Hey, it’s not like we shower Pakistan with billions of dollars in financial aid every year. . .no, wait?
(WSJ) — Pakistan has privately demanded the Central Intelligence Agency suspend drone strikes against militants on its territory, one of the U.S.’s most effective weapons against al Qaeda and Taliban leaders, officials said.
Pakistan has also asked the U.S. to reduce the number of U.S. intelligence and Special Operations personnel in the country, according to U.S. and Pakistani officials.
The U.S. strategy in the war in Afghanistan hinges on going after militants taking refuge in Pakistan. The breakdown in intelligence cooperation has cast a pall over U.S.-Pakistani relations, with some officials in both countries saying intelligence ties are at their lowest point since the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks spurred the alliance.
Beyond the Afghan battlefield, officials believe that without a robust counterterrorism relationship with Pakistan, al Qaeda and other groups can operate with far greater impunity when planning attacks on the U.S. and Europe. The vast majority of attacks against the West in the last decade originated in Pakistan.
U.S. officials on Monday publicly sought to play down the tensions. CIA Director Leon Panetta met with the head of Pakistan’s Inter-Services Intelligence agency, Lt. Gen. Ahmed Shuja Pasha at CIA headquarters. After the meeting, CIA spokesman George Little said the intelligence relationship “remains on solid footing.”