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The Pakistan Aid Dilemma

The Pakistan Aid Dilemma

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Published by: Center for American Progress on Dec 16, 2011
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1Center for American Progress |  The Pakistan Aid Dilemma
 The Pakistan Aid Dilemma
Historical Efforts at Conditionalityand Current Disputes Converge in the U.S. Congress
Colin Cookman and Bill French December 2011
 Aer a year o successive blows o he U.S.-Pakisan relaionship and growing muualmisrus, he prospec o coninued American miliary and economic aid o Pakisan inhe coming scal year is now increasingly conenious. Tis monh Congress is consid-ering how much money o provide o Pakisan as well as wha kind o srings o atachor scal year 2012, which began in Ocober bu is now being unded by Congress ona monh-by-monh basis. Inorming he debae over record-level aid o Pakisan aredispues beween Washingon and Islamabad over he ransiion and reconciliaionprocesses in Aghanisan, he discovery o Osama bin Laden’s presence in Pakisan andPakisans anger over muliple unilaeral acions on is erriory, and a renewed Americandomesic poliical ocus on cuting governmen spending coss a home.Tis sor o conroversy is by no means new. American aid o Pakisan has gone hrougha series o peaks and valleys over he pas 30 years as American sraegic prioriiesshied rom nuclear counerprolieraion (beginning in 1979) o cooperaion againshe Sovie Union (1980 o 1989) o concern over miliary rule (1999 o 2008) o coun-ererrorism and he conic in Aghanisan (2001 onwards). Along he way a variey o laws and amendmens o hose laws have dicaed how Congress and he execuive branch deal wih his aid: someimes boosing i, oen cuting i, occasionally ending ionly o kick-sar i again as oreign policy prioriies swily shied in he region.Tis issue brie oers a hisory o U.S. assisance o Pakisan, wih a paricular ocus onhe legislaion in Congress ha suppored and in some cases orced hese shis o occur. As we deail, he provision or resricion o aid isel has hisorically resuled in only limied success in aligning U.S. and Pakisani sraegic prioriies over ime. Te inconsis-en applicaion o condiions on U.S. assisance o Pakisan produced misrus on bohsides despie he high level o American aid overall over he pas hree decades. Add
2Center for American Progress |  The Pakistan Aid Dilemma
o his U.S. and Pakisani suppor or opposing sides in he Aghanisan conic,whichhas raised ensions considerably over he pas wo years, and here now is he increasedchance o a oal breakdown in he relaionship.Tis breakdown is possible despie coninuing cooperaion on counererrorism and amuual ineres in preserving he sabiliy and inegriy o he nuclear-armed Pakisanisae. Amid he laes ensions and he increasing risk o escalaing conic over diver-gen views abou he uure o Aghanisan in Washingon and Islambad, he UniedSaes mainains an ineres in engagemen wih Pakisan, and mus be careul in consid-ering how i srucures and enorces new promises o assisance or hreas o a cuo.
Cold War era of cooperation and concern
In April 1979, uponconrmaion by he Cenral Inelligence Agency o he exisence o Pakisan’s nuclear enrichmen program, Presiden Jimmy Carer erminaed U.S. economicand miliary assisance o Pakisan, which a he ime oaled $85 million (approximaely $250 million in curren dollars) and was weighed principally oward economic aid.Presiden Carer’s move was pursuan o he 1976 Symingon amendmen o he ArmsExpor Conrol Ac(Public Law 90-629, Secion 101), which banned U.S. economic andmiliary assisance o any sae engaging in cerain nuclear-enrichmen aciviies.Presiden Carer’s suspension o aid was no sricly mandaory. Te law included a“necessiy o coninued assisance” clause ha allowed he presiden o coninue aid i iscessaion “would have serious adverse eecs” on U.S. naional securiy and i “reliableassurances” had been received ha he sae in quesion “will no acquire or developnuclear weapons,” or help ohers o do so.Less han a year laer, aer he Sovie Union’s invasion o Aghanisan brough U.S. andPakisani sraegic concerns closer in alignmen, Presiden Carer exercised ha clause. A $400 million assisance package (more han $1 billion in curren dollars) was iniially oered o Pakisan o help couner Sovie inuence and und Aghan guerrilla orces, bu was rejeced by Islamabad as insufcien. Pakisan Presiden Muhammad Zia ul-Haqcharacerizedhe oer as “peanus,” adding ha “Pakisan will no buy is securiy wih$400 million.” Zia calculaed ha he U.S. ineress a sake were o greaer value, and in1981 incoming Presiden Ronald Reagan rewarded ha calculaion wih a six-year, $3.2 billion aid package (approximaely $7.6 billion in curren dollars) spli evenly beweenmiliary and economic assisance. By he end o he decade, Pakisan hadreceivedover$5 billion (in curren dollars) o assisance rom he Unied Saes under PresidensReagan and George H.W. Bush. Ye he surge o aid o Pakisan as i parnered wih he Unied Saes in suppor o herebels in Aghanisan did no enirely ameliorae American concerns over Pakisan’s
3Center for American Progress |  The Pakistan Aid Dilemma
ongoing nuclear program. A 1985 amendmen sponsored by Sen. Larry Pressler (R-SD)o heForeign Assisance Ac(Public Law 87-195, Secion 620) condiioned bohmiliary and economic assisance on an annual presidenial cericaion ha “Pakisandoes no possess a nuclear explosive device” and required ha any proposed assisance“will reduce signicanly he risk” ha Pakisan will develop a nuclear weapon. Despiemuliple warnings rom U.S. diplomas o he consequences or ongoing aid, Pakisanconinued wih is weapons programs. In he wake o he 1990 Sovie wihdrawal rom Aghanisan and increasingly clear evidence o coninued Pakisani nuclear weaponseors, Presiden George H.W. Bush wihheld his cericaionand allowed he Pressler ban o engage, eecively erminaing U.S. assisance o Pakisan. As a resul $570 million (roughly $900 million in curren dollars) in aid auhorized orFY 1991 was haled, along wih he delivery o 28 F-16 Falcon gher jes or whichPakisan had already paid. Tose jes were evenually resold o New Zealand. Pakisan wouldsubsequenly be repaidover $460 million or he cos o hose ghers and heirmainenance in a 1998 deal, bu Pakisani poliical leaders and securiy analyss rou-inely cie he Pressler amendmen cu-o as a nadir in he “ransacional relaionship” beween he wo counries.Like many Cold War-era parners Pakisan was able o successully leverage signi-can assisance rom he Unied Saes in exchange or is help in conaining he SovieUnion. Neiher side was inclined oward a deeper alignmen o ineress, however, andU.S. atenion o Aghanisan’s ae quickly evaporaed in he wake o Sovie wihdrawal,allowing nuclear prolieraion concerns o reasser prominence. Te Unied Saesscuo o aid o Islamabad in he waning days o cooperaion in Aghanisan coninueso reverberae in Pakisani views o he Unied Saes as an “unreliable ally” unwilling oaccep he legiimacy o Islamabad’s concepion o is securiy needs.
Wrestling with nonproliferation
By he mid-1990s he Whie House under Presiden Bill Clinon was seeking o moveaway rom he resricions o he Pressler amendmen. DeenseSecreary William Perry ahe ime described he law as a “blun insrumen” ha made he Pakisanis “mad as hell”and “undermined he inuence we ormerly had.” Clinon adminisraion ofcials arguedhese poliical coss were being incurred wihou any eecive bene; Pakisan’s concep-ion o is sraegic prioriies and compeiion wih India mean almos any atemp “o roll back heir nuclear programs” hrough coercive aid cus was going o be unsuccessul.For hese reasons he Clinon adminisraion suppored amendmens wihin heFY 1996Foreign Operaions Appropriaions Ac(Public Law 104-107, Secions559) ha would ease aid consrains. Firs, he language o he Pressler amendmen was modied so ha only miliary aid was condiioned on presidenial cericaion,

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