Washington, Feb.8 : The U.S. Senate Armed Services Committee has sought a report on the effectiveness of American-funded aid to Pakistan for the global war on terror.
According to The Nation, the Pentagon has been asked to forward a further analysis of the military aid, a day after Director, National Intelligence, John McConnell, described Pakistan as facing an existential crisis due to a rise in deadly terrorist attacks over the past year. These apprehensions were also endorsed by Defense Secretary Robert M Gates.
Senator Jack Reed asked Gates if he agreed with McConnell's assessment that Al-Qaeda, using Pakistan's federally administrated tribal areas (FATA) as a safe haven, is growing in its capacity to attack regional US forces, and Gates said: "I think that (he) is correct in saying that Al-Qaeda is taking advantage of the safe havens on the Pakistani side of the Afghan border to expand and train for attacks."
"There's clearly no doubt that they have the intent of attacking the United States, and frankly, I think that's one of the reasons why you're seeing a major push of equipment (into Pakistan) over the next 24 months," Gates added.
According to a December 24, 2007 New York Times article, Pakistan's military relies on Washington for roughly a quarter of its entire four billion dollar budget, but much of the funding has reportedly been misused.
Gates has rejected this charge, and at his suggestion, the committee has asked Navy Admiral William J Fallon, the commander of US Central Command, to prepare a report on US investment in the Pakistan army before his expected appearance before the panel in March.
Admiral Michael G Mullen, the chairperson of the U.S.Joint Chiefs of Staff, told the senators that their request is timely, given that threats emanating from Pakistan are "expanding and turning inward".