Tweet first, announce policy later: that is the pattern that President Trump has followed with regard to Pakistan. On Monday, Trump tweeted:
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!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) January 1, 2018
Today the State Department announced a suspension of security aid to Pakistan until its government cracks down on the Taliban:
The Trump administration says it is suspending security assistance to the Pakistani military until it takes “decisive action” against the Afghan Taliban and Haqqani network that are targeting U.S. personnel in Afghanistan.
State Department spokeswoman Heather Nauert did not say Thursday how much assistance was being suspended. She said details were still being worked out.
The administration is already holding up $255 million in assistance which is used by Pakistan to buy U.S. military equipment until it cracks down on extremists threatening Afghanistan.
Nauert said the latest measure would also suspend other security assistance, but did not specify what that covered, saying it was administered by the Defense Department.
This is good. Pakistan has been playing a double game for a long time. It is long past time for an American administration to demand more from that country’s government.