What could possibly go wrong? The Obama administration is looking to hand over $7 billion in military equipment to Pakistan – for free!
Pakistani youths view the house, background, of former al-Qaida leader Osama bin Laden in Abbottabad, Pakistan on Sunday, May 8, 2011. Osama bin Laden was killed by a helicopter-borne U.S. military force on Monday, in a fortress-like compound on the outskirts of Pakistani city of Abbottabad. (AP Anjum Naveed)
With the war in Afghanistan winding down, news reports suggest that the United States may dispose $7 billion in military equipment by handing it over to Pakistan.
The Washington Post (WP) reported that the potential move could be, “part of an effort by the Pentagon to unload excess military supplies to US allies at no cost”.
The report said that discussions on this issue has been taking place over several months between American and Pakistani officials.
One motive for this potential transaction is that the US does not want to pay to ship out leftover military hardware from the conflict in neighboring Afghanistan.
The WP report gives detail that although a final decision on this issue has not been taken, Pakistan has particular interest in acquiring the US Army’s mine-resistant ambush-protected (MRAP) vehicles.
The MRAP vehicles could be used by Pakistan’s military in its fight against Taliban insurgents within its tribal areas bordering Afghanistan.
The WP report describes the MRAP as,”the backbone of the US military’s vehicle fleet in Afghanistan…designed to protect American troops from explosive devices”.
Pentagon leaders have said it would potentially cost more than $100,000 per vehicle to ship MRAP vehicles back to the US.
The US government is offering the vehicles to allies for free on an “as-is, where-is” basis, said the report quoting a Pentagon spokesman.