Monday, August 15, 2011

Pakistan lets China see US helicopter

The Financial Times is reporting that Pakistan has shared the tail section of the stealth helicopter used on the raid to kill Osama bin Laden.

The SEALs smashed the avionics and used explosives to destroy the fuselage but according to the FT, the tail section landed outside the compound. It was this act that has fueled all manner of speculation to the type of helicopter used and whether the team on board may have been killed.

The report illustrates the relationship with Beijing is much stronger than with Washington. For some reason, both the US government and media try to portray a positive relationship with Pakistan. History does not support this. During the Soviet invasion in Afghanistan, the CIA sold sniper rifles and Stinger missiles to mujahaieen. After the Soviets left, Pakistan showed North Korea the Stinger missiles and traded the sniper rifles for new batteries to power the missiles.

Islamabad has been portraying the US military of late as a secretive, uncooperative tenant that indiscriminately kills Paksitani citizens. The US can't fight the Taliban with ground forces unless it maintains a presence in Pakistan. By sharing the helicopter section, Pakistan shows the relationships have gone from cold to strained. The US may have to end operations in Afghanistan not because the Taliban has been defeated but the relationship with Pakistan is too complicated.

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