On the fourth of January Trump announced the decision to stop security funding to Pakistan until they clamp down on terrorism. This resolution not only infuriated the Pakistani, but also provoked skeptical remarks from many experts in the field.
It is going to be quite difficult to craft a position paper on this topic as both sides have some strong arguments. However, in this article let’s adhere to the thesis that the outcome of this hostile move is going to be rather unfortunate for the US.
Why All the Aid?
So, you might be wondering – why does the US give aid to Pakistani in the first place? It is some distant country half way across the world – what’s in it for the US government? It is really crucial to understand the American motives to have a more realistic idea of what happened.
The fact of the matter is that the US needs Pakistan for military purposes. If you look at the map, Pakistan borders on Afghanistan which is a scene of intense conflict in the region. Many terrorist groups which attacked the US directly reside in Afghanistan. In order to crack down on them, America needs Pakistani routes and military bases. This Islamic republic has been willing to provide those so far. Thus, the US invested up to 13 billion dollars to keep their operations going.
Why All the Hostility?
The US government maintains that Pakistan still serves as a safe haven for many terrorists, thus, blaming its government for lenience. At the same time Pakistani officials defy the claims by citing numerous studies which prove that the situation in the region has actually stabilized due to their efforts.
Moreover, the US government failed to provide the promised 13 billion almost every year. They have been regularly withholding paying the whole sum as a preventive measure against the terrorism indulgence. It did not find sympathy among the Pakistani who had to suffer great economical and human damage to support the US in its endeavors. So, basically one side blames the other for not fulfilling its obligations, sowing discord and misunderstanding.
Is It Just Because of Trump?
Surprisingly, Trump is not the only one to blame here. He just followed the standard American policy in regards to the country which was buttressed by the previous presidents as well. For instance, Barak Obama froze 800 million dollars in 2011 after the US intelligence found Osama bin Laden right next to Pakistani capital Islamabad.
It did not bode well for American-Pakistani relations. However, even though the aforementioned mishap is quite recent, the Global Terrorist Index of the country has been gradually dropping in the past years. Thus, if Pakistan is working on improving the situation, it seems unfair to punish it for its wrongs in such a drastic manner. However, this is a standard Trumpian initiative, undiplomatic, short-sighted and simply cruel.
Why Was It a Bad Decision to Punish Pakistan?
The short answer is that the US needs Pakistan more than they need the US. Even though 13 billion looks like an insurmountable sum for an outside observer, it is a very important investment in regards to the US security. If the cooperation vanishes, the country may become even rifer with terrorist activities which will undermine the US counter-terrorism undertakings on a global scale.
14 000 US troops derive their supplies from Pakistani routes. Moreover, America actively uses their airspace to conduct their military operations. Those often result in civilian casualties and infrastructure damage which makes the region dangerous and not attractive for investment. Thus, it is estimated that Pakistan loses more than 120 billion dollars in revenue because of American involvement.
In addition, the US receives strategic information from the Pakistani intelligence services. Granted, there are rotten apples in there as well, but it is not an excuse to discount all the help the US obtained from them. There needs to be an investigation, not obliteration.
What IS Likely to Happen Next?
The Pakistani do not seem to take the news very well. Instead of doubling their efforts to battle terrorism, they might just shift towards a more benevolent strategic partner. For instance, China has had a deep interest in collaboration with the country, promising to invest more than 50 billion dollars in its development.
Pakistan is already contemplating dropping dollar for Yuan and ditching their long-lasting dealings with the US altogether. It is not hard to see why. The cost of the operations is tremendous and the public outrage is just as huge. Trading with China could help Pakistan crawl out of the economic disaster and become just as prosperous as its Islamic counterparts.
What Can the US Do?
First of all, the US should stop being so ruthless and inconsiderate with its allies. It is easy to be beguiled by mistakes and not see the progress Pakistan made throughout the years. The US should realize the long-term consequences of its anger and take upon a more moderate course.
It is true that Pakistan has many issues in terms of terrorism and religious human rights violations. It is definitely not a safe vacation spot. However, shaming the country for the whole world to see is not going to work with the proud Islamic republic. It is more likely to prove to the US opponents the image of America as a global bully which does not do subtle politics, but can only oppress its friends.
Where Is the Middle Ground?
Intimidation is not a good technique in the modern world. It might have worked before when there were fewer connections between various states. However, now it is possible to establish diplomatic relations with almost any country at any given moment. Thus, the US should be more careful handling its allies with respect rather than annoyance.
It is true that the Afghan Taliban and the Haqqani network still exert enormous influence in the area. However, who said it would be easy to eradicate clandestine military groups with hidden support in every nook and cranny? Thus, the US should once more collect its patience and look at the situation from a different perspective. It is not enough to just sit down at the table to figure things out. The world is a complex place, and just like with the Middle East, Pakistani issues require a subtle approach.
What Is the Best Strategy for a Paper?
When writing a position paper on Trump’s idea, make sure to collect as many facts, opinions and statistics as possible. There is an abundance of information on this topic which you can gather from the Internet, but it is critical that you check all the sources for reliability. Do not forget to take a look at the opposing views and find evidence to disprove them. It will help you later defend your point during the discussion.
Finally, be honest with yourself. If there is only scarce evidence to substantiate your opinion, reconsider it. It is important to be open-minded when it comes to writing a position paper. Otherwise, it will be easy for your colleagues to demolish your argument, which will definitely affect your grade.
Do not be afraid to challenge your position and alter it if necessary. There is nothing wrong about being wrong. It is, however, wrong to be mired in your ignorance and denounce legit counter-arguments. Remember, it is not about how you feel, but about finding the truth. Feelings, of course, can make you passionate about the cause, but they will not earn you a good grade.