Pakistan Reportedly Gave Chinese Access To Stealth Copter Used In Bin Laden Raid

One of the first things we learned about the raid that resulted in the death of Osama bin Laden was that at least one of the helicopters used was a previously secret stealth helicopter. After delaying for several weeks, Pakistan finally turned over the wreckage of the copter in late May, but not before dropping not so subtle hints about giving their other friends the Chinese access to the remnants of the craft. Well, it turns out that they apparently did:

ISLAMABAD, Pakistan — Pakistan gave China access to the previously unknown U.S. “stealth” helicopter that crashed during the commando raid that killed Osama bin Laden in May despite explicit requests from the CIA not to, the Financial Times reported Sunday.

The disclosure, if confirmed, is likely to further shake the U.S.-Pakistan relationship, which has been improving slightly of late after hitting its lowest point in decades following the bin Laden killing in a Pakistani garrison city.

During the raid, one of two modified Black Hawk helicopters, thought to employ unknown stealth capability, malfunctioned and crashed, forcing the commandos to abandon it.

“The U.S. now has information that Pakistan, particularly the ISI, gave access to the Chinese military to the downed helicopter in Abbottabad,” the paper quoted a person “in intelligence circles” as saying on its Web site.

The ISI, the Inter-Services Intelligence Directorate, is Pakistan’s top spy agency.

The report said Pakistan, which enjoys a close relationship with China, allowed Chinese intelligence officials to take pictures of the crashed aircraft as well as samples of its special “skin,” which allowed the helicopter to evade Pakistani radar.

One U.S. official, speaking on the condition of anonymity, told Reuters that there was reason to believe that Pakistan had let the Chinese inspect the aircraft. But the official could not confirm whether it had happened.

American officials said that the story, if true, “doesn’t make us happy.” You know what doesn’t make me happy? That we’re sending billions of dollars a year in aid to a country that allies itself with our adversaries and works against our interests, while other elements of its government work closely with terrorists. That’s what doesn’t make me happy.

 

FILED UNDER: Asia, Military Affairs, National Security, Quick Takes, World Politics, ,
Doug Mataconis
About Doug Mataconis
Doug holds a B.A. in Political Science from Rutgers University and J.D. from George Mason University School of Law. He joined the staff of OTB in May 2010. Before joining OTB, he wrote at Below The BeltwayThe Liberty Papers, and United Liberty Follow Doug on Twitter | Facebook

Comments

  1. Ben Wolf says:

    The downside of indiscriminantly killing hundreds of Pakistani civilians is that it tends to turn Pakistani opinion against us. Then we send them billions in aid, probably funding the same enemies we’ve just created. Niebhur was correct when he stated our country was “politically incompetent”.

  2. Sleeping Dog says:

    The problem with secret technologies, weapons or otherwise, is that they seldom stay secret once put into operation. But to your frustration with American financial support for the dysfunctional Pakistan, the challenge for US foreign policy over the next few years is to divorce ourselves from Pakistan while not damaging our true strategic interests, i.e. mopping up the remnants of Al-Qaeda and most importantly ensuring the security of Pakistan’s nukes.

    The Pakistanis have the delusion that they can play the US and China off each other, to that I say let the Chinese have them and good luck. Given the mercantilist attitude that the Chinese have toward their client states, such a relationship does not bode well for Pakistan. But then they deserve it.

  3. OzarkHillbilly says:

    American officials said that the story, if true, “doesn’t make us happy.” You know what doesn’t make me happy? That we’re sending billions of dollars a year in aid to a country that allies itself with our adversaries and works against our interests, while other elements of its government work closely with terrorists. That’s what doesn’t make me happy.

    Pretty much sums it up.

    @Sleeping Dog:

    while not damaging our true strategic interests, i.e. mopping up the remnants of Al-Qaeda and most importantly ensuring the security of Pakistan’s nukes.

    We can never get all of al Qaeda and should not waste time, money, and lives trying to. The Pakistani nukes should be our main concern there.

  4. Catfish says:

    A few days of carpet bombing would do wonders for their attitude.

  5. waltm says:

    However, as long as we have troops in Afghanistan, a look at the map shows we don’t have many options.