"The 112th Congress is focused on cost cutting measures to reduce the budget deficit. How it deals with the second ranking U.S. aid recipient, Pakistan--which is important to U.S. national security interests but that some say lacks accountability--will be key. Pakistan has been among the leading recipients of U.S. foreign assistance both historically and in FY2010, and most experts list the country among the most strategically important for U.S. policy makers. Recent major developments--including the killing of Al Qaeda founder Osama bin Laden in Pakistan--have put strains on bilateral relations, making uncertain the future direction of U.S. aid to Pakistan. For many lawmakers, the issue will be how to balance considerations about Pakistan's strategic importance to the United States with the pervasive and mounting distrust in the U.S.-Pakistan relationship and with budget deficit-reduction pressures. U.S. assistance to Pakistan has fluctuated considerably over the past 60 years. In the wake of 9/11, however, aid to Pakistan has continually risen as the Bush and Obama Administrations have characterized Pakistan as a U.S. partner in the Afghanistan war, in the fight against terrorism, and in efforts to stabilize the region. Since 1948, the United States has pledged more than $30 billion in direct aid; about half for military assistance. Two-thirds of this total was appropriated in the post-9/11 era from FY2002 to FY2010. Some question the gains from the aid, saying there is a lack of accountability and reform by the Pakistani government, and any goodwill generated by it is offset by widespread anti-American sentiment among the Pakistani people."
CRS Report for Congress, R41856
Federation of American Scientists: http://www.fas.org/sgp/crs/index.html