Remember how we were going to support Pakistan's efforts to help us fight that "War on Terror" by giving them a billion dollars a year in taxpayer money? Well it turns out that the money might not have been going to the projects we thought they would. Officials in Islamabad have a strong suspicion that we might have been financing a sizable chunk of Musharraf's tiff with India. While Pakistan claims that the U.S. isn't doing enough to help them specifically with counter- insurgency gear, the NY Times makes clear that both sides know the job Bush promised would be taken care of is......well, not being taken care of.
From The New York Times:
ISLAMABAD, Pakistan — After the United States has spent more than $5 billion in a largely failed effort to bolster the Pakistani military effort against militants from Al Qaeda and the Taliban, some American officials now acknowledge that there were too few controls over how the money was spent. The strategy to improve the Pakistani military, they said, needs to be completely revamped.
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.
“I personally believe there is exaggeration and inflation,” said a senior American military official who has reviewed the program, referring to Pakistani requests for reimbursement. “Then, I point back to the United States and say we didn’t have to give them money this way.”
Of course all of this is being mentioned by anonymous sources, too afraid to come out publicly and confront their bosses at the State Department and the rest of the Bush Administration. Pervez, a known dictator and general thug is being accused by his opponents of using the funds to prop up his own corrupt government.
Wherever this money is going, we can be sure that Al-Qaeda is alive and well up in their northern mountains that buttress Afghanistan. Billions of dollars wasted, just like the hundreds of billions wasted overall in Iraq and across the world where Bush waves his sword at the global community. It is another shameful testament to his horrific Administration.