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Bush still showering military aid onto Pakistan

The first President Bush suspended military assistance to Pakistan in 1990. The current Bush revved it up again after September 11th. Only after his administration threatened to bomb Pakistan "back to the stone age" if they didn't become a partner in the Bush administration's "war on terror."

Over the past 6 years, we've given Pakistan over $7 billion dollars in military aid. There is little oversight. Much of the money has been spent on things with no relation to battling a "war on terror." From a November 5th LA Times article:

[R]ather than use the more than $7 billion in U.S. military aid to bolster its counter-terrorism capabilities, Pakistan has spent the bulk of it on heavy arms, aircraft and equipment that U.S. officials say are far more suited for conventional warfare with India, its regional rival.

That has left fighters with the paramilitary force, known as the Frontier Corps, equipped often with little more than "sandals and bolt-action rifles," said a senior Western military official in Islamabad, even as they face Al Qaeda and Taliban fighters equipped with assault rifles and grenade launchers.

Finally, the Pentagon (after some pressure from Congress) is proposing new oversight of aid to Pakistan. The goal is to ensure the money is spent on battling terror, as opposed to arming Pakistan for war with India. From today's LA Times:

With the Pakistani government in turmoil, senior Pentagon officials are quietly moving to overhaul the system of massive U.S. military aid to the country by more directly tying the payments to Islamabad's success in combating Islamic militants.

Defense Department officials also want to require detailed accounting of how Pakistan spends about $1 billion in annual payments and greater control by Washington over spending.

So, there's been basically no oversight on how these funds have been spent over the past 6 years. And the Pentagon didn't really worry about it until after Musharraf declared martial law. $7 billion for military aid, much used to arm for a potential war with India, with our implied blessing. That's how the Bush administration spends your money.

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