On Afghanistan, there's no way out

We’ve tried carrots and sticks with Pakistan. In 2011, Washington gave $3.5 billion in aid to Islamabad. That same year we killed Osama bin Laden in the garrison city of Abbottabad. Then the aid plunged.

Result: Last month, James Mattis withheld another $50 million in aid because the Defense Department could not certify that Pakistan had “taken sufficient action against the Haqqani network,” though Islamabad claims otherwise. American leverage with Pakistan has declined as Chinese investment in the country has surged, reaching $62 billion this year.