Author(s)Kronstadt, K. A.
KeywordsGovernment and Political Science
*UNITED STATES GOVERNMENT
FATA(FEDERALLY ADMINISTERED TRIBAL AREAS)
MUMBAI TERRORIST ATTACK
NORTH WEST FRONTIER PROVINCE
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AbstractA stable, democratic, prosperous Pakistan is considered vital to U.S. interests. U.S. concerns regarding Pakistan include regional and global terrorism, Afghan stability, democratization and human rights protection, the ongoing Kashmir problem and Pakistan-India tensions, and economic development. A U.S.-Pakistan relationship marked by periods of both cooperation and discord was transformed by the September 2001 terrorist attacks on the United States and the ensuing enlistment of Pakistan as a key ally in U.S.-led counterterrorism efforts. Top U.S. officials have praised Pakistan for its ongoing cooperation, although long-held doubts exist about Islamabad's commitment to some core U.S. interests. Pakistan is identified as a base for terrorist groups and their supporters operating in Kashmir, India, and Afghanistan. Pakistan's army has conducted unprecedented and largely ineffectual counterterrorism operations in the country's western tribal areas, where Al Qaeda operatives and pro-Taliban militants are said to enjoy "safe haven." U.S. officials increasingly are concerned that the cross-border infiltration of Islamist militants from Pakistan into Afghanistan is a key obstacle to defeating the Taliban insurgency. The Obama Administration states an intention to continue pursuing close and mutually beneficial relations with Islamabad. As part of its "new strategy" for Afghanistan, the Administration seeks development of a "more coherent" Pakistan policy to include conditioning U.S. military aid to Islamabad on that government's progress in combating militancy and also tripling nonmilitary aid to improve the lives of the Pakistani people. Pakistan is among the world's leading recipients of U.S. aid, obtaining more than $5.3 billion in overt assistance since 2001, including $3.1 billion in development and humanitarian aid, and $6.7 billion in military reimbursements for its support of counterterrorism efforts.
CRS Report for Congress.