The U.S. government might be concerned about the leaking of secret operational data in Pakistan. And the U.S. government might not be too pleased that Pakistan has reportedly arrested informants who aided the CIA before the raid of Osama bin Laden’s compound.
But there’s little doubt that, despite those differences, the U.S. military still supplies the Pakistani military with new, sophisticated intelligence collection and communications equipment.
The Army Communications and Electronics Command at Aberdeen Proving Ground recently put out a notice signaling that it may need contractors to train members of the Pakistani military on how to use a new “Ground Intelligence Surveillance and Reconnaissance (GISR) system.”
Developed by DRS Technologies, a high-tech military contractor based in New Jersey, the system intercepts and locates the sources of enemy communications and then permits continued monitoring of them. It also allows users to quickly analyze the collected data, including visual material, “to provide mission-critical intelligence to the warfighter.”
Washington and Islamabad are, in name at least, close counterterrorism allies. But officials in Washington have long had an uneasy relationship with Pakistan’s army and intelligence service. Suspicions were heightened with the discovery of bin Laden in Pakistan. Twice in recent weeks, the United States provided Pakistan with information about insurgent bomb-making factories, only to see the militants learn their cover had been blown and flee, according to U.S. and Pakistani officials.
Earlier this week, Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates, asked whether it was time to take a harder line with Pakistan, insisted that it would be a mistake to interrupt cooperation.
“We need each other, and this relationship goes beyond Afghanistan,” Gates told the Associated Press. “It has to do with regional stability, and I think we have to be realistic about Pakistani distrust … and their deep belief that when we’re done with al-Qaeda that we’ll be gone, again.”