Amid reports of bin Laden living under protection of Pakistan’s ISI, U.S. finalizing new aid package to help Pakistan “fight extremists”
Funding Pakistan’s double game for another round, even while reports emerge of bin Laden and al-Zawahiri living in Pakistan under ISI protection, and even after years of Pakistan’s demonstrable aiding and abetting of jihadists, including the ISI’s backing of the Taliban inside Afghanistan.
The U.S. is allowing itself to be blackmailed, sending Pakistan the message that Washington can be leveraged with the choice of the ongoing, duplicitous policy, or losing even the friendly lip service to cooperation, such as the insistence of Pakistan’s Foreign Ministry spokesman: “Let me reiterate that Pakistan is committed not to allow its territory for terrorist actions anywhere in the world.”
Except when it does. Funny how that keeps happening.
According to Bob Woodward’s book, Obama’s Wars, the status of U.S. relations with Pakistan was like a “cold shower” for the Obama administration. And yet, Pakistan is in line for another $2 billion funded on the backs of the American taxpayer. “Sources: U.S. finalizing aid package to help Pakistan fight extremists,” by Elise Labott for CNN, October 18:
Washington (CNN) — The Obama administration is putting the final touches on a security assistance package totaling as much as $2 billion over five years to help Pakistan fight extremists on its border with Afghanistan, senior U.S. officials and diplomatic sources tell CNN.
The aid is expected to be announced later this week when Pakistani officials are in Washington to hold high-level talks.
The package aims to address Pakistan’s insistence it does not have the capability to go after terrorists, and needs more support from the United States, the sources said. The aid will help the Pakistanis purchase helicopters, weapons systems and equipment to intercept communications.
They need more support, they say, after squandering money financing the jihad against India and propping up jihadist groups in Kashmir.
It falls under the United States’ Foreign Military Financing (FMF) program, which provides grants and loans to countries to purchase weapons and defense equipment produced in the United States. It also includes more counterinsurgency assistance to Pakistani troops and a program allowing members of the Pakistani military to study at American war colleges.
The $2 billion package is on top of billions of dollars the United States already gives Pakistan in military aid and a $7.5 billion aid package over five years in non-military counter-terrorism assistance approved by Congress last year.
“They [sic] key is to beef up their ability to go after militants, it can’t be diverted to other threats,” one senior U.S. official said.
Pakistan has long claimed its military is geared toward defending itself against threats from countries like India, and does not have the kind of equipment it needs to fight insurgents. U.S. officials said they recognize Pakistan’s current military hardware is not perfectly suited toward such operations, but made clear the new aid must be directed toward fighting extremists, rather than India….
There is that military adage: “Hope is not a method.” What substantive measures is Washington willing to take to avoid funding the jihad with taxpayer money via Islamabad?