The U.S. is considering slapping sanctions on Pakistani officials with close ties to terror organizations.
National Security Council spokesman Michael Anton said in a call with reporters Tuesday that “business as usual as it has been up to now is over” in terms of U.S. relations with Pakistan, Politico reports.
“I think the important takeaway for the Pakistani government last night is that, you know, they should understand that they’re on notice from this president, from this administration,” Anton said, referencing President Donald Trump’s Afghanistan strategy press briefing Monday evening. “The United States has been really patient with Pakistan for a really long time. We haven’t been getting a good deal from them.”
Anton noted that not only is the U.S. potentially willing to apply sanctions on terror groups like the Haqqani network, but that those sanctions may also be slapped on Pakistani officials “who are tied to these kinds of groups, you know, in ways that they shouldn’t be.”
Despite the fact that the U.S. sends over a large amount of military aid, Pakistan still displays “indifference to border crossing and terrorist safe havens and sanctuaries,” Anton added.
Trump’s strategy announcement neither included a specific number of troops to be sent to Afghanistan as part of the new surge, nor stated when those troops would be sent, but on the call, administration officials said Trump left out details on purpose.
Vice President Mike Pence said Tuesday morning on NBC’s “Today” show that troops levels will be “based on the conditions on the ground.” Secretary of Defense James Mattis also added that he would decide troop figures after receiving a report from the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff.
Although Trump in the past has been highly critical of U.S. involvement in Afghanistan, officials said in early August that he was likely to send more troops to the region, regardless of his penchant for criticizing the war effort and considering a full withdrawal.
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