ISLAMABAD, Pakistan – Military sources in Pakistan are confirming U.S. suspicions that money meant for helping Pakistan battle militants has been diverted to other causes.
Two army generals tell The Associated Press that between 2002 and 2008, only $500 million of the $6.6 billion in U.S. aid actually made it to the Pakistani military. The generals asked to remain anonymous because military rules forbid them from speaking publicly.
Their account was backed up by other retired and active generals, former bureaucrats and government ministers.
At the time of the siphoning, Pervez Musharraf, a Washington ally, served as both chief of staff and president, making it easier to divert money to bolster his sagging image at home. Pakistan's ambassador to the U.S. under Musharraf says "the army itself got very little."
The misuse of funding helps to explain how Al Qaeda was able to regroup, grow and take on the weak Pakistani army.
Even now, the army complains of inadequate equipment to battle Taliban entrenched in tribal regions.