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The United States spent over $10 billion in mostly military assistance in Pakistan between 2002 and 2008, but the money has done little to further development, purchase a reliable ally in Afghanistan, or deny al-Qaeda and affiliated groups safe havens in Pakistan’s tribal regions. For years, the need to incorporate development assistance as a major part of U.S. strategy in Pakistan has become more and more clear.
Today, with the Kerry-Lugar-Berman legislation authorizing $7.5 billion of economic assistance to Pakistan, the question is how to invest the money smartly to bring about long-term development improvements. This essay draws on the work of the Center for Global Development's Study Group on U.S. Development Strategy in Pakistan and on the ideas in the group's open letters to Ambassador Richard Holbrooke to present five recommendations for spending aid money well in Pakistan.