By Deeptanshu singhvi
As the United States role in the Afghanistan War winds down, terror still plagues the corners of Pakistan. Despite sending numerous aid packages and military reinforcements to Pakistan, the U.S. fails to spot the improvement militant nation. In fact, as a result, many governmental officials are contemplating whether or not to suspend all aid to Pakistan. The Associated Press reveals that currently the government has already suspended slightly over one-third of aid that goes to Pakistan, mostly military. However, government officials do not think this is enough and prefer to terminate all aid. What they neglect thought, is absolutely imperative; by forgoing the delicate relationship with Pakistan, the government will drastically impair security goals within both regions.
First and foremost, by suspending aid, the United States will foster a humanitarian crisis within Pakistan. Despite the heavy moral consequences, this will deepen enmity between the two nations. Currently, US AID has trained 11,000 health care providers, provided 126 ambulances, upgraded 89 health care facilities, and has helped provide safe drinking water to over 1.5 million people. Moreover, the short-term flood relief package has also assisted 12 million people. Ultimately, this decreases anti-US sentiment as Shuja Nawaz from the Washington Post finds that this disaster relief assistance has increased American favorability among Pakistanis by 200%. Aiming at the root of terrorism, Lisa Curtis from the Heritage Organization assesses that since the US participates in training over 16,000 teachers and positively educating over 360,000 children. This prevents students from attending “madrassahs,” extremist schools with many ties to terrorist organizations such as the Al-Qaeda. Therefore, the humanitarian assistance is of key importance to both the United States and Pakistan. Suspending this aid, would be a massive mistake.
In addition, economic aid to Pakistan also plays a large role. Because there is a high causality between poverty and terrorism, by alleviating poverty, short term terrorist recruitment as well as long term terrorist uprisings can be prevented. In fact, in a study by the Pakistan Institute for Studies, it is reported that the vast majority of terrorist recruits in Pakistan involve civilians from the bottom 3 quintiles. The United States has trained 70,000 women for jobs, increased crop yields by 60%, and created numerous export centers to maximize employment. Holistically, this financial aid has increased Pakistan GDP growth by 2% each year. As prosperity between Pakistani constituents rises, the incentive to take part in terrorism decreases. Once again, aid mutually benefits both nations.
US military aid to Pakistan is also a crucial part. Michael Tacik from Austin State University outlines that Pakistani Nuclear Weapons, because in contact with instability, are the greatest threat to US Security. Therefore, any added protection to the Nuclear Weapons is a security benefit. The American Progress Institute signifies the vitality of the US role as it is responsible for furnishing electronic monitoring and surveillance systems, intrusion detectors, ID systems, as well as nuclear detection technology. Also, by training 100,000 physical security personnel and by forcing Pakistani officials to move the warheads in more secure areas the United States participates in effectively protecting the weapons.
Last but not least, suspending U.S. aid will have a domino effect on many other NGO’s. The United States currently channels 92% of its aid through many NGO’s; the moment it withdraws the money, these NGO’s will be crippled. Also, the military aspect of the United States Aid protects many NGO workers from violence and creates the environment for rehabilitation. Altogether, a suspension would render many negative externalities within Pakistan.
It is important that critics realize the mutual benefits that we gain from Pakistan. Suspending aid is a negative decision, and will drastically increase the tension between the nations. The chance of peace that the U.S. has geared towards for many decades can be shattered in an instance.