CGD in the News

Why the U.S. Needs to Invest in Pakistan (Marketplace)

May 13, 2011

Nancy Birdsall did an on-air op-ed on Pakistan for Marketplace

From the Article

Americans send billions of dollars in military and economic aid to Pakistan. Should that continue?

KAI RYSSDAL: The former chief of Pakistani intelligence weighed in on the Osama bin Laden question today. He -- like many of his countrymen -- thinks the United States was obliged to let Pakistan know about bin Laden's whereabouts before anything happened.

The raid is just the most recent source of tension between the two countries, and the possibility that certain parts of the Pakistani military or intelligence service knew bin Laden was staying there and let him stay has Congress questioning the billions in aid Pakistan gets every year. Commentator Nancy Birdsall says lawmakers are totally missing the point.


NANCY BIRDSALL: The United States needs a diversified portfolio of both short- and long-term investments in Pakistan. Washington needs the cooperation of Pakistan's military and intelligence agencies right now, so it spends billions reimbursing Pakistan's army for war costs.

But Americans are also concerned about Pakistan's long-term stability -- and with good reason. Pakistan will soon be the world's fourth most populous nation, with nuclear weapons and 100 million young people with few jobs but plenty of opportunities for radicalization.

Read the article or listen to the story below.