Obama to keep aid flowing to Pakistan

Published: February 15, 2011

About $1.1 billion earmarked for Pakistan counter-insurgency fund. PHOTO: AFP/FILE

WASHINGTON: President Barack Obama on Monday proposed maintaining significant aid to Pakistan to arm, train and equip its military to fight extremists with about $1.1 billion earmarked for the Pakistan Coun­te­rinsurgency Fund, roughly the same level as last year.

He also proposed spending almost $110 billion on Afghanistan, signalling little let-up in the US war drive despite demands for tougher spending controls at home.

Obama, in his budget for the 2012 fiscal year, proposed spending just $16 billion in Iraq — a significant decrease as US diplomats take over from combat troops under a security agreement between the two countries.

Obama had put total US war costs in both countries at about $160 billion in budget requests for both 2010 and 2011.

Obama’s 2012 budget request for the State Department and US Agency for International Development (USAID) was $47 billion, up one percent from 2010 levels.

Republicans, who took control of the US House of Representatives in November elections, have called for a tough new look at non-military overseas spending amid widespread calls to control the ballooning US federal deficit.

The fiscal 2012 budget request focuses on money for some of Obama’s priorities including global health and food security initiatives, while cutting direct aid to several countries and regional organisations.

Obama’s budget calls for $107 billion in military spending in Afghanistan, where he has pledged to begin withdrawing the first of about 100,000 US troops fighting Taliban insurgents by the middle of this year.

The State Department, mounting its own civilian “surge” aimed at stabilizing the country, would spend an additional $2.2 billion there as it seeks to increase aid and assistance programmes.

Overall, the Iraq war has still been more costly than the Afghan conflict that began after the September 11, 2001 attacks on the United States.

The peak for US war funding in recent years was fiscal year 2008, the last year in office of Obama’s Republican predecessor George W. Bush’s last year in office, when spending on war operations hit $185 billion.

Published in The Express Tribune, February 15th, 2011.

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Reader Comments (4)

  • RizwanTKhan
    Feb 15, 2011 - 10:58AM

    The so called leader of justice, democracy now failing big time during this test time. Hypocrisy as its peak just the way we all Pakistanis been screaming out for soo long. Recommend

  • sandy
    Feb 15, 2011 - 6:57PM

    You are getting almost 90 billion rupees, for free from USAID and still continue to grumble against it. Double speak at its best. Why dont Pak stop taking this money and beg from its masters in Beijing and Saudi instead?? If someone is helping you, atleast have the heart to say thanks. No doubt internationally, Pak is considered one of the most thankless nations, a bottomless pit. Recommend

  • Feb 16, 2011 - 5:27AM

    Interesting, in that many of the “terrorists” the Pakistan Army is fighting in the tribal areas are Baloch separatists the CIA is training in bomb-making and other terrorist activities.The Pentagon makes no secret of their desire to see energy and mineral rich Balochistan secede from Pakistan to become a US client state – just like energy and mineral rich Uzbekistan, Kazakhstan, Tajikistan and the other former Soviet republics. Especially with massive Chinese investment in the area (for example, the Chinese-built Gwadar Port created as a transit route for Iranian oil and natural gas destined for China). So, once again US taxpayers are funding both sides of the so-called War on Terror.

    I blog about this at http://stuartbramhall.aegauthorblogs.com/2010/12/30/the-us-as-a-semi-failed-state/
    With a recent map of Free Balochistan (from their website).Recommend

  • Javed
    Feb 16, 2011 - 11:34AM

    This aid must stop. It is bad for pakistan. This aid is not for the people of Pakitsan . Such aids always been for US own intrusts or for Military. Never ever an ordinary Pakistani benefited from it. If this is to Streamline the corrupt Elite of Pakistan , Thieves, looters of Pakistan treasury, criminals who came through Sham democracy, then Pakistani people must come to the streets and ask these corrupt Elites to reject this aid which they will divide among themselves and then transfer it back to the US banks. OR they must face the wrath of the public directly. People have the Power to get these Corrupts one by one, should they not listen to the Public call. Trade, not Aid is the solution. Why not US give special trade concessions? Hmmm.. Funny,.,., Recommend

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