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Policymakers view Pakistan as one of the most critical fronts in efforts to combat violent extremism. Different US administrations have taken divergent approaches on development assistance to the country. In 2010, a CGD study group drew lessons from past experiences to offer practical recommendations to US policymakers on the effective deployment of foreign assistance and other, non-aid instruments for achieving sustainable development in Pakistan. It suggested better ways to deploy aid, and ideas to unlock the potential of trade and private investment.
This is a joint post with Wren Elhai and Molly Kinder.
The news of Osama bin Laden’s death in a hideout in Pakistan raises fresh questions about the future of the U.S. development program in that country. That bin Laden was found in the army town of Abbottabad - the Pakistani equivalent of West Point -- has fueled suspicions that Pakistan’s leaders have been unhelpful at best and double dealing at worst. Some are asking: if Pakistan won’t help the United States, why should American taxpayers keep giving them so much foreign aid?
For more than a decade, Pakistan has had almost bottomless credit from the World Bank and other donors to cure its poor record of economic development. Sadly, the country has little to show for it. The Bank is once again prepared to pull out its checkbook -- in spite of a recent report from the Bank’s Independent Evaluation Unit that details the many failures of the Bank's massive investments in Pakistan during the 1990s. Will the money help this time?
U.S. - Pakistan relations, troubled in the best of times, have been unusually rocky of late. A recent cover story in The Atlantic dubbed Pakistan the “Ally from Hell.” CGD’s Study Group on the U.S. Development Strategy in Pakistan argues that the strong U.S. interest in a stable, prosperous Pakistan makes savvy U.S. support for development there more important than ever. In this week’s wonkcast, post-doctoral research fellow Milan Vaishnav and policy analyst Danny Cutherell discuss the recent upsets in U.S.-Pakistan relations and offer practical suggestions, drawn from the CGD Study Group’s report and a recent open letter from CGD president Nancy Birdsall to deputy secretary of state Thomas Nides, which focuses on U.S. support for private sector growth in Pakistan.