US-Pakistan military relationship is ‘robust’: study


Washington/Islamabad : The US has supplied Pakistan with "top of the line" defence equipment, especially in the last five years since 9/11, and the military relationship remains 'robust,' according to a recent study published in Washington.

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The study by Col David O Smith, a former US military attaché at the US embassy in Islamabad, is out at a time the US is widely seen as applying both diplomatic and military pressures on President Pervez Musharraf to improve his ties with political parties and hold "free and fair" elections later this year.

Smith, who writes in the current issue of Strategic Insights, a publication of the Centre for Contemporary Conflict at the National Postgraduate School in Monterey in California, recalls that between 1954 and 2002, the US provided Pakistan a total of $12.6 billion in economic and military assistance.

But there has been an increase since 9/11 and in the last five years, it has provided $4.42 billion to the Asian nation, Daily Times said Sunday.

If $4.58 billion in reimbursement for Pakistan's military contribution to Operation Enduring Freedom is added, the total amount of direct US Treasury outlay to the Pakistani government in 2002-2007 amounts to $9 billion.

Of this amount, $6.39 billion is directly or indirectly related to Pakistani military programmes, Smith records.

According to him, "The US has made available to Pakistan a wide variety of top-of-the-line military equipment hitherto considered politically sensitive. Air force systems delivered or in the pipeline include 36 F-16 C/D block 50/52 fighter aircraft, the most modern version currently flown by the US Air Force; a programme to modernise all of Pakistan's 34 existing F-16 fleet to the same standard; 500 Advanced Medium-Range Air-to-Air Missiles (AMRAAM) – the largest single international AMRAAM purchase in the history of the programme; 200 AIM-9M Sidewinder missiles and six C-130E transport aircraft."

"Army equipment delivered or in the pipeline includes 26 Bell 412 helicopters; 20 AH-1F Cobra attack helicopters and modernisation of Pakistan's existing Cobra fleet, Harris high frequency radios, TOW-2A anti-tank missiles, and 115 M-109A5 howitzers," Smith said.

To manage these programmes the embassy security assistance office – the Office of the Defence Representative, Pakistan (ODRP) – has been expanded to a complex organisation of approximately 40 military personnel headed by a major general," says the study.