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Author Topic: Afpakia: Afghanistan-Pakistan  (Read 202223 times)
Bandolero
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« Reply #900 on: May 02, 2011, 07:31:42 AM »

So much for the Obama is soft on terrorists mantra.
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"This is a war, and we are soldiers. Death can come for us at any time, in any place." ~ Morpheus
G M
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« Reply #901 on: May 02, 2011, 07:40:02 AM »

So much for the Obama is soft on terrorists mantra.

Yes, his willingness to adopt Bush's policies after running against them as a candidate was welcome indeed.
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G M
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« Reply #902 on: May 02, 2011, 07:52:37 AM »

http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/42853221/ns/world_news-south_and_central_asia/

Senior White House officials said early Monday that the trail that led to Osama bin Laden began before 9/11, before the terror attacks that brought bin Laden to prominence. The trail warmed up last fall, when it discovered an elaborate compound in Pakistan.
 
"From the time that we first recognized bin Laden as a threat, the U.S. gathered information on people in bin Laden's circle, including his personal couriers," a senior official in the Obama administration said in a background briefing from the White House.
 
After the terror attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, "detainees gave us information on couriers. One courier in particular had our constant attention. Detainees gave us his nom de guerre, his pseudonym, and also identified this man as one of the few couriers trusted by bin Laden." (Detainees, like in the Gitmo facility Obama was going to close within the first year of his presidency? Were these detainees waterboarded?-GM)
In 2007, the U.S. learned the man's name.
 
In 2009, "we identified areas in Pakistan where the courier and his brother operated. They were very careful, reinforcing belief we were on the right track."
 
In August 2010, "we found their home in Abbottabad," not in a cave, not right along the Afghanistan border, but in an affluent suburb less than 40 miles from the capital.
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G M
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« Reply #903 on: May 02, 2011, 12:55:23 PM »

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/asia/pakistan/8488236/WikiLeaks-Osama-bin-Laden-protected-by-Pakistani-security.html


WikiLeaks: Osama bin Laden 'protected' by Pakistani security

 Pakistani security forces allegedly helped Osama bin Laden evade American troops for almost 10 years, according to secret US government files.
 
By Tim Ross
5:31PM BST 02 May 2011

American diplomats were told that one of the key reasons why they had failed to find bin Laden was that Pakistan’s security services tipped him off whenever US troops approached.
 

Pakistan’s Inter-Services Intelligence Directorate (ISID) also allegedly smuggled al-Qaeda terrorists through airport security to help them avoid capture and sent a unit into Afghanistan to fight alongside the Taliban.
 

The claims, made in leaked US government files obtained by Wikileaks, will add to questions over Pakistan’s capacity to fight al-Qaeda.
 

Last year, David Cameron caused a diplomatic furore when he told Pakistan that it could not “look both ways” on terrorism. The Pakistani government issued a strongly-worded rebuttal.
 

But bin Laden was eventually tracked down and killed in compound located just a few hundred yards from Pakistan’s prestigious military academy in Abbotabad.
 


The raid by elite US troops was kept secret from the government of Pakistan. Only a tight circle within the Obama Administration knew of the operation.
 
In December 2009, the government of Tajikistan warned the United States that efforts to catch bin Laden were being thwarted by corrupt Pakistani spies.
 
According to a US diplomatic dispatch, General Abdullo Sadulloevich Nazarov, a senior Tajik counterterrorism official, told the Americans that “many” inside Pakistan knew where bin Laden was.
 
The document stated: “In Pakistan, Osama Bin Laden wasn’t an invisible man, and many knew his whereabouts in North Waziristan, but whenever security forces attempted a raid on his hideouts, the enemy received warning of their approach from sources in the security forces.”
 
Intelligence gathered from detainees at Guantanamo Bay may also have made the Americans wary of sharing their operational plans with the Pakistani government.
 
One detainee, Saber Lal Melma, an Afghan whom the US described as a probable facilitator for al-Qaeda, allegedly worked with the ISID to help members flee Afghanistan after the American bombing began in October 2001.
 
His US military Guantanamo Bay detainee file, obtained by Wikileaks and seen by The Daily Telegraph, claims he allegedly passed the al-Qaeda Arabs to Pakistani security forces who then smuggled them across the border into Pakistan.
 
He was also overheard “bragging about a time when the ISID sent a military unit into Afghanistan, posing as civilians to fight along side the Taliban against US forces”.
 
He also allegedly detailed “ISID's protection of Al-Qaida members at Pakistan airports. The ISID members diverted Al-Qaida members through unofficial channels to avoid detection from officials in search of terrorists,” the file claims.
 
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G M
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« Reply #904 on: May 02, 2011, 01:21:54 PM »


http://gulfnews.com/news/world/other-world/compound-in-pakistan-was-once-a-safe-house-1.802539

Compound in Pakistan was once a safe house

House was not owned by the government and had been rented by Afghan nationals, intelligence official says
By Ashfaq Ahmed, Chief Reporter
Published: 00:00 May 3, 2011


Soldiers of Pakistan Army seen near the house in Abbottabad on Tuesday where Osama Bin Laden was believed to have been residing. The physical security measures of the compound are extraordinary. It has 12-to-18-foot outer walls, topped with barbed wire fencing.
 

Dubai: The compound in Abbottabad where Osama Bin Laden was killed was once used as a safe house by Pakistan's premier intelligence agency ISI, Gulf News has learnt.
 
"This area had been used as ISI's safe house, but it was not under their use any more because they keep on changing their locations," a senior intelligence official confided to Gulf News. However, he did not reveal when and for how long it was used by the ISI operatives. Another official cautiously said "it may not be the same house but the same compound or area used by the ISI".
 
The official also confirmed that the house was rented out by Afghan nationals and is not owned by the government. The house is located just 800 metres away from the Pakistan Military Academy and some former senior military officials live nearby.
 
Abbottabad is a garrison town located just 50 kilometres north of Islamabad and it is a popular summer resort, originally built by the British during colonial rule. The city houses a number of upscale educational institutions and religious schools as well.

Secluded affluence
 
According to the briefing by senior US officials on the killing of Bin Laden, the area is relatively affluent, with lots of retired military staff. It is also insulated from the natural disasters and terrorist attacks that have afflicted other parts of Pakistan — an extraordinarily unique compound. The compound sits on a large plot of land in an area that was relatively secluded when it was built. It is roughly eight times larger than nearby homes.
 
The physical security measures of the compound are extraordinary.
 
It has 12-to-18-foot outer walls, topped with barbed wires. Internal walls sectioned off different portions of the compound to provide extra privacy.
 
Access to the compound is restricted by two security gates and the residents of the compound burnt their trash, unlike their neighbours, who put the trash out for collection.
 
The property is valued at approximately $1 million (Dh3.67 million), but has no telephone or Internet connection.
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ya
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« Reply #905 on: May 02, 2011, 06:57:33 PM »

Its very clear that the ISI/Army was hiding OBL. It seems the house was built in Musharraf's time (very likely with US money!). Of note, current army chief (Kiyani), was the head of the ISI then. The house is in the army cantonment area, ie its completely under army control. One cannot build anything without approval from the army. It seems  that OBL has been there for a few years, ie full blessings of the ISI.

So now that the US has expended over a trillion $ over 10 years + lives, the least that the US should do is to declare Pak a terrorist nation....but we wont. ISI needs to be disbanded and brought under civilian control. Paki duplicity cannot be tolerated....its time to call a spade a spade.
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ya
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« Reply #906 on: May 02, 2011, 07:14:16 PM »

KPS Gill, the Indian Police Officer, who brought the Khalistani movement in India (sponsered by pak) under control, wisely  said wrt to Pak  in 2008,

"The reality is, there is no such thing as Islamist terrorism. To understand the position correctly, we need to recognise that there is only ISI terror that has been dubbed as 'Islamist terror'. What we have, on the ground, is the proliferation of Pakistani terrorism, strategically compounded across new areas of disorder by networks loosely affiliated with their Pakistani sources. If Pakistani state support to so-called Islamist terrorism ended today, it would not be long before the various terrorist groups atrophied and withered away, lacking safe havens, institutional support and training infrastructure, and the vast ideological resources that have been brought to bear on the so-called global jihad".

This is a key lesson that Obama needs to take to heart, atleast when dealing with pak.
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Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #907 on: May 03, 2011, 03:23:20 PM »

Posting quickly from a terminal in the Madrid airport:

So, to the question presented of "What now?" the answer is , , , "Take down Pakistan"? 

The question is sincere and serious.
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G M
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« Reply #908 on: May 03, 2011, 03:51:31 PM »

Like with Iraq, Libya and elsewhere, the question is: And replace it with what?

Answer: In Pakistan's case, we whack those responsible for sheltering OBL, seize their nukes and gut every bit of the important military hardware they got from us. Let the pieces fall where they may after we defang the beast.
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ya
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« Reply #909 on: May 03, 2011, 08:09:17 PM »

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G M
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« Reply #910 on: May 03, 2011, 09:10:57 PM »

Empire expresses surprise that Darth Vader was housed inside of "Death Star", charges Rebel Alliance with violations of law, excessive force in the destruction of peaceful space research facility....
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DougMacG
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« Reply #911 on: May 03, 2011, 11:42:06 PM »

I would just like to join with the appreciation of ya's posts.  The OBL kill operation indicates that ya has had it right all along regarding Pakistan - not being a trusted partner, likely harboring and enabling, walking a fine line with terror, keeping the U.S money flowing, but not doing all they can do.  Especially vivid was the 'game preserve' post, quite a way of looking at it, and that's what this operation was.  Maybe we went in without express permission, but we have already prepaid for our shooting season - and they accepted our money.

Except for specific actionable intell that came out of this, I doubt we will be going back into Pakistan anytime soon, not for invasion and not for nation building.  Maybe we can just grow our business and security relationship with India that much stronger.

I'm very surprised that Obama kept up and increased the drone attacks in the border region and that it went on as long as it did with very little uproar here or there.  People seemed to know those were terror camps and weren't very surprised by the attacks.
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Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #912 on: May 04, 2011, 12:43:24 AM »

Props indeed to YA.

Incredible foto YA-- is that for real?

I am in the land of the Little Satan at the moment on a not-very-good hotel connection, so I will be brief.

Welcome to the conversation Bandolero.

Where do we go from here?

Go after ISI? Pakistani govt?  In alliance with India or not?  Declare victory and leave (its not as if it won't be handy having bandwidth available for elsewhere?) If not, WTF is the mission in Afg now?  We didn't really know before and I suspect we know even less now what the point is , , , The respect in which Petraeus is held made it hard for BO to bugout of Afg, but with him at CIA will this still apply?  

For the record, my thoughts at the moment are not dissimilar from GM's-- I entertain going after ISI, seizing nukes, and the like-- but these are deep waters and my emotions of the moment are simply that.
« Last Edit: May 04, 2011, 12:47:04 AM by Crafty_Dog » Logged
G M
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« Reply #913 on: May 04, 2011, 07:57:43 AM »

If we are to act on the intel seized at OBL's safehouse, we need to act quickly. We should go after anyone and everyone implicated. Will we with this president? Probably not.

What will probably happen is we'll let the momentum die, leaving the potential for the Pakistan collapse and the birth of a nuclear jihadistan.
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JDN
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« Reply #914 on: May 04, 2011, 09:13:38 AM »

Elsewhere on this forum, BbG posted a good article published in the New Yorker.
BbG said, "The term "damned by faint praise" comes to mind."  That sounds fair,
but there was definite praise as well.

it has been proposed to go after the ISI, seizing nukes, etc.  But think about the ramifications.
Do we want to be involved in another war in that area?

I liked one comment from the New Yorker article.

"One of Donilon’s overriding beliefs, which Obama adopted as his own, was that America needed to rebuild its reputation, extricate itself from the Middle East and Afghanistan, and turn its attention toward Asia and China’s unchecked influence in the region. America was “overweighted” in the former and “underweighted” in the latter, Donilon told me. “We’ve been on a little bit of a Middle East detour over the course of the last ten years,” Kurt Campbell, the Assistant Secretary of State for East Asian and Pacific Affairs, said. “And our future will be dominated utterly and fundamentally by developments in Asia and the Pacific region.”

Frankly, I hope Bin Laden's death begins to bring closure to our significant involvement in the Middle East and we begin focusing on Asia and the Pacific.
We definitely DON'T need to get involved or "go after anyone and everyone implicated" from Pakistan. 
Time to move.
 

 

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G M
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« Reply #915 on: May 04, 2011, 09:17:47 AM »

So harboring bin Laden for years should have no consequences? Pakistan might crumble all on it's own. Then what of the Pak-nukes?
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JDN
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« Reply #916 on: May 04, 2011, 09:31:29 AM »

So harboring bin Laden for years should have no consequences?

Basically that's right.

I am, and so are most Americas tired of Iraq, Afghanistan, Libya, etc.  We don't need or want another involvement in Pakistan.

Better to move on and focus on China and the Pacific region who has been eating our lunch lately while we have been distracted in
the Middle East.  I don't care nor does anyone else I know really care about Pakistan or the Middle East. 
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G M
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« Reply #917 on: May 04, 2011, 09:32:57 AM »

You might care if a Pak-nuke makes it's way into a cargo container to Long Beach.
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G M
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« Reply #918 on: May 04, 2011, 09:50:45 AM »

http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/newsnight/markurban/2009/06/pakistans_loose_nukes.html

Pakistan's 'loose nukes'
Mark Urban | 19:15 UK time, Thursday, 11 June 2009

Every now and then in this business someone in a position to know some enthralling secret passes information on to you, but you have no means of backing it up from other sources.

A few years ago, I was told about extraordinary US contingency plans to recover Pakistan's nuclear weapons, in the event of a collapse of law and order or an extremist coup in that country.

My informant gave me considerable detail. A super-secret agreement had been put in place early this decade following confrontations between India and Pakistan, two nuclear armed nations, over the disputed Kashmir region.

In order to stabilise an otherwise potentially highly volatile situation, Pakistan would tell the US where its nuclear weapons were.

India had been promised, that in the event of some Pakistani national cataclysm, the Americans would move in to remove the nuclear weapons.

The "loose nukes" nightmare would thus be avoided, and India would not be tempted into a first strike on Pakistan's atomic arsenal.

Sometimes stories, even from people who have held senior positions in Western governments, are a little too good to be true.

This one seemed to smack of Tom Clancy. Nobody would ever confirm it, and indeed some of those I checked it out with were openly sceptical. So I never ran the story.

Perhaps, after all, my original informant had been trying to plant it.

Now that the Obama administration is openly voicing its concern about the threat to Pakistan's nuclear weapons from rising militancy in that country, some aspects of that original tip off have come back into sharp focus.

In April, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton told a US senate committee, that the US spent a lot of time worrying about Iran getting nuclear weapons, but that Pakistan already had them, and that, "they've adopted a policy of dispersing their nuclear weapons and facilities".

In this phrase, "adopted a policy" I detected a possible inference that Pakistan had moved away from an earlier procedure of keeping their bombs in a small number of locations.

My further inquiries suggested this inference was deliberate.

So here at last was a measure of confirmation for something I had heard years earlier.

As to what exactly Pakistan had told the US in the time of president (and former army chief) Pervez Musharraf, we are once again in hazier territory.

We do know however that Mr Musharraf knew far more about the country's nuclear complex than any civilian leader has ever been allowed to learn.

We also know that in the first years after 9/11, there was intimate strategic co-operation with the US.

Of course any suggestion that the US might, in the past, have had plans to sweep up these weapons is politically sensitive in Pakistan.

The country revels in the status that its arsenal has given it. Any suggestion that there were plans to "secure" the bombs, even in a state of anarchy, would strike many Pakistanis as a US plot to emasculate an Islamic nuclear power.

Read it all.
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G M
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« Reply #919 on: May 04, 2011, 09:53:28 AM »

So harboring bin Laden for years should have no consequences?

Basically that's right.

I am, and so are most Americas tired of Iraq, Afghanistan, Libya, etc.  We don't need or want another involvement in Pakistan.

Better to move on and focus on China and the Pacific region who has been eating our lunch lately while we have been distracted in
the Middle East.  I don't care nor does anyone else I know really care about Pakistan or the Middle East. 

We were tired of Afghanistan after the soviets left and walked away then. We had the opportunity to get Bin Laden years before 9/11 and didn't want to deal with the issue, so we let him go.

See a pattern here?
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DougMacG
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« Reply #920 on: May 04, 2011, 10:53:21 AM »

GM wrote: "If we are to act on the intel seized at OBL's safehouse, we need to act quickly. We should go after anyone and everyone implicated. Will we with this president? Probably not.  What will probably happen is we'll let the momentum die, leaving the potential for the Pakistan collapse and the birth of a nuclear jihadistan."
---
Chicago Tribune editorial makes a similar point below.  It doesn't seems to me we would brag publicly about the intel seized if we were really racing to act on it.  More likely IMO older info that will help to piece together how previous acts of terror were accomplished.  If this were the communication center for current and future ops I think we would have found him sooner.
---
http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/opinion/editorials/ct-edit-osama-20110503,0,6675564.story

The real terror coup
Bin Laden raid may yield treasure trove of intel

6:53 p.m. CDT, May 3, 2011

Clustering at their predetermined departure site, the two dozen American commandos juggled one heavy piece of carry-on baggage, a souvenir from their lightning visit to Pakistan. It was the lanky cadaver of a much-wanted global terrorist. But the two helicopters — the healthy Sikorsky Black Hawk and the backup Boeing Chinook — that choppered the raiders to Afghanistan also carried a delicious trove of electronic booty that may prove more valuable.

Tantalizing reports suggest that Osama bin Laden, one more baby boomer who liked digital toys, unwittingly bequeathed to his killers oodles of secret information.

CNN reports that Navy SEAL Team Six escaped with 10 hard drives, five computers and more than 100 storage devices such as DVDs, disks and thumb drives. Politico, meanwhile, quotes U.S. officials as saying the data devices hold "the mother lode of intelligence." One unnamed source says, "They (the commandos) cleaned it out. Can you imagine what's on Osama bin Laden's hard drive?" Another delightful-to-read boast from an intel source: "Hundreds of people are going through (the data devices) now," reportedly in Afghanistan and at CIA headquarters in Langley, Va.

Think about the implications. We don't know whether bin Laden was a hoarder — one of those clutter-hugging people who can't part with old sandals. But he apparently has spent six years inside what's now the world's most notorious hideout. If Saddam Hussein had to kill time in that dark little spider hole, bin Laden has had the run of a house packed with computer gear.

What are the odds that bin Laden's impromptu estate included lots of intriguing info about his associates, their locations and their plans? We'd like to think those odds are excellent. So it wasn't surprising to read a Time magazine interview Tuesday in which CIA Director Leon Panetta acknowledges capturing an "impressive amount" of fresh intelligence.
Check out our crossword, sudoku and Jumble puzzles >>

Imagine you're one of bin Laden's most-wanted associates. Some of those folks are capable of executing deadly retaliations. All of them, though, have to be scared. They recall better than most of us that, when U.S. and Pakistani operatives rolled up al-Qaida mastermind Khalid Sheik Mohammed in 2003, his computer hard drive reportedly included a wealth of carelessly stored data — including a list of bin Laden's safe houses. And that was one computer.

How satisfying it would be to find in bin Laden's files some clue to the whereabouts of his top aide, Egyptian physician Ayman al-Zawahri, or another of the senior al-Qaida terrorists who remain on the loose.

The faster that happens, the better. The death of bin Laden has done more than behead al-Qaida. More important, perhaps, the early repose of his soul is a crushing embarrassment for a group whose brand of Shariah-driven religious fanaticism has been falling from whatever favor it held in the Arab world. The motivation for bin Laden's survivors to strike is strong. Surely they are mulling whatever assets they possess or dream they can procure — maybe a stray Russian nuke, a less sophisticated dirty bomb, or the viral makings of a smallpox epidemic.

This long-lasting threat of retribution from al-Qaida makes us all the more appreciative of the commandos who lit up bin Laden's lair on Sunday morning. Panetta says the U.S. also considered flattening the compound with a high-altitude run by B-2 bombers, or launching a "direct shot" with cruise missiles. Those options, he says, were ruled out because they would cause too much collateral damage.

Obliterating the compound also would have denied U.S. warriors whatever intel they now glean from bin Laden's gear. Here's hoping that gear — and not that carry-on corpse — proves to be the raiders' real terror coup.
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ccp
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« Reply #921 on: May 04, 2011, 11:10:25 AM »

"Obliterating the compound also would have denied U.S. warriors whatever intel they now glean from bin Laden's gear. Here's hoping that gear — and not that carry-on corpse — proves to be the raiders' real terror coup."

good point.  another reason this was a "no brainer" using GM's accurate description.

Mark Levin also questioned the reason for publicizing the retrieval of the infornation and the broad headlines promoting it as a "trove" and even counting the number of thumb drives, hard drives, discs and everything else.

Oh the success of it all.  All due to the ONE who "taught" Bush how to fight terror as per Lawrence of MSLSD last night.

All I can say is thank God for the brave and courageous men and women of our military.  We are so lucky to have people volunteer for our country and for the rest of us. 

I have a nephew going to Iraq next month but hopefully only for a few months.  My sister is already a nervous wreck.
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ya
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« Reply #922 on: May 04, 2011, 07:37:42 PM »

Next steps wrt to Pak...
Historically the US has always supported Pak as a balance to India, especially since India was aligned with the ex-soviet union. Now however things have changed, the soviet union collapsed, India is non-aligned and an emerging power, China is moving towards super power status and has started to challenge the US. In these circumstances, US will have to partner and support India (that's a separate discussion).

Pak perfidy has cost us a lot of treasure as well as lives, since the last 10 years. Americans are unwelcome in the country, why the american tax payer should support nation building in a land where the common abdul hates americans is beyond me.

The key to controlling paki behaviour is through control of their nuclear weapons. If they are denuked, all their aggressiveness and support of terror will disappear because India would have no reason to with hold a punishing response to Pak every time there was a terrorist incident in India. The terror sanctuaries exist in pak, only because of state support. Currently the thinking in India is that pakis have nothing to lose in a nuclear exchange (except some goats and pakis) because there is very little industrialization, while Indian progress would receive a severe setback in the event of a nuclear exchange... and the jihadis are mad enough to lob a few towards India. The tactical brilliance of the pakis is seen in their recent missile test which was developed in response to India's Cold Start doctrine (a rapid response attack inside Pak). Apparently, they developed a nuclear tipped missile for use in their own country, to halt any rapid thrust by India in paki territory. The clowns forgot that use of a nuke in their own country on Indian troops would  invite an additional larger nuclear response from india inside paki territory....but this is getting OT.
http://www.dawn.com/2011/04/20/n-capable-ballistic-missile-tested.html

So the question is how to denuke the purelanders....and there are many ways to skin a cat.
« Last Edit: May 04, 2011, 07:39:47 PM by ya » Logged
G M
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« Reply #923 on: May 04, 2011, 09:52:50 PM »

http://gretawire.blogs.foxnews.com/usa-to-pakistan-give-us-our-helicopter-back-we-dont-want-the-chinese-to-get-it/
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G M
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« Reply #924 on: May 05, 2011, 09:43:09 AM »

http://abcnews.go.com/Blotter/top-secret-stealth-helicopter-program-revealed-osama-bin/story?id=13530693

Coming soon! China's new stealth helicopter.....
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ya
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« Reply #925 on: May 07, 2011, 07:48:39 AM »

http://outlookindia.com/article.aspx?271662
VIEW FROM PAKISTAN
A Cat And Mouse Game
Osama’s killing is now a bone stuck in the throat of Pakistan’s establishment that can neither be swallowed nor spat out.

PERVEZ HOODBHOY

Osama bin Laden, the figurehead king of al Qaeda, is gone. His hosts are still rubbing their eyes and wondering how it all happened. Although scooped up from Pakistani soil, shot in the head and then buried at sea, the event was not announced by General Ashfaq Parvez Kayani or by President Asif Ali Zardari. Instead, it was the president of the United States of America who told the world that bin Laden’s body was in the custody of US forces.

Suggestions that Pakistan played a significant role ring hollow. President Obama, in his televised speech on May 1, said “our counterterrorism cooperation with Pakistan helped lead us to bin Laden”. But no sooner had he stopped speaking that his top national security aides declared that the United States had not told Pakistani leaders about the raid ahead of time. Significantly, Obama did not thank Pakistan. An American official pointedly declared that the information leading to bin Laden’s killing was shared “with no other country” and this top secret operation was such that “only a very small group of people inside our own government knew of this operation in advance”.

Today, Pakistan’s embarrassment is deep. On numerous occasions, our military and civilian leaders had emphatically stated that bin Laden was not in Pakistan. Some suggested that he might be in Sudan or Somalia. Others hinted that he might already have died from a kidney ailment, or perhaps that he was in some intractable area, protected by nature and terrain and thus outside the effective control of the Pakistani state.

But then it turned out bin Laden was not hiding in some dark mountain cave in Waziristan. Instead, probably for at least some years, he had lived comfortably smack inside the modern, peaceful, and extraordinarily secure city of Abbottabad. Using Google Earth, one sees that the deceased was within easy walking distance of the famed Pakistan Military Academy at Kakul. It is here where General Kayani had declared on April 23 that “the terrorist’s backbone has been broken and inshallah we will soon prevail”. Kayani has released no statement after the killing.

Still more intriguing are pictures and descriptions of bin Laden’s fortress house. Custom-designed, it was constructed on a plot of land roughly eight times larger than the other homes in the area. Television images show that it has high walls, barbed wire and two security gates. Who approved the construction and paid for it? Why was it allowed to be away from the prying eyes of the secret agencies?

Even the famous and ferocious General Hamid Gul (retd) — a bin Laden sympathiser who advocates war with America — cannot buy into the claim that the military was unaware of bin Laden’s whereabouts. In a recorded interview, he remarked that bin Laden being in Abbottabad unknown to authorities “is a bit amazing”. Aside from the military, he said “there is the local police, the Intelligence Bureau, the Military Intelligence, the ISI — they all had a presence there”. Pakistanis familiar with the intrusive nature of the multiple intelligence agencies will surely agree; to sniff out foreigners is a pushover.

So why was bin Laden sheltered in the army’s backyard? General Pervez Musharraf, who was army chief when bin Laden’s house in Abbottabad was being constructed in 2005, unwittingly gives us the clearest and most cogent explanation. The back cover of his celebrated book, In The Line Of Fire, written in 2006, reads:

“Since shortly after 9/11 — when many al Qaeda leaders fled Afghanistan and crossed the border into Pakistan — we have played multiple games of cat and mouse with them. The biggest of them all, Osama bin Laden, is still at large at the time of this writing but we have caught many, many others. We have captured 672 and handed over 369 to the United States. We have earned bounties totalling millions of dollars. Here, I will tell the story of just a few of the most significant manhunts”.

So, at the end of the day, it was precisely that: A cat and mouse game. Bin Laden was the ‘Golden Goose’ that the army had kept under its watch but which, to its chagrin, has now been stolen from under its nose. Until then, the thinking had been to trade in the Goose at the right time for the right price, either in the form of dollars or political concessions. While bin Laden in virtual captivity had little operational value for al Qaeda, he still had enormous iconic value for the Americans. It was therefore expected that kudos would come just as in the case of Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, the Kuwaiti-born senior al Qaeda leader who was arrested in Rawalpindi, or Mullah Baradar, the Taliban leader arrested from Karachi.

Events, however, have turned a potential asset into a serious liability. Osama’s killing is now a bone stuck in the throat of Pakistan’s establishment that can neither be swallowed nor spat out. To appear joyful would infuriate the Islamists who are already fighting the state. On the other hand, to deprecate the killing would suggest that Pakistan had knowingly hosted the king of terrorists.

Now, with bin Laden gone, the military has two remaining major strategic assets: America’s weakness in Afghanistan and Pakistan’s nuclear weapons. But moving these chess pieces around will not assure the peace and prosperity that we so desperately need. They will not solve our electricity or water crises, move us out of dire economic straits, or protect us from suicide bombers.

Bin Laden’s death should be regarded as a transformational moment by Pakistan and its military. It is time to dispense with the Musharraf-era cat and mouse games. We must repudiate the current policy of verbally condemning jihadism — and actually fighting it in some places — but secretly supporting it in other places. Until the establishment firmly resolves that it shall not support armed and violent non-state actors of any persuasion — including the Lashkar-e-Taiba — Pakistan will remain in interminable conflict both with itself and with the world.

Pervez Hoodbhoy is professor of physics at Quaid-i-Azam University in Islamabad. This article was first published in The Express Tribune, Pakistan
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« Reply #926 on: May 07, 2011, 06:18:21 PM »

Here's a short 10 point primer to Pak by "Shiv" a blogger.

Ten point Pakistan primer
1. Pakistan was created in 1947 by a group of politically savvy Indians who
leveraged the tumultuous events in India after World War II to secede and carve
out a country for themselves. Even though the majority of Muslims remained
behind in India, the creators of Pakistan claimed that Pakistan was a "homeland
for the Muslims of India"
2. Pakistan was created as two separate units a thousand miles apart in an act of
voluntary but disastrous cutting of centuries of cultural, family and
trade ties. This made Pakistan politically unstable from the beginning requiring
military rule for unity. Despite that a part of Pakistan split in 1971 to form
Bangladesh.
3. Pakistan's voluntary amputation from millennia of trade with mainland India made
Pakistan's economy untenable, causing its military rulers to depend on foreign
aid obtained from great powers and other wealthy nations in exchange for
providing support and soldiers for the cold war and other military
campaigns.This got them arms from the USA and eventually nuclear weapons from
China.
4. Foreign aid was largely appropriated by Pakistan's military making them powerful
and wealthy, while the people of Pakistan languished and lagged behind in
development literacy, healthcare and women's rights.
5. For the Pakistan military to retain its privileged position in Pakistan it had
to have an enemy and conduct external military campaigns. India became that
designated enemy.
6. Since the people of Pakistan had been Indians for many centuries and looked
like, spoke like and ate like Indians, some new differentiating factor had to be
created for enmity. Islam, which had coexisted in India for a thousand years was
suddenly declared to be in danger in Hindu India ignoring the fact that India
was home to more followers of Islam than Pakistan,
7. As the Pakistan military fought and lost a series of wars with "enemy number
one" India, its need to rely on irregular Islamic insurgents to fight India
increased. These armed islamic zealots came in useful to fight the Soviets in
Afghanistan, The Taliban was created out of these groups.
8. When the cold war ended, the Islamic militias of Pakistan, safe in their new
Afghan hideouts, turned their attention to other irredentist campaigns abroad,
from India to the middle east, Bosnia, Chechnya, the Philippines, western Europe and
finally the USA on 9-11-2001.
9. 9-11 brought the US into Afghanistan and this drove the armed Islamic militias
back to Pakistan where they had come from in the first place.
10. The Pakistan military needs the Islamic militias (like the Taliban and Lashkar e Toiba)
to fight its wars while it retains its wealthy, pre eminent position in a decrepit, overpopulated
country in a state of social and political failure. The people of Pakistan would benefit
from peace and trade with India, but the nuclear armed Pakistan military
stands to lose its main crutch for staying in power if that happens.
The military,along with its Islamist allies will not allow that to happen.
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« Reply #927 on: May 09, 2011, 11:46:45 AM »

Will calls the war on terror a misnomer and it is more properly a law enforcement action.  I don't know what planet he is living on but I hardly think LAPD swat would have been able to carry off the raid of the OBL compound.  Actually the war on terror is a hybrid military-law enforcement endeavor: 

****The small footprint that eliminated bin Laden

By George Will

http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | Osama bin Laden’s death was announced by the president on May 1, a date that once had worldwide significance on the revolutionary calendar of communism, which was America’s absorbing national security preoccupation prior to Islamic terrorism. Times change.

Barack Obama, in his pitch-perfect address informing the nation that bin Laden is as dead as communism — never mind the cadaverous Cuban and North Korean regimes — rightly stressed that this is “the most significant achievement to date” against al-Qaeda, but that it “does not mark the end of” our effort to defeat that amorphous entity. Perhaps, however, America can use this occasion to draw a deep breath and some pertinent conclusions.

Many salient facts about the tracking of terrorism’s most prolific killer to his lair — some lair: not a remote cave but an urban compound — must remain shrouded in secrecy, for now. But one surmise seems reasonable: bin Laden was brought down by intelligence gathering that more resembles excellent police work than a military operation.

Granted, in nations as violent as Afghanistan and Pakistan, the line between military operations and police work is blurry, and military and other forms of intelligence gathering cannot be disentangled. Still, the enormous military footprint in Afghanistan, next door to bin Laden’s Pakistan refuge, seems especially disproportionate in the wake of his elimination by a small cadre of specialists.


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Jim Lacey of the Marine Corps War College notes that Gen. David Petraeus has said there are perhaps about 100 al-Qaeda fighters in Afghanistan. “Did anyone,” Lacey asks, “do the math?” There are, he says, more than 140,000 coalition soldiers in Afghanistan, or 1,400 for every al-Qaeda fighter. It costs about $1 million a year to deploy and support every soldier — or up to $140 billion, or close to $1.5 billion a year, for each al-Qaeda fighter. “In what universe do we find strategists to whom this makes sense?”

There remains much more to al-Qaeda than bin Laden, and there are many more tentacles to the terrorism threat than al-Qaeda and its affiliates. So “the long war” must go on. But perhaps such language is bewitching our minds, because this is not essentially war.

During the 2004 presidential campaign, John Kerry received much derision for his belief (as expressed in a Jan. 29 debate in South Carolina) that although the war on terror will be “occasionally military,” it is “primarily an intelligence and law enforcement operation that requires cooperation around the world.” Kerry, as paraphrased by the New York Times Magazine of Oct. 10, thought “many of the interdiction tactics that cripple drug lords, including governments working jointly to share intelligence, patrol borders and force banks to identify suspicious customers, can also be some of the most useful tools in the war on terror.” True then; even more obviously true now.

Again: Granted, the distinction between military and law enforcement facets is not a bright line. But neither is it a distinction without a difference. And the more we couch our thinking in military categories, the more we open ourselves to misadventures like the absurd and deepening one in Libya.

There, our policy — if what seem to be hourly improvisations can be dignified as a policy — began as a no-fly zone to protect civilians from wanton violence. Seven weeks later, our policy is to decapitate the government by long-distance assassination and to intensify a civil war in that tribal society, in the name of humanitarianism. What makes this particularly surreal is that it is being done by NATO.

Unpack the acronym: North Atlantic Treaty Organization. NATO was created in 1949 to protect Western Europe from the Red Army. Its purpose was, in Lord Ismay’s famous formulation, “to keep the Russians out, the Americans in and the Germans down.” NATO, which could long ago have unfurled a “mission accomplished” banner, has now become an instrument of addlepated mischief.

This is an episode of presidential malpractice. Obama has allowed NATO to be employed for the advancement of a half-baked doctrine (R2P — “responsibility to protect”), a quarter-baked rationalization (was it just in March that Hillary Clinton discovered that a vital U.S. national interest required the removal of Moammar Gaddafi because he “is a man who has no conscience”?) and an unworthy national agenda (France’s pursuit of grandeur on the cheap).

When this Libyan mistake is finished, America needs a national debate about whether NATO should be finished. Times change.****

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« Reply #928 on: May 09, 2011, 11:54:13 AM »

It's not a conventional nation-state vs. nation-state war, but it is a war. Does law enforcement have a role in it? Sure. Does intelligence and the occasional SEAL team provided death hold a much more important role? Yes.
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« Reply #929 on: May 10, 2011, 08:50:03 AM »

From the New Yorker http://www.newyorker.com/reporting/2011/05/16/110516fa_fact_wright?currentPage=all
The Double Game
The unintended consequences of American funding in Pakistan

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« Reply #930 on: May 10, 2011, 08:56:18 AM »

 http://www.dailytimes.com.pk/default.asp?page=2011/05/08/story_8-5-2011_pg3_4


Here's some interesting info on the Pak budget...not much there for health, education, electricity....

"According to the budget presentation at the ministry of finance on Thursday, May 4, some 82 percent of the available national financial resources in the next fiscal year 2011-2012 will be allocated to three sectors: debt servicing, defence and running of the civil administration.
Even though these figures are a conservative estimate, they reveal the pathetic state of the economy and the callous nature of our ruling classes towards social development and the plight of the masses."
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« Reply #931 on: May 10, 2011, 09:18:25 AM »

From Walter Mead

High Noon in Pakistan
WALTER RUSSELL MEAD
The taking of Osama was a defeat for Al Qaeda.  It was a disaster for Pakistan.

The Assassination in Abbottabad was a strategic catastrophe for the military rulers of this slowly and painfully failing state.  On the one hand, it leaves the reputation of Pakistan as an effective partner against fanatical terror groups in ruins.  The debate in Washington and around the world now is whether the Pakistani state is in league with Al Qaeda or whether it is so weak, divided and incompetent that rogue factions within the state have escaped all control.  The rich intelligence haul the US gathered in Osama’s lair will help the US learn more about Osama’s protectors in Pakistan; in the meantime it is transparently clear that whether incompetence or malfeasance is more to blame, the government of Pakistan cannot safely be trusted — by anyone, on anything.

The argument for a continued US-Pakistani alliance took a body blow.  If Pakistan can’t or won’t help us with the capture of Osama bin Laden, what possible justification does the alliance have?  Arguably, the two people who have done the greatest damage to American interests in the last twenty years have been A. Q. Khan, ringmaster of the nuclear proliferation circus that helped countries like North Korea, Libya, Syria and Iran advance their nuclear ambitions, and Osama bin Laden.  What country produced one and sheltered both?

From the ISI/military point of view, trust is not just a problem when it comes to relations with the US.  The Pakistani military has to have foreign patrons; without foreign aid it cannot pretend even to itself to be a serious competitor to India.  India is too big, and Pakistan is too small, too unstable, too divided by bitter internal fault lines, too poorly developed and too incompetently governed to hold its own without outside help.

As US-Pakistan tensions rise, the Pakistanis have looked to China as an alternative great power backer.  The Pakistani argument to China is that Pakistan offers an offset to India that makes it harder for India to challenge Chinese influence in southeast Asia and elsewhere.  Pakistan can also offer China friendly ports close to the vital oilfields of the Middle East and also a useful land route for trade and power projection.

This is not an unattractive proposition, and China is already in business with Pakistan, providing foreign aid and promoting growth in bilateral trade.  The value of China’s aid to Pakistan is hard to estimate, but trade between the two countries is worth about $8.7 billion.  (US military and economic aid to Pakistan last year totaled almost $4.5 billion and US-Pakistani trade was worth $1.6 billion.)  Additionally, China provides material and financial assistance for Pakistan’s nuclear program; during a visit to Pakistan in December 2010, Wen Jiabao and Pakistani officials finalized plans for the construction of a one gigawatt nuclear reactor in Chashma, making it the third and largest reactor in Pakistan.  China’s agreement to provide nuclear materials to Pakistan despite Pakistan’s nuclear program and poor record on proliferation was seen in Pakistan and elsewhere as a counter to the US-India agreement.

But for the Chinese, who have so far flirted with Pakistan but never come close to giving the Pakistanis the support they desperately crave, there are three very big catches.  First, Pakistan looks as bent on self-destruction to China as it does to everyone else in the world; why put your money on a such a weak horse?

Second, if China becomes the partner of Pakistan’s dreams, it wrecks its relationship with India and drives India into America’s arms.  A closer relationship with Pakistan might be necessary for China in the event that the US and India developed a tight alliance aimed against China, but China’s best strategy now is to prevent the US-India relationship from turning into an anti-China alliance.  Flirting with Pakistan makes sense as a way to keep both Washington and Delhi on their toes, but anything more would be a costly mistake.

And third, there are the same questions of competence and trust that give Washington pause.   Can Pakistan really be trusted on the subject of ‘Islamic’ terror?  The Pakistani defense establishment is totally fixated on maintaining links with terror groups and radical groups to advance its interests in both Afghanistan and India.  China doesn’t like this very much; none of the great powers with interests in Central Asia have much sympathy for Pakistan’s desire to strengthen radical Sunni groups.  But if Pakistan showed that it was willing and able to use this weapon selectively — to tolerate and even promote terror groups aimed at India while cracking down ruthlessly and effectively on any Muslims crazy enough to dream of fighting for their co-religionists in western China — then maybe, just maybe, Pakistan and China could cut a deal.

But the Abbottabad imbroglio calls Pakistan’s good faith and its ability into question.  Will Islamabad really suppress, murder and betray Uighur Muslims who want to bring jihad to their homeland, or will Pakistani weakness, incompetence, religious fanaticism and/or corruption mean that Pakistan will provide sanctuary and perhaps more to China’s deadly enemies even as it takes China’s cash?  On the evidence of Abbottabad, few Chinese foreign policy analysts will propose trusting Pakistan.  Nice words, candy and flowers on its birthday, but little else.

The attack on Abbottabad was not just a blow to Al Qaeda; it was a direct blow to the heart of Pakistani self confidence.  Pakistan puts a lot of faith in its nuclear bombs.  ISI types in Pakistan believe that US mistrust of Pakistan is so deep that the US is looking for an opportunity to take control of the Pakistani nuclear arsenal.

The strong likelihood that somebody powerful in Pakistan was helping Osama makes the (far fetched) scenario of an American nuclear snatch more frightening to Pakistan.  If the US concludes that Pakistan is a state sponsor of terror with close links to Al Qaeda with nuclear weapons and a long record of bad behavior on proliferation issues, the desire to separate those weapons from unworthy hands could become very strong.

The Abbottabad raid demonstrates two things that have shocked the Pakistani security establishment to the core: that the US in pursuit of supreme national interests is willing to send military forces into the heart of Pakistan’s territory and security zone — and that we have the capacity to do so at will.  A. Q. Khan may be sleeping a little less soundly and may well have moved all his thumb drives to a more secure location.

India, of course watched the raid closely.  India, a victim in the past of Pakistan-supported terrorist violence, has the same concerns about Pakistani nukes and terror groups that Washington does.  After observing the mysteriously powerful Stuxnet computer worm in neighboring Iran, and now shocked by American ability to move forces at will, the Pakistani security establishment is now coming to terms with some profoundly unsettling realities. Already, Pakistani Foreign Secretary Salman Bashir has warned India off an Abbottabad-style raid aimed at the accused perpetrators of the 2008 Mumbai attacks.

The US is tightening the screws on this unsatisfactory ally.  So far as it goes, that is good.  Senators Bob Corker and Ben Cardin have been calling for the US to go farther — to stop aid to Pakistan.

But even that doesn’t get to the heart of the matter.  The US and Pakistan have had a long relationship, but the love has long since gone out of this bromance.  Our interests are likely to diverge much more radically than at present as the US exit from Afghanistan draws closer.


Many of the most important details of the US-Pakistani relationship are only known by a handful of officials.  That is inevitable when sensitive matters like counter-terrorism and nuclear weapons come into play.  This means that outsiders are not going to get many of the vital nuances of one of the most delicate and difficult dances in the diplomatic world.  But it does seem clear that the US now needs to muster all of its energy, resources and will for a strategic battle to determine the future parameters of our relations with Pakistan.

We are going to have to get tough.  The Pakistani security establishment lives to a very large degree in what, to American eyes, looks like a dangerous and delusional imaginary world.  As I’ve written before, Americans (and virtually everyone else in the world who looks at this question) sees Pakistan locked into a profoundly dysfunctional combination of misguided security ideas and comprehensive domestic failure.  Pakistani strategists embrace these seemingly destructive policies out of some very deeply-held beliefs and in response to what they see as existential questions of national identity and cohesion.  They will not be lightly diverted from this long-established and cherished course, however suicidal, and as is often the case with people whose goals are unrealistic, they are accustomed to very high risk strategies and brinkmanship. Defeat after defeat by India, progressive deterioration of the domestic security climate and the utter collapse of political morality in what passes for the governing class in Pakistan have not forced a reevaluation.  Charm and appeals to sweet reason by American officials and emissaries won’t do it either.  Neither will humanitarian aid: the suffering of ordinary Pakistanis has little impact on the elite, and in the short to medium term public opinion in Pakistan is so anti-American and so politically marginal that we could die of old age waiting for spending however generous to change our image in Pakistan enough to change the politics of the relationship.

I favor generous and long term assistance to Pakistan as part of a long term relationship — assuming that the country is willing to stop running toward the abyss and to start moving, however slowly, in a more promising direction.  But we should not deceive ourselves that civilian aid buys much goodwill with what is, under a thin and increasingly unconvincing veneer of civilian rule, a military government on all security matters.

When it comes to changing Pakistani policy, aid however generous for schools and hospitals Pakistan’s rulers don’t care much about matters less than a credible threat that Pakistan could face an active US-led alliance from which it is excluded and which might even actively seek to frustrate its interests on key issues.

To get our relationship with Pakistan on the right track, the Obama administration is going to have to assemble and develop some serious threats.  Sending the Seals to Abbottabad is a nice shot across the bow, but more will be needed.  The administration is going to have to look at a broad range of options that stretch from adding some new dimensions to US-India relations and engaging more directly with more neighbors about the future of Afghanistan to additional operations like the Abbottabad raid where intelligence suggests appropriately important targets can be found.  On the other hand, the administration needs to develop a crystal clear and specific vision for what we want from Pakistan and what we will do if and only if we can secure it.

This matters.  The administration’s ability to put its relationship with Pakistan on a clear path will go far to determine both the speed at which we are able to leave Afghanistan and the nature of the post-US situation there.  More, what is at stake in both Afghanistan and Pakistan is still America’s security at home.  President Obama clearly understands that defending Americans from 9/11 style attacks remains the most important item on his job description.  Getting Pakistan right is a must.

In this negotiation the Americans will do better if we have coordinated our approach with the Saudis — they, next to China, represent Pakistan’s best hope of a replacement partner should the US alliance cool even further.  The Saudis are widely believed to have helped support Pakistan’s quest for what some call the ‘Sunni bomb’; Pakistanis are ready and, if suitably paid, willing to support embattled Sunni Arab sheikhs against restive Shi’a subjects.  From the Saudi point of view, Pakistan’s 169 million people and nuclear arsenal look like reliable allies against Iran if US support should prove unreliable and one suspects that Pakistani contingency planning for a crisis with the US includes some assumptions about Saudi help.

The US needs to address this.  The Obama administration can’t make geography go away; the Saudis can and should have a relationship with Pakistan based on mutual interests and strategic need.  But the Pakistan card goes up in value as the US card falls: the Obama administration needs to improve its relationship with the Saudis and clear up any misunderstandings about where we stand on the question of Saudi security.  The Saudis may be religiously radical by some standards, but as long as they believe in the strength of the US umbrella they are conservative geopolitically.  There are all kinds of reasons (including the restraining influence that Saudi money can have on radical clerics) to make sure the Saudis understand the depth of the American commitment to their survival.

We have another card to play, I suspect.  Some of the information the Seals acquired in Abbottabad is likely to show that under Pakistani protection Bin Laden continued to plot and scheme against the Saudis.  Pakistan has betrayed everyone, including the Saudis.  Nobody likes this kind of behavior; Pakistan has burned more than one bridge. 

The much feared and long delayed moment of truth in US-Pakistan relations is almost upon us.  Nobody outside the government can really know all the important factors here, but the Obama administration is unlikely to develop a satisfactory relationship with Pakistan unless it is ready, willing and able to face a complete rupture.  As long as Pakistan perceives that Washington is desperate to keep the relationship alive, it will play games.

Perhaps we truly have no choice; in that case the US must continue mushing on as best we may.  But Pakistan is a weak and vulnerable state, wracked by internal dissension, ethnic rivalries and the guerrilla secessionist movement in Baluchistan.  It is high time that the US began looking carefully at the alternatives to its alliance with Pakistan and taking some of the initial steps to ease what may be a necessary and inevitable transition to a new alignment in the region.

One hopes those steps would bring some badly needed sobriety to the strategic culture of Islamabad.  This may well be our only hope now of changing Pakistan’s behavior.  In any case, basing our policy on comforting lies that we tell ourselves because we are too afraid to face bitter truths is not a good move.

The promise to focus on Pakistan was one of the hallmarks of President Obama’s 2008 campaign.  The raid on Abbottabad shows he is still on the case.  Every American should wish him and his team well as they prepare for even tougher choices ahead.

   
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« Reply #932 on: May 10, 2011, 09:21:18 AM »

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« Reply #933 on: May 10, 2011, 09:28:51 AM »

http://www.cnn.com/2011/OPINION/05/09/frum.pakistan.trap/ I like his questions....

Washington (CNN) -- The killing of Osama bin Laden raises many haunting questions. Here's the most important:
Has our mission in Afghanistan become obsolete?
To think through that question, start with a prior question: Why did we remain in Afghanistan after the overthrow of the Taliban?
The usual answer to that question is: To prevent Afghanistan from re-emerging as a terrorist safe haven.
There have always been a lot of problems with that answer. (For example: Does it really take 100,000 U.S. troops, plus allies, to prevent a country from becoming a terrorist safe haven? We're doing a pretty good job in Yemen with a radically smaller presence.)
But this week, we have exposed to sight two huge problems with the usual answer.
1. The world's most important terrorist safe haven is visibly not Afghanistan, but instead next-door Pakistan.
New videos of Osama bin Laden State Dept: Awaiting Pakistan's answers al Qaeda vows revenge U.S. wants answers from Pakistan

2. Because the U.S. presence in Afghanistan requires cooperation from Pakistan, the Afghanistan mission perversely inhibits the United States from taking more decisive action against Pakistan's harboring of terrorism.
Here's a very concrete example. Through the 2008 presidential campaign, candidates John McCain and Barack Obama tussled over the issue of direct anti-terrorist action inside Pakistan. On February 20, 2008, McCain called Obama "naive" for suggesting that he might act inside Pakistan without Pakistani permission.
In retrospect, McCain's answer looks wrong. But think about why McCain said what he did. He knew that acting in a way that offended Pakistan would complicate the mission in Afghanistan. The United States looks to Pakistan to police the Pashtun country on the other side of the Afghanistan-Pakistan border. Guerrilla wars become much harder to win if the guerrillas are allowed sanctuary across an international border. So if the mission in Afghanistan is the supreme priority, then acting in ways that offend Pakistan must be avoided.
But this thinking leads to an upside-down result: In order to prevent Afghanistan from ever again harboring a potential future bin Laden, we have to indulge Pakistan as it harbors the actual bin Laden!
Some Democrats have retrospectively seized on McCain's upside-down logic as proof that candidate Obama was "right" in 2008. I was a guest on the Bill Maher program on HBO on Friday night where he insisted on this point.
But, of course, President Obama has made decisions that have aggravated the upside-down problem. By inserting so many additional U.S. forces into Afghanistan, he has made the United States more dependent than ever on Pakistan -- with the result that even after finding and killing Osama bin Laden in the heart of Pakistan's national security establishment, the Obama administration is reluctant to challenge Pakistan publicly or even privately.
Think now: What would our policy in South Asia look like if we had a much smaller mission in Afghanistan? Perhaps 20,000 U.S. and allied troops on a security assistance mission rather than 100,000-plus on a combat mission?
By emancipating itself from dependence on Pakistan, the United States would gain scope to focus on the most vital questions in the U.S.-Pakistan relationship, such as:
• How confident do we feel that the people who sheltered bin Laden do not also control Pakistan's nuclear force?
• If we do not have confidence in the people who control Pakistan's nuclear force, what plans do we have to disable that nuclear force?
• Why wasn't Pakistani nuclear scientist A.Q. Khan, the Johnny Appleseed of nuclear proliferation, delivered to U.S. custody?
• Pakistan has a long history of not only harboring anti-U.S. terrorism, but actively promoting and supporting terrorism against India. Why is Pakistan not listed alongside Iran as a state sponsor of terror?
• Why is Pakistan receiving U.S. military aid?
• Why does Pakistan have the benefit of a trade and investment agreement with the United States?
Instead, even now -- even now! -- we're told that Pakistan is just too important to permit the U.S. to act on its stated doctrine--articulated by George W. Bush's administration and not repudiated by Obama's: "Those who harbor terrorists will be treated as terrorists themselves." So long as we remain in Afghanistan, that statement remains true. The question is, shouldn't we be taking now the steps to render the statement less true?
The less committed we are to Afghanistan, the more independent we are of Pakistan. The more independent we are of Pakistan, the more leverage we have over Pakistan. The more leverage we have over Pakistan, the more clout we have to shut down Pakistan's long, vicious, and now not credibly deniable state support for terrorism.
The opinions expressed in this commentary are solely those of David Frum.
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« Reply #934 on: May 10, 2011, 09:54:27 AM »

Our Strange Dance with Pakistan
Elizabeth Rubin

Osama bin Laden’s death in a mansion in exclusive club house territory of retired Pakistani officers has exposed the terrible paradox at the heart of our war in Afghanistan—Pakistan’s hypocrisy and our acquiescence. Bin Laden’s Pakistani hosts, two rich businessmen called Arshad and Tariq Khan who owned the house and were killed with him, hail from Charsadda, 15 miles north of Peshawar. Their uncle was a retired Brigadier. (Arshad was apparently the courier, Abu Ahmed al-Kuwaiti, who led intelligence officials to the compound.) This is not a lawless land. This is highly controlled territory.

We give billions in aid to Pakistan’s military and civilian government. Yet Pakistan is harboring our enemies and even the enemies, one could argue, of its own healthy survival. Portions of our money are being funneled into the variety of insurgent networks whose fighters are killing American soldiers, Afghan soldiers, American civilians, Afghan civilians, European civilians, Pakistani civilians—mothers, fathers, children on multiple continents. Why, asks a US army major, did all his friends die in Afghanistan’s Helmand Province when the real problem is on the other side of the border? Why, asks a twelve-year-old Afghan girl in Kandahar whose family has been wiped out by US air strikes, are you bombing us? How has this come to pass?

In 2006, I traveled through Baluchistan and the North West Frontier Province of Pakistan, meeting with many Taliban fighters. I described it at the time as a kind of Taliban spa that offered them rest and rehab between battles in Afghanistan to which they would be returning. But it was more than that. I met Afghan Taliban who’d tried to make a deal with the Afghan government to get back to a life without fighting. One told me he was then arrested by Pakistan’s Inter-Services Intelligence, the ISI, and blackmailed—they would release him if he would resume fighting and dispense with notions of reconciliation. He rose up the ranks of the Taliban command, traveling freely between Quetta in Pakistan and Zabul, a province in Afghanistan, where he was an intelligence commander for Afghan Taliban fighting coalition forces.

Another young Afghan Taliban I met in Peshawar was involved in the production and distribution of propaganda and recruiting DVDs—beheadings, inspirational music videos, and killings of American soldiers, all set to Pashtun war songs. But after spending hours and hours with him, I noticed his anti-infidel rhetoric beginning to subside, and when the subject of the ISI’s operatives came up, his whole demeanor changed. “Snakes,” he called them. Their first offense, he said, was trying to oust Mullah Omar and create a more obedient Taliban leader—like Jalaluddin Haqqani, an old jihadi we once financed to fight the Soviets but who has now set up shop in Waziristan under ISI protection. (Along with his son Sirajuddin, Haqqani stages the big-media-grabbing attacks in Afghanistan but seems to abide by the rules of his hosts—no attacks against Pakistan. He also runs a virtual kidnapping factory in Waziristan and the Pakistanis have done nothing to stop it.)

Then he said:

I told you that we burn schools because they’re teaching Christianity, but actually, most of the Taliban don’t like this burning of schools or destroying of roads and bridges, because the Taliban, too, could use them. Those acts were being done under ISI orders. They don’t want progress in Afghanistan.

He told me about ISI orders to behead an Indian engineer who was captured (and these orders were later corroborated). “People are not telling the story, because no one can trust anyone,” he told me. “And if the ISI knew I told you, I’d be fucked.”

That was 2006. Since then, just about everyone has learned the rules of the game: The ISI will continue to support the various jihadi groups (like Lashkar-e-Taiba) in order to attack and intimidate India, and get what it wants in Afghanistan—more or less a semi-independent extension of Pakistan. In 2008, American intelligence even proved definitively what Afghans and Indians on the ground already knew: that the deadly attack on the Indian Embassy in Kabul was planned with the help of the ISI.

And it isn’t just the ISI that is supporting the Taliban. During my travels through Pakistan, I had a long discussion about the Pakistan Army’s conflicted loyalties with Najam Sethi, the longtime editor of Lahore’s Friday Times. What does it want? Where does it stand? The Pakistani military retains a secular strain, but religion is central to its ideology. Since its inception in 1947, its raison d’etre has been to defend the Muslim world. This mission, however, is constantly undermined by the fact that, while Pakistan was founded as a refuge for South Asia’s Muslims, more Muslims live in India, and most of the attacks by the militant groups it supports have ended up killing fellow Muslims. There is a contradiction at the heart of the Pakistani Army and it’s expressed in what everyone has come to call Pakistan’s “double game.”

The military officers I met—many of them retired, living better than bin Laden, in lavish Latin-American style mansions with pure-bred dogs, English-style cooks, and manicured lawns—spoke to me as if they envied the jihadists’ clarity of purpose, their moral vision. In Sethi’s view, the military also harbors “a degree of self-disgust for selling themselves” to the Americans. They are still angry with the US for abandoning them after the Afghan jihad, and for sanctioning them over the nuclear program. The standard army phrase about their treatment by the Americans was, Sethi said, “They used us like a condom.”

Despite these widely held sentiments and the evidence against a strong alliance, US diplomats and generals have tried to sustain the image of close cooperation.

In 2010, I had the chance to ask Secretary of Defense Robert Gates about the US relationship with Pakistan. He’d just been to the country to urge its generals to go after the jihadists, the Taliban, and the Haqqani network. I asked Gates how he could possibly consider Afshaq Kayani, the chief of the Pakistani army, an ally. “It’s frustrating,” Gates told me. I waited for more, but nothing came. Your silence says a lot, I said. “Well, I was very specific in a couple of my meetings in looking at them point-blank and saying, ‘Haqqani and his people are killing my troops. I’ve got a problem with that,’” Gates responded. And what did they say, I asked. Gates is all control, but he cracked a small smile as he said: “They listened.”

Admiral Mike Mullen has spent the better part of the first two years of the Obama administration—hours and hours of flight time, face time, and phone time—cultivating a strong relationship with Kayani. Up until recently, Kayani’s Wikipedia entry said that he counted Admiral Mike Mullen, Chairman of the US Joint Chiefs of Staff, as a close friend and ally. That line has now been removed. US officials maintain they don’t think that Kayani or ISI chief Ahmed Shuja Pasha had direct knowledge themselves about bin Laden. But even before Sunday’s assassination of bin Laden, a friend of mine told me that when he recently saw Mullen the admiral seemed puzzled by the breakdown of the relationship. “What relationship?” my friend asked. “[Kayani] was never on your side.”

Or as an advisor to Ambassador Holbrooke told me not long before Holbrooke died: “We see Pakistan as a flawed ally and the Afghan Taliban as our enemy. The truth is the reverse.” It is the Taliban, the advisor suggested, who can be worked with; they who distrust—and in many cases despise—the ISI overlords they depend on for safe havens and support. All along they’ve let it be known through different channels that they want to talk directly to the Americans. The question is how?

Will the revelation that bin Laden and family were dwelling in a newly built Pakistani Army mansion not far from the capital finally change the nature of the strange dance between the US and Pakistan? One wonders how good and smart men and women are taken in by diplomatic friendships, how they allow themselves to believe lies they know to be lies, or worse, settle for the lie because it seems there’s no way out, no creative solution to change the trusted old forms of diplomacy or the definitions of enemy and ally.

Of course at the heart of the problem lies Pakistan’s nuclear arsenal. We’d rather our Pakistani army enemy controls it than our Pakistani Taliban enemy. But will we ever know who is who, and can we tell them apart? And so our policy in Pakistan has collided with the Lot equation: How many righteous men must there be for God to save Sodom and Gomorrah, asks Abraham. And when God says fifty, Abraham keeps lowering the number. What if there is just one? How many American, Afghan, Pakistani, European casualties are worth keeping this Catch-22 policy alive?
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DougMacG
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« Reply #935 on: May 10, 2011, 12:25:01 PM »

"The world's most important terrorist safe haven is visibly not Afghanistan, but instead next-door Pakistan."

 - True, but if nation building in Afghan is beyond our capability, nation building in Pakistan would be exponentially harder.  At least we are taking some war to enemies inside Pakistan with the drone warfare and OBL kill.  Our presence in Afghanistan puts some containment on Pakistan.

There are plenty of inconsistencies in our policies in the region and plenty of people here from all political stripes are losing interest in continuing our major presence.  A lesson from Iraq, we should not go from a presence of 100,000 plus to not even keeping the right to a couple of permanent bases for future operations.  The OBL kill came partly form our ability to stage, support and fly in from next door rather than from Virginia or Carolina.  We kept a presence in the Japan and in Germany and peace broke out.  Winding down a surge I would think should be coupled with maintaining our ability to go back in and put out future fires.

The consequence for harboring bin Laden under our nose while taking our money to fight terrorism should be another reason to strengthen our strategic partnership with India, we need an ally in the region, and to shift any future Pak aid to 100% non-cash support.  If we say the money is for building a hospital for example, then we build a hospital, not hand out throw-around money.  If we say it is for an anti-terrorism force, then our people join with that force and bring intelligence and weaponry.

Ya's posts beg the elephant in the room question, what is the consequence to China for helping Pakistan build nuclear arms.  (Nothing so far, I know Hillary just said China poses no threat while the home of our biggest threat just went nuclear with their help.) The answer I think is an information war, like radio free Europe.  Fight off the regime's efforts at censorship and weaken their hold over their own people, as it was the ruling party not the people who proliferated nuclear weapons to our enemy.
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G M
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« Reply #936 on: May 10, 2011, 12:33:42 PM »

We need to engage in nation-imploding in Pakistan, not nation-building. Lots of ISI/Army generals need to die. We need to take their nukes and gut them as a military power. They need to become an object lesson for the world.
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Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #937 on: May 10, 2011, 01:44:01 PM »

If someone were to search, I believe on this thread, not so many months ago I offered some ideas  wink

Anyway, a momentary interruption from the important subjects which YA's excellent posts and the exellent responses thereto are discussing-- here's the latest on the Greg Mortenson saga:

While Montana's Attorney General looks into Greg Mortenson's dealings with his charity CAI, two state lawmakers--Rep. Michele Reinhart of Missoula to buy the book and Rep. Jean Price of Great Falls--filed suit in a Missoula Federal Court against Mortenson, alleging fraud. They claim they "purchased the book because of his heart-wrenching story which he said was true," says their attorney Alexander Blewett. "If people had known all of this was fabricated, they would not have given the money."

The plaintiffs are seeking class-action status and have asked the judge to creative a "constructive trust" to be "administered by a court-appointed charity that would direct it to schoolchildren in Afghanistan and Pakistan." The suit includes a RICO racketeering claim because some of the donations were made by mail. They are using that claim to seek triple damages.

Blewett says the suit is designed to elicit the truth from Mortenson: "We welcome the opportunity to let Mr. Mortenson testify under oath to all these things. To us, it seems overwhelmingly false and we will give him ample opportunity to explain away all of the falsehoods."

The Central Asia Institute did not comment on the filing. They posted a note last Monday saying that Mortenson's planned heart surgery had been postponed. His physician wrote, "Mortenson is convalescing at home with CPAP,  oxygen and bed rest, allowed no electronics, and will undergo additional tests this week that will determine when his condition will allow for a safe procedure to repair the hole in his heart." The latest "update" on the CAI site is actually a new color brochure. There, they address Mortenson's extensive use of private aircraft at the charity's expense with an omnibus three-part excuse (without addressing why Mortenson charged travel expenses as part of his speakers' fees that he kept rather than reimbursing the CAI):

"Number one, Greg's schedule often presents difficult logistical scenarios that are nearly impossible to accomplish with commercial airlines. Generally he has to fly late at night to accommodate his hectic schedule, which in the past four years put him in an average 126 cities per year, plus international travel and overseas project visits. Number two is his health, which has been in decline for the past 18 months. And number three is security. Greg has received threats against his life, and commercial travel sometimes presents over-exposure to threatening elements."
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G M
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« Reply #938 on: May 10, 2011, 01:50:44 PM »

If someone were to search, I believe on this thread, not so many months ago I offered some ideas  wink



As I did then, and do now support the "Crafty Doctrine" towards Pure-land. I want it to be especially punitive given their sheltering of Osama bin Fishfood.
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G M
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« Reply #939 on: May 10, 2011, 10:52:11 PM »

I will bet very large sums that money has already changed hands and the Chinese have already been all over this.

http://hotair.com/archives/2011/05/10/pakistan-i-guess-well-have-to-show-china-the-wreckage-of-your-secret-stealth-helicopter/

Pakistan: I guess we’ll have to show China the wreckage of your secret stealth helicopter

 

posted at 8:52 pm on May 10, 2011 by Allahpundit

 
You know what the answer to this is? Have Mike Mullen very loudly and formally invite the head of India’s air force to tour an American air base and check out all the latest projects we’re working on. Maybe, as a bonus, let him sneak a peek at that insanely awesome shipborne laser that the Navy’s perfecting.
 
Why not? India’s the ultimate bulwark against these fascist and jihadist savages. Let’s make sure they’re prepared. And given their own growing knowledge base in weapons advances, it’d be useful to have a reciprocal relationship with them. It’s time to make this a proper alliance.
 

The U.S. has already asked the Pakistanis for the helicopter wreckage back, but one Pakistani official told ABC News the Chinese were also “very interested” in seeing the remains. Another official said, “We might let them [the Chinese] take a look.”
 
A U.S. official said he did not know if the Pakistanis had offered a peak to the Chinese, but said he would be “shocked” if the Chinese hadn’t already been given access to the damaged aircraft…
 
The potential technological advancements gleaned from the bird could be a “much appreciated gift” to the Chinese, according to former White House counterterrorism advisor and ABC News consultant Richard Clarke…
 
The Chinese and Pakistani governments are known to have a close relationship. Last month Punjab Chief Minister Muhammad Shahbaz Sharif concluded a trip to Beijing, afterwards telling Pakistan’s local press that China was Pakistan’s “best friend.”
 
Yes, please, let China know the singular joy that comes with being Pakistan’s “best friend.” ABC correctly points out that China is rumored to have jumpstarted its stealth program with pieces of a U.S. bomber that crashed in the Balkans in the late 90s; if that’s so, then that Point A might have led directly to this Point B. And yet, the question lingers: Is a stealth helicopter really all that difficult to figure out? Some experts say no:
 

[Lexington Institute head Loren Thompson] said that the technology and design features to enable an aircraft to reduce noise and evade radar are not shrouded in secrecy.
 
Countries that examine the wreckage “will not learn much from the remnants of the exploded helicopter that were not already readily available in open literature,” Thompson told AFP…
 
The helicopter appears to have at least five blades in its tail rotor, instead of the four associated with the Blackhawk, which analysts said could possibly allow for a slower rotor speed to reduce noise.
 
A cover on the rotor, akin to a hubcap, can also be seen as well as harder edges in the design, similar to the lines on stealth fighter planes such as the F-117. The cover on the rotor and the design lines would presumably be aimed at circumventing radar, according to analysts.
 
It’s not completely stealth, either. No doubt it’s radar-proof and quieter than a normal military helicopter in its approach, but remember that guy in Abbottabad who inadvertently tweeted the Bin Laden raid as it happened? His very first tweet was “Helicopter hovering above Abbottabad at 1 AM.” I don’t know how far he was from the compound, but if it was loud enough for him to hear, the Pakistani military must have heard it too. That’s why the raid was only 40 minutes; they would have showed up sooner or later.
 
As further reading, I recommend this short piece from Victor Davis Hanson about our very good friends in Islamabad. He’s tired of paying them billions in protection money not to do something crazy involving nukes, mainly because they seem to be getting crazier regardless. Exit quotation: “We’ve tried aid, no aid, sanctions, full diplomatic relations, estrangement,etc. At this point, all have failed, and failure without $3 billion a year is better than failure costing $3 billion a year.”
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Body-by-Guinness
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« Reply #940 on: May 11, 2011, 11:54:33 AM »

I've been finding a lot of interesting material in the Long War Journal, though I'm still assessing 'em as a source. Lotta good illustrated material at the link.

Afghan National Army update, May 2011
By CJ RADINMay 9, 2011


The Afghan National Army's area of operations. Click map to view.

This article addresses the current status of the Afghan National Army (ANA). The updated Order of Battle is here and the unit location map is here. Future articles will address ANA issues and plans.

Growing the ANA

The Afghan army reached its previous goal of 134,000 troops in July 2010. The current goal is to have 171,600 by October 2011. As of March 2011, there were 160,000 troops on its rolls, 4,000 ahead of the March goal.

Earlier this year, there was discussion of increasing the size of the army beyond the current 171,600-troop goal, but this plan has not yet been officially adopted. The proposal suggests increasing the size of the force to between 195,000 and 208,000 by October 2012. Reaching the higher number would depend on meeting recruiting, retention, and attrition goals, which is not certain. Most of the additional troops would be used to expand the ANA's support structure [see "Specialized technical skills," below]. Some additional combat units would be added to fill out the existing organizational structure.

ANA Organization

As part of its continuing drive toward self-sufficiency, the Afghan National Army created the Ground Force Command (GFC) headquarters. GFC commands the six ANA corps plus the 111st Capitol division. The GFC is modeled on the International Security Assistance Force's Joint Command and is commanded by Lieutenant General Murad Ali Murad. The GFC is scheduled to reach initial operational capability by March 2012 and full operational capability by August 2012.

In May 2010, Regional Command -South (RC-S) was split into two regions. The newly created Regional Command-South West (RC-SW) and its 215th Corps took over the provinces of Helmand and Nimroz, and portions of Farah. RC-S and its 205th Corps retained Zabul, Kandahar, Uruzgan, and Daikundi provinces.

ANA Special Operations Command (ANASOC) brigade


Structure of the Afghan National Army Special Forces Command (ANASOC). Click image to view.

The ANA has established a new Special Operations Forces organization. The newly established Afghan Special Operations Command (ANASOC) is setting up a division headquarters at Camp Moorehead in Wardak province. It will command two different types of units, the existing ANA Commandos and a newly formed unit, the ANA Special Forces (ANASF).

The ANA Commandos are the ANASOC's "direct action" force. The existing nine Commando battalions will eventually be organized into two Commando brigades. However, the current 1st Commando brigade headquarters was dissolved in order to provide a cadre to staff the new ANASOC division headquarters. A new 1st Commando Brigade headquarters staff is being trained and will be operational soon. The 2nd Commando Brigade headquarters is planned to be operational by September 2011.

The ANASOC will also command the 1st Special Forces Brigade. Modeled on the US Special Forces, the brigade's missions will include "internal defense" and "SOF reconnaissance" as well as "direct action." The brigade headquarters is planned to be operational by September 2012. The brigade will consist of four battalions, the first one being fielded by June 2011. Each battalion will have 18 A-Teams, for a total of 72 A-Teams. The A-Teams are designed along US SOF lines. Each 15-member team is led by a captain, with a first lieutenant executive officer and a team sergeant. In addition, there are two each of medical sergeants, weapons sergeants, engineer sergeants, and communications sergeants; two intelligence sergeants; an information dissemination sergeant; and a civil-military operations specialist.

ANASF internal defense mission

The ANASF has been created to provide a special operations force capable of countering enemy efforts at the lowest level, the Afghan tribe and village. The ANASF brigade will accomplish this through the Village Stability Operations (VSO) program.

The VSO program is designed to help individual villages defend themselves against encroaching insurgency. Villages organize their own defense units, the Afghan Local Police. An ANASF brigade A-Team is assigned to each VSO village. The team's role is to support the village leadership to organize the overall project and mediate local disputes. They also train and advise the ALP. Up until now, US Special Operations Forces A-Teams have been running the VSO; however, the goal is to have ANASF replace the US SOF in this role. It is expected that the ANASF will be able to bring a better understanding of local cultural, economic, and political issues.

ANASF A-Team training

The first two classes of ANASF candidates were recruited exclusively from the Commando battalions. (Note: This necessitated a pause in the creation of new Commando battalions in order to free up resources to create the ANASF. The Commandos will be capped at nine battalions, with the formation of the 10th, 11th and 12th battalions postponed.) Because the ANASF candidates were already trained in direct action, the US trainers focused on the skills required for internal defense and SOF reconnaissance. This allowed the length of the first two classes to be reduced to 10 weeks. Future classes, recruited from across the ANA, will be larger, consisting of about 300 soldiers compared to 80 in each of the first two classes, and will take 15 weeks.

The first class started training in March 2010 and completed it in May; they were then grouped into four A-teams, one of which will be held back to form an Afghan cadre to help train the next class. At this point the teams were considered" mission-capable", but were not considered "Special Forces qualified" until they completed 26 weeks of "on-the- job training" during which each ANA A-team was partnered with a US SOF A-team.

The first A-Team was deployed to Khakrez district, northwest of Kandahar City, in May 2010. By March 2011, a total of 14 A-teams had completed training. All 72 A-Teams are expected to be fielded by 2014.

ANA development priorities

In 2010, the overall ANA priority was to grow an infantry-centric force that could immediately participate in counterinsurgency operations. Most of the effort was directed toward fielding additional infantry units.

The priority for 2011 has been to continue to grow the force but also to begin building the support functions necessary for self-sufficiency. This includes leadership, specialized technical expertise, and literacy training.

Leadership training

There is currently a significant shortage of both officers and NCOs within the ANA. In November 2010 there were 18,191 officers where 22,646 are required; and there were only 37,336 NCOs where 49,044 are required. To address the officer shortage, training capacity has been increased. Two additional Officer Candidate School companies opened in December 2010, and two more are to have opened by April 2011. The additional capacity is expected to reduce, but not entirely eliminate, the shortage by October 2012. For NCOs, training capacity is also being increased. The Regional Training Center in Darulaman has been converted from Basic Training to NCO training. Additionally, NCOs are being trained in the United Arab Emirates.The shortfall is expected to be eliminated by October 2012.

Specialized technical skills

In 2010, the ANA began setting up training institutions to teach the specialized skills needed to make it self-sufficient. Twelve "Branch Schools" are being set up:

Artillery
Human Resources
Signals
Infantry
Engineering
Legal
Military Police
Logistics
Religious and Cultural affairs
Intelligence
Finance
Eleven of these 12 branch schools have reached initial operating capability (IOC). The last school (Military Police) will reach IOC by June 2011. None, however, have reached full capacity due to limitation in facilites and ISAF trainers.

Logistics support development includes the establishment of Army Support Command. This will control six new Regional Support Commands (RLSCs), one for each of ANA's six corps. These units will provide medical, equipment maintenance, and logistics distribution capability. In addition, a National Depot Operation and National Vehicle Maintenance Facility will also be stood up in 2011.

Literacy training

About 86% of ANA enlisted recruits are illiterate. This constitutes a significant obstacle in the development of a competent army. An illiterate soldier cannot read a map, a training manual, or the serial number of his rifle. Furthermore, specialized fields such as medicine, logistics, and communications cannot be taught to an illiterate person.

The problem is being addressed by the establishment of an extensive literacy training program. Starting in March 2010, mandatory basic literacy and numeracy training was instituted for all ANSF enlisted personnel, both ANA and ANP. The goal is to train every member of the ANSF to at least a third-grade level. The curriculum is the equivalent of 312 hours of training. (Note: This program applies to enlisted and NCOs, since over 90% of officers are literate.)

For the ANA, literacy training begins in Basic Training. Each recruit is brought in two weeks early and taught basic reading and writing so he can at least write his name and read the serial number on his weapon. Literacy training continues through Basic Training, adding up to a total of 64 hours. Additional training occurs during seven weeks of unit training. When the recruits go to the field, or for troops already in the field, the program provides for continued training on the order of one to two hours per day over seven to eight months. For a soldier selected for specialty training in a Branch School, additional training is provided up to the sixth-grade level. By March 2011 there were 60,000 ANA soldiers and ANP police receiving literacy training.

http://www.longwarjournal.org/archives/2011/05/afghan_national_army_4.php
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ya
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« Reply #941 on: May 12, 2011, 07:37:12 PM »

Old cartoon....but with more than an ounce of truth
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Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #942 on: May 13, 2011, 04:51:41 PM »

Colin: With Taliban in Pakistan claiming responsibility for an attack that killed 80 people in a paramilitary academy in the country’s northwest frontier, the Pakistan question looms large in Washington. But despite the rhetoric from both the United States and Islamabad, it is likely to be business as usual.

Colin: Welcome to Agenda with George Friedman.

George: Well first let’s frame the basic picture. The Pakistanis need the United States to counterbalance India. The United States needs Pakistan to find some sort of solution in Afghanistan. This is not a relationship made of love it is a relationship made of interests. The United States, if it did not have the cooperation of Pakistan, would simply not be able to wage the war. First the supply line from Karachi to the Khyber Pass would be closed. We could find an alternative working with Russia perhaps, but that would cause a problem. There is another alternative on the Caspian but that won’t solve the entire problem. If Pakistan were to turn on us, our position in Afghanistan would become difficult. Plus whatever limited help the Pakistanis are giving the United States in dealing with Taliban strongholds in Pakistan itself would disappear.

First much of the wild talk about punishing Pakistan and so on fails to take into account the American position in Afghanistan. And secondly it fails to take into account that Pakistan is a country of 180 million people, not a country that you can easily punish. At the same time, the Pakistanis badly need the United States to balance India because the Pakistanis by themselves would be no match for the Indians, would be threatened and overwhelmed, and therefore they can’t simply reject American relations. For the past 10 years since 9/11, there’s been terrific tension between the two countries. The United States has wanted the Pakistanis to do things in support of the United States that the Pakistanis felt would lead to a possible breakdown in Pakistan because of civil tension between the various factions. A fine line has been walked. With the capture of Osama bin Laden and the assertion that the Pakistanis harbored him or didn’t effectively act against him, there is the temptation, particularly on the part of the Americans, to break with the Pakistanis. The problem is that’s not an option for the Americans so long as they remain in Afghanistan. They need whatever level of cooperation the Pakistanis are going to give and that’s really where it stands in the midst of all of the hubbub and charges and senators demanding investigations and cutoffs of aid. We simply need the supply lines. We need what ever support the Pakistanis are prepared to give or we’re going to have to think about how to leave Afghanistan.

Colin: Is it your view as some suggest that the recent events in the United States can now leave Afghanistan earlier?

George: Well it depends very much on how the United States positions the death of Osama bin Laden. If it makes the claim that with this death of Osama bin Laden the threat of terrorism emanating from Afghanistan has diminished to the point that mission has been accomplished, then it can make the claim that it has to leave. And the problem there is of course that the threat of terrorism isn’t so much emanating from Afghanistan; it’s emanating from Pakistan. The U.S. presence in Afghanistan is only minimally affecting the struggle against terrorism. Certainly if the United States left, al Qaeda would move back into Afghanistan but by definition al Qaeda is going to be operating where ever the United States isn’t. This is a guerrilla war on a global level. In that sense guerrillas constantly decline combat where the conventional force is overwhelming and move to areas where the conventional force is weak. On a global level where ever the United States isn’t, is where al Qaeda is going to be. The United States can’t be in Pakistan. The ability to overwhelm Pakistan, it is an enormous country in terms of population - it is just beyond reach of the number of troops in Americans have - and therefore the argument that Osama bin Laden’s death changes something dramatically is probably dubious but as a political claim may be persuasive and may allow the administration to begin to consider withdrawal with a claim of some sort of victory.

Colin: George we’ve seen a visit by Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh to Afghanistan. Is that relevant to all this or is it a sideshow?

George: It’s not a sideshow but it’s not really relevant because in the end, India is geopolitically not in the position to insert large numbers of troops in Afghanistan and therefore can’t support the Karzai government. The map simply makes it almost impossible for the Indians to do that and so the Indians are fishing in muddy waters. They’re trying to shore up Karzai’s spirits. They’re trying to signal the Pakistanis. But again, all of this diplomatic signaling back and forth ignores geopolitical reality. The Indians cannot insert and support a significant military force in Afghanistan. They’re not an alternative to the United States. Their commitment to Afghanistan really doesn’t make that much of a difference. Sometimes diplomatic gestures mean something and sometimes they simply don’t. In this particular case I think the Indians would like it to be able to mean something but it doesn’t.

Colin: George thanks very much indeed. George Friedman there, ending Agenda. I’m Colin Chapman. Thanks for your time today.

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G M
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« Reply #943 on: May 13, 2011, 04:55:32 PM »

I bet India would let us base troops there while we hammered Pakistan. I bet we could implode Pakistan quickly enough.
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Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #944 on: May 13, 2011, 04:59:46 PM »

GF is an unusually insightful guy IMHO but in this one he seems to let himself be guided by the assumption that Afg. is the issue , , ,
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G M
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« Reply #945 on: May 13, 2011, 05:05:07 PM »

Imagine the panic in Pure-land if we announced we were pulling our troops out of Trashcanistan and into Indian Bases in Kashmir.
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G M
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« Reply #946 on: May 15, 2011, 09:04:35 PM »

http://opinion.financialpost.com/2011/05/14/lawrence-solomon-break-it-up/

Lawrence Solomon: Break It Up

.
Lawrence Solomon May 14, 2011 – 11:49 AM ET


 
Pakistan would be a more stable and peaceful place if its four component nations were unstitched from one another
 
Since Osama bin Laden was found living unmolested in a Pakistani military town, debate has raged over how to deal with this duplicitous, faction-ridden country. Should the United States and others in the West continue to provide Pakistan with billions in foreign aid, in the hopes of currying at least some influence among elements of the Pakistani leadership? Or should we get tough, and declare it to be the state sponsor of terrorism that it is, knowing this course of action could cripple our efforts to fight the Taliban in Afghanistan and drive Pakistan further into the Chinese sphere of influence?
 
Neither course would be satisfactory and neither should be adopted. Instead, the West should recognize that the muddle it faces stems from Pakistan’s internal contradictions. This is not one cohesive country but four entirely distinct nations, having little in common save their animosity toward one another, a predominantly Muslim faith and Britain’s decision to confine them within the same borders in partitioning the Indian subcontinent more than a half century ago. The West’s only sensible course of action today is to unstitch the British patchwork, let the major nations within Pakistan choose their future, and negotiate coherently with new national administrations that don’t have impossibly conflicted mandates.
 
The first A in the word “Pakistan” represents Afghania, a province (since renamed North West Frontier) predominantly inhabited by Pashtuns, the same tribal peoples who live in much of adjoining Afghanistan. They mostly share the same Pashto language and culture as well as religion, and they trade among themselves largely as if a border didn’t separate them.
 
And, they look out for one another, leading Pashtun factions within Pakistan’s intelligence service to serve interests among their cross-border brethren. In fact, a chief source of conflict between Pakistan and Afghanistan stems from the separation of the Pashtuns by a British divide-and-conquer stratagem. The North West Frontier should be hived off Pakistan and allowed to vote for independence or union with Afghanistan, a more natural home.
 
South of North West Frontier lies Balochistan (the “t-a-n” of Pakistan), the largest and poorest of Pakistan’s four provinces, despite providing the country with 40% of its natural gas, as well as oil, copper and other minerals. Balochs, a largely secular and proWestern people with their own language and customs, have repeatedly tried to break away from their forcible incorporation into Pakistan. The most recent attempt, begun in 2005 with rumoured assistance from India and the CIA, has to date been suppressed by Pakistan’s military, by Pakistan’s intelligence agency, and by the many Taliban fighters that Pakistan hosts in Balochistan’s capital, Quetta. Human rights reports, which detail numerous instances of torture and the disappearances of some 5,000 Balochs, peg the number of internal war refugees in Balochistan at 240,000. Balochs, who consider the federal Pakistani govern-ment to be an occupying force, would welcome independence and freedom from their religiously militant Taliban oppressors.
 
Sindh (the S in “Pakistan”) is one of Pakistan’s two industrialized states, literate and economically developed. With a 7,000-year history, one of the oldest on Earth, Sindh also has its own language and customs, profound grievances with the federal government and a separatist movement. Like industrialized Punjab (the P in Pakistan), which likewise has its own language and customs, an independent Sindh would be a coherent country that could develop without the many contradictions that come of needing to live within an incoherent federal structure.
 
With the possible exception of Punjab, which is now the top dog in the Pakistani pack, the new nations to emerge from a breakup of Pakistan likely would soon become more prosperous as well as more free, leaving them better off. This breakup of the Pakistani federation would almost certainly be preferable from the West’s perspective as well.
 
Under the status quo, the monstrous hybrid that is Pakistan for decades has been one of the greatest forces for instability in the world. Apart from its role as a breeding ground for terrorism, Pakistan has been the single biggest proliferator of nuclear weapons technology, its A. Q. Khan network having made or helped make nukes available to North Korea, Iran, Libya and Iraq under Saddam Hussein.
 
In dealing with a Pakistan that has careened from one unstable government to another, most of them dictatorial and with no genuine national interest, the West has had no effective basis for diplomacy apart from bribes, aimed at securing short-term goals, in the form of foreign aid and military hardware. Once Pakistan is broken up into entities with true and distinct national interests, grievances that give rise to strife and terrorism would abate and the problems the West now faces in Pakistan would become more manageable.
 
Lawrence Solomon is managing director of Energy Probe Research Foundation and a founder of Probe International. LawrenceSolomon@nextcity.com
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« Reply #947 on: May 18, 2011, 08:29:50 PM »

http://www.nationalreview.com/articles/print/267393
VICTOR DAVIS HANSON
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MAY 17, 2011 4:00 A.M.
Adios, Pakistan
Pakistan’s internal politics are not our business. Its sheltering of major Islamist terrorists is.

“I don’t care if someone is giving us money; we are not a purchasable commodity. We cannot be bought. We can live in hunger, but we won’t compromise our national interests.”

– Bashir Bilour, a Pakistani senior minister, in angry response following an al-Qaeda reprisal for the American killing of Osama bin Laden

That quotation sums up in a nutshell our current impasse with Pakistan and why it is time to redefine our relationship. If one were to follow the counterfactual logic of Mr. Bilour, it was not in the national interests of Pakistan to arrest the mass murderer of 3,000 Americans living in sanctuary in the suburbs of its capital city. It was not in Pakistan’s interests because a vast segment of the Pakistani population favors the agenda of radical Islam, either condones or is indifferent to its jihadism, and feels that only American cash prevents the government from overtly supporting a preferable Islamist agenda. So Bilour is quite right: Pakistan should not be a “purchasable commodity,” and instead should feel free both to reject American aid and not to compromise its “national interests” by opposing radical Islam.

For years, we have heard ad nauseam both Pakistan’s excuses for why it acts so duplicitously and our own diplomatic community’s reasons why we, in response, cannot cut off aid.

The two narratives often run something like this:

The Pakistani Plea

(a) We suffer more from radical Islamic terrorism than do you, and in fact have experienced an upswing in violence because of our decade-long, post–9/11 alliance with you.

(b) The United States does not respect our sovereignty and violates both our land borders and our air space at will.

(c) There is no hope for Afghanistan without us; cut us off and we will cut you off from all logistics coming in and out of Afghanistan.

(d) Your aid — $3 to $4 billion a year — is not all that much.

(e) We are the only Islamic nuclear nation, and we deserve a respect commensurate with our strategic importance, especially given your use and abuse of us during the Russian invasion of Afghanistan.

(f) You already favor India, and you must show some modicum of diplomatic, political, and strategic balance.

American diplomatic, academic, and military experts tend to agree, and they usually offer us somewhat similar apologies.

The American Argument

(a) Yes, elements of the Pakistani government support terrorists — both al-Qaeda and the Taliban — who kill Americans and disrupt Afghanistan, but other, “good” elements of the military and government oppose these “rogue” actors and help us. So we are in a partnership with good Pakistanis against rogue Pakistanis.

(b) In truth, Pakistan is more duplicitous and untrustworthy in its alliances with Islamists than it is with the United States.

(c) A poor Pakistan has vast regions of wild borderlands and frontier that it simply cannot control; how can it be faulted for failing at what it cannot possibly do?

(d) Pakistan has the bomb; our aid, humiliating to us as it sometimes is portrayed, actually serves as valuable bribe money, ensuring that Pakistan does not “lend” a nuke or two to another illegitimate Islamic dictatorship or “lose” three or four bombs to assorted terrorists.

(e) The American public does not grasp, and cannot be fully told, of the myriad ways, informal and stealthy, that Pakistan helps us in the region.

All of these narratives have some merit but are ultimately unconvincing reasons to subsidize Pakistan.

First, we regret that Pakistan is a victim of domestic terrorism; but it antedated and will postdate our alliance, and is the wages of Pakistan’s own endemic corruption, religious intolerance, and government illegitimacy.

We can hardly respect a theoretical sovereignty that the Pakistani government itself admits it does not exercise. Are we to assume that Pakistan cannot enter its own borderlands, and so America cannot either, when those areas harbor killers of our citizens?

Americans do not like duplicitous allies, but they especially do not like subsidizing the duplicity. Almost every major Islamic terrorist with American blood on his hands whom our forces have captured or killed, from Khalid Sheik Mohammed to Osama bin Laden, was finally tracked down in Pakistan — often in upscale urban areas. As far as Afghanistan goes, Pakistan might do its worst, and we will try to do our best, and that is just the way it is, in this eternally bad/worse-case scenario.

There are all sorts of important nuclear powers that we do not subsidize. Russian Communism in Afghanistan was a greater threat to Pakistan than it was to the United States. Should we have given no aid then, or given aid and then stayed on? Either policy would have incurred Pakistani animosity. Again, as for nukes, it is not in Pakistan’s own interest to give nukes to anyone, unless it wishes current terrorism against it to include a nuclear component or prefers to lose its Islamic nuclear exclusivity. The United States would assume that any use of a nuclear device against America by an Islamic terrorist would ultimately be traced to Pakistan — and, of course, we would take the necessary countermeasures and retaliation. We would hope that deterrent message was by now well known.

India is democratic and pro-American; Pakistan is not. India is also huge, successful, and an ally in the war against jihadism. The question is not balance, but why we do not tilt farther toward India, a free-market economy that shares many of our own goals and aspirations. India is a natural and strategic ally; Pakistan is increasingly a natural and strategic belligerent.

As for our own rationales, consider the following rebuttals:

The good and bad elements of the Pakistani military and government are now so intertwined that even they cannot sort them out. What counts is not factions within Pakistan, but how they are expressed and play out. Among the worst setbacks in American foreign policy in the last twenty years were Pakistan’s acquisition of the bomb, and Pakistan’s hand in ensuring that bin Laden was largely safe for a decade. We care about those facts, not about Pakistan’s internal politics.

If Pakistan renounces American aid, it will nevertheless still incur terrorist attacks. Again, terrorism is endemic to Pakistan for reasons that transcend America.

Pakistan’s wild lands are useful to Pakistan, both providing deniability (e.g., “We can’t go there either”), and as an ongoing excuse for American aid. Terrorists get their own play yard, and their eternal presence justifies eternal billions in aid to Pakistani elites.

When we used to give aid to Pakistan it nevertheless still started work on the bomb; has resumption of that aid done much of anything to curtail its nuclear posturing?

The inability to explain the Pakistan alliance in any convincing fashion to the American public is not a reason to maintain the aid, but one to end it outright.

In conclusion, over the last two decades we have had all sorts of relationships with a nuclear and non-nuclear Pakistan: estrangement; an anti-Soviet, anti-Indian alliance; restored diplomatic relations; massive foreign aid; etc. We often change our approach; Pakistan stays the same.

What is the problem? The majority in Pakistan, so far as we can tell, is religiously intolerant, anti-American, and tribal. A plebiscite, fairly conducted, would result in a far more illiberal government than the Westernized megaphones that the often rigged and corrupt elections produce. Because elite Pakistani military and political leaders do not have real legitimacy, they must alternately disguise and lament, and then indulge and appease, the illiberal natures of their constituents.

What is the solution? Praise Pakistan. Avoid provocative statements. But by all means gradually and without fanfare prune back aid — say, at the rate of about $100 million a month. And then accept that in reaction Pakistan will more shamelessly hide terrorists, threaten nuclear proliferation, and destabilize the Karzai government, as it is freed to express its natural proclivities and “national interests” as a de facto enemy of the United States. Develop much closer relations with India. All of this will not make the situation in the region any better, but it will bring clarity, send a message that America is tired of treacherous allies — and save money. And in this ungodly mess, that at least counts for something.

— NRO contributor Victor Davis Hanson is a senior fellow at the Hoover Institution, the editor of Makers of Ancient Strategy: From the Persian Wars to the Fall of Rome, and the author of The Father of Us All: War and History, Ancient and Modern.http://
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« Reply #948 on: May 19, 2011, 12:20:40 PM »

http://www.rediff.com/news/slide-show/slide-show-1-osama-killed-most-pakistanis-grieve-for-osama-says-survey/20110517.htm

A majority of Pakistanis surveyed in a poll appeared to be aggrieved over the death of Osama bin Laden, with 51 per cent describing their emotions as "grief" though one-third said they were unconcerned by the incident.

The nationwide study was released by Gilani Foundation and carried out by Gallup Pakistan, the Pakistani affiliate of Gallup International. The poll covered 2,530 men and women in the rural and urban areas.

The poll was conducted among 2,530 men and women representatives of the adult population of Pakistan. They were distributed in the rural and urban areas of various provinces and districts and comprised a cross-section of various education, income, age and linguistic backgrounds.
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« Reply #949 on: May 19, 2011, 09:20:22 PM »

From a very knowledgeable blogger I know...


"The Islamists outside the PA (pak army) and the Islamists within the PA  are increasingly becoming indistinguishable in their worldview. Certainly, the most influential section of the ulema (and therefore the society) is militant Deobandi, not the more circumspect Berelvi though the latter may still exist in absolutely larger numbers. I include Wahhabis and Ahl-e-Hadiths under the Deobandi classification. Not that the Berelvis are less jihadist or less fundamentalist (as Taseer's case demonstrated) in nature. In such a milieu, it is difficult to judge with any certainty when the PA would lose the nuclear weapons. The 'cradle-to-grave' vetting mechanism which the Strategic Planning Directorate (SPD) proudly claims to its American interlocutors or the multiple layers of security it claims to have in place for guarding the crown jewels, is as hollow as the claim by GoPak that PA is fighting against global terror. In a society that is overwhelmingly believing that 'Islam is in great danger' and conspiracies are being hatched against the Muslims, who can implement a comprehensive vetting process more common in civilized societies and guarantee its success ? How can the SPD even find men who do not subscribe to these falsehoods or jihadi ideologies ? Why should we even assume that the SPD itself is above board in these Islamist matters ? There has been a long list of jihadi Islamist Generals as DG of ISI or as Corps Commanders of the PA. The top leadership of PA may present a different face to the American interlocutors but the distrust of and anger against the infidel among the rest of PA is complete and cannot be reset. Why should we expect that the nukes may not fall into more adverse hands in Pakistan ? It is prudent to proceed on the assumption that it is indeed the case."
 
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