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IPFS News Link • WAR: About that War

U.S. lays bare concerns on Pakistan army


In suspending aid, the United States is showing it will no longer give the benefit of the doubt to Pakistan's military after a long debate on how to handle the powerful institution.

President Barack Obama's administration took office with a determination to strengthen Pakistan's weak democratic leaders and crafted a civilian aid package accordingly, all the while trying to nurture ties to a suspicious army.

But now the administration has taken a major -- and, in some analysts' view, risky -- step of deferring $800 million for the army and saying it will not resume full funding without what it sees as progress on fighting insurgents.

"There has been growing estrangement but this represents a real change of gears because up until now the thrust of our relationship has been our militaries working together, whatever else happens," said Marvin Weinbaum, scholar-in-residence at the Middle East Institute.

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