Relations Asif, calling Washington “a traitorous friend”,

Relations between Islamabad and Washington once again deteriorated sharply. And this time it was not without the amazing ability of President Trump to quarrel with his allies.This definition was given to the United States by Pakistan’s Foreign Minister Khawaja Asif, calling Washington “a traitorous friend”, that caused a new aggravation of relations between the two countries.As usual, Donald Trump tried to spoil relations both with rivals, and with friends. His first tweet in 2018 was not dedicated to Hillary Clinton and not to the “Russian cause”, but to relations with Pakistan.”The United States has completely in vain given Pakistan more than $ 33 billion over the past 15 years,” he wrote. “They did not give us anything but lies and deceit. They provide a safe and safe haven for the terrorists we hunt in Afghanistan, and almost do not help us. “The American president is fed up with the fact that his leadership and his predecessors have been deceived by the leadership of a friendly country for many years. He believes that the Pakistanis fight the terrorists on their territory only in words.Trump, we must give him credit, the words sometimes do not disagree with concrete matters. On January 4, the US State Department announced the freezing of aid to Pakistan. According to Heather Nauert, the representative of the foreign ministry, the money will be frozen until the government of Pakistan begins to actually fight against such terrorist organizations as the Taliban and the Haqqani network.Although concrete figures were not announced, most experts agree that it is freezing about $ 900 million from the “Coalition Support Fund” (CSF), which is compensation for the fact that Pakistani troops are fighting against terrorists on its territory. For sure, the Pakistanis will not receive the military aid of $ 255 million.On the same day, Nauert reported that Pakistan was blacklisted for “serious violations of freedom of religion.” This gesture, unlike the freezing of aid, is, however, symbolic in nature and Pakistan does not threaten any punitive measures.The next day, Friday, Khawaja Asif told the Wall Street Journal (WSJ) that America made Pakistan a “whipping boy” to hide its own mistakes in Afghanistan. The chief Pakistani diplomat also hinted that the US actions are likely to negatively affect the cooperation between US and Pakistan in such matters as, for example, the exchange of intelligence information. Pakistani Intelligence ISI, as the officials in Islamabad reported to the Financial Times, really stopped sharing intelligence from the border areas with Afghanistan with its allies. Now the Pentagon will have to rely only on aerial reconnaissance, whose capabilities are limited.”Now we have no alliance with the United States,” Asif said. “The allies do not behave this way.”Naturally, the Prime Minister of Pakistan, Shahid Khaqan Abbasi, did not keep silent either. He stated that there can be no more erroneous statement than Trump’s words that the Pakistanis support international terrorism. Islamabad, he said, continues to conduct military operations to force out terrorists from its territory. In the battles with militants and terrorist attacks since 2001, 17 thousand Pakistanis have been killed. Abbasi is sure that Pakistan is not just fighting with terrorists, but is also a world leader in the fight against them and is at the “forefront of the war on terrorism.”BackstabOf course, Donald Trump can be accused of offending the Pakistanis and pushing Islamabad to break off relations with Washington. But for the sake of justice it should be said that he is far from being the first American leader who tries to deal with “unreliable” allies and hopes to influence them with threats to freeze the allocation of aid. His predecessor, for example, also tried to crush Islamabad with money. In 2011, the Barack Obama administration froze the allocation of $ 800 million in economic aid to Pakistan, and in 2016 – another $ 350 million of military aid, but achieved nothing.The United States was among the first to establish diplomatic relations with Pakistan. It happened on October 20, 1947. In the early 50s of the last century, US Secretary of State John Foster Dulles gave Pakistan the role of a barrier to the advancement of the Soviet Union to the Indian Ocean. In 1954, VASHA and Pakistan signed the Mutual Defense Treaty, after which the Pakistanis began to join anti-communist organizations and unions headed by the United States (SEATO, CENTO). In the same year, America began to help the ally in both economic and military spheres.The first stage of relations lasted almost 11 years. During this time, the United States provided Pakistan with economic aid of almost $ 2.5 billion, and for the military, $ 700 million. In those years, relations were cloudless, Pakistan was called America’s “most important ally.”In 1965, after the Second Indo-Pakistani War, President Lyndon Johnson imposed an arms embargo on Pakistan and stopped providing military assistance to the country. The following 16 years, the assistance was sporadic and insignificant.In 1977-79, the administration of Jimmy Carter completely stopped helping Islamabad. The reason was the secret nuclear program of Pakistan and work on enriching uranium. In addition, the period includes the well-known words of the then Prime Minister of Pakistan Zulfikar Ali Bhutto, who said that Islamabad would create an atomic bomb, even if the Pakistanis “have to eat grass”.In 1982, the Ronald Reagan administration resumed assistance to Pakistan for a good reason – Soviet troops entered Afghanistan. For the next eight years, the Pakistanis literally bathed in American billions. They received $ 2 billion in military aid and an economic aid of $ 3 billion. Washington in those years was actively stirring up anti-Soviet sentiments in Afghanistan with the help of the Pakistani army and the ISI.In 1990, the US again suspended aid, because Pakistan was vigorously working on a nuclear program. However, Washington knew about it for many years. It is believed, at least in Pakistan itself, that the US had stopped helping the Pakistanis, because they had achieved their goal and cleared Afghanistan off Soviet troops.The next decade, Washington then allocated little assistance to Islamabad, then imposed severe sanctions for the nuclear program. The “star hour” of Pakistan came in 2001, when the Americans entered Afghanistan. In 2002, the White House had already resumed its assistance. Since then, Islamabad has received more than $ 33 billion from America. Two-thirds, almost $ 21 billion, was military aid: $ 4.5 billion under the Foreign Military Financing (FMF) program and about $ 15 billion from the CSF. In 2016, according to the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), Washington provided assistance to Pakistan in of $ 778 million, of which 35% was military aid, and the rest, economic.Despite a lot of money, and according to the calculations of the researchers, the United States provided Pakistan with a total of approximately $ 70 billion over seven decades. Not only did they manage to make a real ally out of it, because each cooling of relations led to a lack of confidence, but also change its behavior.For the first time in Pakistan, they decided to take a sober attitude to relations with the US back in 1962 during the Indo-Chinese border conflict, when the Kennedy administration decided to provide military support to India. Pakistani President Ayub Khan even said that Washington stabbed the knife in the back of the ally.To be continuedObservers believe that the White House will not limit itself to one refusal to help. The next step may be to deprive Pakistan of the status of the main ally of America outside NATO (MNNA), which the country received in 2004 for the assistance provided to the Americans in Afghanistan.Given the obsession of Americans on sanctions, it can be assumed that Washington will introduce them against individual representatives of the Pakistani army and special services, which, in the CIA’s opinion, are associated with terrorist organizations. There is a high likelihood of sanctions against Pakistani banks and financial institutions, which, according to Washington, are involved in money laundering. Experts do not exclude the activation of flights of American drones, not only over the tribal territories in the north-west, but also with the expansion of the zone of blows deep into the country. The use of drones is one of the most contentious issues in the relations between United States and Pakistan, because of their attacks, not only gangsters and terrorists, but also civilians often die.Another surefire way to hurt the Pakistanis is to treat the all-powerful ISI, just as Washington refers to, say, the Islamic Revolution Guards Corps or Hezbollah. As a last resort, the White House can officially declare Pakistan a state that supports international terrorism.  In addition to the exchange of intelligence and the usual reduction in the visa service of US diplomats and US citizens, as well as the selective expulsion of US citizens from the country, Pakistan can quite significantly hit the US in logistics. It is, of course, the land, sea and air routes in the territory and in the airspace of Pakistan, for which the Americans supply all necessary, including, of course, weapons and military equipment, to their contingent in Afghanistan. For each truck with supplies, Islamabad receives $ 1500- $ 1800. Nor does Washington generously compensate for the use of Pakistan’s airspace.The way through Pakistan is the shortest, cheapest and most acceptable way to deliver supplies to Afghanistan. The northern route through Russia, already used during the aggravation of relations with Pakistan, is now closed, of course, because of the bad relations between Moscow and Washington for the Pentagon. Therefore, the closure of Pakistan for cargo convoys with cargo for Afghanistan, can be a very painful blow for the United States.Pakistan has repeatedly used this weapon, which has proved its effectiveness. In 2011, for example, after the Americans accidentally bombed a checkpoint on the Afghan-Pakistan border, Islamabad closed the passes for the US. The supply was restored only in 2013 after Washington apologized for the incident.There are, of course, two more ways to supply American troops in Afghanistan, bypassing Pakistan and Russia. The first is through the Iranian port of Chabahar, where the transport corridor between Iran, India and Afghanistan begins. Delhi, which uses two berths in Chabahar, sent the first cargo of wheat to Afghanistan in October of last year. However, this route, like the Russian one, seems extremely unlikely due to the very bad relations between Washington and Tehran. The Americans will have to ask for help from Indian companies. This option will help deepen relations with India, in which the US is interested as a counterweight to China.The second route for deliveries of cargo to the American contingent in Afghanistan is through an extensive network of supply lines in Central Asia and mainly through Uzbekistan, but here we can also talk about fuel, equipment, products, construction materials, i.e. non-lethal cargoes. As for the lethal cargo and military personnel, they will have to be delivered by air from military bases in the Persian Gulf: Al-Udayd and Al-Sayliya in Qatar, Camp Arifdzhan in Kuwait or the Navy base in Bahrain.In any case, all options are much inferior in all respects to the Pakistani route.”Alternative ways to deliver American supplies to Afghanistan are 7-8 times more expensive,” explains Mosharraf Zaidi, an advisor to the Pakistani foreign minister in 2011-13. This means that Islamabad, if desired, can significantly affect the outcome of the already extremely difficult American war in Afghanistan, which has lasted for 17 years and has long been turned into a struggle of logistics. In favor of Washington, it’s a fact that the scale of military operations in Afghanistan is now in no way comparable to earlier years. The US involvement in the war in Afghanistan after 2012 decreased it by almost 10 times.In August 2017, Donald Trump announced a new strategy in Afghanistan. The Pentagon plans to send in February, according to WSJ, additional drones and a thousand more military advisors. In total, the number of American contingent in Afghanistan, according to the Trump plan, should increase by 3-4 thousand military personnel. Thus, there will be about 14 thousand American soldiers and officers there.At the same time, President Trump tried once again to persuade Pakistan to join the “real” armed struggle against the Taliban. Persuasion in the second half of 2017 in Islamabad came with a dozen high-ranking officials of the Trump administration, headed by Secretary of State Rex Tillerson and Defense Secretary James Mattis. However, the only result of the talks were general statements about Islamabad’s desire to fight together with the Americans against terrorists.Even taking into account the “double play”, which, according to the White House, Pakistan leads, this country is extremely important for Americans in their war against international terrorism. If you forget logistics, Islamabad can close its air bases for American drones. In reserve, the country also has a serious threat of further rapprochement with the main American adversaries: China and Russia.In Beijing, a happy state prevailsFollowing the latest aggravation of relations between Pakistan and the United States, China will try to fill the vacuum created by the withdrawal of America in Pakistan. It is no coincidence that in a matter of hours after Washington’s decision to freeze the allocation of aid announced by the US Permanent Representative to the UN Nikki Haley, Beijing officially defended Pakistan and announced plans to accelerate the implementation of the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CRES).”Pakistan has made great efforts and has made huge sacrifices in the war on international terrorism,” the Foreign Ministry spokesman said at a briefing in Beijing. “They made an outstanding contribution to the fight against terrorism.”Relations between Pakistan and the PRC have a long history. For several decades, they have remained strategic and trading partners. Wishing to emphasize the strength of relations, in Islamabad and Beijing they are called “all-weather”.Pakistan is important for China as an ally not only against the US, but also against India. Islamabad, of course, is also difficult to suspect in altruism in all-weather friendship with the Celestial Empire. They use the alliance with China as a counterbalance against the United States and its main enemy, India.Beijing, unlike Washington, does not fill Islamabad with billions of dollars of aid, but it provides solid economic support in the form of infrastructure and other projects. China has invested about $ 55 billion in the Pakistani economy. Here, however, there is one nuance: if US assistance, albeit irregularly, is provided on a no-cost basis, then Chinese projects drive Islamabad into big debts, which sooner or later have to be returned.On the other hand, numerous supporters of friendship with Beijing point to a certain ideological similarity between the countries. Unlike Americans, the Chinese do not pay attention to the human rights situation in Pakistan.Islamabad is worth a massOf course, Washington does not intend to give Pakistan to China without a fight. The main reason that prevented the White House despite tens of billions of dollars in aid to persuade Pakistan to change its policy is that countries conduct very different foreign policies. Until the late 80s of the last century, the main task of the United States in South and South-East Asia was to resist the offensive use of the USSR to warm waters. Islamabad agreed to play the role assigned to it by Washington as a buffer on the way of the Soviet Union until it helped fulfil its main goal: “gaining power” from the outside to neutralize India.With China, Pakistan made it clear in the early sixties of the last century, that they had one common strategic goal – deterring India. Therefore, the Pakistanis also began to purposefully strengthen relations with the PRC, despite the fact that this friendship created problems in relations with Washington.Throughout the second half of the twentieth century, the United States and Pakistan cooperated when it was profitable for them, but their strategic goals were fundamentally divergent. In the United States, it was a struggle with the USSR, and Pakistan – with India, whose military superiority became especially evident after the 1971 war and the formation of Bangladesh.Now Washington’s priorities have changed, but not so much as it might seem at first glance: America’s main rival in Asia is China, and the Soviet Union was replaced by Russia. As for Pakistan, they had the idea of fixing the former – to achieve parity with India. Until a simple and effective way of solving these conflicting goals is found, Washington and Islamabad will have to cooperate despite internal contradictions built into their relations. Both the US and Pakistan need a partner to achieve important current goals.Relations between the United States and Pakistan are now extremely low, if not the lowest, but without Washington, in the opinion of Terry McCarthy, president of the Los Angeles-based World Affairs Council, Islamabad is still indispensable. Despite the “all-weather” nature of relations with China, it is unlikely that Islamabad will be able to get everything that is needed from it.