WASHINGTON – After neglecting Pakistan’s efforts against terrorism in Arab-American Islamic Summit, US President Donald Trump is considering to convert military aid to Pakistan into a loan, international media reported.
Making efforts to decrease spending on diplomacy aid by 29 percent, the Trump administration has proposed the plan in its annual budget to the Congress. Countries are given loans or grants to by US military equipment under foreign military financing.
The slash in military aid under the State Department is in part meant to fund an increase in military spending.
According to The Nation newspaper, the White House budget documents revealed that total defence spending for the 2018 fiscal year is $603 billion, which is 3 percent higher than President Barack Obama’s proposed defence budget for 2018.
The $603 billion includes funding for nuclear weapons programmes at the Department of Energy and other national defence programmes as well as the Department of Defence.
The documents showed a decrease of $11.5 billion for State Department and other international programmes in the upcoming fiscal year as compared to 2017.
In order to cut spending, the US government would re-shape the way some countries receiving military aid from the US.
The State Department decides which countries are given the financing while the Pentagon executes the decisions. Under the Trump proposal, many current grants would instead be converted to loans.
“We do change a couple of the foreign military programmes from direct grants to loans,” said Mick Mulvaney, the director of the White House Office of Management and Budget, in a briefing with reporters on Monday. “Our argument was instead of … giving somebody $100 million, we could give them a smaller number worth of loan guarantees and they could actually buy more stuff.”
The Wall Street Journal, which first reported the proposal, said the foreign military grants could affect Pakistan, Tunisia, Lebanon, Ukraine, Colombia, the Philippines and Vietnam.
Mulvaney said that military aid to Pakistan would be cut, though he did not give concrete details.