Washington: Even while the United States has offered huge military and non-military aid to Pakistan, including the much sought after F-16 combat jets, American officials believe that Washington is careful enough to not to disturb the balance of power in South Asia.
Pentagon officials told The Los Angeles Times that the US is aware of its responsibilities, and that providing the F-16s to Pakistan does not mean that it gets an advantage over India’s might.
“Another squadron of F-16s means they [Pakistan] will lose the next war with India a little slower,” the newspaper quoted a Pentagon official, as saying on conditions of anonymity.
“They are not going to defeat India because we gave them a squadron of F-16s. The military overmatch India enjoys is just too great,” he said.
Washington is sensitive to the risk of dramatically increasing one country’s military prowess vis-à-vis the other, which would potentially trigger the very war the US wants to avoid, the newspaper said.
The US officials said America’s growing ties would India would help both countries gel better and enhance support for each other.
“The technology and logistic agreements that go along with an expanded defence trade will bind the US and India closer together,” they opined.
Similarly, they believed that providing modern weapons to Pakistan, even those not specifically intended for anti-extremism operations, was crucial to the Obama administration’s prime objective of toning down the massive distrust that prevails between the two countries.
First Published: Sunday, January 24, 2010, 11:38