Blow Up the Deficit

Shadow Wars Get Big Bucks in Last-Minute Defense Bill

By Spencer Ackerman

The $400 million Pakistan Counterinsurgency Fund, which provides helicopters, night-vision equipment and training to the Pakistan’s Army and Frontier Corps, gets another re-up. There’s also $1.6 billion to reimburse Pakistan (and some other nations, but really Pakistan) for “cooperating in contingency operations in Afghanistan,” which must come as a surprise to U.S., Afghan and Pakistani troops.

Yemen’s counterterrorism force in the Ministry of Interior alone will get $75 million “in equipment, supplies and training.” Last year, the entire U.S. aid package to Yemen’s military was $155 million;

U.S. Special Operations Command, the principle on-the-ground liaison to these nations’ counterterrorism forces, wins out as well. Not only does the command get the full $9.8 billion it asked for, but Congress raised the special forces’ line item from $40 million to $45 million “to provide support to foreign forces, groups, and individuals assisting in ongoing operations.”

The so-called “black budget” — that is, the intelligence budget, which included $27 billion in military intelligence last year — undoubtedly has even more for the shadow wars.

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