The United States has a long and convoluted history of foreign aid with Pakistan, something the Government Accountability Office has researched extensively. According to a GAO report, funds provided to Pakistan towards the goals of increasing counter-terrorism operations in the FATA region, dismantling nuclear networks, and ensuring that Pakistani security forces are not “subverting the political or judicial processes of Pakistan” are not subject to certification that ensures cooperation and national security goals are met. In short, 88% of the funding may not be utilized entirely towards its stated goals. In our report, A New Way Forward: Rebalancing Security Assistance Programs and Authorities, Gordon Adams and Rebecca Williams note this general issue with all aid programs:
There is no oversight mechanism that collectively evaluates all US security assistance programs, and no metric that challenges or supports when or whether to provide assistance. That information is essential to major policy judgments, such as: Is it worth it? Is it enough? Is it sustainable? Does it support US policy goals?
If U.S. objectives as stated in the GAO report are not being met and there is a systemic lack of oversight, there must be some unstated policy goals being met for the U.S.-Pakistan relationship to continue. Earlier this month, Secretary Panetta asked for $2.1 billion for increased shipping costs in a reprogramming request. The billions would cover the increased costs due to Pakistan closing supply routes through the country last November. But after the recent U.S.-Pakistan reconciliation, one of the unstated goals may seem clearer. The U.S. is now saving a great deal in shipping costs and Pakistan will begin to receive its aid payments withheld since November that coincidentally total to about $2.1 billion dollars this year. With an apology, we save billions, are able to resupply troops in Afghanistan and will transfer appropriated aid to continue our convoluted relationship with Pakistan.