US President Donald Trump has thrown himself into an international diplomacy nightmare. The motormouth president has sparked outrage by exclaiming that the US has “foolishly” handed over $33 billion in aid to Pakistan. The figure is the reported spending by the US on international aid to the country and Trump has determined that the US has received nothing in return for it.
“They give safe haven to the terrorists we hunt in Afghanistan, with little help. No more!” Trump wrote on his ever-popular Twitter account. His message said, “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.”
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!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) January 1, 2018
The outburst is likely to further damage US relation in the Middle East and other Muslim countries which form an Islamic alliance with Pakistan. In the last few weeks, Trump caused trouble with his insistence that the US embassy in Israel would move to Jerusalem. He also claims that Jerusalem is the capital of Israel, much to the anger of Palestinians. The move threatens to derail decades of efforts of previous presidents to help bring peace to the Middle East.
The tweet, like most of his, came from nowhere. The president is prone to wild outbursts and tweets whatever is on his mind at that specific moment, though Trump has long criticized the Pakistani government for what he perceives as their lack of progress on tackling Islamist militants. America, like much of the western world, has donated significant sums in aid to the country. In the meantime, Islamic terrorism has increased. But while some of it does originate there, this isn’t likely to all be coming from Pakistan. In fact, countries with much poorer track records on terrorism continue to get aid from the US.
But if Trump wants to tackle an international issue with this level of seriousness, Twitter isn’t exactly the best place to do it.
Photographer: Mike Theiler/Pool via Bloomberg
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