US Defers $800M in Military Aid to Pakistan

Move an effort to get Pakistan to step up anti-terrorism fight
By Mark Russell,  Newser Staff
Posted Jul 10, 2011 5:40 AM CDT
A Pakistani army soldier fires an artillery shell toward a target at a forward base during a military operation against militants in Pakistan's Khurram tribal region, Saturday, July 9, 2011.   (AP Photo/Mohammad Zubair)
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(Newser) – The United States is yanking about $800 million of its annual $2 billion in military aid to Pakistan, in an effort to force Pakistan to step up its anti-terrorism fight as relations between the two nations continue to deteriorate, reports the New York Times. Programs affected include $300 million to help Pakistan deploy 100,000 troops along the Afghanistan border, as well as training in radios, night-vision goggles, and helicopter spare parts.

Some of the US cutbacks are designed to push greater anti-terrorism efforts, while others are in response to Pakistan denying visas to Americans needed to operate the related equipment. The cuts, although they have not been revealed to the Pakistani public, are well known to senior military officials, as the US attempts to get leverage over Pakistan. The cuts do not affect non-military aid or the sale of military equipment, such as F-16 jets. One retired Pakistani special forces officer called the US move "an unfriendly act and total disregard of the sacrifices made by the army."

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