Listed below are several U.S. programs that provide foreign states with military and related assistance, directly and indirectly supporting U.S. arms transfers.
Foreign Military Financing: Foreign Military Financing refers to congressionally appropriated grants given to foreign governments to finance the purchase of American-made weapons, services and training. Since 1950, the US government has provided over $91 billion in FMF to militaries around the world. The vast majority of these funds goes to Israel and Egypt to reward them for making a cold peace in 1979.
Economic Support Fund: Congress established the economic support fund (ESF) to promote economic and political stability in strategically important regions where the United States has special security interests. The funds are provided on a grant basis and are available for a variety of economic purposes, like infrastructure and development projects. Although not intended for military expenditure, these grants allow the recipient government to free up its own money for military programs.
A key point is made in the last sentence: "Although not intended for military expenditure, these grants allow the recipient government to free up its own money for military programs."
In addition to giving flat-out military assistance to foreign nations, the US taxpayer also gets the bill for other types of assistance that would normally be competing for funding in the foreign government's budget process.
This is a good thing, isn't it? After all, we give this assistance to our allies.
The US State Department has a list of politico-military administered security assistance funds: Security Assistance: Countries A-Z. An excerpt from the page for Pakistan states (keep in mind, as in other recent posts, GOP means Government of Pakistan):
A strong long-term U.S.-Pakistan partnership remains critical to continued progress in the global war on terrorism and to regional stability. Assistance supporting education, healthcare, democratization, and economic development will help to strengthen social, political and economic institutions in ways that will be recognized by ordinary Pakistanis and encourage them to choose moderation over extremism. Additional assistance to Pakistan will be specifically earmarked for humanitarian relief and reconstruction following the October 8, 7.6 magnitude earthquake that left 73,000 dead and millions of people homeless. FY 2007 security assistance will enable Pakistan to meet its basic security needs; enhance its ability to cooperate in the global war on terrorism; eliminate terrorists including al-Qaida members; and promote stability on its borders.
Pakistan is a front-line state and firm ally in the global war on terrorism. Pakistan's support has been, and remains, critical to U.S. success in apprehending al-Qaida, Taliban and other terrorists. Since September 11, 2001, Foreign Military Financing (FMF) has provided or helped maintain necessary training and equipment for Pakistani forces operating against al-Qaida operatives, Taliban remnants and other militants. Improved border security and control along Pakistan's border with Afghanistan is also required for this effort. There have been and continue to be significant military operations along the Pakistan-Afghanistan border which have resulted in the capture or killing of several hundred foreign terrorists and militants. The Pakistani military and security agencies were instrumental in recent high-profile captures of known terrorist leaders, including in 2005 the top al-Qaida commanders Abu Faraj al-Libi and Ahmad Hussain Farooqi, and in the operation targeting Hamza Rabia.
After years of U.S. sanctions, the majority of U.S. security programs being implemented in Pakistan are directly related to winning the global war on terrorism, increasing interoperability, addressing its legitimate defense needs and cementing a long-term, stable relationship with Pakistan, a Major Non-NATO Ally.
FMF assistance directly increases Pakistan's capability to secure its border. Increasing security will ensure Pakistan can more easily take the steps needed to make a lasting peace with its neighbors, Afghanistan and India. In the past year, Pakistan has taken major strides forward in improving relations with both. FMF also helps the GOP to marshal the political will to weather domestic opposition to its counterterrorism efforts. In FY 2007, $300 million in FMF assistance to Pakistan will continue to facilitate counterterrorism efforts, build closer military ties, increase interoperability and address legitimate defense needs, while enhancing U.S. support for law enforcement, counterterrorism, and coordination capacity funded from other accounts.
A key sentence in this explanation is the following: "FMF also helps the GOP to marshal the political will to weather domestic opposition to its counterterrorism efforts."
In other words, we're buying them off.
From the President of Pakistan, Official Website I have an excerpt from a recent article quoting President Musharraf, Musharraf says Pakistan's done more in fighting terrorism than any other country, 07 Jan, 2008:
WASHINGTON, Jan 7 (APP): President Pervez Musharraf, citing Pakistan's sustained anti-terror efforts over the years, has said it has done more than any other country in combating terrorism. "We have arrested or eliminated about 700 al-Qaeda leaders - only Pakistan has done it --- and lately also, whoever has been killed or arrested, I challenge, which other country has done it," he said in an interview with CBS channel aired Sunday evening.
In America, it is perhaps easy to lose sight of what is happening overseas.
Pakistan is very much on the front lines of the struggle against terrorism. While we are concerned about preventing terrorist attacks in the United States, such terrorist acts occur frequently in Pakistan. Pakistani citizens, and visitors to Pakistan, are in danger of terrorist violence as a matter of routine, and Pakistani troops are deployed not overseas, but throughout their own nation, providing security against Islamic militants.
When Pakistan's leadership states that Pakistan has "done more in fighting terrorism than any other country", there is evidence and logic to support that statement.
Of course, it is also interesting to note the stronghold the Taliban currently seem to have along the border between Afghanistan and Pakistan; this is particularly interesting to note in light of the evidence that suggests that certain elements in Pakistan seem to have been behind the establishment of the Taliban, as we began documenting in Genesis, Part 1.
Before 9/11, Pakistan was a target of economic sanctions for its nuclear weapons program, a program that has resulted in technology transfer to North Korea and Iran, as well as to Al Qaeda. But, now that we have a War on Terror, Pakistan is an ally that we fund.
In other words, if the War on Terror suddenly came to an end, Pakistan would lose a source of income, and someone might start again asking questions about the A. Q. Khan nuclear black market network.
This reminds me of the Sibel Edmonds case, too.
"Although not intended for military expenditure, these grants allow the recipient government to free up its own money for military programs."
I wonder if these grants also "allow the recipient government to free up its own money for" its own military assistance programs to its allies, thereby helping perpetuate the War on Terror, and thus the flow of U.S. funding?
After all, in a world where "either you're with us, or you're with the terrorists", not everybody in Pakistan is "with us".
"FMF also helps the GOP to marshal the political will to weather domestic opposition to its counterterrorism efforts."