Shadow Wars Get Big Bucks In Last-Minute Defense Bill
By Spencer Ackerman
Fighting (or pretending to fight) al-Qaeda on behalf of the U.S.? Congress is your private Santa.
Defying Beltway expectations, both chambers of Congress approved a $724.6 billion defense bill for the current fiscal year. Congress was feeling generous, and the money lavished on the United States’ proxies shows it.
The big winner is Pakistan. The $400 million Pakistan Counterinsurgency Fund, which provides helicopters, night-vision equipment and training to the Pakistan’s Army and Frontier Corps, gets another re-up. There’s also $1.6 billion to reimburse Pakistan (and some other nations, but really Pakistan) for “cooperating in contingency operations in Afghanistan,” which must come as a surprise to U.S., Afghan and Pakistani troops.
This cash appears to be yet another U.S. down payment for the Pakistanis to invade North Waziristan, something they’re currently pledging to do the week after never.