Pakistan, the DSCA, and unintended irony


Government bureaucrats are not known for their wit, but Iexpect one or two from the US Defense Security Cooperation Agency (DSCA) got achuckle recently from a routine notice of a possible sale of aircraft spareparts to Pakistan.

The $62 million deal outlined in the 12 May news releasesays Pakistanis in the market for spare parts for types such as the F-16, C-130, T-37, andT-33. It makes no mention of when Pakistanmade the request.

All good and well, but following the USA’s 2 May romp inPakistani air space to take out Osama Bin Laden, the DSCA release could havedone without some of the boilerplate statements that are standard to suchreleases.

Awkward boilerplate statement1:

“This proposed salewill contribute to the foreign policy and national security of the United States by helping to improve the security of afriendly country that has been, and continues to be, an important force forpolitical stability and economic progress in Central Asia.”

What about USgovernment concerns that Pakistanis playing a double game, supporting the Taliban on the one hand, while cozyingup to the US onthe other? And if the Pakistani Air Force had been more on the ball on 2 May,would this really have helped the USA?

Even more awkward boilerplatestatement 2:

The uninterruptedsupply of spare parts will allow
Pakistan to keep its aircraft fleet at the higheststate of readiness.”

An admirable sentiment on the part of the USgovernment, but exactly how ready does the USwant the PAF to really be? And against whom? Presumably not ready enough tofoul up US special forces raids in Pakistansovereign territory. Or not sufficiently ready to take a swat at US Predators and Reapers, which by all accounts have free reign over Pakistan‘stribal regions.

Nothing like a dash of unintended irony to brighten the day.


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