Pakistan, like a number of other Middle Eastern countries, have a shaky record. But this country in particular stands out. After the devastating attacks of September 11th that saw the loss of a few thousand American lives, the United States lost more soldiers lives attempting to avenge the fallen with the invasion of Afghanistan. But Pakistan not only allowed Osama bin Laden to hide in the country, but directly aided the Taliban as well while the United States military was fighting them.
Now the United States Government is in the process of selling military aircraft to Pakistan, but not without some congressional opposition.
Senator Rand Paul made a legislative attempt to block the sale. Senator Paul, as quoted by The Hill:
“We’ve got a lot of things going on in our country that need to be taken care of, and we don’t have enough money to be sending it to Pakistan,” he said on the Senate floor. “I can’t in good conscience look away as American crumbles at home and politicians tax us to send the money to corrupt and duplicitous regimes abroad.”
Senator Paul is correct, but Senate hawks disagree. Senator Bob Corker attempted to justify selling the F-16s to a country like Pakistan by saying it creates leverage withe country, by establishing a dependency on America.
India, however, disagrees. As quoted in India Today:
“We disagree with their rationale that such arms transfers help to combat terrorism. The record of the last many years in this regard speaks for itself. The US Ambassador will be summoned by the Ministry of External Affairs to convey our displeasure,” the MEA said.
As stated in this article’s opening, Pakistan has an atrocious track record. What is the U.S. Government thinking? Worse, what is the United States Senate thinking in letting this move forward?
It’s a question that should be asked of Maine’s left-leaning Independent United States Senator and former Governor Angus King, who voted in favor of tabling the legislation presented by Senator Paul. Does Senator King believe that we should be arming a country that has protected terrorist masterminds from facing justice? Does Senator King believe we should be providing military vehicles to a country that has assisted terrorist organizations? This is a disturbing vote that all Mainers should be concerned about, as the Senator puts Pakistan before the United States and Maine.