2 September 2018   Leave a comment

The US has announced that it is going to cut off aid to Pakistan because it has not taken effective action against terrorist groups in its territory.  The US threatened similar action during the Obama Administration, but the election of Imran Khan has further aggravated US-Pakistani relations.  The US is concerned about support for extremists in Afghanistan as the security situation in that country continues to deteriorate.  According to the BBC:

“The Haqqani network is a militant group that focuses most of its activities on neighbouring Afghanistan, which has complained for years that Pakistan allows it to operate unimpeded from its soil across the border.

“The group is linked to the Afghan Taliban – a hardline Islamist movement that poses a major threat to the Afghan government. Pakistani Taliban groups, while associated with the Afghan Taliban, focus on attacks within Pakistan.”

It is not clear what the US action is supposed to accomplish.  It is doubtful that Pakistan will change its behavior in any substantial way since the domestic constraints on effective action in Pakistan are formidable.  US Secretary of State Pompeo is scheduled to visit Pakistan soon, but it is likely that his welcome will be somewhat rocky.

 

The deadline for a NAFTA agreement with Canada and the US has passed, but the two sides have agreed to keep negotiating.  US President Trump, however, has made the negotiations more difficult with what could be called a highly undiplomatic tweet:  “We shouldn’t have to buy our friends with bad Trade Deals and Free Military Protection!”  The tweet continues: “There is no political necessity to keep Canada in the new Nafta deal. If we don’t make a fair deal for the US after decades of abuse, Canada will be out. Congress should not interfere w/ these negotiations or I will simply terminate Nafta entirely & we will be far better off.”  Fortunately, Canada will soberly assess its own national interest and willlikely not make any decisions in a fit of pique.

Posted September 2, 2018 by vferraro1971 in World Politics

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