…to get conventional ones
Kaushik Kapisthalam notes that Pakistan is orchestrating a coordinated campaign to procure advanced conventional arms from the United States by playing up fears over its low nuclear neckline.
It appears that the well-coordinated Pakistani studies are aimed at creating a sense of acceptance in US strategic circles that Pakistan needs to be given advanced weapons to maintain strategic stability in South Asia. A US Department of Defense official revealed to this correspondent, on the condition of anonymity, that official circles in Washington are coming around to accepting this line of thinking. The upshot may be a massive US rearming of Pakistan. The designation of Pakistan as a major non-NATO (North Atlantic Treaty Organization) ally of the United States last year only makes this easier for the US government. [Asia Times]
Meanwhile, a recent meeting of the US-Pakistan Defence Consultative Group did not quite satisfy the Pakistanis. In all likelihood, just like the nuclear threshold, American refusal to release F-16 aircraft (part of the larger argument of ‘conventional imbalance’) is being used as a bogey to clear the path for other, rather usable hardware that it desires.