Defense Secretary James Mattis told a Senate Armed Services Committee hearing on Tuesday that Pakistan might be dropped by the United States as a NATO ally due to its support for the Taliban and other terrorist organizations. Currently, Pakistan is formally designated as a major non-NATO ally (MNNA) – a defense relationship which confers military and financial benefits but does not automatically imply a mutual defense pact.
During the hearing which covered a wide range of national security issues, Mattis was asked if the US would consider revoking Pakistan’s status, and responded, “I’m sure it will be.” The firm but not completely unexpected response which is sure to add tensions to the already shaky US-Pakistan alliance came after Mattis stated in his opening remarks that, “we will firmly address Pakistan’s role. NATO’s demands need to be heard and embraced in Islamabad.”
Mattis along with Marine Corps General Joseph Dunford, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, testified that they view Pakistan’s main spy agency, Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) as an enabler of terrorism in Central Asia. General Dunford said, ‘It is clear to me that the ISI has connections with terrorist groups.’
This post was published at Zero Hedge on Oct 4, 2017.