US Billions in Pakistan Wasted

Money earmarked for war on terror diverted to shore up regime
By Peter Fearon,  Newser Staff
Posted Dec 24, 2007 4:20 AM CST
Pakistani tribal people wait as authorities block the main road during an operation against militants near Miran Shah, capital of Pakistan's tribal area of Waziristan, along the Afghanistan border. The...   (Associated Press)
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(Newser) – Billions of dollars the US gave to Pakistan to bolster counterterrorism efforts against al-Qaeda apparently have been diverted to prop up President Pervez Musharraf's government and finance weapons systems aimed at India, reports the New York Times. Because the US has failed to properly monitor military aid programs, progress against terror organizations is "bleak," said one official, and Pakistanis have made no progress nabbing mastermind Osama bin Laden.

Pakistan routinely overstates the costs of fuel, ammunition and weapons by as much as a third to get inflated reimbursements from the US, some observers estimate. “We didn’t have to give them money this way," said an American military official. Pakistani authorities deny the accusations, but one European diplomat remarked: "I wonder if the Americans have not been taken for a ride."