OTR Interviews

Rep. Allen West on Pakistan: 'We Cannot Continue to Send Money to People That Are Not Dealing With Us Fairly'

This is a rush transcript from "On the Record," May 6, 2011. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.

GRETA VAN SUSTEREN, FOX NEWS HOST: Well, should the United States pull the plug on money to Pakistan? Many lawmakers from both sides of the political aisle are insisting yes. They want Pakistan to do some explaining about bin Laden's hideaway in Pakistan before the U.S. sends them another dime.

Congressman Allen West of Florida joins us. Good evening, sir. And you have sent a letter, and already Congressman Ted Poe has introduced a bill. Tell me why you think we shouldn't send Pakistan another dime before we get an answer?

REP. ALLEN WEST, R-FLA.: Well, good evening, Greta. And I think that when you look at the situation surrounding Usama bin Laden hiding out there in Abbottabad for now we come to understand for five years, you're either dealing with ignorance, incompetence, or some sort of a complicit nature. And any of those three or a combination of all of those three is definitely not a reason to continue to support Pakistan with the hard- earned American taxpayer dollars.

It's not just that also, but we know that Pakistan's president a week ago called Hamid Karzai and admonished him not to go into a long-term security arrangement with the United States but rather join Pakistan and China. And there has to be a reason why all of these Islamic terrorist groups are flooding to Pakistan and to those tribal areas. Either they are being invited there or they feel that they will have sanctuary.

VAN SUSTEREN: Well, according to the numbers we've gotten, just as sort of a point of reference, in the year 2011, about $3 billion is expected to go to Pakistan. In 2010, it was $3.4 billion, 2009, $3 billion, 2008, $2 billion. So these are substantial sums of money.

But I'm curious, Congressman, is that if we were to say not another dime, which is -- you know, I certainly can understand everyone's viewpoint not wanting to reward Pakistan after looking the other way, at best, with bin Laden hiding out there. I'm curious if someone else might sort of move into position, like a country not friendly to us, like Iran, and create even larger problems in the region.

WEST: Well, Greta, you have to understand that Iran is already causing great problems. Iran has been causing great problems ever since the Shah of Iran was deposed and they brought in the Ayatollah. So the thing is, if we continue with this Neville Chamberlain type of foreign policy, where we try to appease those who are playing us for fools and also our enemies, we're not going to get anywhere. The most important thing we have to convoy is a sense of strength, and also that we will no longer tolerate this type of behavior.

VAN SUSTEREN: Do we choke off our troops in Afghanistan if we do say to Pakistan, Not another dime, and they decide to -- you know, they decide to retaliate and cut off some supply routes to us? And do we make it more difficult for our troops to achieve their mission in Afghanistan?

WEST: Well, this is why I have always said the strength of the United States military is our strategic mobility. And we need to move away from the nation building occupation style of warfare and get to a United States military that is quite capable of launching strike operations, very much so, as you saw against Usama bin Laden. But we need to be able to employ our maritime forces over the horizon, airborne forces, air assault forces that can quickly go in and strike, 30 to 45-day-duration type of operations, and get the heck out of the areas of operation.

We've got to take the fight to these enemies in their sanctuaries and use all the means that we have available in our strategic arsenal so that we're not tied down to these logistical supply routes that can be choked off.

VAN SUSTEREN: But then there's the problem with India. India and Pakistan are mortal enemies. Both have nuclear weapons. If -- I mean, some have thought that to the extent that we were pouring money into Pakistan, we were putting a lid on them, you know, thereby creating more of a stable situation with Pakistan versus India.

Do we risk destabilizing an already unstable situation between those two countries if we pull out our money and lose the extent of any control that we do have in Pakistan?

WEST: Well, I think that it is already quite an unstable situation, and I'm quite sure that we are well aware of the nuclear facilities and we could launch any type of operation to neutralize those nuclear facilities in Pakistan. The most important thing that I see is that we cannot continue to send money to people that are not dealing with us fairly.

As well, you saw within the last week Fatah, the Palestinian Authority, has gone into a reconciliation pact with Hamas. And we all know that we send American taxpayer dollars to the Palestinian Authority, and our military trains the Palestinian Authority police, as well. Now is time for some serious assessments and reexaminations of where we are spending our resources in that part of the world.

VAN SUSTEREN: Congressman, thank you, sir.

WEST: Always a pleasure.