In recent months the US President has reversed yet another campaign pledge to pull out of Afghanistan, America’s longest war, and instead has begun to deploy an added 3,000 troops there. At the same time he has lashed out at the government of Pakistan accusing it of aiding the Afghan Taliban and pledging to cut all US military aid to that country as reprisal. A deeper view into the situation suggests that both moves are linked and have to do with not the Taliban and the Afghan terrorists. It has very much to do with ongoing developments of peaceful construction of the Chinese-led Belt, Road Initiative and desperate attempts of Washington to try to stop those developments using other pretexts.
In June 2017 After intense discussions with his military Trump authorized an added up to 4,000 US soldiers ostensibly to further train an Afghan military in dealing with an increasingly successful Taliban force. By December the Pentagon was engaged in a massive air campaign it said was aimed at destroying the Taliban drug labs.
Arguing that the Pakistan ISI intelligence service was complicit in giving Taliban, the CIA-trained and al Qaeda-associated Haqqani and other terrorist groups sanctuary across the border, Trump then froze military aid to Pakistan. It is allegedly to force Pakistan’s military and intelligence to cut support for the Taliban and other Islamist groups. In one of his infamous tweets, the US President wrote,
“The United States has foolishly given Pakistan more than 33 billion dollars 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!”
The Pakistan aid cut could involve two billion worth of equipment and coalition support funding. Administration sources stated that, “all options are on the table,” including stripping Pakistan of its status as a “major non-NATO ally” or calling in vital IMF loans.
As a direct result of the US pressure, the Pakistani government did not automatically renew for a full year refugee status for some 1.4 million Afghan refugees, instead ordering them to return to Afghanistan by end of January.