Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Money Down a Hole

The U.S. continues to pour money into Pakistan with very little to show for it. The Christian Science Monitor has an article up called, "US aid in Pakistan: Where's the money going?" The answer to that question is: we don't know. According to the article, since 2002 the U.S. has given Pakistan $20.7 billion in aid, more than 2/3 of it to the military.
The US reimburses Pakistan for costs associated with the numerous military operations launched following US goading.

But the Defense Department has failed to obtain enough information to judge whether $2 billion in claims were valid, according to the government accountability office. Their 2008 report found evidence of double billing or repayment for unrelated or nonexistent efforts, including $200 million for radar upgrades – even though militants have no air force that would require such radar.

And you can bet that documentation on the rest of the aid is only slightly less shaky. As in Afghanistan, we are simply pouring money down a hole. And for all this money, we get Osama bin Laden living more or less openly a short distance from major Pakistani military facilities. We also get attempts to shoot down NATO helicopters, safe havens for the Taliban, significant Pakistani military & intelligence ties to terrorist groups, and the use of money that is supposed to fight terrorists going instead to beefing up defenses against our friend India. On top of all that we get constant whining about our actions, outrageous demands, and complete refusal to allow us to direct where our own money is going. Lately Pakistan has even attempted to blackmail us, implying that it will cozy up to China if we dare re-evaluate the massive aid that they feel entitled to.

Pakistan is not our friend and is an ally in little more than name only. In our dealings with it, as with many other countries, we have relied far too much on the carrot and not enough on the stick. No further aid to Pakistan should be extended without tight, binding restrictions. Pakistan's demands and blustering should be treated as the bluffs of a weak country and called. There are plenty of threats of our own that could be made to Pakistan, starting with suggestions that the U.S. might draw much closer to India, including supporting Indian territorial claims. The Osama bin Laden situation has given us the opportunity to cut Pakistan down to size. We should take it.

No comments:

Post a Comment