In the June 20 article “U.S.: Pakistan loose lips leave trust on rocks,” Associated Press reporter Kimberly Dozier does an excellent job of relating the current, horrible, and deteriorating U.S.-Pakistan relationship. Historically, this relationship began as a means to keep Soviet influence from growing outside Central Asia during the Cold War. The relationship was allowed to wane until the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, at which point many felt a renewed relationship with Pakistan would serve a strategic vision with troops entering Afghanistan. This, however, would come to serve as a hindrance, not to U.S. interests, but to the very Americans risking their lives in Afghanistan.
These soldiers are faced every day with threats of these very same terrorist organizations receiving support from a supposed “ally” to the United States. As Dozier states in her article, Pakistan was angry at the U.S. for leaving it in the dark in regard to the Osama bin Laden raid. Yet it will turn around and leak sensitive information to terrorist organizations that enjoy sanctuary in Pakistan.
As long as the enemies of the U.S.–Afghanistan relationship are allowed sanctuary inside Pakistan, the fighting will never end. As long as these enemies are provided material and intelligence support from Pakistan, the war will never end. The time has come for Pakistan to make a decision: If Pakistan does not renounce all support of organizations deemed terrorist groups, then the United States should cut all aid, financial or otherwise, to Pakistan.
As well as supporting the United States in combating terrorism, this strategic partnership should also involve talks between Pakistan and India, and the eventual bilateral reduction of their nuclear weapons.
With U.S. soldiers in harm’s way, there should be no question as to the fidelity of our partners. With Pakistan compromising U.S. soldiers’ safety by supporting these groups, it appears a rift has developed between the United States and Pakistan — one that, for the sake of our soldiers, should be quickly and unequivocally mended or severed.
Sgt. Christopher J. Hill
Fort Polk, La.