Pakistan Gets Fat $4.2B Check, Now 3rd Largest Recipient of US Military Aid

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The Center for Public Integrity informs us that thanks to a Defense Department program- Coalition Support Funds (CSF)- Pakistan is now the third largest recipient of all US military aid and assistance, following the heels of Israel and Egypt.

The three years prior to September 11, 2001, US military aid to Pakistan was $9.1 million. Three years after 9/11, it was more than $4.2 billion, a 45,000% increase. Since 9/11, Pakistan has been awarded a total of over $10 billion. A lot of money? Tim Rieser, majority clerk on the Senate Appropriations Committee’s Subcommittee on State, Foreign Operations, and Related Programs told the Center,

“With the possible exception of Iraq reconstruction funds, I’ve never seen a larger blank check for any country than for the Pakistan CSF program.”

As if this carte blanche isn’t enough, earlier this month, three Democrats introduced a “nonbinding resolution,” which attempts to make military aid to Pakistan dependent on how much “progress” Pakistan is making in the war on terror. Note: “progress” here does not equal democracy and the will of the Pakistani people, who are directly affected by the General’s actions. Why should it matter anyway? What matters is that the General Musharraf secures US geo-political objectives.

We’ve heard this story before. And apart from the fact that the US is arguably helping to fuel the nuclear arms race between India and Pakistan, it’s at the expense of the civilian population. Husain Haqqani notes that the “three periods of significant flow of US aid to Pakistan have all coincided with military rule in Pakistan” and the civilian leadership has hardly been given a helping hand:

Most of the American aid money has gone towards Foreign Military Financing (FMF) and Economic Support Fund (ESF). Very little of it has flowed in ways that are visible to the Pakistani people as altering their daily lives.

According to figures provided by the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) between 1954 and 2002, the US provided a total of $12.6 billion in economic and military aid to Pakistan. Of this, the majority, $9.19 billion was given during 24 years of military rule, only $3.4 billion was given to to civilian regimes which ruled for 19 years.

On average, US aid to Pakistan amounted to $382.9 million for each year of military rule compared with only $178.9 per annum under civilian leadership for the period until 2002.

So much for “spreading democracy.”

—Neha Inamdar

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Reclaiming power from those who abuse it often starts with telling the truth. And in "This Is How Authoritarians Get Defeated," MoJo's Monika Bauerlein unpacks six truths to remember during the homestretch of an election where democracy, truth, and decency are on the line.

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Please take a moment to see how all these truths add up, because what happens in the weeks and months ahead will reverberate for at least a generation and we better be prepared.

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