By lex, on July 10th, 2011
We were only ever awkward allies with Pakistan, whose security services sponsored the Taliban in neighboring Afghanistan that in turn accepted a significant al Qaeda presence which in the end enabled the 9/11 attacks upon this country. Although Pakistan – one senses, reluctantly – became a partner in the Afghan fight, relations have been fraught, perhaps never more than today. The Pakistani military was humiliated by the no-notice raid on the bin Laden compound, the people resent drone strikes in the FATA as an assault on national sovereignty and there is probably something or other to do with the Jews. Or whatever.
The Pakistani military has kicked out hundreds of US military trainers, and the middle ranks of the army are openly questioning whether they had got in on the wrong side of the GWOT. In light of all this, it makes a kind of sense that the US is deferring hundreds of millions of dollars of military aid. But this is a strange application of the carrot and stick:
This aid includes about $300 million to reimburse Pakistan for some of the costs of deploying more than 100,000 soldiers along the Afghan border to combat terrorism, as well as hundreds of millions of dollars in training assistance and military hardware, according to half a dozen Congressional, Pentagon and other administration officials who were granted anonymity to discuss the politically delicate matter.
Some of the curtailed aid is equipment that the United States wants to send but Pakistan now refuses to accept, like rifles, ammunition, body armor and bomb-disposal gear that were withdrawn or held up after Pakistan ordered more than 100 Army Special Forces trainers to leave the country in recent weeks.
Some is equipment, such as radios, night-vision goggles and helicopter spare parts, which cannot be set up, certified or used for training because Pakistan has denied visas to the American personnel needed to operate the equipment, two senior Pentagon officials said…
The cutoffs do not affect any immediate deliveries of military sales to Pakistan, like F-16 fighter jets, or nonmilitary aid, the officials said.
So we cut off the aid that supports the fight against the common foe, presumably because we believe that fight is not being fought wholeheartedly. But we continue to supply high tech weaponry such as F-16s which only serve to fuel the Pakistani military’s absurd fixation with India.
This seems to me too clever by half.