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Economic coercion unlikely to stop Pakistan from backing militants

A Pakistani army soldier stands guard along with border fence at the Pak-Afghan border near the Punjpai area of Quetta in Balochistan on May 8, 2018.
A Pakistan Army soldier stands guard along the Pakistan–Afghanistan border fence near the Punjpai area of Quetta on May 8, 2018. Photo: Banarasa Khan/AFP via Getty Images

Earlier this year, the Trump administration suspended most security assistance, including Coalition Support Funds (CSF), to Pakistan and led the charge to place the country on an international terrorism-financing watchlist, beginning next month.

Why it matters: The ineffectiveness of U.S. sanctions after Pakistan’s 1998 nuclear tests — coupled with China’s emergence as Pakistan’s financial benefactor — suggests coercive measures are unlikely to compel Pakistan's army to cease backing militant networks that target U.S. forces in Afghanistan.