Pakistan route cut-off costs U.S. $100 million a month | ReutersPakistan's closure of supply routes to the Afghan war is costing American taxpayers $100 million a month, Defense Secretary Leon Panetta said on Wednesday, as he recommended possibly setting conditions on future U.S. aid to Islamabad.
Panetta's decision to disclose what had been a closely guarded figure at the Pentagon appeared to be another sign of frustration with Pakistan and will do little to generate sympathy for that country in Congress, which is wrestling with ways to scale back the U.S. budget deficit.
IMO, the U.S. should deduct the monthly costs being imposed on it by Pakistan's conduct from its annual assistance to Pakistan. Currently, the U.S. provides $1.5 billion per year in assistance to Pakistan. Pakistan has become a generally unreliable and often openly hostile entity. Its cooperation in areas of interest to the U.S. has become minimal to the extent that, in my view, a fundamental reassessment of the bilateral relationship should be undertaken by the U.S. even beyond the issue of Pakistan's conduct vis-a-vis military supply lines.