Pakistani Aid Won’t Disappear Down Rat Hole This Time: Obama Administration
Encouraging stance on the aid we give to Pakistan. It’s been well-documented that much of the billions which have been directed to Pakistan since 9/11 has disappeared down a rat hole. In a briefing today in Washington, President Obama’s point man on Afghan-Pak policy, Bruce Riedel, said that U.S. funds will be more closely monitored this time:
Q Thank you. The President mentioned the Kerry-Lugar bill, billions of dollars’ worth of aid to Pakistan. He also said that Pakistan won’t be given a blank check. So I’m wondering what restrictions does the administration want to see on that money specifically?
And also, how do you react to statements from some senators, such as Senator Levin, who have said that this strategy places too much dependence on the Pakistani government to deal with extremists, and perhaps gives too much of a reliance on them to help us make progress in Afghanistan?
MR. RIEDEL: I’m not going to comment on Senator Levin’s remarks. I’ll say this: For the last eight years, Pakistan received billions of dollars in support from the United States — much of it was unaccountable; much the Pakistanis don’t even know where it went.
As the President indicated in his speech, we’re going to make sure that there is rigorous oversight by an Inspector General’s office. And we’re going to work very, very intensively with our Pakistani partners, the democratically elected civilian leadership in Pakistan, to see that we’re moving in the right direction, in the same direction that we want to go.
(Source: White House Transcript)