US and Pakistan: F-16 $450 million deal and flood appeals

US and Pakistan: F-16 $450 million deal and flood appeals

Kanako Mita and Lee Jay Walker

Modern Tokyo Times

Pakistan is appealing for emergency support after the recent devastating floods. This nation and the United Nations seek to blame the crisis entirely on climate change. 

Despite the flood crisis, Pakistan is set to sign a military deal with America concerning F-16s at the cost of $450 million. Pakistan is a nuclear military power. Therefore, while the death toll of approximately 1,400 people occurred in the recent floods and homes were washed away or destroyed: Pakistan is still focused heavily on the military angle.

The population of Pakistan in 1950 was 38 million. In 2022, it is 235 million people. Hence, one can imagine the enormous stresses on the land of this nation where nature is known to create havoc (Bangladesh, India, and Pakistan) – along with past environmental policies. Therefore, it is easy for the United Nations and Pakistan to pin the blame solely on climate change while ignoring the internal angles.

For example, issues concerning corruption, exploitation of the land, militarization and being a nuclear power, signing military contracts even during the flood crisis, a huge increase in the population, destabilizing Afghanistan, internal political turmoil, and so on. Thus resources spent and internal management of the land need to join the equation. 

In Bangladesh, India, and Pakistan (the Indian subcontinent) the combined population in 1950 was 434 million. However, the combined population in 2022 is a staggering 1.8 billion. Monsoons and other devastating natural phenomena on the Indian subcontinent and other parts of Asia are nothing new.

The Hindu reports, “Deficient rainfall led to the collapse of the Mansabdari system, started by Mughal emperor Akbar, in the late 17th century. Similarly, drought interspersed with violent monsoon rains sounded the death knell for the Khmer empire of south-east Asia in the 15th century.” Therefore, with the population explosion – and internal policies leading to the degradation of the natural environment – one can only imagine the consequences of this angle alone.

The Guardian reports, “Record monsoon rains and glacier melt in the country’s northern mountains have triggered floods that have killed at least 1,391 people, sweeping away houses, roads, railway tracks, bridges, livestock and crops.”

Reuters reports, “U.N. agencies have begun work on assessing Pakistan’s needs in order to develop a post-disaster reconstruction plan after the country received 391 mm (15.4 inches) of rain, or nearly 190% more than the 30-year average, in July and August.”

However, even at a time of great stress for Pakistan, the government of this nation and America are focused on the military angle. President Joe Biden of America is channeling tens of billions of military arms to Ukraine – while major contracts with Indonesia (West Papua not a concern for Biden) and other nations continue. Therefore, the UN and Pakistan will make international appeals for support at a time when a $450 million military contract is in the pipeline. 

The Dawn reports, “The US government has notified Congress of a proposed foreign military sale of $450 million to Pakistan to sustain the Pakistan Air Force’s F-16 programme, a US State Department spokes­person told Dawn on Thursday.”

The US State Department said, “The proposed sale will continue the sustainment of Pakistan’s F-16 fleet, which greatly improves Pakistan’s ability to support counterterrorism operations through its robust air-to-ground capability. Pakistan will have no difficulty absorbing these articles and services into its armed forces.”

Already, the Biden administration is white-washing the role of Pakistan in the debacle of Afghanistan. It seems that the Biden administration is fixated on NATO nations and Japan to increase military spending – while America pumps tens of billions in military arms to Ukraine and other nations.

Ordinary people in Pakistan are still coming to terms in the worst-hit areas. Destroyed homes and infrastructures – and 1,400 deaths. Poorer people in Pakistan were already struggling. Therefore, it is unimaginable to think how they will cope in the short term. 

Yet, during this period of sorrow – America and Pakistan look set to sign a $450 million military contract.

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