With U.S. contributions to relief efforts assisting Pakistan in the wake of devastating floods totaling more than $150 million, observers are noting that humanitarian aid can have a positive impact on the image of the United States abroad. Other U.S. relief missions to disasters in the Muslim world – such as the 2005 earthquake in Pakistan-controlled Kashmir and the 2004 tsunami in Indonesia – have been credited with more positive views of the United States in those countries, at least in the short term. At the same time, Special Envoy to AfPak Richard Holbrooke said, while the administration was “not oblivious to the political and strategic implications” of its aid, “We’re doing this because the people are in desperate need.”

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