The U.S. just cut millions in aid to Pakistan and the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA).
Due to its failure to fight and reign in Islamists militants, the U.S. cancelled $300 million in aid to Pakistan.
The aid money is part of a program called Coalition Support Funds (CSF), a Department of Defense program that provides aid to allies who have incurred costs supporting counter-insurgency operations.
Previously this year, Congress canceled $500 million in CSF monies to Pakistan. Although Defense Secretary Jim Mattis said at the time that if Pakistan would go after its insurgents aiding the Taliban and other violent Islamists, this next installment of $300 million would not be cut. However, Mattis did not see progress in this area and cut the funding.
The suspension of the CSF money was part of a larger cut in aid to Pakistan made by President Donald Trump at the beginning of the year. At the time, Trump said American aid was being rewarding with “nothing but lies & deceit.”
At the same time, the Trump administration has been cutting Pakistani military officers out of American training programs.
This cancellation of $300 million comes on the eve of an expected trip to Islamabad by U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, who said fighting the extremists would be a “primary part of the discussion.” Pompeo will be accompanied by General Joseph Dunford, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff.
The cut also follows the election of Imran Khan as Pakistan’s prime minister. Khan is on record of expressing sympathy for the Taliban in Afghanistan, even suggesting they open an office in his country. He defended the Taliban’s justice system in an interview with the BBC in 2018. Famous for his anti-American rhetoric, Khan also opposes much of the U.S. war on terror.
The U.S. has given Pakistan more than $33 billion in aid since 2002, with $14 billion going to CSF.
In cutting all U.S. funds to UNRWA, the Trump administration labeled the agency “irredeemably flawed.”
UNRWA has a history of failing to fulfill its mandate to support Palestinian refugees and instead promoting terrorism and incitement against Israelis and even sheltering terrorists.
High-level positions within the agency have been given to senior Palestinian terrorists, including members of Hamas. In December 2017, a terror tunnel was discovered under two UNRWA schools and during the 2014 war between Hamas and Israel, at least three Hamas weapons caches were found in UNRWA facilities and another Hamas tunnel was found in a booby-trapped UNRWA clinic.
An internal audit made by the U.N. earlier this year found that UNRWA was particularly vulnerable to “misappropriation, graft and corruption” in its “procurement, partner selection, food and cash distribution, hiring and promotions, and other areas.”
The U.S. has historically been in the largest donor to UNRWA, contributing more than $350 million in 2017 alone.
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