DOD Spokesman Discusses Pakistan Military Aid Delay

WASHINGTON, July 11, 2011 — A Defense Depart­ment offi­cial today pro­vid­ed details on the delay of $800 mil­lion in U.S. mil­i­tary aid to Pak­istan that White House chief of staff Bill Daley announced yes­ter­day.

Speak­ing on ABC’s “This Week” pro­gram, Daley said Pak­istan has “tak­en some steps that have giv­en us rea­son to pause on some of the aid which we were giv­ing to their mil­i­tary.” Daley called the rela­tion­ship between the two coun­tries “com­pli­cat­ed … in a very dif­fi­cult, com­pli­cat­ed part of the world.” Despite the dif­fi­cul­ty, he added, the rela­tion­ship must be made to work over time. 

“But until we get through these dif­fi­cul­ties, we will hold back some of the mon­ey that the Amer­i­can tax­pay­ers have com­mit­ted to giv­ing,” he said. 

Pen­ta­gon spokesman Marine Corps Col. Dave Lapan told reporters here the $800 mil­lion is a com­bi­na­tion of mil­i­tary aid in the form of equip­ment, and reim­burse­ment for Pak­istani mil­i­tary oper­a­tions under the U.S. Coali­tion Sup­port Funds program. 

Lapan empha­sized the delayed aid is a hold, not a halt, and the funds may be deliv­ered if the two nations can resolve cer­tain issues. Two such issues are the num­ber of visas Pak­istan will allow for U.S. ser­vice mem­bers serv­ing as train­ers, and proof of mil­i­tary oper­a­tions for which the coun­try seeks U.S. reim­burse­ment, Lapan said. 

Equip­ment aid the Unit­ed States is with­hold­ing is “direct­ly tied to those deci­sions by the Pak­istani mil­i­tary to cur­tail train­ing and to not grant visas for some of the U.S. per­son­nel that we need to get in,” Lapan said. “If those things change, then this aid will change as well.” 

Lapan said while the full list of delayed aid items is clas­si­fied, it includes explo­sive ord­nance dis­pos­al sup­port and appa­ra­tus, small arms, ammu­ni­tion, heli­copter spare parts, radios and equip­ment to counter explo­sive devices. 

Mil­i­tary items the Unit­ed States pro­vides as aid require accom­pa­ny­ing U.S. troops to assist in train­ing Pak­istani forces in their use, Lapan said, and with­out visas for the ser­vice mem­bers, DOD will not allow the equip­ment to remain in or be sent to Pakistan. 

“We don’t pro­vide one with­out the oth­er,” Lapan said. “That’s been the case in the past, and that should be the case going forward.” 

The Coali­tion Sup­port Funds pro­gram includes a process for the Unit­ed States to val­i­date oper­a­tions before pro­vid­ing reim­burse­ment, he said. 

“I can’t tell you specif­i­cal­ly in this case, but … there have been instances in the past where they will sub­mit a request for reim­burse­ment … and we won’t have the doc­u­men­ta­tion nec­es­sary to be able to val­i­date that,” he said. “So then we’ll go back to the Pak­ista­nis. That hap­pens not infrequently.” 

It’s too soon to tell whether Pak­istan will change its poli­cies in response to the delayed aid, the spokesman said. 

“We are hope­ful [they will], and that’s why we con­tin­ue to work with the Pak­ista­nis, to work through this issue. I can’t tell you today what’s going to hap­pen,” Lapan said. 

He said trust between the two nations has been strained over the years and by recent events. An agree­ment to resume aid would be “a mat­ter of rebuild­ing that trust and going through this process,” he added. 

U.S. Depart­ment of Defense
Office of the Assis­tant Sec­re­tary of Defense (Pub­lic Affairs) 

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