President Trump ushered in 2018 with a tweet directly aimed at Pakistan:
@realDonaldTrump Jan 1: 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. They give safe haven to the terrorists we hunt in Afghanistan, with little help. No more!
UN Ambassador Nikki Haley has confirmed that that the administration is withholding $255 million that had been earmarked for Pakistan. She said the U.S. has tired of the “double game” that Pakistan has played with her country in recent years. “They work with us at times, and they also harbour the terrorists that attack our troops in Afghanistan,” she said. “That game is not acceptable to this administration.”
President Trump has been alluding to a change in the relationship with Pakistan for months, so this statement is not out of the blue. “We have made clear to Pakistan that while we desire continued partnership, we must see decisive action against terrorist groups operating on their territory,” Trump said on December 18. “And we make massive payments every year to Pakistan. They have to help.” Vice President Pence also warned Pakistan against harboring terrorist during his December visit to Afghanistan.
Countries receiving large sums of money from the United States should be held to higher standards. Continually giving money to a country that harbors terrorists who want to kill Americans is not in line with our foreign policy goals or ideals. The Trump Administration is making a bold statement by withholding funding from the Pakistani government until they cooperate with US goals in the region.