Congress axes Pakistan counterinsurgency fund

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The Obama administration says it's not opposed to the cut. The program was always meant to be a short-term effort, a State Department official told The Hill, and other military assistance programs — including Foreign Military Financing and International Military Education and Training — are there to fill the void.

“We're not not working with the Pakistanis on counterterrorism; there are other programs,” the official said. “We can still achieve a lot of our objectives with other tools that are available to us.”

The program's defunding comes as U.S.-Pakistani relations remain strained over the issue of counterterrorism and drone strikes.

The on-again-off-again ally in the war on terrorism demanded two years ago that the United States sharply reduce the number of CIA and Special Forces personnel in the country. And when the U.S.-Pakistan Defense Consultative Group reconvened in December after a 19-month hiatus following a U.S. strike that accidentally killed 24 Pakistani troops, the official said, both sides agreed to pare down their military-to-military collaboration.

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