U.S. Reluctantly Withdraws Most Troops From Pakistan
In the aftermath of the Osama bin Laden raid tensions between the United States and Pakistan are still visibly thick. Shortly after the raid that killed Osama last month Pakistan asked the United States to reduce its military presence in the country as the incursion has caused severe tension between the allies and infuriated the Pakistani people. Washington has said that most of its combat troops have been withdrawn in a “very significant” troop reduction although military trainers will remain behind. The United States is Pakistan’s primary military adviser and provides tens of billions of dollars of aid in military assistance yearly.
The United States views its military and counterterrorism ties to Pakistan as vital to ensuring Afghanistan’s stability as well as the entire Middle East. However after bin Laden was found living down the street from Pakistan’s capitol many politicians are questioning the relationship; especially the aid. Before the Special Forces raid on bin Laden’s compound the United States had around 200 troops in the country and according to the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Adm. Mike Mullen there has been an “ongoing contraction of that support.”
Mullen says that he fully understands Pakistan’s desire to have less of an American presence and to deal with the “introspection” but he cautions against abandoning them. ”I think the worst thing we could do would be cut them off,” he said. While it would be a complete waste to totally cut Pakistan off, it is worth revisiting the amount of aid that they receive from America. Pakistan’s complete inability to tackle corruption, insurgents, and high value targets living down the road demonstrates that our 20 billion dollars in aid is being wasted. I do agree that we shouldn’t pack up and leave as every time we have done that in the past we end up fighting them in the future as seen most recently in Afghanistan.Source: BBC