If the Pakistani military wasn’t happy with the strings attached to the Kerry-Lugar civilian aid bill, they will likely be furious with what the Senate is widely expected to approve tomorrow.
As part of the 2010 National Defense Authorization Act, the $680 billion military budget that is almost certain to pass, all military aid to Pakistan will be predicated on new restrictions that the executive branch certify that it is in the national security interest of the United States.
But perhaps even more onerous is that the aid would also have to be used for military action against the Taliban and al-Qaeda only, and the government would have to guarantee that none of it is being used to bolster military positions along the Indian border.
Since last November’s Mumbai terrorist attacks, relations between India and Pakistan have been tense at best, with the Indian government repeatedly raising the prospect of war. The situation is problematic as it has led Pakistan to bolster its own border defenses, leading India to question where the financially strapped nation is getting all its new hardware.