Taking on the Taliban: Pakistan Takes Millions to Try to Topple Militants

Night vision capacities for its 8 Cobras

Precision laser targeting for its American-made F-16s

Night vision goggles for troops (the Americans have provided some, the official says, but "it's not even in the hundreds")

Eavesdropping equipment and communications devices that will enable the military to locate militants' locations

More bulletproof jackets for its underfunded and undertrained Frontier Corps, which is doing the majority of the fighting along the border

Jamming equipment to protect vehicles from IEDs

"The other side is offering to the foot soldiers much more than what a constable is getting on our side," the official says. The Taliban, he adds, is funded mostly by crime and drug money coming from Afghanistan.

"It reflects a lack of trust [between the Pakistan and U.S. militaries]," he says. "What else can Pakistan army can prove or exhibit when there are lives are at stake and there is great loss?"

U.S. Hesitant to Give Sensitive Equipment

The U.S. has been hesitant to hand over some its more sensitive equipment to the Pakistani military. U.S. officials still believe elements of the military's powerful spy agency, the Inter Services Intelligence, or ISI, continue to help run guns and train militants groups, including the one that attacked Mumbai in November.

Members of the military, says Ahmed Rashid, author of "Descent into Chaos," "want to preserve some of these jihadi groups. They don't want to see these people being shut down completely. They've invested in them for many, many years because these jihadi groups have been on the front line in Kashmir in India on behalf of the Pakistan military and intelligence agencies. So there is a great reluctance to give up on these guys."

But everyone admits that in order to pacify the border, make Pakistan safer and save Afghanistan from sliding even farther into chaos than it is, the two countries need to have mutual cooperation and mutual trust. And despite any American misgivings, the fact is that the Pakistanis need all the help they can get -- one bulletproof jacket at a time.

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