Clinton sends aid to Pakistan, seeks funds to buy-off Taliban fighters
US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton is allocating $500 million in aid to Pakistan and is working to gain funding to pay-off Taliban fighters to lure them away from the battlefield.
Previously, the people of Pakistan protested against aid. The Pakistani people feel that increased US aid will increase America’s say in their internal affairs, something they are highly opposed to.
“The United States is very very good at mercilessly bombing a country and then offering rebuilding funds and offering aid funds after they have caused complete death and devastation and destruction,” said anti-war activist Michael Prysner from the ANSWER Coalition.
This is the case with Pakistan, argued Prysner.
“The people of Pakistan who you mentioned are absolutely right. This deal has nothing to do with helping the people of Pakistan; it has everything to do with strengthening the client regime in Pakistan; which the United States sees as an essential partner in fighting the war in Afghanistan that the US is currently loosing,” he said.
Clinton will attend a donor conference aimed at garnering funds with the goal of using the funds to pay off Taliban fighters.
“This can be seen as a move of desperation on behalf of the United States,” said Prysner.
The Taliban is winning, he argued. There is no need for the Taliban to negotiate with the US because they are winning the war and an offer to pay off the enemy is merely an admission the US cannot win militarily.
Regarding Vice President Joe Biden’s remarks, which essentially said a drawdown to the war in 2011 could be very small, Prysner said the US was losing and they would not willingly withdraw in any manner that would resemble a defeat.
“We can expect to see in another year more US casualties, more Afghan casualties and while the leaders in Washington and generals in the Pentagon still finding justifications to continue to fight there,” said Prysner.
Jake Diliberto of Rethink Afghanistan said the US has no interest in the Pakistani people.
“They want the political support of the government that’s running the country. If the United States doesn’t get the political support of the government we have no chance, no hope whatever of stabilizing the AfPak region,” said Diliberto.
In addition, Diliberto argued that it is not realistic to assume that simply because Clinton is engaging Afghanistan and Pakistan does not mean the war is going to end. It does means US State Department is getting more involved, which is essential to ensure an end in the future.
An Afghan timeline for an Afghan transition of power is being set for July 2014, a timeline most analyst think is too quick and the US is beginning to scale back expectations for a US withdraw in 2011.
“I think it’s all crazy talk,” said Diliberto. “Nobody has any clue how we are going to bring peace or stability to this whole thing if we don’t negotiate with the Taliban.”