Campaign Promises

Departments -> Defense -> Pakistan

DE-32 The Promise: "Obama would condition U.S. military aid to Pakistan on their making progress to close down the training camps, evict foreign fighters, and prevent the Taliban from using Pakistan as a base to strike inside of Afghanistan."
When/Where: Obama-Biden Plan: "The War We Need to Win" dated 07/31/07.
Status:Historically, Pakistan considers that anything on its side of the Durand Line (the poorly marked 1,600 mile Afghanistan-Pakistan border established in 1893) is its sovereign territory and therefore its own business.

For FY2010, Pakistan gained approximately $2.5B in direct U.S. military aid: $288M in Foreign Military Financing, $5M for International Military Education and Training, $700M under the Pakistan Counterinsurgency Capability Fund, and $1.5B under the Coalition Support Fund as part of a $4.3B aid package.

Despite all this funding, U.S. Predator drone attacks and the use of other intelligence assets had to be increased in western Pakistan as early as CY2010. This reflected Obama Administration frustrations over Pakistan's failure to dislodge Haqqani Network, Taliban and Al-Qaeda operatives from North Waziristan -- using that area as a base from which to launch attacks against coalition troops in Afghanistan, an effort that continued unabated through CY2016.

For FY2011, an increase in funding for the Pakistan Counterinsurgency Capability Fund (from $700M to $1.2B) was requested by President Obama. Congress agreed to limit this amount to $800M in the Department of Defense and Full-Year Continuing Appropriations Act of 2011 (H.R. 1473).

For FY2012, President Obama proposed $1.6B for Pakistani police and military assistance. Congress froze $700M of this assistance while it sought proof that Pakistan was taking action against militants who used Improvised Explosive Devices (IEDs) against U.S. force operating in Afghanistan. Congress again temporarily blocked funds for Pakistan in early-CY2012 because Pakistan would not let supplies reach NATO forces in Afghanistan via shorter, less costly routes through Pakistan after Pakistani troops were killed during a U.S. drone attack on insurgent training sites in Pakistan.

All this time, the Haqqani Network, declared to be a terrorist group by the Obama Administration on 09/07/12, continued to operate with impunity in North Waziristan. Nonetheless, the Obama Administration's FY2013 budget proposal requested $2.2B in foreign operations funds for Pakistan, including $800M for the Pakistan Counterinsurgency Capability Fund (PCCF), a 6% increase over the FY2012 enacted level.

In 08/16, the Pentagon withheld $300M in military aid to Pakistan. According to a spokesman, "the funds could not be released to the government of Pakistan at this time because the secretary has not yet certified that Pakistan has taken sufficient action against the Haqqani Network." But this was only $300M out of a $1B military aid package.

It was widely reported at the time that some of Pakistan's security services had been assisting the 60K-strong Taliban against NATO forces in Afghanistan since Operation Enduring Freedom started in late CY2001. At the same time, the 4K to 6K-strong Haqqani Network and terrorist training camps continued to operate in North Waziristan. Despite these documented facts, the Obama Administration continued to provide military aid to the Pakistani Government, with slight perturbations, through end-CY2016.

This promise was not fulfilled.