Senate Only Today Passed Curbs on Aid in Defense Budget
Despite mounting evidence to the contrary, US envoy Richard Holbrooke insisted today during a media briefing that the US had placed absolutely no conditions on military aid to Pakistan.
This is in spite of the fact that only today the Senate passed its 2010 defense budget, which included several clauses placing conditions on how Pakistan could use military aid received from the US.
The clauses included new restrictions requiring that the aid could be used only against Taliban and al-Qaeda targets, and that absolutely none of it could be used to bolster defenses along the Indian border.
Holbrooke’s defense of his claim was virtually analogous to Sen. Kerry’s defense of the Kerry-Lugar civilian aid bill to Pakistan, that the wording of the bill placed the onus of enforcing the conditions of the US executive branch, and therefore none of the conditions were technically on Pakistan. It is unlikely this overly legalistic argument is going to convince Pakistanis, however, as they are increasingly suspicious of the growing US influence in their country.
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