Blowback In The Making

Posted by Jason | Posted in Foreign Policy | Posted on 25-02-2010

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The Wall Street Journal had an article this morning about the US trying to remain “neutral” by selling weapons to both India and Pakistan. Did we claim to be neutral by selling weapons to both sides in WWII? Seems to me selling weapons to both sides will eventually have both sides blaming you in the event of a war.

The Obama administration is sharply expanding American weapons transfers to both India and Pakistan, longtime rivals about to sit down for peace talks Thursday.

Ah, our Nobel Peace prize winner. I’m so proud he won that with all his hard work promoting peace….well except for the dropping bombs in Yemen and Pakistan where we haven’t declared war. Oh, and instigating tensions with both Japan and China…..oh, and ratcheting up the war talk with Iran… oh, and now selling weapons of mass destruction to Pakistan and India.

The U.S. has sought to remain neutral in the thorny relationship between the nuclear-armed neighbors. But Washington hasn’t been shy about pursuing weapons deals in the region, which officials say will lead to closer ties with each country while creating new opportunities for American defense firms.

I am sure glad we have a government more concerned with “creating new opportunities for American defense firms” than with the long term peace with both nations, in other words by really remaining neutral. I have no problem with private businesses selling them weapons, but the problem comes in when our government is used as their sales force.

The U.S. has made billions of dollars in weapons deals with India, which is in the midst of a five-year, $50 billion push to modernize its military.

At the same time, American military aid to Pakistan stands to nearly double next year, allowing Islamabad to acquire more U.S.-made helicopters, night-vision goggles and other military equipment. The aid has made it easier for Pakistan to ramp up its fight against militants on the Afghan border, as the U.S. tries to convince Islamabad that its biggest security threat is within the country, not in India.

During a late January trip to Islamabad, Defense Secretary Robert Gates said the U.S. would for the first time give Pakistan a dozen surveillance drones, a longstanding Pakistani request.

OK kids, this is where you have to really read between the lines. Apparently, the Wall Street Journal doesn’t know what “aid” means. What this should have said is the US government is stealing the wealth of it’s own citizens at gun point. Then they are taking that money to give to defense contractors, who then give their products to Pakistan. Then Pakistan will use those products to kill their own people.

So, riddle me this Batman. If you are a Pakistani, and your family members get killed by a drone or some other weapon that was bought and paid for by the US government, ultimately the US tax payer, who are you going to blame? While it might be the Pakistan government that carried out the killing, who is their supplier? This is major blowback in the making.

Also, do you think for a second that the Pakistan government is ever going to say, “Hey, we don’t need your money anymore America. We killed all the terrorists. Thank you.”? No, we are paying them to wage war on terrorism. Their incentive is to never have that war end, for when it does, their hand out ends.

Washington’s relationships with the two nations are very different. India, which is wealthier and larger than its neighbor, pays for weapons purchases with its own funds. Pakistan, by contrast, uses American grants to fund most of its arms purchases. A new U.S. counterinsurgency assistance fund for Pakistan is slated to increase from $700 million in fiscal year 2010 to $1.2 billion in fiscal year 2011.

“We do straight commercial deals with India, while Pakistan effectively uses the money we give them to buy our equipment,” said a U.S. official who works with the two countries. “But we think that’s ultimately in our national interest because it makes the Pakistanis more capable of dealing with their homegrown terrorists.”

Ring-a-ling, ring-a-ling, ring-a-ling. The bells are going off. This came pretty close to the truth. “Pakistan effectively uses the money we give them (that we stole from our citizens) to buy our equipment (to give to our buddies in the defense industry).”

The country is preparing its military to deal with multiple potential threats, including conflict with Pakistan. Tensions have recently flared between India and China over territorial claims along their border. China defeated India in a short war in 1962.

OK, here’s another fight we are picking with China.

“For 2010 and 2011, India could well be the most important market in the world for defense contractors looking to make foreign military sales,” said Tom Captain, the vice chairman of Deloitte LLP’s aerospace and defense practice.

Russia has been India’s main source of military hardware for decades, supplying about 70% of equipment now in use. Moscow is working to keep that position, with talks ongoing to sell India 29 MiG-29K carrier-borne jet fighters, according to an Indian Defense Ministry spokesman.

The Obama administration is trying to persuade New Delhi to buy American jet fighters instead, a shift White House officials say would lead to closer military and political relations between India and the U.S. It would also be a bonanza for U.S. defense contractors, and has dispatched senior officials such as Mr. Gates to New Delhi to deliver the message that Washington hopes India will choose American defense firms for major purchases in the years ahead.

Still in the pipeline is India’s planned $10 billion purchase of 126 multirole combat aircraft for its air force. U.S. firms Boeing and Lockheed Martin Corp. are vying with Russia and European companies for that deal, which would be a near-record foreign sale for the firms. An agreement last summer allowing the U.S. to monitor the end-use of arms it sells to India is expected to facilitate such deals.

“That’s the biggest deal in the world right now,” said Mr. Captain. “If it goes to an American firm, that would be the final nail in the coffin in terms of India shifting its allegiance from Russia to the U.S.”

Picking another fight with Russia. Is it any wonder why so many people in the world hate our Government? We are trying to be strategic by sticking our finger in the eye of Russia, China, Japan, India and Pakistan, and this is just one article. Do some research on South America, but hey, I’m sure glad Obama won that peace prize.

via U.S. Sells Arms to South Asian Rivals – WSJ.com.

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