The problem with sanctioning individuals is that it fails to address the political and structural conditions that inform Pakistani policies, while simultaneously creating conditions for rogue actors in Pakistan to seek retribution against U. One bad incident could derail the relationship. A state sponsor of terrorism designation is a blunt instrument that carries with it a wide range of sanctions, including not only a ban on arms-related exports and sales, but prohibitions on economic assistance and the imposition of other financial restrictions.
In the near-term, the United States would need to be prepared to forgo all counterterrorism cooperation, including intelligence sharing and access for drones, and to lose access for resupply and retrograde of equipment into and out of Afghanistan.
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Isolating Pakistan could also lead it to engage in even more bad behavior that might catalyze a crisis with India. Moreover, in addition to these likely consequences, there is considerable uncertainty over whether labeling Pakistan a state sponsor of terrorism would actually lead it to stop supporting terrorist groups. In the medium to long term, the penalties that come with being labeled a state sponsor of terrorism would make it difficult to engage Pakistan even if it began to move with more alacrity in the right direction on terrorism or evinced willingness to reform on the nuclear front.
In the medium to long term, the penalties that come with being labeled a state sponsor of terrorism would make it difficult to engage Pakistan. Escalating slowly also enables the United States to use the imposition of costs as a way of signaling potential future actions, which in and of itself could help compel Pakistan to comply with certain requests.
However, escalatory coercion is not without risks. First, using benchmarks to guide requests will be easier in areas that require public actions, or can be assessed via the open source, than in areas where the United States might risk exposing sources and methods to hold Pakistan accountable. Second, communicating the consequences if Pakistan does not act automatically introduces more friction into the relationship.
Third, actually deploying punitive measures risks retribution. For instance, it is possible that as the United States escalates, Pakistan will reduce intelligence sharing or encourage state-allied groups to undertake bigger attacks in Afghanistan. A slow escalatory process provides time to reinforce red lines and for both countries to find an off-ramp if necessary. However, if the United States repeatedly blinks first, then U.
In other words, escalating and then deescalating could make things worse. Thus, the administration and Congress should not start down this path unless both branches have established two end points for escalatory coercion: one where the United States has achieved a realistic objective, and another where the risks to U.
To put this approach into practice, Congress should consider creating separate streams of assistance. The first stream would provide assistance for areas where the United States and Pakistan share common objectives and there is considerable convergence between the two countries in terms of how assistance is used.
For example, U. These goods must also be consumable, unlike a weapons platform that can be reused and is not easily taken back. A second stream would be directed toward areas where the United States and Pakistan agree on objectives, but diverge over how to achieve them or prioritize them. This signals to Pakistan that the United States is interested in expanding cooperation and not just increasing leverage. Rather than authorizing aid and then withholding it if Pakistan did not take action, Congress would identify actions Pakistan is considering and then incentivize them.
In other words, congressional conditions for this second stream would focus on how assistance is used rather than what it is used for. Alternatively, Congress could legislate that this second stream of assistance be provided via a grant program modeled on those administered by the Millennium Challenge Corporation MCC.
As part of the normal aid process, the Pakistan military already identifies priorities, requests certain weapons systems or defense supplies, and makes a pitch for how it would use them.
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A MCC-like approach would take this a step further. In the MCC process, countries must meet certain criteria to qualify for funds and the monitoring of how this money is spent is typically rigorous and transparent. Applying this approach to a portion of overall assistance available would force Pakistan to make its case more robustly, give both sides more flexibility in how some assistance is used, and bring an added dose of transparency to the process because of the agreed-on metrics.
The administration would contribute to this effort by negotiating conditions with Pakistan or coordinating Pakistani applications for assistance if Congress went the MCC-like route. This would increase the chances of success and reduce possible irritants in the relationship since both sides would have a clearer understanding of expectations and desired outcomes. Conducting negotiations as part of the process to develop a new roadmap would demonstrate U. If there was a sizable amount of security assistance remaining, then Congress could authorize a third stream to be used for a broader array of weapons systems, but with conditions that cannot be waived.
Experience suggests this effort would be unlikely to succeed, but if the United States is prepared to enforce these conditions then at the very least it could help build credibility with Pakistan. Moreover, because of the existence of the first two streams, the United States would not be in a position of cutting off all security assistance.
The administration and Congress should coordinate to design a glide slope that ends CSF reimbursements to Pakistan over a period of two years, with the total authorized amount reducing each year. A glide slope gives Pakistan warning that CSF will end, and insulates the United States from accusations of abandonment.
In the interim, the administration might consider working with Congress to revise the reimbursement categories. These currently focus on provisions for items such as food, water, ammunition, and fuel for military operations that Pakistan would conduct anyway.
Ultimately, revising the reimbursements categories is of secondary importance. The most important action at this stage is to end a program that has outlived its purpose and become a poster child for the unsustainable nature of the military-military relationship. Indeed, if the administration proves unwilling to collaborate on winding down CSF, Congress should do it regardless. However, the administration and Congress too often have been at odds with one another over attempts to compel Pakistan to change its behavior.
As noted previously, escalatory coercion could be useful if applied methodically and in line with clear, realistic, and measurable requests. This would necessitate the executive and legislative branches to work together, but each could play its own part when it comes to actually imposing costs. It is possible to envision three categories of action. As noted earlier, employing these actions are not without risk. The United States should not start down this path unless it is prepared to see it through or risk its credibility for failing to do so.
The first category would entail actions that the administration is best positioned to take and that can be repeated. In addition to the shaming aspect, this would signal to Pakistan that the United States is building a case toward possibly designating it a state sponsor of terrorism in the future. As with releasing declassified intelligence, the use of direct action is also within the purview of the executive branch.
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The second category would entail actions where the administration and Congress need to cooperate more closely. The administration could also ask Congress to revoke this status. Short of this step, the two branches could work together to create a grading system for counterterrorism that might range from cooperative to partially cooperative to noncooperative. Penalties could include bans on certain exports or military sales or the withholding of certain forms of assistance. The idea would be to enable the United States to impose certain penalties while still allowing more engagement than is possible once a country is designated a state sponsor.
This legislation would not only be applicable for Pakistan and could be used for other countries that enable terrorism. A third set of potential actions entail U. If Pakistan cannot provide sufficient exculpatory evidence, then America could take any number of the actions outlined previously. The administration could also seek to join with India to sponsor terrorist designations of certain Pakistani militant leaders at the United Nations. China likely would block these designations, but the symbolic effort would send an important message to Pakistan that the United States and India are united on the issue.
Additionally, the executive branch could seek to work not only more aggressively, but also more overtly with India on various areas of counterterrorism. In light of global priorities, the United States should focus primarily on continuing to secure vital interests in Pakistan and secondarily on avoiding a crisis in South Asia that distracts from pressing business elsewhere in the world. Doing so requires restructuring the military-military relationship with Pakistan in a way that controls its downward trajectory while simultaneously accounting for its transactional elements and preserving cooperation on shared objectives.
This necessitates a more realistic approach to the use of conditions and a sober assessment of the risks and benefits of coercion. The recommendations outlined in this report also require the type of close coordination between Congress and the administration on Pakistan that has sometimes been lacking in recent years. Implementing these recommendations requires new ways of thinking about security assistance, congressional willingness to consider carve-outs, and an executive branch capable of administering them.
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There are no magic bullets for solving the vexing problems related to working with Pakistan. The approach outlined here may have more utility on issues like militancy than in the nuclear realm. Even when it comes to militancy, this approach is unlikely to result in Pakistan ending all support for terrorism in the near —term. However, there is no approach that is likely to yield this result.
The recommendations suggested in this report are grounded in the art of the possible. They would improve the U. He is also an Associate Professor at American An effective peace process is possible and desirable in Afghanistan. Success, however, will require a careful, step-by-step course to test bona fides, build confidence, reduce Two months after President Trump declared U. With the administration already having negotiated By David H.
Listen to the full conversation and more By Daniel Kliman. Key Observations and Assessments1 Chairman Hawley, Ranking Member Whitehouse, distinguished members of the subcommittee, thank you for the opportunity to discuss a topic of By Kara Frederick. Introduction Pakistan is not a front-burner issue for the administration of President Donald Trump, but it remains a major contributor to the security challenges facing the United States in South Asia. Interests in Pakistan The United States has two vital security interests in Pakistan: ensuring militants in the region do not attack the U.
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Terrorism and Counterterrorism in Pakistan The utility that militant organizations provide against India, in Afghanistan, or at home, combined with perceptions about the threats they might pose, informs how the state treats them. But it may follow the Honduran experience, wherein the United States refrained from classifying the ouster of a civilian president as a military coup until after three months of failed attempts to restore the civilian president back to power.
The Obama administration is in the unenviable position of attempting to balance a good faith adherence to the law that sets precedent for future cases and protecting U. While the interpretation of law is inevitably influenced by politics and public policy, the American government is ultimately accountable to the American people.
And it is without question that the vast majority of Americans cherish their own freedoms and democratic rights enough to wish them for others around the globe. Research Serv. For text of the provision and a description of a waiver under the provision in respect to Georgia, see Section of the Foreign Assistance Act of , Pub. Or Something Else? Aid is on the Line. In April, the Tamarod movement, a grassroots political campaign comprised predominantly of Egyptian youth, launched a petition to withdraw confidence in President Mohamed Morsi.
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