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December 24, 2007
Pakistani Military Milking the US Taxpayer
I would hope that our entire government has just about had it with President Musharraf. His game playing, his ruthlessness shown toward political opponents, his constant unfullfilled promises - and now, overseeing the disbursement of American aid to the Pakistani military where he has bamboozled us into strengthening his army not to fight the Taliban but our friend India:
In interviews in Islamabad and Washington, Bush administration and military officials said they believed that much of the American money was not making its way to frontline Pakistani units. Money has been diverted to help finance weapons systems designed to counter India, not Al Qaeda or the Taliban, the officials said, adding that the United States has paid tens of millions of dollars in inflated Pakistani reimbursement claims for fuel, ammunition and other costs. The problems with Pakistan won't be solved by the election in two weeks. However, having civilians in charge may answer some questions about where American tax dollars have gone in supporting the Pakistani military. If we have indeed made the Pakistani army more capable of standing up to India, that will not sit well in Dehli where the on again, off again war in Kashmir continues.
“I personally believe there is exaggeration and inflation,” said a senior American military official who has reviewed the program, referring to Pakistani requests for reimbursement. “Then, I point back to the United States and say we didn’t have to give them money this way.”
Pakistani officials say they are incensed at what they see as American ingratitude for Pakistani counterterrorism efforts that have left about 1,000 Pakistani soldiers and police officers dead. They deny that any overcharging has occurred.
The $5 billion was provided through a program known as Coalition Support Funds, which reimburses Pakistan for conducting military operations to fight terrorism. Under a separate program, Pakistan receives $300 million per year in traditional American military financing that pays for equipment and training.