My memo on past and present efforts by Congress to condition aid to Pakistan (and its decidedly mixed results) is up:
After a year of successive blows to the U.S.-Pakistan relationship and growing mutual mistrust, the prospect of continued American military and economic aid to Pakistan in the coming fiscal year is now increasingly contentious. This month Congress is considering how much money to provide to Pakistan as well as what kind of strings to attach for fiscal year 2012, which began in October but is now being funded by Congress on a month-by-month basis. Informing the debate over record-level aid to Pakistan are disputes between Washington and Islamabad over the transition and reconciliation processes in Afghanistan, the discovery of Osama bin Laden’s presence in Pakistan and Pakistan’s anger over multiple unilateral actions on its territory, and a renewed American domestic political focus on cutting government spending costs at home.
This sort of controversy is by no means new. American aid to Pakistan has gone through a series of peaks and valleys over the past 30 years as American strategic priorities shifted from nuclear counterproliferation (beginning in 1979) to cooperation against the Soviet Union (1980 to 1989) to concern over military rule (1999 to 2008) to counterterrorism and the conflict in Afghanistan (2001 onwards). Along the way a variety of laws and amendments to those laws have dictated how Congress and the executive branch dealt with this aid: sometimes boosting it, often cutting it, occasionally ending it only to kick-start it again as foreign policy priorities swiftly shifted in the region.
You can read the whole thing at CAP’s site.