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Pakistan may be unsuccessful in making Trump pay, says expert

Experts say that pre-empting a Pakistani reprisal, if any, would entirely depend on the ability of his team to counter it

ANI  |  Washington D C 

Pakistan

President Donald Trump's "hasty and unplanned" broadside against via a tweet this month that the will only offer aid to the latter if it is seen to be acting firmly against terrorists, could result either in a foreign policy success, or may break the US-relationship beyond repair while reaping few actual benefits, says an expert on

In an article written for and published in The Atlantic, C. Christine Fair, Provost's Distinguished Associate Professor at Georgetown University's Security Studies Program within the of Foreign Service, says, "Well-placed sources involved with calculating the relevant funds have told me that this was not a planned policy and took the other agencies, not to mention the Pakistanis, by complete surprise."

Though she warns that President Trump's statement that the "has foolishly given more than $33 billion in aid over the last 15 years, and they have given us nothing but lies & deceit, thinking of our leaders as fools. They give safe haven to the terrorists we hunt in Afghanistan, with little help. No more," could eventually provide with a platform to make pay dearly, she adds that will tread cautiously, and might just not be successful in calling Washington's bluff.

Fair says that pre-empting a Pakistani reprisal, if any, would entirely depend on the ability of his team to counter it.

Suggesting the potential areas where can strike and affect US policy in and the region beyond, Professor Fair lists them, but also admits that going through with them is the realm of improbability:

could close off all ground routes used by America to resupply its troops in as it did in 2011-12. The need to find alternative routes by land and air, including through then, ended up costing the Americans about $100 million per month more than the previous arrangement.

now says the alliance is over and that it is unwilling to allow a war to be found from its soil to suit the Americans. Close the ground resupply routes apart, might consider escalating the differences by closing down its airspace.

could get closer to China after declaring its relationship with the US redundant. China's Foreign Ministry has declared that it is "ready to promote and deepen" its cooperation with Fair, however, says that this might not happen as an economically weak would not want to lose sovereign rights over territory if put in a position of not being able to pay up such as has happened with Sri Lanka and the Hambantota Port.

"China is not truly a substitute for the United States, and it will take time for China to assemble a suite of programmes to replace US aid," she adds.

has cultivated a global fear that it is too dangerous to fail. This is why many Americans have been afraid to break ties with and have never encouraged the Monetary Fund and other multilateral organisations to cut off the country and let wallow in its own mess.

believes it has effectively bribed the community with the spectre that any instability could result in terrorists getting their hands on Pakistani nuclear technology, fissile materials, or a weapon.

It is also conceivable that could use funds from a future IMF bailout to service its burgeoning Chinese debt.

America does not have the same leverage that it had post 9/11 to coerce to make way for an invasion of Taliban-dominant

has cultivated Islamist militants as crucial tools of foreign policy.

She concludes by saying that "since the early months of the war on terror that began in October 2001, the has ultimately swerved when confronted with Pakistani brinkmanship. can't count on that this time.

First Published: Wed, January 10 2018. 12:26 IST
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