Pakistan’s Incentives

Whenever I read reports about US government officials being frustrated by Pakistan’s cooperation in fighting militant groups, I always wonder what it is policymakers are expecting will happen. Our current policy, after all, is to give the Pakistani military a lot of aid that’s predicated on the existence of an Islamist militant threat. If the threat went away, the aid would probably dry up and even if it didn’t dry up it would be redirected away from military matters—we wouldn’t be interested in explicitly funding an arms race with India.

When the Pakistanis give us a desultory effort it seems to me that we’re just getting what we paid for.