: 59°
Feels Like: 71°
Rensselaer
Clear
70° wxIcon
Hi: 80° Lo: 54°
Feels Like: 70°
Fowler
Clear
70° wxIcon
Hi: 81° Lo: 57°
Feels Like: 70°
Williamsport
Overcast
68° wxIcon
Hi: 84° Lo: 61°
Feels Like: 68°
Crawfordsville
Overcast
67° wxIcon
Hi: 84° Lo: 63°
Feels Like: 67°
Frankfort
Overcast
69° wxIcon
Hi: 83° Lo: 61°
Feels Like: 69°
Delphi
Broken Clouds
70° wxIcon
Hi: 83° Lo: 57°
Feels Like: 70°
Monticello
Broken Clouds
70° wxIcon
Hi: 82° Lo: 56°
Feels Like: 70°
Logansport
Broken Clouds
70° wxIcon
Hi: 82° Lo: 55°
Feels Like: 70°
Quiet Conditions After Yesterday's Storms.
WLFI Radar
WLFI Temps
WLFI Planner

Indiana Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Confirmed Cases: 74992

Reported Deaths: 3044
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Marion15963725
Lake7632275
Elkhart488385
Allen3937163
St. Joseph354682
Hamilton2803104
Vanderburgh199713
Hendricks1901108
Cass17969
Johnson1767118
Porter133839
Clark124447
Tippecanoe122111
Madison98765
LaPorte92130
Howard90565
Kosciusko86212
Bartholomew80147
Floyd79146
Marshall79022
Monroe75930
Delaware73852
Dubois70012
Noble68429
Boone68346
Hancock67038
Vigo66810
Jackson5885
Warrick58630
LaGrange55910
Shelby55827
Grant52830
Dearborn50828
Morgan48334
Clinton4403
Henry38520
Wayne37710
White37210
Montgomery35421
Lawrence35027
Harrison34123
Decatur33832
Putnam2908
Miami2742
Daviess27320
Scott26810
Greene25134
Jasper2452
Franklin24314
DeKalb2354
Gibson2284
Jennings22612
Steuben2113
Ripley2087
Carroll1932
Fayette1907
Perry18612
Starke1787
Posey1770
Orange17324
Wells1712
Wabash1703
Fulton1692
Jefferson1652
Knox1590
Whitley1546
Tipton14311
Washington1421
Spencer1363
Sullivan1341
Clay1245
Huntington1243
Randolph1234
Newton11810
Adams1022
Jay920
Owen911
Pulaski831
Rush804
Brown741
Fountain742
Blackford652
Ohio655
Benton620
Pike560
Vermillion550
Parke521
Switzerland520
Crawford450
Martin450
Union410
Warren231
Unassigned0206

COVID-19 Important links and resources

As the spread of COVID-19, or as it's more commonly known as the coronavirus continues, this page will serve as your one-stop for the resources you need to stay informed and to keep you and your family safe. CLICK HERE

Closings related to the prevention of the COVID-19 can be found on our Closings page.

Community Events