The United States provides billions of dollars in military aid to Bangladesh each year. But they are not given any information about which forces get this money and how it is spent. Now the United States wants to know which forces are receiving their grants and how they are spending them. The US government wants to sign an agreement in this regard. The country has set a deadline of December 31 for the Bangladesh government.
This information has been known from the relevant sources of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
Asked about this, former foreign secretary Shahidul Haque told the Bengali Tribune, “Bangladesh has military cooperation with various countries to ensure overall security and sovereignty. In the current context, it is normal to force it.
“We have overall cooperation with the United States under the bilateral and multilateral system, including trade and investment, and this is a part of it,” he said. There was, is, and will be other cooperation, including military, through the international process.
Why this deal
There is an old law in the United States called ‘Leahy’. The U.S. government cannot grant a grant to a security agency or force in another country if it is involved in a crime of torture, extrajudicial killing, kidnapping, or rape.
An amendment to the law has recently been introduced and a clause has been added to the treaty to determine which of the donor countries is receiving the grant money. As a result, the country has taken the initiative to sign the agreement with the US military-funded countries.
In that case, the United States would not allow any such organization or force to receive the grant.
What cooperation does Bangladesh get?
According to the US State Department, Bangladesh has received a grant of around Tk 840 crore (about ৫ 6.5 crore) since 2015. These include foreign military financing and international military education and training. A large portion of that Rs 640 crore has been given to Bangladesh to strengthen the initiative of the Americans in the Bay of Bengal.
In addition, two ‘Hamilton Cutters’ ships were delivered from the United States in 2013 and 2015. Participates in various peacekeeping forces and the United States has provided 50 ‘multi-role armored personnel carriers’ to assist the Bangladeshi peacekeepers. Since 2005, the United States has spent about ৮ 360 million (সাড়ে 4.5 billion) on capacity building and training for Bangladeshi peacekeepers. In addition, Bangladesh procured four C-130 transport aircraft in 2012 at a cost of ৮ 160 million.
Location of Bangladesh
If a country has a grant, it is reasonable to tell them where and how the money is spent. Especially if there is a legal obligation in this regard. A government official said: “We are considering the matter. The decision will be taken after considering all aspects.
He said the United States had recently decided to give a drone worth Tk 110 crore (৩ 13 million) to Bangladesh and wanted to know who would use it.
Asked if the US grant could be used by the RAB, the official said:
An unnamed foreign ministry official said: “The RAB has nothing to do with this. Because they have a legal obligation to disclose this information. If there had been no sanctions against the RAB, the United States would have taken the initiative.
In July 2020, the State Department stated in a statement that the Rapid Action Battalion (RAB) and the Dhaka Metropolitan Police’s Counter-Terrorism and Transnational Crime Unit would not receive any foreign aid from the United States.