US Senator John F Kerry urged the State Department to tighten controls over $1.45 billion in aid to Pakistan this year over fears of misappropriation.
The Senator warned that if the money is squandered or stolen, a massive five-year effort by the US to help Pakistanis could collapse.
The Massachusetts Democrat wrote a letter to The Boston Globe, elucidating the fear among the Pakistani population that the funds will merely enrich the corrupt elite.
The aid is part of a landmark, five-year $7.5 billion assistance package to Pakistan that was pushed through Congress last year.
This is Kerry's most forceful statement yet on how he believes the money should be spent.