What I find interesting about this week’s decision to formally apologize to Pakistan for a cross border attack, that from most accounts was justified, is what it signals for the long term U.S. plans for the region. It effectively states that the U.S. withdrawal from Afghanistan is real and imminent. The administration has shown no signs of shifting away from it’s 2014 exit deadline, but this is a sign that the administration sees losing some political face is worth the squeeze of a quicker and cheaper exit from Afghanistan. Internally to the US Foreign Policy machine I wonder how Hilary was chosen to give this expertly worded “apology” which sounds more like a joint saving of face for both parties. Did Obama call on her to do it because he thought she was the only one with the political acumen? This should have been a DOD apology. State is apologizing for an SF team killing Afghans? I don’t get that. So what is Pakistan getting out of this? They get about a billion dollars of withheld “counter-terrorism money.” How anyone can say the money we give to Pakistan is “counter-terrorism money” with a straight face baffles me.