Supporting the Pakistani dictatorship is justifiable as a tactical measure. But providing it with advanced weapons is foolish – they will pass to terrorists and Chinese dictators.
The U.S. is allowing the sale of eighteen Sniper XR targeting pods to Pakistan, to equip some of the 30 F-16D fighters Pakistan has just bought…Pakistan is also getting 500 JDAMs with its new F-16Ds…
The latest generation of these pods contain…video quality night vision infrared radar…and high resolution TV cameras that enable pilots flying at 20,000 feet to clearly make out what is going on down there. The pods also contain laser designators for laser guided bombs, and laser range finders that enable pilots to get coordinates for JDAM (GPS guided) bombs…
Pakistan apparently plans to use these pods for counter-terrorism missions, where a few F-16s could provide emergency assistance for widely dispersed troops out hunting tribal rebels and terrorists.
However, Pakistan is unstable and may morph any day from a somewhat pro-Western dictatorship into an Islamic one – here’s what’s happening on their frontier with Afghanistan (my ellipsis):
On Monday a joint Afghan-American delegation flew across the border for talks with Pakistani officers aimed at producing a ceasefire. The meeting was held in a…tribal area of Pakistan. Yet after the negotiations concluded the delegation was fired upon. An American soldier was killed and four others wounded.
Though Nato and Pakistan, keen to play down the incident, say the attack was the work of a single rogue member of a Pakistani militia, two Afghan delegates present as part of the delegation who were separately interviewed by The Times, Governor Rahmatullah Rahman and Colonel Shamsur, say they were fired on by up to a dozen uniformed Pakistani militiamen.
Scores of heavily armed Afghan troops and fighters from special border police units – determined, professional and evidently spoiling for a fight – gathered around their senior officers for orders…
…the enemy was not the Taleban, nor…al-Qaeda fighters. Instead, in the remote border district of ’Ali Kheyl in eastern Afghanistan, Afghan security forces have found themselves pitted against an older and bigger enemy: Pakistan.
Remember, another “rogue” Pakistani gave the Iranians their nuke program, and the terrorists stalking the UK – including the 7/7 murderers – trained in Pakistani Madrassahs.
So those F-16Ds with Sniper XRs are quite likely to end up dropping JDAMs on coalition and Afghani troops.
And even if the current dictator does survive, and even if he keeps his planes under total control, these weapons will be worthless if his army continues to fail to pursue the Pakistani-based Taliban.
And there’s one final reason to spike the deal:
We must also not forget that, when Pakistan got their first F-16s in the 1980s, they sold one to China.
Taiwan has F-16Ds (which are vastly in advance of the 1980 models), so handing one to China makes it that much easier for its dictators to conquer a democratic US ally.
State is out of control, so the president needs to shake off his torpor and stop this disastrous transfer.