Friday, 3 August 2012

US continues flow of arms to Pakistan while poverty and anger grows

The United States has provided over $25 billion in direct overt aid and military reimbursements to Pakistan since 9/11 according to updates released by the US Congress Research Service to a report released in April this year. Of this, nearly $17 billion has been under various security related programs and over $8 billion for economic support programs.
These figures do not include Coalition Support Funds (CSF), given by US Pentagon to its allies in various wars, for the current year. Congress had approved $1.69 billion for CSF this year and in the past Pakistan has received more than three-quarters of the annual CSF allocation. Also not included are Counter-Narcotics funds which are given on the basis of actual expenditure.
Several experts and analysts in the US have suggested that improving the dismal economic condition of Pakistan would be of more use in fighting the Taliban and other extremists rather than giving arms.
Pakistan is described in the CRS report as "a poor, fragile, and insecure state". Pakistan's estimated per capita GDP of $2,792 (at purchasing power parity) in 2011 ranks it 136th of 183 world countries (by comparison, the U.S. figure is $46,860 and India's, with seven times as many citizens as Pakistan, is $3,703), the report says. From 2008 to 2010 the country experienced aggregate inflation of nearly 50% against GDP growth of less than 13%. Describing Pakistan's education sector as "among the world's least effective", the report says that it's government devotes less than 2% of GDP to education and nearly one-quarter of primary school age children have no formal education of any kind. The energy infrastructure is so overburdened that chronic electricity shortages result in rolling
blackouts lasting 10 or more hours per day, even in vital business centers such as Karachi, says the report. Potable water shortages are widespread, and a dilapidated health sector provides insufficient access to basic health services.

The U.S. National Counter terrorism Center reports there were an average of more than 26 terrorist attacks each week in Pakistan in 2011; only Afghanistan and Iraq suffered a higher number of incidents.
However, several opinion polls quoted in the report suggest that US is viewed unfavourably by more than three quarters of Pakistanis.
After several bilateral spats including the killing of Osama bin Laden, the killing of 24 Pakistani soldiers in an attack by US forces in Afghanistan, refusal by Pakistan to allow Nato supplies to transit through Pakistani territory and others, the US-Pak relationship cooled down considerably since mid-FY2011. This has slowed the pace of transfers and deliveries considerably, says the CRS report.
In July 2011, the Pentagon suspended payment of $440 million under Pakistan Counterinsurgency Fund (PCF) after Pakistan kicked out all US military trainers in the ongoing bilateral meltdown. These allocations do not appear to be deducted from the figures given in the report.
Major U.S. arms sales and grants to Pakistan since 2001 have included items useful for counterterrorism and counterinsurgency operations, along with a number of big ticket platforms more suited to conventional warfare, the report said. In dollar value terms, the bulk of purchases have been made with Pakistani national funds, but U.S. grants have
eclipsed these in recent years. The Pentagon reports total Foreign Military Sales agreements with Pakistan worth about $5.4 billion for FY2002-FY2010 (in-process sales of F-16 combat aircraft and related equipment account for about half of this).
US has provided Pakistan with nearly $2.75 billion in Foreign Military Financing
(FMF) since 2002. These funds are used to purchase U.S. military equipment for longer-term modernization efforts. According to data provided in the report, major post-2001 defense supplies provided, or soon to be provided, under FMF include:
- eight P-3C Orion maritime patrol aircraft and their refurbishment ($474 million);
- about 6,312 TOW anti-armor missiles ($186 million; at least 2,007 delivered);
- more than 5,600 military radio sets ($163 million);
- six AN/TPS-77 surveillance radars ($100 million);
- six C-130E transport aircraft and their refurbishment ($76 million);
- 121 refurbished TOW missile launchers ($25 million).
Supplies paid for with a mix of Pakistani national funds and FMF include up to 60 Mid-Life Update kits for F-16A/B combat aircraft ($891 million) and 115 M-109 self-propelled howitzers ($87 million), according to the report.
Notable items paid or to be paid for entirely with Pakistani national funds include the following according to the report:
- 18 new F-16C/D Block 52 combat aircraft (valued at $1.43 billion; all delivered);
- F-16 armaments including 500 AMRAAM air-to-air missiles; 1,450 2,000-pound bombs; 500 JDAM Tail Kits for gravity bombs; and 1,600 Enhanced Paveway laser-guided kits, also for gravity bombs ($629 million);
- 100 Harpoon anti-ship missiles ($298 million);
- 500 Sidewinder air-to-air missiles ($95 million); and
- six Phalanx Close-In Weapons System naval guns ($80 million).
Pakistan has also been granted U.S. defense supplies as Excess Defense Articles (EDA). According to the CRS report, major articles transferred via EDA include:
- 14 F-16A/B combat aircraft; and
- 59 T-37 military trainer jets.
- the Perry-class missile frigate USS McInerney, ($65 million for refurbishment);
- 20 AH-1F Cobra attack helicopters ($48 million); and
Under Coalition Support Funds (part of the Pentagon budget), Pakistan received 26 Bell 412 utility helicopters, along with related parts and maintenance, valued at $235 million. Under Section 1206, Frontier Corps, and Pakistan Counterinsurgency Fund authorities, the United States has provided 4 Mi-17 multirole helicopters (another 6 were provided temporarily at no cost), 4 King Air 350 surveillance aircraft, 450 vehicles for the Frontier Corps, 20 Buffalo explosives detection and disposal vehicles, helicopter spare parts, sophisticated explosives detectors, night vision devices, radios, body armor, helmets, first aid kits, litters, and other individual soldier equipment. Through International Military Training and Education and other programs, the United States has also funded and provided training for more than 2,000 Pakistani military officers.

Asian Defence News

No comments:

Post a Comment

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...