Cipher Brief Analysis: The Pakistan Problem

Photo/iStock

Pakistan’s Prime Minister Imran Khan recently returned from China without the concrete funding assurances that he was seeking in order to keep his country from having to request a second bailout from the International Monetary Fund.

Pakistan has repeatedly turned to China and Saudi Arabia for financial assistance, while the U.S. has withdrawn aid, most recently cancelling $300m, claiming that Islamabad has not done enough to root out militants operating along its border with Afghanistan.

This is happening as a new director-general takes over as head of Pakistan’s Inter-Services Intelligence agency (ISI).  Lieutenant-General Asim Munir’s role as head of the ISI is an important one strategically in the Pakistan-U.S. relationship.

The U.S. will be looking to see whether Munir’s appointment will mean business as usual with regard to ISI’s cooperation in rooting out terrorists, or whether Munir will use his role to position Pakistan as a more cooperative partner for the U.S. on that front.

The Cipher Brief tapped it’s network of experts, including former ISAF Commander, General Stanley McChrystal (Ret.), former CIA Chief of Station Kevin Hulbert, and former Director of Strategic Operational Planning for NCTC, Vice Admiral Mike LeFever (Ret.), for their thoughts on the path forward between the U.S. and Pakistan.

Pakistan’s Prime Minister Imran Khan recently returned from China without the concrete funding assurances that he was seeking in order to keep his country from having to request a second bailout from the International Monetary Fund.

Pakistan has repeatedly turned to China and Saudi Arabia for financial assistance, while the U.S. has withdrawn aid, most recently cancelling $300m, claiming that Islamabad has not done enough to root out militants operating along its border with Afghanistan.

This is happening as a new director-general takes over as head of Pakistan’s Inter-Services Intelligence agency (ISI).  Lieutenant-General Asim Munir’s role as head of the ISI is an important one strategically in the Pakistan-U.S. relationship.

This is Cipher Brief Level I Member Only content. It can be accessed via login or by signing up to become a Cipher Brief Member.  Joining this high-level, security-focused community is only $10/month (for an annual $120/yr membership).

Cipher Brief Members engage in high-level conversations about national and global security issues every day. If you’re not already a member, you should be.

If you are experiencing any issues with signing up or signing in, please drop an email to support@thecipherbrief.com.

We look forward to welcoming you to the community!