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Pakistan's Foreign Minister Khawaja Muhammad Asif. Photo: Nicolas Asfouri / AFP / Getty Images

U.S.–Pakistan relations got off to a rough start in 2018. President Trump rang in the new year with a harshly worded tweet accusing Pakistan of accepting American money without taking out the terrorists that attack American troops in Afghanistan. Several days later, the Trump administration announced the suspension of most security aid to Pakistan until those terrorists are targeted.

Pakistani officials excoriated Trump for his tweet. Pakistan's foreign minister declared that his country’s alliance with America was “over.” News reports revealed that Washington is working on ways to mitigate possible Pakistani retaliations to U.S. pressure.

Sound serious? Sure. Still, a reality check is in order.

Take the angry words with grains of salt. Both countries host elections this year, and the angry rhetoric is playing to galleries often hostile to the other country.

We’ve been here before. Washington has cut aid to Pakistan in the past, and the relationship has survived. And relations were even worse in 2011, when several crises
— including the raid on Osama bin Laden’s compound — prompted Pakistan to close critical supply routes used by U.S. soldiers to access Afghanistan.

What's next: U.S.–Pakistan relations haven't yet entered uncharted territory. Will Washington take additional punitive measures beyond aid freezes in the coming weeks? And if so, how will Pakistan respond? Until we have answers, we can't safely forecast the fate of this ever-problematic partnership.

Michael Kugelman is deputy director and senior associate for South Asia at the Wilson Center.

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Texas Republicans pass new congressional maps in their favor

Photo: Matthew Busch/Bloomberg via Getty Images

The Texas House voted 84-59 late Monday to approve new congressional district maps that reduce the number of districts with Black and Hispanic majorities, per the Texas Tribune.

Why it matters: The legislation comes after recent census figures found Texas' growing diverse population doesn't bode well for Republicans, who then worked to protect incumbents with the redrawn maps.

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North Korea's military fires another ballistic missile into sea

A woman in Seoul, South Korea, walks past a television image if North Korean leader Kim Jong-un. Photo: Jung Yeon-je/AFP via Getty Images

North Korea's military fired at least one ballistic missile into the sea off its east coast on Tuesday, per multiple reports.

Why it matters: Pyongyang's latest in a series of recent missile launches happened hours after U.S. officials emphasized their commitment to restart negotiations on North Korea's nuclear weapons program, which have stalled since talks broke down during the Trump administration, AP notes.

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Trump sues National Archives, Jan. 6 committee to block records request

Photo: Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

President Trump filed a lawsuit Monday seeking to block the National Archives from releasing White House records to the House select committee investigating the Jan. 6 Capitol insurrection, citing executive privilege.

Why it matters: It's the latest escalation in Trump's campaign to disrupt the committee's sweeping probe into the circumstances surrounding Jan. 6, including his actions and communications leading up to the Capitol attack.