Bahrain to get $19m US military aid
Manama, August 12, 2010
Bahrain's military is in line for a $19.5 million cash injection from the US government, a report said.
The funding was provisionally assigned by the US Senate Appropriations Committee as part of the Department of State Foreign Operations and Related Programmes Appropriations Bill, said the report in the Gulf Daily News, our sister newspaper.
It is part of the Foreign Military Financing (FMF) programme, which offers grants to foreign governments to finance the purchase of American-made weapons, services and training.
The funding falls in line with the US government budget for the fiscal year 2011, which begins on October 1.
According to the US Embassy in Bahrain, the exact amount of money to be given to Bahrain and what it will be used for are still to be finalised.
However, although it approved the cash, the Appropriations Committee expressed concerns over allegations that criminal suspects are being abused in Bahrain custody. It specifically mentioned the Interior Ministry's Criminal Investigation Directorate and the National Security Agency when expressing its concern.
The bill includes a provision restricting assistance to units of any foreign security force that uses torture, subject to a Secretary of State certification.
Since 1950, the US government has provided more than $91 billion in foreign military financing to countries around the world. The majority of these funds are directed to Israel and Egypt to reward them for a peace treaty signed in 1979, which officially marked the end of the state of war that had existed since 1948.
Bahrain received $19m for the fiscal year 2010, which ends on September 30, through the FMF programme. - TradeArabia News Service