Pakistan has increased its budget allocation for defense in the 2014-2015 fiscal year, which South Asia defense analyst Brian Cloughley attributes to rising operational costs due to efforts to quell the Taliban-led insurgency in the country, Defense News reported Thursday.
Usman Ansari writes the approved spending is at $7 billion, a smaller yet still steady increase of 11 percent from the revised budget for the 2012-2013 fiscal year, with the Army getting the largest allocation of all military services at $3 billion.
According to Cloughley, who served as Australia’s former defense attaché to Islamabad, equipment purchases might also account for the higher number.
“The most important aspect of expenditure is maintaining large forces in the west of the country, where vehicle fuel alone is a major item of expenditure,” he added.
Usman Shabbir, an analyst with the Pakistan Military Consortium think tank, said the Islamic republic’s modernization priorities are widely known.
“For Navy it must be newer frigates and submarines, for the Air Force, more F-16s and JF-17s to replace F-7s and Mirages, but I am not sure for the Army as they are well covered, though most likely new attack helicopters to supplement the Cobra fleet,” he said.