With every battle — be it over healthcare, transportation, Medicare, or democracy — comes lots of money to be spent (and made) to get voices heard. The conflicts in the Middle East are no different.
Pakistan – As lawmakers grapple with whether or not to rescind foreign aid to the embattled country and whether or not to allow duty-free “reconstruction opportunity zones” in Pakistan, the Pakistani Embassy is revving up its lobbying efforts. The nation which housed Osama bin Laden (knowingly or unknowingly) for the past 10 year paid Locke Lord Strategies $150,000 in the first quarter of this year to work on budget/appropriations/acquisitions, defense and predictably, foreign policy and affairs issues in Congress. According to records filed with the DOJ, the firm gets a $75,000 monthly retainer from Pakistan.
Lobbying is not restricted to nations with present conflict in which the U.S. is directly involved. Jordan is paying more weekly than Pakistan is signed up to pay Locke Lord Strategies monthly. With a huge interest in seeing its embassy upgraded “strategically as a key node in a network of relationship involving state and non-state actors,” the nation shells out $77,000 each week to the Racepoint Group to help raise Jordan’s profile and support among Congressmen.
The American Israel Public Affairs Committee spent $716,615 in the first quarter of 2011 to petition for continued aid to Israel, West Bank, and Gaza, and for the Iron Dome and anti-rocket system in addition to continued sanctions on Iran.