December 24, 2007

US to Musharraf: Fight AQ, not India

A who's-who of NYT South Asia reporters offers up a detailed look into US aid policies to Pakistan. They report something Charlie first heard a few months ago: that Pakistan is diverting the funds from COIN/CT efforts in NWFP to conventional units intended to confront/deter 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.

Musharraf, of course, denies such claims, causing an irritating he-said, she-said. And if that weren't galling enough, one American officer makes this comparison:

For years, how money from the Coalition Support Funds was disbursed to the Pakistani government was veiled in secrecy. The size and scope of the payments to Pakistan was held so closely that one senior American military officer in Afghanistan said that he did not know that the administration was spending $1 billion a year until he attended a meeting in Islamabad in 2006. “I was astounded,” said the officer, who would not speak for attribution because he now holds another senior military post. “On one side of the border we were paying a billion to get very little done. On the other side of the border — the Afghan side — we were scrambling to find the funds to train an army that actually wanted to get something done.”

Readers of this blog are well familiar with the travails of those training the Afghan National Army. One assumes that we'd all be ok with a little less money for the Pakistani armor corps facing New Delhi, and a little more for what could be a world-class training academy in Kabul.