US budget requests for Pakistan for FY 2012 and FY 2013
First the US budget request for aid to Pakistan and objectives for FY 2012:
The United States seeks to advance U.S. national security by deepening its long-term bilateral strategic partnership with Pakistan. This effort will support the U.S. goal to disrupt, dismantle, and defeat al Qaeda in the region, as well as deny safe haven for the Taliban by helping to build a stable, secure, democratic, and prosperous country. The United States will partner with Pakistan to strengthen the capacity of the democratic government to meet the needs of its citizens better by rehabilitating critical infrastructure, stabilizing key areas contested by violent extremists, and fostering private-sector-led economic growth. [The Congressional Budget Justification Foreign Operations Annex: Regional Perspectives, FY2012, p. 660]
And the US budget request for aid to Pakistan and objectives for FY 2013:
The United States seeks to foster economic and political stability in Pakistan through sustained assistance, which directly supports the core U.S. national security objective to disrupt, dismantle, and defeat Al Qaida, as well as to deny safe haven to it and its affiliates in the region. Despite recent challenges in the relationship, the United States and Pakistan must continue to identify shared interests and cooperate on joint actions that will help achieve these objectives. [The Congressional Budget Justification Foreign Operations Annex: Regional Perspectives, FY2013, p. 687]
As far as the US is concerned, all the talk about deepening a bilateral strategic partnership with Pakistan is dead and buried. It isn’t there even on paper now. The dreams of building a stable, secure, democratic and prosperous Pakistan have also been replaced by more modest goals of identifying shared interests and cooperating on joint actions against Al Qaida and its affiliates. Such a difference a year makes in Washington DC!
But for whatever reason, this reminds me of that Goethe quote: “When ideas fail, words come in very handy.”