Casey Wrong on Pakistan

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Casey is Wrong About Pakistan – She is Not Our Indispensable Partner and We Should Eliminate Foreign Aid to Pakistan
US Senator Robert Casey (D-PA) sits on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee and is Chairman of the Near East and South Asia Affairs Subcommittee. That means Senator Casey is responsible for helping to direct US foreign policy toward Pakistan, which has recently proven to be a disaster.

In 2008, Senator Casey said, "Pakistan will continue to be an indispensable partner in the fight against terrorism…" Really? Senator Casey made this statement at the same time Pakistan allowed Osama bin Laden – the world’s most notorious terrorist, extremist and killer of Americans – to live comfortably under the watchful eye of the Pakistan Military Academy in the suburbs of Islamabad, the capital of Pakistan.

Even President Obama knew we could not trust Senator Casey’s "indispensable partner." That is why President Obama dispensed with Pakistan by invading its sovereign territory, capturing and killing Osama bin Laden all without informing the Pakistani government. The Obama Administration did not inform Senator Casey’s "indispensable partner" because they feared the Pakistani government would help Osama bin Laden escape.

Senator Casey’s "indispensable partner" allowed the return of Osama bin Laden to Pakistan, the country where al-Qaeda was born in 1988, after the US military chased him out of Afghanistan. From his safe haven in Pakistan, Osama bin Laden continued to direct his war against America. Pakistan has also provided sanctuary to other leaders of al-Qaeda and the Taliban.

Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said to the Pakistani government in 2009, "Al Qaeda has had safe haven in Pakistan since 2002. I find it hard to believe that nobody in your government knows where they are and couldn’t get them if they really wanted to. The world has an interest in seeing the capture and killing of the people who are the masterminds of this terrorist syndicate. As far as we know, they are in Pakistan." Nevertheless, Senator Casey voted to give Pakistan, his "indispensable partner," billions of taxpayer dollars in foreign aid – even voting to triple aid in 2009.

But what has Pakistan been doing with our tax dollars? Pakistan has been using our money to subsidize its military presence on the Pakistani-Indian border and to prepare for war against India. Senator Casey tells the taxpayers that we need to give Pakistan our money so that it can fight the terrorists, while Pakistan provides sanctuary to the terrorists, and uses our money to prepare for war against India, which is by the way our ally. Brilliant!

All of this foreign aid to Pakistan has not caused the Pakistani people to love – or at least thank – us for all the aid we give them. According to the Pew Global Attitudes Project, less than 20 percent of the people in Pakistan held a favorable view of us. According to the Stimson Center, roughly six in ten Pakistanis view us as an enemy. The President of Pakistan recently admonished the President of Afghanistan to reject its alliance with us and instead form an alliance with China.

So why are we giving Pakistan foreign aid? Senator Casey will say paying "aid" to Pakistan will make America safer. But we cannot purchase our security from the Pakistani government. We alone can and must ensure our own security. We should not pay the Pakistani government and then hope they protect us from al-Qaeda. Pakistan will pay lip service to that effort while continuing to support our enemy.

If we want to protect the American people from al-Qaeda, we must do the job ourselves, just like we did last week by capturing and killing Osama bin Laden – on our own. Senator Casey wants to pay "foreign aid" to the Pakistani government in exchange for its false promise to protect us from and kill our enemies. I want to use the United States Navy Seals. Which do you think is more effective?

Pakistan is playing America the fool – and is doing it with our own money. And Senator Casey is willingly going along. It is time to stop all US foreign aid to Pakistan. Let the Pakistani government support itself with its own money, because it is certainly not supporting our interests with ours.

Marc A. Scaringi is a candidate for the Republican nomination to the United States Senate in 2012