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Author Topic: Afpakia: Afghanistan-Pakistan  (Read 223407 times)
ccp
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« Reply #1100 on: September 24, 2011, 11:56:01 AM »

The question is what to do about it.

Some suggest continue drone attacks and covert operations.  Half assed without any end.

Some ala Huntsman suggest retreat.  Probably better than half assed drones and covert shit.  Either take care of the problem properly and militarily or stop doing it with one buttock in and one buttock tied back.

Another is to start all out war using nucs to f* up their nuc capability. 

Teach them a lesson once and for all.  Sure it would cause generational hatred of the US but don't we have that anyway.

Doesn't history teach it is better to be feared and respected than loved?

That said it will never happen.
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Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #1101 on: September 24, 2011, 01:44:04 PM »

All this makes quite clear the well-targeted relevance of YA's most recent post.

The interface of the military and the domestic political issues presents EXTREMELY challenging problems.

The American people are understandably weary of a ten years of a seemingly pointless and endless war and understandably dubious of the political process that has led us along the way. 

Anyone here think Bush led well on this?   

Anyone here want to deny that a reasonable argument can be made that Bush took his eye off the ball in Afpakia?  Michael Yon was writing 3-4 years ago that we were losing and about to lose badly. 

Anyone here think Baraq has led well on this?

The point being the American people are understandably rather cynical on the competence of our leadership-- so suggesting we should go to war with Pakistan just when people saw the "Unsurge" winding things down is a tough sell.

And there is the little detail of what that war would look like and what it would lastingly accomplish-- not to mention the apparent looming bankruptcy of the USA.
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G M
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« Reply #1102 on: September 24, 2011, 03:18:00 PM »


http://blogs.the-american-interest.com/wrm/2011/09/23/next-drone-strikes-on-pakistans-isi/

September 23, 2011


Next: Drone Strikes on Pakistan’s ISI?

 Walter Russell Mead


If you read recent statements by senior US officials on the relationship between Pakistan’s ISI and attacks on US and NATO interests, it is impossible to avoid the conclusion that a state of war exists between an agency of the government of Pakistan and the United States of America.
 
As the FT reports this morning,
 

Adm  [Mike] Mullen, the departing chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, told a US congressional committee on Thursday that the Haqqani network, regarded as perhaps the deadliest component of the Taliban insurgency in Afghanistan, “planned and conducted” an assault on the US embassy in Kabul this month with support from Pakistan’s Inter-Services Intelligence agency.
 
An article in the NYT underlined the significance of Admiral Mullen’s remarks:
 

The United States has long said that Pakistan’s intelligence agency supports the Haqqani network, based in Pakistan’s tribal areas, as a way to extend Pakistani influence in Afghanistan. But Admiral Mullen made clear that he believed that the support extended to increasingly high-profile attacks in Afghanistan aimed directly at the United States.
 

One should be clear about this; attacks on embassies and on military personnel and positions are acts of war.  They are not college pranks, they are not “signals”, they are not robust statements of policy disagreement and they are not bargaining chips in an extended negotiation.  They are acts of force in violation of international law and they can legitimately be met by acts of force and war in return.
 

Admiral Mike Mullen, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff (Wikimedia)
 

I have had the opportunity to meet retired senior officials of the ISI at different times, and they make no bones about their attitudes toward the United States.  They are our enemies and they are not ashamed to say so.  They believe they have grounds: the US in their view is a treacherous ally which has never fully backed Pakistan in what they believe to be an existential conflict with India, and that today the US is openly in India’s camp, supporting its nuclear program, its global ambitions, and pursuing an Afghan policy which increases Indian influence in direct opposition to Pakistan’s efforts to ensure a friendly government in Kabul when the Americans leave.  Moreover they believe that America is a power that is fundamentally hostile to Islam, and that our invasion of Afghanistan was an act of wanton mayhem which threatens the sovereignty and security of Pakistan and which has cost Pakistan untold billions of dollars, far exceeding any US aid.
 
While these views are not universally held in the Pakistani military and government, they are prominent — perhaps central — in ISI strategy, and it is clear that the rest of the Pakistani government either cannot control the ISI or does not wish to.  On the other hand, it appears that the ISI prefers to operate under a veil on implausible deniability; the government can claim and perhaps mean that it has no responsibility for what “rogue elements” in the ISI are up to.
 
Pakistan must operate in this clandestine and indirect manner; otherwise its use of terror groups to commit acts of violence well beyond its frontier would land the country in a frightful nest of crises and lead to its total international isolation. The right hand shakes yours; the left hand plants a bomb.
 
The United States has generally also tried to run its Pakistan policy in ways that allow a split consciousness.  On the one hand, we know much of what the ISI is up to while US forces seek to kill people that the ISI regards as colleagues and allies.  On the other hand, we push the Pakistani military command to limit the space in which the ISI is permitted to operate and to collaborate with us on those areas where collaboration remains possible.  There are, after all, some groups we both want to defeat.  In a sense we try to exact the highest price possible for our willingness to turn a blind eye to ISI activities of which we disapprove.

**Read it all.
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ccp
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« Reply #1103 on: September 24, 2011, 03:39:11 PM »

"The point being the American people are understandably rather cynical on the competence of our leadership-- so suggesting we should go to war with Pakistan just when people saw the "Unsurge" winding things down is a tough sell.

And there is the little detail of what that war would look like and what it would lastingly accomplish-- not to mention the apparent looming bankruptcy of the USA."

Therefore, and I am not being facetious here, Huntsman may be correct in his conclusion.

I am all for that and yet...

Without bold military action further proliferation among the unstable Muslim world of nuclear weapons is inevitable.
This to me is the most haunting issue.   Off the top of my head history has repeatedly demonstrated that strength not appeasement or weakness is the best answer.

Even the cold war was decided by pursuing a level headed policy of strength and power and determination with a policy of mutually assured destruction.  Why not a clear cut policy of unilateral assured destruction of any Muslim state using any nuclear device?
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Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #1104 on: September 24, 2011, 04:11:25 PM »

Because that is not what would happen!  

See e.g. my post earlier today in the Nuclear War thread-- and this is a point which has been raised in this forum previously (including test missile launches from tanker ships in the Caspian Sea IIRC).

Scenario:  Crappy missile with crude nuke device put on some Panamanian or Libyan tanker ship.  Maybe throw in some three card monte shuffling of cargoes between in and some other ships to make it difficult to use satellite intel after the fact to figure out who the F did it-- then launch an blast that EMP's over the continental US.

Who would we blame?  

BTW, the Chinese have put A LOT of thought into how to bring down our electronic-cyber capabilities, seeing them as the our Achilles Heel of our military dominance.  If we were hit with an EMP our capabilities might be so dramatically downgraded that the subsequent cranial rectal interface might tempt the Chinese to act-- e.g. go after Taiwan.


Indeed, someone might even tip off the Chinese that such an attack was imminent.
« Last Edit: September 24, 2011, 04:13:52 PM by Crafty_Dog » Logged
G M
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« Reply #1105 on: September 24, 2011, 05:15:33 PM »

The Soviets could be managed through MAD doctrine, as officially they were atheist. On the other hand, the jihadis believe in jihad and martyrdom as the gateway to paradise. The koran has lots of verses that speak of the enemies of allah burning in hellfire.
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ccp
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« Reply #1106 on: September 25, 2011, 10:21:12 AM »

Well we can't help those who are willing to die and have their entire country wiped out.

I still think we make it clear of dire consequences to even try.

I guess a dirty bomb could go off and we don't know who did it or the claimant is not technically a state sanctioned entity.

Do our enemies have the capability to cause an EMP that can knock out our military hardware?

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Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #1107 on: September 25, 2011, 11:47:23 AM »

The Iranians have, or will soon have missiles that can reach a goodly portion of Europe, hence the importance of ABM in east Europe and/or Turkey.   The Iranians are working on acquiring nukes.  The Paks HAVE something like 100 nukes AND a history of rogue nuke activities.  The Norks are testing nukes and have a history of rogue nuke actiivities.  As I mentioned in my previous post, bad actors have been testing the capability to launch missiles from tanker vessels.

Connect the dots.
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G M
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« Reply #1108 on: September 25, 2011, 12:22:58 PM »

It is my understanding that most military electronics are built to withstand EMP, but the civilian electronics that runs our society are not. It's my understanding that the bad actors Crafty mentioned do not have a single nuke that could EMP the whole country, not yet anyway. However they do have nukes that could toast the west and east coast with EMP, causing serious problems for our ports and most populated cities.
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ya
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« Reply #1109 on: September 25, 2011, 01:29:27 PM »

From B.Raman's blog...

The United States has turned on Pakistan with such dizzying speed over the past few weeks that it is difficult to keep pace. Yet what is clear after Admiral Mike Mullen’s extraordinarily blunt statement that the Haqqani militant network is a “veritable arm” of the Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) agency is that it now has the Pakistan army very firmly in its sights.

Mullen accused the ISI, which is effectively a wing of the Pakistan army, of supporting the Haqqani network in a truck bomb attack on a U.S. base in Afghanistan and an assault on the U.S. embassy in Kabul which led to a 20-hour siege. “We also have credible intelligence that they (the Haqqani network) were behind the June 28 attack against the Inter-Continental Hotel in Kabul and a host of other smaller but effective operations,” he said.

It was the most forthright assertion yet by the Americans that the Pakistani military is not merely turning a blind eye to militant groups based on its border with Afghanistan but actively encouraging them to attack American interests. The Pakistan army says it is overstretched as it is tackling militant groups which target Pakistan without creating new enemies by attacking Afghan militants and denies it retains links with the Haqqani network.

Just one month ago in a report titled “Pakistan, the United States and the End Game in Afghanistan” a group describing themselves as “the foreign policy elite” laid out what Pakistan wanted to happen in Afghanistan. Among their suggestions were that both the Afghan Taliban led by Mullah Mohammed Omar and the Haqqani network be included in talks on a political settlement in Afghanistan. The report was heavily criticised by those who saw it as an attempt by Pakistan to maintain its old policy of “strategic depth” – using militant proxies to stamp its influence on Afghanistan and counter India.

It looks like the United States is having none of it. I dislike the expression “end-game” applied to either Afghanistan or Pakistan (or Britain for that matter) with its implication that the people living in those countries come to an end when outside powers lose interest. But it is worth considering the expression just to show how much has changed. The so-called “end-game” is now in Pakistan.

That is not to say there are not worsening problems in Afghanistan itself, especially with the assassination of peace council chairman Burhanuddin Rabbani “laying open again the fracture lines” of civil war, as Kate Clark wrote at the Afghanistan Analysts Network. Nor is to suggest that anyone disputes the need for a political settlement in Afghanistan. Nor indeed that American tactics and strategy in Afghanistan are not open to criticism – Pakistan repeatedly says it is being used as a scapegoat for U.S. failures in Afghanistan. And nor would it be fair to dismiss Pakistan’s own concerns that by going after the Haqqani network – with its links to the Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan and other militant groups – it would face even greater violence on its own soil. Those are all subjects which merit separate and serious discussion.

But it is to say that the particular end-game going on now is between the United States and the Pakistan army. Look closely at the proposition being made by Washington. According to Mullen’s testimony Pakistan – and specifically its army – must give up support for the Afghan Taliban (the so-called Quetta shura Taliban) and the Haqqani network. In return the United States will help Pakistan find “an increasing role for democratic, civilian institutions and civil society in determining Pakistan’s fate.”

Whatever language you couch that in, that is quite a difficult proposition for the Pakistan army. First it is being asked to turn on old militant proxies which for decades it saw as its main leverage against both India and a hostile Afghanistan and which for the ISI in particular were a considerable source of power. Second the army – an institution which is used to being the most powerful in Pakistan – is being asked to relinquish its dominance and cede its place to a civilian democracy. Third, even if it were willing to give up some of its power – and the considerable economic advantages that go with it – it would need to make a leap of faith that Pakistan’s warring and often corrupt politicians could get their act together to govern the country effectively.

Yet the message that appears to be being delivered by the Americans with increasing force is that if it resists, it will lose. Unlike during the Cold War when Pakistan was able to exploit U.S.-Soviet rivalry to maintain its position against India, Pakistan is looking very isolated right now. In the anti-Soviet jihad in Afghanistan in the 1980s it had American and Saudi support. This time around it is hard to find any country which will help it.

In Afghanistan ordinary people are opening blaming the ISI for the country’s troubles. Russia is worried about instability in Afghanistan spilling over into the former Soviet Central Asia and about drug smuggling pushing up the numbers of heroin addicts whose growth is already gnawing away at its economy. Moscow has been more resistant even than the United States to the idea of taking former Taliban off a UN sanctions list to create a better climate for talks. Relations with neighbouring Iran tend to go up and down, but are not helped by a spate of killings of Shi’ites by Sunni extremists in Pakistan. China is interested only in stability and securing its access through Pakistan to oil supplies and raw materials. For all Pakistan’s “deeper than the oceans” faith in Chinese friendship, it is unlikely to ride to its rescue in a confrontation with the United States over Afghanistan.

Ironically, India is being projected as a way out of the quagmire with the prospect of regional trade offered as a solution to Pakistan’s deepening economic gloom. But India – indeed far more than the United States – has tended to be more suspicious of the Pakistan military and the government has justified to its domestic critics the current peace process as a way of supporting civilian democracy in Pakistan.

So the question we need to ask is this. Will the Pakistan army fold? Institutions do not give up power easily and arguably the Pakistan army as an institution is more powerful than the individuals who lead it.

In many ways this is like a rerun of the Kargil war writ large. In 1999, the Pakistan army occupied mountain positions in the Kargil region on the Line of Control separating the Indian and Pakistani parts of the former kingdom of Jammu and Kashmir – its troops encroaching on part of the territory that was supposed to be under Indian control. In doing so, it breached a 1972 agreement with India that neither side would attempt to change the Line of Control, or ceasefire line, by force.

There was in fact an underlying – though heavily contested – logic to Pakistan’s actions in Kargil. Pakistan considered India’s occupation of Siachen (in the Karakoram mountains beyond the Line of Control) in 1984 as a similar breach of the 1972 Simla agreement. Since the late 1980s – or so I have been told by one of the generals involved – it had thought about occupying the heights above Kargil as a way of training its artillery on the main road from Kashmir towards Siachen, thereby cutting off the Indian army’s supply route.

Yet the Pakistan army had over-reached. It first denied that it had any troops in Kargil at all, saying that mujahideen and irregulars had moved into positions in the mountains as part of their campaign to free Indian Kashmir from what it calls Indian occupation. In an odd foreshadowing of the current situation in Afghanistan, it chose to launch its Kargil war at a time when India and Pakistan were engaged in peace talks. After a brief and bitter war with India, the Pakistan army was forced by international pressure — especially from the United States but more discreetly from China – into a humiliating retreat.

This time around the Pakistan army appears to have over-reached in a way which could prove to be its undoing. It has taken on the United States – a declining but still superpower – in Afghanistan. The issue here is not really who is right or wrong but rather which country can bring the greater force to bear and the greater international leverage.
The other possibility is that the confrontation between the Pakistan army and the United States could become more and more dangerous. But with its very public comments on the Haqqanis and the ISI, the United States has just rolled a dice that it hopes and believes is weighted in its favour.
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ya
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« Reply #1110 on: September 28, 2011, 07:11:14 PM »


Why Pakistan Is Getting Cocky
Sep 23, 2011 1:21 PM EDT
Pakistan’s Army and intelligence service are behaving ever more provocatively—with potentially drastic ramifications for the war in Afghanistan. Bruce Riedel on the ISI’s psyche.

Admiral Mullen's candid and stunning testimony that directly links Pakistan's intelligence service, ISI, to recent attacks on NATO forces and the U.S. Embassy in Afghanistan puts America and Pakistan on a collision course.
Why are the ISI and the Pakistani Army making such risky moves? What is the calculation in the generals’ minds? Short answer is, they believe we are on the run in Afghanistan and they want to push us out faster. Mullen has been Pakistan’s strongest advocate inside the White House situation room since President Obama took office in 2009. He prudently argued for patience and tolerance with the ISI’s duplicity for years, rightly stressing Pakistan’s critical importance on many vital issues like the nuclear-arms race, counterterrorism, and the Afghan war. This makes his remarks linking ISI to the Afghan Taliban’s Haqqani network attacks on our forces this month all the more stunning. Mullen labeled the Haqqani Taliban a “veritable arm” and “proxy” of the ISI. Afghan sources have said the Taliban suicide team that attacked our embassy was in constant contact by cell phone with their masters back in Pakistan during the firefight.

More questions are coming about ISI. The assassination last Tuesday of former Afghan president Rabbani, who was leading Afghanistan’s effort to develop a peace and reconciliation process with the Taliban, dealt a literal death blow to any hope of a peace settlement between NATO, the Karzai government, and the Taliban insurgency. Rabbani was murdered by a suicide bomber who allegedly brought a message from the Taliban’s top authority, the Quetta Shura, which has long been directly linked to the ISI as well. We still don’t know enough about the assassination plot, but it is highly unlikely the Taliban leadership in Quetta would have blown up the reconciliation process without a green light—or at least an amber one —from the ISI leadership.

These are incredibly provocative actions for the ISI. Over the past three decades it has developed a well-deserved reputation for sponsoring terror, like the 2008 Mumbai attack. It is accountable only to the Army and chief of Army staff, Gen. Ashfaq Parvez Kayani. The civilian government of President Asif Ali Zardari and his ministers has zero control over the spies and live in fear of them. It is not a rogue agency; it is a state within the state. The generals who run ISI have worked with the Taliban for more than 15 years. They provide critical sanctuary for its leaders like Haqqani and Mullah Mohammed Omar. Without direct and substantial Pakistani help, the Taliban could not have recovered from its defeat in Operation Enduring Freedom in 2001 and become the threat it is today.

Pakistan feels they hold a lot of aces, maybe more than they should.
But now the generals feel increasing heat from the U.S. and sense a growing chance that America and NATO are looking to cut and run from Afghanistan, hence their willingness to take risks to accelerate America’s departure from their doorstep and help their clients win. The stepped-up drone operations and especially the May 1 SEAL raid in Abbottabad have humiliated the generals deeply. They also know Osama bin Laden’s success in hiding out for six years in eyesight of the Army’s premier academy has raised profound suspicions in America about whether the ISI was clueless or complicit in his hideout.


So the heat was rising well before Mullen’s testimony. Yet the ISI also knows American and European support for staying in Afghanistan is dropping. Canada has already left. Obama has started withdrawing faster than his generals wanted. The Pakistani officers want to accelerate this process—the sooner NATO is gone, the better for them. So their advice to their Afghan proxies is to carry out operations designed to impact the home audience in America and Europe. Make the war look unwinnable and hopeless. Make Kabul appear chaotic and unsafe. Kill any hope for a political process. The darker Afghanistan appears on TV screens, the sooner the foreign armies will be called home.

Reality is less important than image in this war. The Army leadership also feels it can weather any blowback from Washington. The generals assume U.S. military aid will be cut or eliminated by Congress sooner rather than later, and they are confident that the Saudis and Chinese will fill the gap. They also know NATO’s logistical supply line to Kabul runs through Karachi (more than half of everything NATO eats, drinks, and shoots arrives via Karachi despite intense efforts to find alternatives). They have leverage and they know it. And of course, they have the fastest-growing nuclear arsenal in the world with a developing tactical nuclear capability. They feel they hold a lot of aces, maybe more than they should. Cocky poker players are dangerous.


Bruce Riedel, a former longtime CIA officer, is a senior fellow in the Saban Center at the Brookings Institution. At President Obama’s request, he chaired the strategic review of policy toward Afghanistan and Pakistan in 2009. He is author of the new book Deadly Embrace: Pakistan, America and the Future of the Global Jihad and The Search for Al Qaeda: Its Leadership, Ideology and Future.

For inquiries, please contact The Daily Beast at editorial@thedailybeast.com.
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Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #1111 on: September 29, 2011, 12:46:22 AM »



A Change in the Afghan War
Related Link
•   Foundations: Pakistan’s Muslim Identity Crisis
In an interview published in The Wall Street Journal on Wednesday, outgoing Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Adm. Mike Mullen reiterated his view that the Pakistani Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) directorate provided support for the  Haqqani network. And he continued to juxtapose Haqqani attacks on American troops and American targets with the ISI’s “strategic support” for the group.
The interview was released as Mullen’s final testimony before Congress last week continued to elicit reactions. It was during this testimony — not a setting in which casual comments usually slip out — that he explicitly connected the ISI to Haqqani. During Mullen’s tenure as America’s top military officer, he traveled to Pakistan more than two dozen times and maintained close relations with Islamabad’s senior military leadership. Despite attempts in Washington to moderate his testimony, and anger and denials from Pakistan, we can be sure that Mullen chose his words carefully — a point that Wednesday’s interview further underscores.
“The U.S.-Pakistani relationship has begun to change in a fundamental way.”
The U.S.-Pakistani relationship has begun to change in a fundamental way. The United States and its allies are leaving Afghanistan. The peak of military operations there — itself intended as an attempt to shape the circumstances for a withdrawal — has already passed. A new officer, U.S. Marine Gen. John Allen, has been put in charge of the NATO-led International Security Assistance Force and U.S. Forces-Afghanistan not to perpetuate the counterinsurgency-focused strategy of David Petraeus.
The move to an exit from Afghanistan is not immediate, but it is inexorable. Washington’s only long-term strategic interest in Central Asia is to deny it as sanctuary to transnational terrorist groups like al Qaeda. Al Qaeda has been defeated in Afghanistan and Washington is moving from a position of needing Pakistani territory to logistically facilitate a surge and ongoing military operations, to one where it requires Pakistan to ensure that Afghanistan will never again serve as a staging ground for attacks against American interests.
Mullen did not recently discover Pakistani connections with Haqqani, or the Taliban in general. They have always existed — Pakistan was instrumental in creating the Taliban and ensuring their ascendancy — and it was never in Islamabad’s interest to sever them. Those ties served as a fundamental means of ensuring Pakistani leverage in Afghanistan. What changed is what the United States needs from Pakistan. The United States’ willingness to overlook Pakistani actions against its interests, in exchange for the cooperation necessary for operational expediency, has ended.
Already, the United States has quietly moved its logistical burden onto the Northern Distribution Route — an astonishingly long and tedious alternative traversing Russia and Central Asia to Pakistan — so much so that only about a third of supplies and fuel continue to reach Afghanistan via the port of Karachi and Pakistani refineries. But as the total number of foreign troops continues to decline, excess stockpiles are burned through, austerity measures take effect and the tempo of combat operations declines, the point at which the war in Afghanistan can be sustained independent of Pakistan is fast approaching.
This is a remarkable inflection point. Washington’s logistical vulnerability and reliance on Islamabad has left combat operations in Afghanistan hostage to Pakistan, which has been a defining dynamic of the war. To sustain the large-scale combat operations, the United States had been forced to tolerate Pakistani support for hostile forces in Afghanistan. Mullen’s testimony last Thursday and the interview this Wednesday reflect a change in the rules.
Whether Pakistan is capable of adjusting course and satisfying new American demands — even if it wants to — is unclear. But with the American exit on the horizon and the twilight of logistical reliance on Pakistan at hand, the rules of the game have undergone perhaps their most fundamental change since the beginning of the war.
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ya
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« Reply #1112 on: September 29, 2011, 07:07:36 PM »

This seems to be the first salvo...by the US to bring Pak to heel.

Pakistan: NATO Fires Rockets Into North Waziristan
September 29, 2011 | 0712 GMT
         
NATO forces fired 12 rockets on the Ghulam Khan area of Pakistan’s North Waziristan, Karachi Dawn News reported in a screen caption at 0433 GMT Sept. 29. Another screen caption reported that government sources said Pakistan retaliated by firing 15 mortar rounds. Another caption reported sources claiming that Pakistani helicopters were flying along the Pakistan-Afghanistan border.
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Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #1113 on: September 29, 2011, 08:25:02 PM »

In the ongoing search of this forum for Truth, I note that some of us (e.g. me) have made snarky comments about Baraq welching on basing ABM missiles in eastern Europe so as to suck up to the Russians-- which included using them as an alternative supply route for our efforts in Afghanistan.  At the moment it looks like I need to acknowledge that it appears that this is enabling us to change our dealings with the Paks.

Your thoughts YA?
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ya
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« Reply #1114 on: September 30, 2011, 06:35:00 AM »

I think Baraq is weak, that's the real reason we dont base missiles in eastern europe. Those decisions were taken at a time of "hope & change". 
re: Af-Pak, any gains in obtaining additional supply routes from throwing europe under the bus were likely factored into the calculations and used as a justification to chicken out from placing missiles in europe. Now this analysis would be faulty, if Bama does something about tightening the screws on Haqqanis and Pak, for that would imply that the gain of additional supply routes was part of the planned end game in Pak. There is some evidence to suggest that after Mullen's testimony pakis are in a panic that the US may bomb Pak or send boots on the ground. After Nato rocketed N.Waziristan, they have had a corps commanders meet, an all party conference, their media is full of jingoistic war songs, eg http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=SsFGA5qblms
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ya
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« Reply #1115 on: September 30, 2011, 06:37:56 AM »

Working the levers of patriotism

Ayaz Amir
Friday, September 30, 2011

No one can work the engines of patriotism better than the army and its ideological wing, the ISI. In actual combat their performance may invite questions. But in ideological combat their skill is unsurpassed.

In the annals of Pakistani democracy no fiction is more endearing than that of parliamentary sovereignty. The army and ISI set the score and music of national security. Civilian governments and politicians perform vigorously to this music and call it parliamentary sovereignty.

The corps commanders led the national outrage over the Kerry-Lugar bill, the jihadi media taking its cue from there. We know what deft hands first generated and then dissipated the hype over the Raymond Davis affair. Left to itself the federal government might have handled matters differently. But then the ISI wouldn’t have been the ISI if it had allowed this to happen.

When Sheikh Osama’s hideout was busted in Abbottabad, the first reaction of both President Zardari and Prime Minister Gilani was sensible. But they weren’t counting on the deep sense of humiliation felt in General Headquarters. Realising their error they changed tack and hurriedly joined the national chorus of patriotism which had begun belting out lines about wounded sovereignty.

Few people paused to ask whether the sharper blow to national pride was dealt by the Americans or the Sheikh who, with his computers and disk drives, had installed himself in Abbottabad for close on five years. Where lesser mortals might have directed their anger at Al-Qaeda we went blue in the face denouncing America.

No praise is too high for Lt Gen Ahmed Shuja Pasha, the ISI chief, for playing the subsequent in-camera session of parliament the way he did. Towards its end most of the parliamentarians seemed to be eating out of his hands, all speaking the same language of honour and national pride with which he had prefaced his briefing.

Now in the latest outbreak of patriotic fever in the wake of Admiral Mike Mullen’s excoriating remarks about the Haqqani group and its real or presumed linkages to the ISI, it is again the army and ISI orchestrating the national response, and the government and much of the political class following suit and reading from the script prepared by the supreme guardians.

The corps commanders met first and Prime Minister Gilani swung into action later, calling up the assorted characters who presume to speak on behalf of the Pakistani people, and inviting them for an all-parties conference (APC). If past experience is any guide, there are few activities more pointless than this gathering of the good and the not-so-great. It is safe to say – these lines being written before this momentous event – that the emphasis will be on verbosity and beating the drums of national honour. At the end will come the refrain, the nation stands united.

The Pakistani nation caught up in the throes of patriotism is usually a dangerous sight – mostly a prelude to something bizarre and foolish. What a mood of excitement we built up in 1965, closing our eyes to the reality that our rulers of the time, for no rhyme or reason, had started the whole blooming adventure. No one punished them but the country is still, in myriad ways, living the consequences.

In 1971 every vehicle in Lahore carried the sticker “Crush India”. We know who was crushed and who wasn’t in that conflict. The Afghan jihad, the conflict in Kargil, our predilection with managing the affairs of Afghanistan, when everything points to the conclusion that we are far from able to manage our own....the list of our militant follies is endless.

The US may be using too broad a brush and putting too thick a coat of paint on our warped strategic theories, but there is a growing body of opinion in Pakistan itself that the time for our strategic games is up. Mike Mullen did not say the ISI was attacking Kabul. We should read his testimony more dispassionately. He was saying the culprits were from the Haqqani group and that this group had strong links with the ISI.

Who the intrepid soul who would deny this last point? Don’t the Haqqanis have havens on this side of the border? The ISI doesn’t micro-manage them, it has no operational control over them. But in the name of all that is profane, don’t they have a presence there and here?

They are assets for the future, our strategic grandmasters will say. Haven’t we played enough of Afghan games and isn’t it time to let that unfortunate country be on its own? No one should wish more misfortunes upon the Afghan people but if they must fight their own internecine wars what drives us to the necessity of being a part of them, directly or indirectly?

Not only is it high time the army redrew its priorities, it is also time it stopped forcing its theories on hapless civilian governments. Every malevolent adjective in the world this government – indeed the entire political class – richly deserves. We have a set of ineffectual people at the helm, their capacity and competence no secret to anyone. But, I would venture to suggest, that even these clowns, if left to do their own bit, would manage relations with the US better than our brilliant army commanders.

There is no more difficult negotiating partner in the world than the MQM. He who can handle the MQM can deal with anyone, even the spirits of the dark and the deep. If we settled for cheap terms and low wages in 2001, broad-chested generals were in charge of national affairs not weak-kneed civilians. When the time was for negotiating something sensible and equitable with the Americans our army command blew it. Now when events have moved on and a new dynamic is in play, the army command just refuses to dismount from the high stallion of national honour and inviolable sovereignty.

What kind of a country are we? After India tested its nuclear bombs in 1998 Lal Kishan Advani only had to make a few threatening statements for Pakistan to go into panic mode and rush into its own tests. Israel hasn’t carried out any nuclear tests. Is its nuclear arsenal any less effective because of this? What, if exercising better judgment – admittedly, a tall order – we hadn’t tested in May 1998. Would our bombs have melted or just disappeared? And would Indian tanks have invaded Pakistan?

Here we are bedevilled by the wages of terrorism and a falling economy and yet we speak the language of Prussia at the height of its military power.

And now Mullen’s congressional testimony and some tough talk by the US secretary of defence Leon Panetta have thrown us into a panic in 2011. The corps commanders, forsaking their beloved golf, meet on a Sunday and the good and the patriotic get together for the Pakistani variant of that all-time farce called the APC.

Philip, Alexander the Great’s father, held out this threat to Sparta: “If I enter Laconia (Sparta’s other name), you shall be exterminated.” The reply was a single word, “If”. It’s too much to hope that Pakistan can emulate such brevity but at least our response to real or imagined challenges could be less windy and extended than they often tend to be.

Why should the Americans attack us when a few statements can so thoroughly unnerve us? We are already talking again – the Americans and us – and let no one say that American pressure, calculated or fortuitous, hasn’t worked. The corps commanders hurriedly called to meet and the pantomime of the APC are reminders less of a nation united than a nation easily jolted.

But more than semantics and the right tools of verbiage we have to put a rein on our strategic theories. The threat to us is from within, from the cumulative consequences of past follies. India is an elephant. Living cheek-by-jowl with an elephant is always a problem. But can we please get out of the calculus of India posing some kind of an existential threat to us? From the realm of dreams and fantasies, and imagined threats, isn’t it time we stepped into the real world?


http://www.thenews.com.pk/TodaysPrintDetail.aspx?ID=70104&Cat=9
« Last Edit: September 30, 2011, 06:40:56 AM by ya » Logged
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« Reply #1116 on: September 30, 2011, 10:16:43 AM »

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« Reply #1117 on: September 30, 2011, 10:30:37 AM »

YA:

Your comments in response to my question make sense-- I was simply seeking to make sure that we were being fair and not letting our loathing of Baraq cloud our judgment.  I would add the implication that naturally arises from McMullen awaiting his retirement before making his candid comments-- that he was free of consequences from the White House.
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« Reply #1118 on: October 01, 2011, 02:41:34 AM »



By MICHAEL M. PHILLIPS
Outside Jalalabad, Afghanistan, 25 years ago this week, an angry young man named Abdul Wahab Quanat recited his prayers, walked onto a farm field near a Soviet airfield, raised a Stinger missile launcher to his shoulder and shot his way into history.

It was the first time since the Soviet invasion seven years earlier that a mujahedeen fighter had destroyed the most feared weapon in the Soviet arsenal, a Hind attack helicopter. The event panicked the Soviet ranks, changed the course of the war and helped to break up the USSR itself.

Enlarge Image

CloseGetty Images
 
A mujahedeen fighter fighter aims a Stinger missile at a passing airplane in 1988.
.Today, Mr. Wahab is general manager of the Afghan central-bank branch near the Khyber Pass, a middle-age man who carries tinted bifocals in his vest pocket and chooses Diet Pepsi over regular. Mr. Wahab and the two other Stinger gunners at the airfield that day—Zalmai and Abdul Ghaffar—have now joined the post-jihad establishment. Mr. Zalmai is sub-governor of Shinwar District, and Mr. Ghaffar is a member of parliament.

They nurse a gauzy nostalgia for the joys of being young jihadists. "Those were good, exciting times," Mr. Wahab says. "Now I'm a banker. It's boring."

The Soviet invasion touched off three decades of violent swings in Afghanistan, from socialism to warlordism to Islamic fundamentalism to today's flawed democracy. Amid this tortured history, the U.S. makes occasional appearances—including its mid-1980s decision to supply the mujahedeen with Stingers—the consequences of which often weren't apparent until much later.

At the time, the Soviets and their Afghan allies were on the offensive, thanks to the Hinds. Heavily armored, the helicopters were indifferent to ground fire as they strafed and rocketed mujahedeen and civilians alike. In 1986, the Reagan administration and its congressional allies put aside qualms about dispatching missile launchers. The move likely contributed to the Soviet withdrawal. Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev, faced with an imploding domestic economy, was already seeking an exit from a costly war.

There's no straight line from the U.S. move to arm the mujahedeen to 9/11 and the 2001 American invasion, but the decision has echoed through the subsequent decades of turmoil. After Kabul's fall, and with American attention elsewhere, the mujahedeen fell on each other. Messrs. Ghaffar and Zalmai squabbled over money and weapons.

Enlarge Image

CloseMichael M. Phillips for The Wall Street Journal
 
AAbdul Wahab Quanat shows how he fired the first Stinger missile at a Soviet Hind helicopter 25 years ago.
."I disarmed his men, and he disarmed my men," says Mr. Zalmai. (They have since reconciled, and Mr. Ghaffar's daughter married Mr. Zalmai's nephew.)

The Taliban emerged on top, and the U.S. Central Intelligence Agency spent years trying to recover 600 unused Stingers, including 53 that found their way to Mullah Omar, the Taliban leader who hosted Osama bin Laden during the 9/11 attacks, according to the book "Ghost Wars" by Steve Coll.

Key figures from that era, including those who received U.S. support, have ended up on the other side. Gulbuddin Hekmatyar, the ruthless head of the fundamentalist Hezb-e-Islami mujahedeen, provided the Stinger gunmen. Among Mr. Hekmatyar's other backers was bin Laden, who paid Arab militants to fight in the Afghan jihad and in doing so earned the trust of the Taliban.

As Mr. Wahab remembers, the Pakistani officials who were acting as a conduit between the U.S. and the Afghan fighters packed him and nine other Hekmatyar fighters into the back of a truck, covered it in a tarp so they wouldn't see where they were going, and took them to a training camp in Rawalpindi, Pakistan.

For a month, they practiced with dummy Stingers aimed at a hanging light. Pakistani officers then handed over real missiles to the eight successful graduates. One team headed to Kabul to shoot down troop-transport planes. The other, headed by Mr. Ghaffar, an engineer by training, was dispatched to go after the Hind helicopters.

As they parted, one Pakistani instructor tearfully called Mr. Wahab a "holy warrior" and reminded him to hit the switch that arms the missile's heat-seeking device. After a two-day walk, the fighters spent the night of Sept. 25 in an abandoned village on the outskirts of Jalalabad. The next afternoon, Mr. Ghaffar and his men knelt down for prayers and then made their way into a farm field, where they spotted about 10 helicopters returning to the airfield.

The best student at Stinger camp, Mr. Wahab took the first shot. The missile made a whirring noise that changed tone as it locked onto a Hind. Mr. Wahab recited a prayer. "In the name of Allah, the supreme and almighty, God is great." He recalls the Hind's tail rotor breaking off, while the front section burst into flames and plummeted to earth, cockpit first.

"I'll never forget that moment," he says now. "Those helicopters had killed so many people, left so many orphans."

Messrs. Ghaffar and Zalmai fired next. Mr. Wahab says neither missile hit a Hind; Mr. Ghaffar's, he says, hit the ground, while Mr. Zalmai forgot the heat-seeker-arming switch.

Mr. Ghaffar remembers one missile hitting a helicopter, but says it could have been either one. Mr. Zalmai says he can't recall for certain but admits he's not a great marksman. (The CIA reported that three helicopters had gone down.)

What is certain is that Mr. Ghaffar then shouldered a spare Stinger and this time sent a Hind crashing to earth. Mr. Wahab recalls mujahedeen cheering when the helicopters went down. Terrified that the Soviets would send tanks after them, the three scampered back to Pakistan.

Mr. Ghaffar dined out on his success for months, meeting with the CIA and having tea in Peshawar with Rep. Charlie Wilson, the late Texas Democrat and relentless champion of the mujahedeen.

The Ghaffar team had proved the Stingers so effective that the CIA sent some 2,300 more. Soon the mujahedeen were shooting down helicopters, transport planes and jets in large numbers. "If we hadn't used them correctly, they probably wouldn't have provided any more Stingers for the Afghan jihad," says Mr. Ghaffar. One Soviet squadron lost 13 of 40 planes in the year that followed, 10 to Stingers. The final Soviet troops retreated from Afghanistan in 1989, and the mujahedeen took Kabul in 1992.

"We wrote history—I miss those days," says Mr. Ghaffar, now 54. A member of parliament, he denies accusations by some locals that he has become a land-grabbing power broker.

Mr. Zalmai, who estimates his age at 50, barely had a beard when he took to the mountains in 1980. He smiles when he remembers blowing the tracks off of Soviet tanks. "I was good at it," he says. He admits that his memories are filtered through the haze of age and two brain-jarring attempts on his life during the current insurgency.

As a local administrator, Mr. Zalmai spends a good deal of time these days complaining that the Americans failed to consult him about plans to raze one government office to build another.

"When you're young, you're emotional about everything," Mr. Zalmai says of his days as a jihadist. "When you're old, everything can be solved by talking."

After the Taliban takeover, Mr. Wahab fled to Pakistan, where he ran a fabric shop. After the Taliban fell, he returned to Afghanistan and landed the central-bank job. Now 49, he supervises commercial banks adjacent to the Khyber Pass, through which mujahedeen weapons and fighters once flowed.

"When I was a mujahedeen on a mountaintop, I'd see the lights of Jalalabad and wish I were there," Mr. Wahab says. "Now when I'm in Jalalabad, I miss being in a stone hideout in the mountains with the mujahedeen."

Mr. Wahab has little patience for today's insurgents. "We had an enemy—the Russians," he says. "These suicide bombers today attack Americans and Muslims. What's the point?"

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« Reply #1119 on: October 01, 2011, 10:11:43 AM »

Marc:  I'm guessing we got a goodly amount of intel out of the raid that killed OBL.

KABUL, Afghanistan – NATO says it has captured a senior leader of the Al Qaeda - and Taliban-allied Haqqani terror network operating inside Afghanistan .
 
NATO announced on Saturday that the coalition forces seized Haji Mali Khan during an operation in eastern Paktia province, which borders Pakistan. The alliance called it a significant milestone in the fight against the terror group.
 
NATO identified Khan as an uncle of Siraj and Badruddin Haqqani, two of the son's of the network's aging leader Jalaludin Haqqani.  The Pakistan-based network is affiliated to both the Taliban and Al Qaeda and has been described as the most serious security threat in Afghanistan.


http://www.foxnews.com/world/2011/10/01/nato-captures-senior-haqqani-leader-in-afghanistan/#ixzz1ZWseTCOB
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« Reply #1120 on: October 01, 2011, 10:17:51 AM »

Marc:  I'm guessing we got a goodly amount of intel out of the raid that killed OBL.

KABUL, Afghanistan – NATO says it has captured a senior leader of the Al Qaeda - and Taliban-allied Haqqani terror network operating inside Afghanistan .
 



Wait, did we get a search warrant before we seized that intel? Was Khan arrested with a valid warrant and provided legal representation before questioning?  rolleyes
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« Reply #1121 on: October 02, 2011, 04:29:52 PM »

http://tech.mit.edu/V131/N41/pakistan.html
Opinion: Turning to the Haqqanis, Pakistan has made its choice
The ISI’s ties to an insurgent network undermine any hope of real cooperation with the US
By Keith Yost
STAFF COLUMNIST
September 30, 2011


It’s difficult for me to add more than what I’ve already written in “While Karachi Slowly Burns” (Sept. 10, 2010), or “Mission Accomplished” (May 6, 2011). Pakistan is a state with a major security problem — India — and two mutually-exclusive strategies to deal with that problem: a stable security partnership with the United States, or an increasing reliance on jihadi proxies. The former is a realistic path, as Pakistan and the United States have considerable mutual interests, while the latter is a monumental blunder, built on the quixotic notion that terrorists and guerrillas can somehow bleed India down to parity despite its seven to one advantage in men and materiel.

We have long hoped that Pakistan would choose America, not terrorists, as the guarantors of its security, but that hope has been in vain. Now, Admiral Mullen, Pakistan’s greatest remaining booster in the U.S. foreign policy establishment, has delivered what amounts to an ultimatum: either Pakistan severs its connection with the militant groups that are attacking NATO forces in Afghanistan, or America will sever its connection with Pakistan. The Pakistanis have refused to abandon the Haqqanis, and so the die is cast. The dissolution of the relationship between the United States and Pakistan is a fait accompli; it is inconceivable that the U.S. Congress will renew billions of dollars of aid for a country that is actively (and now publicly) engaged in the killing of U.S. troops.

The decision by the Obama administration to deliver the ultimatum to our nominal ally is not without its downsides. Our counter-terrorism efforts, as well as our war-fighting in Afghanistan, rely a great deal on Pakistan’s cooperation. However, in the long run, given Pakistan’s behavior, long-term U.S. interests in South and Central Asia are best served by a realignment toward India. The Obama administration deserves praise for its execution of this realignment. Years have been spent carefully setting the stage, giving the Pakistanis every opportunity to edge themselves back from their suicidal geopolitical strategy while simultaneously testing the waters of a U.S-India partnership. And the choice of timing is impeccable: U.S. forces in Afghanistan are higher than they have ever been before, giving the U.S. its maximal leverage against Pakistan, but the president’s political capital to remove those forces is also at its zenith, which undercuts Pakistan’s main source of leverage over the U.S. — namely, its supply routes to Afghanistan.

It is important that Obama (or the next president of the United States) appreciates the gravity and finality implicit in Pakistan’s rebuff of Mullen’s ultimatum. Already, some pundits are selling the cutesy notion of the U.S. being “frenemies” with Pakistan, as if international relations followed a script out of some Hollywood high school drama. But there is no intermediate status between friends and enemies to be found here — as the U.S. withdraws its support from Pakistan, Pakistan will compensate for this loss by relying even more strongly on militant groups like the Haqqanis to provide for its national security. The break-up, once initiated, can only accelerate.

In the long run, the U.S. playbook on Pakistan should grow to resemble that of India’s. The way to neuter an enemy is to carve them up into multiple states — such was Germany’s treatment by the allies after World War II, as well as the Soviet Union’s fate after its fall. India has already cut Pakistan in half, dividing it between modern Pakistan and Bangladesh. It seeks to do so again, exploiting the ethnic fault lines in Pakistani society to carve it up even further. With its parting shots in Afghanistan, the U.S. should use its military might to aid in this strategy. In its least extreme form, this strategy might merely ensure that Baloch-dominated provinces within Afghanistan retain a high degree of autonomy from the Afghan federal government. In its most extreme form, the U.S. could funnel arms to Baloch nationalists in southern Pakistan or take direct action in support of a free Balochistan. Where the U.S. should fall on this spectrum of policy choices is open to debate — what must be avoided is the naive optimism that Pakistan will have a Damascene moment and suddenly become the ally that the U.S. requires. Now is the time to restructure Afghanistan in the way that makes Pakistan weakest, not to dither in a nonexistent middle ground.

History will look upon Pakistan’s embrace of jihadists as one of the greatest geopolitical missteps of the 21st century. To prevent itself from appearing with Pakistan in history’s list of blunderers, the U.S. must make its break with Pakistan a decisive one and resist the urge to force nuance into a situation that deserves none.

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« Reply #1122 on: October 02, 2011, 04:54:40 PM »

http://www.abc.net.au/news/2011-10-02/rabbani-killer-was-pakistani3a-karzai/3206138?section=world

ISI has been implicated...

Afghan president Hamid Karzai says a Pakistani was responsible for last month's assassination of former president and High Peace Council chairman Burhanuddin Rabbani.

Mr Karzai released a statement blaming an insurgent from Pakistan for the murder of Professor Rabbani as he reviewed Afghanistan's peace process.

It added that the death was plotted in Quetta and the killer had been living in Chaman, a Pakistani border town near Quetta.

The statement also quoted investigators as saying: "Documents and evidence together with the biography, address and phone numbers of suspects involved in the incident have been submitted to the government of Pakistan in order to arrest and hand them [other suspects] over."

Many Afghans are suspicious of Pakistan's connections to the Taliban-led insurgency in their country but the statement was the strongest yet to suggest a Pakistani link to Professor Rabbani's killing.

Professor Rabbani, chairman of Mr Karzai's High Peace Council, was killed by a turban suicide bomber at his home in Kabul on September 20.

He had thought that he was meeting a representative carrying a special message from the Taliban.

The statement came hours after Mr Karzai was reviewing his strategy for peace with the Taliban in the wake of Professor Rabbani's killing.

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« Reply #1123 on: October 02, 2011, 04:58:50 PM »

With Baraq backpeddalling about Mullen's testimony...
http://www.thestatesman.net/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=385235&catid=37
Gilani claims 'victory' in stand-off with USA
2 October 2011
Press Trust of India
ISLAMABAD, 2 OCT: Prime Minister Mr Yousuf Raza Gilani has claimed “victory” in the recent stand-off with the USA, saying he has received a message from Washington that America needs Pakistan's support to win the war on terror.
Mr Gilani made the remarks while addressing a gathering in Bili Wala near his hometown of Multan in Punjab province yesterday, amidst tensions between Islamabad and Washington over ISI-Haqqani network links.
“It is due to the all parties' conference as well as the unity of Pakistan's political leaders that the USA has sent a message that they need Pakistan and that they cannot win the war (against terrorism) without Pakistan,” he said.
“They have also distanced themselves from the statement of (former US military chief Admiral Mike) Mullen. This is the victory of the Pakistani nation, political parties and the government's policy of reconciliation,” he said.
He did not say when the message was conveyed to Pakistan.
The successful holding of the meeting of all political parties on Thursday was testimony to the fact that the people are united on the issue of Pakistan's security and defence, he remarked.
“We will never allow anyone to harbour bad thoughts about Pakistan's security. We do not desire war and want peace in the country and beyond. Pakistan can play an important role in peace and we will do it,” Mr Gilani said.
Pakistan is ready to hold talks with everyone for peace and can go to any extent to achieve this objective, he said.
“All the country's political forces stand shoulder to shoulder for Pakistan's security interests,” he said. Pakistan-US ties had plunged to a fresh low after Mullen accused the ISI of backing the Haqqani network in carrying out terror attacks in Afghanistan.
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« Reply #1124 on: October 05, 2011, 07:57:34 PM »

Life is cheap, electricity is expensive.. grin

'Good' Taliban leader threatens suicide attacks against electric company
By BILL ROGGIOOctober 5, 2011 8:20 AM


A so-called "good Taliban" leader in North Waziristan threatened to carry out suicide attacks against two officials from Pakistan's Tribal Electric Supply Company if the utility does not turn the power back on in the tribal agency. The report, from The News, is republished in full below:

A senior Taliban commander and administrator of a religious seminary in North Waziristan, Maulana Abdul Khaliq Haqqani, on Monday threatened to send suicide bombers to eliminate two officials of the Tribal Electric Supply Company (Tesco) if they did not restore power supply to Waziristan within 48 hours.
The Taliban leader issued a strong-worded statement to media against the Tesco officials and also warned tribal journalists of dire consequences if his statement did not appear in their respective papers.

Maulana Abdul Khaliq Haqqani, the administrator of Gulshan-e-Ilm Madrassa in Miramshah, directed his fighters to kidnap the two officials, Tesco regional chief Pervaiz Khan and Executive Engineer Jamshed Ali Khan, and bring them to North Waziristan where they would be given exemplary punishment for their failure to ensure power supply to Waziristan.

He directed the Taliban of Darra Adamkhel and Mohmand Agency, led by Commander Tariq Afridi and Maulvi Omar Khalid, respectively, to kidnap the two senior Tesco officials.

Taliban operating in Darra Adamkhel and Mohmand Agency are known for their brutality and ruthlessness among their fellow tribal militants.

Haqqani said he would then send his suicide bombers to eliminate them if they did not restore power supply to the tribal region.

He said he had obtained complete details and addresses of the two officials and his fighters would soon target them there.

I would give cash rewards to my fighters if they kill Pervaiz Khan and Jamshed Ali Khan in front of their house and I will claim responsibility for their killings, the Taliban commander said in the statement that he personally delivered to reporters here, with a warning of serious consequences if his statement was not given space in the newspapers.



Read more: http://www.longwarjournal.org/threat-matrix/archives/2011/10/good_taliban_leader_threatens.php#ixzz1ZxipMLOC
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« Reply #1125 on: October 14, 2011, 05:27:41 AM »

THURSDAY, OCTOBER 13, 2011     STRATFOR.COM  Diary Archives

U.S. Makes Complex Moves in Afghanistan
In an interview with Reuters published Wednesday, U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said that the United States was open to the idea of a peace agreement with the Afghan Taliban movement that involved the controversial Haqqani network – the subset of the Afghan jihadist movement active in eastern Afghanistan. In response to a question about whether the Haqqanis constituted reconcilable elements of the Taliban, Clinton said the United States views the Haqqanis and others of their ilk as being adversaries and very dangerous to Americans, Afghans and coalition members inside Afghanistan. However, Clinton said Washington will not shut the door on trying to determine whether there is some path forward.
“The United States realizes that it needs Pakistani assistance to reach a negotiated settlement in Afghanistan, and any settlement will involve talking to the Haqqanis.”
These are extraordinary comments. It was only a few weeks ago that U.S. Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman Adm. Mike Mullen accused Pakistan’s foreign intelligence service, the Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) agency, of officially supporting the Haqqani network (as it is popularly referred to), including its targeting of the U.S. Embassy in Kabul on Sept 13. Those remarks led to a spike in tensions between the United States and Pakistan.
Clinton’s statement is markedly different from the ones that have been coming from U.S. President Barack Obama’s administration. Obama himself, less than a week ago, warned Islamabad that if it continued to have relations with anti-American militants in Afghanistan, it was jeopardizing long-term relations with Washington. Today, however, Clinton said that the United States had no choice but to work with Pakistan in its efforts to resolve the problems of Afghanistan.
Why is the Obama administration slowly opening up to the idea of talking to the Haqqanis via Pakistan? The answer has to do with the fact that  the United States realizes that it needs Pakistani assistance to reach a negotiated settlement in Afghanistan and any settlement will involve talking to the Haqqanis. Clinton’s comments highlighting the complexity of U.S. dealings with the Haqqanis stems from the fact that the United States does not want to engage from a position of relative weakness.
Additionally, Clinton reiterated that U.S. forces in Afghanistan are still actively trying to kill, capture or neutralize Haqqani militants, adding that the Haqqanis are still trying to attack as many American, Afghans and coalition members as they can. She said an ongoing conflict will have many instances of combatants trying to fight while also looking to talk. Clinton added that the progression involves combatants both fighting and talking, then perhaps agreeing to a ceasefire and just talking. Her remarks come after Haqqani network leader Siraj Haqqani said Sept. 17 that he was prepared for talks. They also follow a report published in The Wall Street Journal on Oct. 5 that said Pakistan’s ISI mediated talks between the Haqqanis and U.S. officials.
In circumstances where one side is unable or unwilling to impose a military reality on its adversary, it must either withdrawal unilaterally or try to seek a negotiated settlement. The decision to seek or explore a settlement does not itself end the fighting on the ground — considerable negotiations must take place to reach a ceasefire. During these discussions, the fighting continues on the ground as each side attempts to press its advantage both to improve its negotiating position and leverage but also to ensure that if talks break down, it does not cede any ground on the battlefield.
Afghanistan is no exception to this rule but the situation there is much more complex given the fact that the Afghan insurgent landscape comprises a number of different stakeholders. Added to this mix is Pakistan and its regional interests and those state and non-state actors who oppose the Talibs and their Pakistani supporters.
Therefore, the United States has no choice but to engage in a complex set of moves that may appear contradictory but are probably sincere attempts to navigate a complicated situation.
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« Reply #1126 on: October 17, 2011, 07:59:23 AM »



http://www.washingtonpost.com/world/war-zones/pakistan-leans-toward-talks-with-taliban/2011/10/14/gIQAq3PjpL_story.html
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« Reply #1127 on: October 17, 2011, 04:02:03 PM »

Pakistan is a state with a major security problem — India — and two mutually-exclusive strategies to deal with that problem: a stable security partnership with the United States, or an increasing reliance on jihadi proxies.

Why is reaching out to China not a viable option?
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« Reply #1128 on: October 17, 2011, 04:05:32 PM »

Pakistan is a state with a major security problem — India — and two mutually-exclusive strategies to deal with that problem: a stable security partnership with the United States, or an increasing reliance on jihadi proxies.

Why is reaching out to China not a viable option?

What sort of outreach/deal would you suggest?
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« Reply #1129 on: October 17, 2011, 04:33:46 PM »

Pakistan is a state with a major security problem — India — and two mutually-exclusive strategies to deal with that problem: a stable security partnership with the United States, or an increasing reliance on jihadi proxies.

Why is reaching out to China not a viable option?

What sort of outreach/deal would you suggest?

I'm not suggesting anything.

Pakistan has seemingly been cozying up to the Chinese as of late.  China would certainly seem to have an interest in having Pakistani ports available to them.  China and India are not buddies.

I don't see Pakistan as exclusively having a USA or jihadist security enhancement choice.
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« Reply #1130 on: October 17, 2011, 04:37:49 PM »

No, Pakistan has been using China as a counterweight to us. Nothing new there. As I recall, we funned money to the ISI in the 70's/80's that was used to buy Chinese weapons and PLA military advisors to train the Afghan mujhadeen to kill Soviets. Amongst the other interesting things done in our semi-covert proxy war at that time....
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« Reply #1131 on: October 17, 2011, 07:08:26 PM »

The pakis characterize chinese friendship  as "deeper than oceans and higher than mountains". The Chinese are however quite smart and keep the pakis at a distance. I remember reading somewhere that they are now India's largest trading partner (overtaken the US) with further increases in trade every year. The Chinese are not going to jeopardize that for Pak.

Unlike the US, the Chinese dont believe in providing the pakis with free $$. All their projects go to Chinese companies, who then install eg power stations, build railways, tunnels etc. So the money indirectly comes back to the Chinese in a significant way. Just as pak extorts protection money from the western world and India, it does the same from the chinese (muslim separatists). Pak providing the Chinese access to Gwadar port is meaningless because the security of transit of goods to China cannot be ensured.

China supports Pak, so that India is kept bleeding, but nothing serious. All this Chinese support of Pak has resulted in India strengthning its airforce, military and navy. China has the next year or two to attack India, but after that the window closes as India's military is modernizing quite rapidly.

Furthermore, if Pak is adopted by the Chinese, the result will be to drive India into US arms, something the Chinese fear.
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« Reply #1132 on: October 17, 2011, 07:10:41 PM »

That includes some variables which had not occurred to me and seems quite sound.
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« Reply #1133 on: October 18, 2011, 12:27:30 PM »



The Haqqani Factor in a Post-Withdrawal Settlement
U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said Oct. 12 that the United States would be willing to include the  Haqqani network in a peace deal defining Afghanistan’s political arrangement following the withdrawal of U.S. troops from the country. Clinton made the statement in an interview with Reuters, marking the first explicit official acknowledgement that the United States is open to the Haqqanis’ becoming party to an eventual settlement.

The Haqqani network is one of the most powerful militant factions in the country (and one the United States had previously described as “irreconcilable,”) and cannot be ignored in any deal if the agreement is to last. The announcement by Clinton, therefore, acknowledges what STRATFOR already believed to be a reality. However, the timing of the announcement is important, as it comes amid an intensified coalition offensive against the militant group. The United States and its allies are attempting to erode the Haqqani network’s eventual negotiating position in peace talks by taking out some of the organization’s significant leaders. Though this has increased violence in the short term, it may limit the militant group’s ability to extract concessions from the coalition and the Afghan government during negotiations.

In early July, as he was preparing to leave his post as the top U.S. commander in Afghanistan, Gen. David Petraeus announced the war effort would be moving farther east, and on July 31, then-U.S. Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman Adm. Mike Mullen emphasized the need to crack down on the Haqqani network by preventing the flow of militants from Pakistan through Khost province and into Kabul. The U.S.-led International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) appears to have since moved to do both.

In the last several weeks, U.S. and allied forces have captured or killed a number of Haqqani operatives that Washington claims were high-ranking members of the organization. Haji Mali Khan, one of the highest ranking members of the group and the uncle of Haqqani network leader Sirajuddin Haqqani, was captured Sept. 27 in Jani Khel, Paktia province, along with his bodyguard and deputy. One week after his capture, a militant known only by the name Dilawar, who served as a principal subordinate to Khan, was killed in an airstrike in Musa Khel, Khost province. On Oct. 13, NATO claimed to have killed four militants, including Jan Baz Zadran aka Jalil Khan, a logistical and financial coordinator as well as a top aide to Sirajuddin Haqqani, in an unmanned aerial vehicle strike outside Miran Shah. And on Oct. 14, a strike on a car near Miran Shah resulted in the deaths of four militants connected to the Haqqani network — including one Egyptian who allegedly played a key role in financing the group.



(click here to enlarge image)
The aggressive campaign against Haqqani leadership coincides with the Oct. 16 shift of hundreds of U.S. troops, helicopters and heavy arms to the area in eastern Khost province, bordering Pakistan’s North Waziristan province, where the Haqqani network is based and where Petraeus earlier suggested the war effort would increase its focus. U.S. and Afghan troops have enforced a curfew in the border area and cut off some cross-border movement, according to reports, but NATO otherwise has not made clear the aims of this deployment or its expected duration. It may however be connected to the recent increase in pressure on the Haqqani network.

Clinton’s statement on the willingness to include the Haqqanis in a peace settlement must be viewed in the context of these recent claimed gains by NATO against the Haqqani network. Senior Pakistani military officers as recently as Aug. 18 said they could bring the Haqqanis to the negotiating table, though Sirajuddin Haqqani said Sept. 17 that his group would only participate if the Taliban also agreed to talks. Discussions between the United States and the Taliban are well known to be taking place, so Clinton’s comments could indicate that the U.S. government no longer views the Haqqani network as irreconcilable.

Given the Haqqani network’s influence, the group’s eventual involvement is necessary to reach a practicable power-sharing agreement. The offensive against the group is intended to grind away at its capabilities and reduce the threat it can pose — and thus its leverage in negotiations if and when the Haqqani network begins participating.

The United States is currently trying to address its interest to include in peace negotiations a group it recognizes will play a role in post-withdrawal Afghanistan, while avoiding the appearance of easing up on an entity it holds responsible for several attacks on U.S. and coalition forces. If the killed and captured Haqqani militants were as operationally significant as purported, the tactic may have the intended effect of not only giving the United States an edge in negotiations, but creating a possible leadership vacuum in the Haqqani network — a goal that ISAF forces have pursued from the start.

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« Reply #1134 on: October 22, 2011, 04:15:58 PM »

http://pak-watch.blogspot.com/2011/10/us-pakistan-conundrum.html
An excellent if longish post on the US-Pak history/relationship.

The US-Pakistan Conundrum
A conundrum is a paradoxical, insoluble or a difficult problem, a dilemma. The relationship that the US has had with Pakistan for sixty years now fits that description perfectly like a T. When the arch-enemy, the Indian Government, paradoxically said on October 20 that the US and Pakistan must heal their rift, it spoke volumes of how much that relationship has deteriorated. That also reminded one that the wheel had come a full circle since the mid 1950s. Today, there is talk of the US sending its soldiers inside Pakistan to take the fight into the den of the terrorists. Ms. Clinton has openly said in Kabul that it would happen if needed. She has backed-up her threat by amassing troops across the border in Afghanistan. In Pakistan itself, she said, "you cannot keep snakes in your backyard and expect they will only bite the neighbours". She has also demanded that Pakistan take action “not [in] months and years, but days and weeks", thus setting a deadline which has hitherto not been the case. In turn, Gen. Kayani threatens the US with nuclear weapons and warns the US that it should think ten times before making any such decision. For his part, the Pakistani Defence Minister Ahmed Mukhtar warns the US of 'Pakistani patience with the US running out' ! Whether these are the usual Pakistani bluster to appear brave before the masses or not will be known shortly.

Leading think-tanks and strategic analysts in the US have asked their President to freeze aid to Pakistan and to recognize the fact that the obstacle to peace in the region is indeed Pakistan. The continuing and intensifying war of words between the two countries mean only one thing. A flurry of meetings in the last one year between military and political head honchos of both the countries has been unable to narrow, let alone seal, the rift. On the other hand, the rift has only widened further this year due to incidents such as Raymond Davis, Osama bin Laden, revelation of identities of CIA station chiefs in Pakistan, assassination of Rabbani, Kabul embassy attack, Wardak Chinook attack, proof of collusion between the ISI and Haqqani, tipping off the Taliban engaged in bomb-making activities after receiving intelligence from the US etc. Even a very indulgent US - indulgent towards Pakistan, that is - has been forced to take a serious note of these developments. Why should there be such a downturn in their relationship ? After all, the US military and economic aid to Pakistan since the 1950s is mind-boggling. Let us look at the quantum of this aid to realize what we are talking about.

Pakistan’s sole obsession from Aug. 14, 1947 has been India. With this in mind, Pakistan approached the US for arms support as early as October, 1947, but the Truman administration already weighed down by developments in Europe and Korea could not accede to the request. In May 1950 during the state visit by Prime Minister Liaquat Ali Khan to the US, the request was revived. In the late 40s and during the 50s, it was the expedience of preventing the scourge of communism from spreading that prompted the Baghdad Pact (later to become SEATO in c. 1954) and CENTO (signed in c. 1955)to be formulated. Pakistan was a member of both and also had a special "Mutual Defence Assistance Agreement" with the Eisenhower administration in the US in 1954. It was, inter alia, to "preserve and maintain the integrity of Pakistan" and agreed to take "appropriate action, including the use of armed forces, as may be mutually agreed upon . . . in order to assist the Government of Pakistan at its request.". While the US was led to believe that that clause was needed with Communism knocking at the doors of Pakistan from Sinkiang (Xinjiang) in the East and a weak and troubled Afghanistan in the West, Pakistan's calculus was to use this friendship in its fight against India. The US ambassador to Pakistan, James Langley, said in c. 1957, “The present military program is a hoax, the hoax being that it is related to the Soviet threat”. As India feared, the arms were indeed used against India and there was no single occassion to use them against the Communists. Similarly, Pakistan never helped the US in its anti-Communism drive. When Gen. McArthur demanded a brigade of Pakistani troops to be deployed in Korea under the US command after the Armistice was signed there, Pakistan cleverly avoided that.

India deeply resented this arrangement and the US spurned India’s justified concerns through subterfuge and diplomatese. Gen. Ayub Khan wanted to completely equip the existing five-and-a-half Divisions of the Pakistani Army with modern US weapons and looked up to a largesse from the US for the same. He also wanted to add more strength by recruiting an additional 56000 soldiers, comprising of an additional Infantry division, a new para Brigade, conversion of the Independent Armoured Brigade into a Division. During the period between c. 1954 and 1965, the US completely equipped the five-and-a-half divisions of Pakistani Army besides gifting it with six squadrons of fighter aircraft, twelve ships to the Pakistani Navy, modernization of Karachi and Chittagong ports, and technical support and training for the Pakistani armed forces. In the 60s, the US gifted Pakistan with the then state-of-the-art M-47/M-48 Patton tanks, F-104 Starfighters, B-57 bombers, and F-86 Sabre fighters (about a hundred and later augmented by another 70 received through West Germany over a token US objection and flown in via Iran), long-distance radars, helicopters, frigates and the submarine Ghazi. Emboldened, Pakistan immediately attacked India in c. 1965. Thirty four years later, the same Pakistani-US scenario played all over again in Kargil, when arms that were supplied to Pakistan under the garb of fighting terror on Pakistan’s western front were used against India instead.

The same US-Pakistan supply-demand scenario re-appeared after 9/11 when the US entered into a new defence relationship with Pakistan by designating that country as a ‘Major Non-NATO Ally’ (MNNA) in c. 2004. Under this rubric, it then supplied arms to Pakistan ostensibly to fight the Taliban/Al Qaeda terrorists who were operating out of mud houses and caves in the Pakistan-Afghanistan border. This was so even in circa 2008 by which time the US-Pakistan co-operation in the Global War on Terror (GWOT) steam had run out and the US was attacking inside Pakistan at will. Only this time, most of the kind of arms supplied were not usable against these terrorists. These were items like 250 Armour piercing TOW 2A Anti-tank missiles, Excalibur Precision Guided Munitions (PGMs), eight Aerostat radars, six AN-TPS77 surveillance radar, 5600 military radio sets, 500 AMRAAM air-to-air missiles, 200 AIM-9M Sidewinder missiles, 36 F-16 Block 52s, mid-life upgrade to 34 existing F-16 A/Bs to C/D block 50/52, 8 P-3C maritime reconnaissance aircraft, mid-life upgrade to existing P-3 fleet, modernization of the Shahbaz Airbase (Jacobabad), 26 Bell 412 helicopters, 39 T-37 military trainer jets, 150 submarine/surface/air launched Harpoon Block II missiles, six Phalanx Close In Weapon Systems (CIWS) for the Navy, five refurbished SH-2I Super Seasprite maritime helicopters etc. The US is also to provide Pakistan with three additional P-3 aircraft that will be configured with the E-2C HAWKEYE airborne early warning electronics suite. Later, in c. 2009, the US complained that its P-3C and Harpoon missiles have been converted for attacking India. Since the start of Afghan operations in c. 2002, the US had supplied other arms like 115 155mm Self-propelled M109A5 howitzers, 20 AH-1 Cobra Attack helicopters, upgrades to existing older versions of AH-1 Cobras, 6 C-130Hs, transfer of 8 Perry-class guided missile Frigates upgraded with anti-submarine warfare (ASW) capability, five fast patrol boats, 450 vehicles for Frontier Corps, hundreds of NVGs, thousands of protective vests, 12 Shadow drones, Harris high frequency communication sets, and undisclosed special weapons. In c. 2010, it gave Pakistan 18 new F-16 aircraft which the US Air Force spokesman Lieutenant Colonel Jeffry Glenn said “would give the Pakistan Air Force greatly expanded capabilities in its fight against ‘radical elements’ in the border region.” The US also delivered 1,000 MK-82 500-pound bombs to Pakistan which were later outfitted with 700 GBU-12 and 300 GBU-10 Paveway laser-guided bomb kits built by Lockheed and Raytheon, allowing the country’s air force a better targeting of the weapons. In addition, the International Military Education and Training (IMET) programme had been revived after c. 2002, and significant number of officers from Pakistan Army have attended these programmes. “We must continue to reassure Pakistan that as it combats the terrorist threat, it is not exposing itself to increased risk along its eastern border,” said Under Secretary of Defence for Policy Michele Flournoy while explaining why the United States needed to strengthen Islamabad’s conventional defence systems as well. “Although extremist attacks have led to the repositioning of substantial Pakistani forces, Pakistan’s strategic concerns about India remain pre-eminent”. The import of these statements was revealed by an exposed cable by the WikiLeaks wherein the US Ambassador in Pakistan, Ms. Anne W Patterson justified another USD 1.5 Billion to Pakistan to provide for its ‘national defense’ against the ‘threat from India’. In October 2010, the US decided to grant USD 2 Billion worth of arms to Pakistan, spread over a five year period.

The economic aid is equally mind-boggling. Even at the official level, the US-Pakistan relationship is contingent upon the massive aid that the Pakistanis have received ever since Eisenhower decided to establish a close relationship with that country. In the period between circa 1954 and 2002, the US had provided Pakistan with overt aid amounting to USD 12.6 Billion. In the period after 9/11, between circa 2002 and 2007, the US aid was over 9 Billion USD (USD 4.586 billion as reimbursement for assistance to Op Enduring Freedom (launched Oct. 7, 2001) and USD 4.422 Billion as economic and military assistance). The Kerry-Lugar-Berman Act (or PEACE Act, 2009 or Pakistan Enduring Assistance and Cooperation Enhancement Act or also known as Enhanced Partnership Act 2009), assured USD 1.5 Billion of economic aid every year for five years. All these are in addition to the Direct Military Aid from the Pentagon which is on top of the equipment that Pakistan receives through normal foreign military sales (FMS) overseen by the State Department. Those sales vary year to year but generally total around $300 million annually. A special counterinsurgency fund approved by Congress earlier in c. 2009 gave the Pentagon the authorisation to speedily deliver military equipment to the Pakistan Army. In addition, Pakistan gets reimbursed annually USD 1.6 Billion for the logistical and military support it provides to the US (the Coalition Support Fund). The US also offers Pakistan annually another aid of USD 700 million to fight Al Qaeda and Taliban on its soil (the Counter Insurgency Capability Fund). It later emerged that all these funds were misused by the Government of Pakistan. Besides these two funding options, the US offers a series of other funds: Foreign Military Financing (FMF), International Military Education and Training (IMET), International Narcotics Control and Law Enforcement, Non-proliferation Anti-Terrorism, De-mining & Related. The US uses the FMF to maintain close contacts with the Pakistani military and as a ‘foundation for bilateral security relationship’. After 26/11, the US decided to increase its FMF assistance to Pakistan to USD 400 Million a year for five more years. This was expected to demonstrate the US commitment to Pakistan and affirm its reliability as a partner. This was also expected to address, among other security needs, its “growing conventional disadvantage vis-à-vis India,” in order to secure its cooperation in the “war on terror.” ‘ Pakistan also owes the various lending organizations directly controlled by the US such as IMF, IBRD, ADB etc. over 20 Billion US Dollars. Overall, by 2006, Pakistan’s foreign debts had declined from US$ 47.8 Billion to US$ 30.3 Billion, solely due to US waivers and other interventions. Only in c. 2009, did the Americans attach stringent conditionalities on how these funds were to be spent by Pakistan. One of the conditions was to make sure that the funds were not squandered or diverted to affect the “balance of power in the region”. In any case, the total US overt aid to Pakistan in c. 2010 amounted to well over USD 4.5 Billion.The quantum of the covert aid is unknown.

Apart from military and economic aid,
the political and diplomatic support given by the US to Pakistan has been phenomenal. The US took a hostile stand against India in the J&K issue in the United Nations. Later, the US extended a similar support to Pakistan's policies with respect to Afghanistan after the 1989 Geneva Accord. The US also turned a blind eye to Pakistan's overt and covert support to jihadi terrorists against India. In fact, the US even helped Pakistani terrorism against India in the Punjab when its Defence Intelligence Agency (DIA) helped these terrorists. The US has also baled out Pakistan from tight spots it brought upon itself in pursuit of its truculent and obstreperous hostility with India, such as in Kargil or Op. Parakram or the 1993 terrorist attacks in Mumbai, for example. Above all these, the US allowed Pakistan to acquire nuclear weapons and their delivery platforms through China and North Korea and allowed Pakistani scientists and engineers to shop for critical dual-use components all over Europe and the US, by turning a blind eye and even lying to its own Congress much against accumulated intelligence. This single act, more than anything else, has been a monumental folly of the US Administrations. Ms. Clinton's reference yesterday in Islamabad to 'snakes in the backyard', while true for Pakistan, is also therefore true for the US because the very same Pakistan that it nurtured with tactical brilliance and strategic stupidity is now threatening the US with nuclear attacks !

No other nation has given so much aid to Pakistan keeping its head bob over the swirling waters without drowning, for six decades now. Not even their extremely wealthy ummah brethren, the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA). The 'taller-than-the-tallest mountain, sweeter-than-the-sweetest-honey and deeper-than-the-deepest-ocean all weather friend' China does not dispense with hard cash and helps Pakistan only on a project-by-project basis and when that would be beneficial to it also. And, yet, Pakistan has been singularly ungrateful to the US. It was petulant when the US decided to offer a moderate amount of military aid to India after the Chinese aggression in c. 1962. It abused the US when the US decided to cut-off military aid to Pakistan [and India too] in c. 1965 after war broke out between the two countries following Pakistani aggression. The mobs attacked the US consulates in Karachi and Lahore as a result of state orchestrated campaign against the perceived US betrayal. The US Embassy in Islamabad was burned down in November 1979 on a mere rumour of US forces occupying Makkah even as Gen. Zia-ul-Haq deliberately delayed rushing any assistance to the trapped Americans inside. He also accused the Americans themselves by saying, "according to some international radio transmissions, the Americans had inspired the attack" !

A discussion of Pakistan is utterly incomplete without talking about India because of the equation that Pakistan had unsuccessfully sought to make with its 'motherland' after the partition and the paranoia about India that the Pakistani establishment has successfully created in the minds of Pakistanis and until recently in Western minds as well. That obsession with India alone can explain the 'ungratefulness' of the whole nation of Pakistan to the US after receiving so much aid and support spread over six decades. The US, after its WW II success, has followed the 'with us or against us' policy ruthlessly. It has also always acted according to the inputs of the UK in matters pertaining to the Indian subcontinent assuming that the British knew the best about this region. A major reason for that was Sir Olaf Kirkpatrick Caroe who was the Governor of NWFP and later the last foreign secretary of the British Raj. He was very hostile to the Congress government in NWFP and reportedly organized the opposition to Nehru when he visited there and ensured NWFP’s joining with Pakistan. Olaf Caroe told the Americans in the 1950s that the operations in Mesopotamia (Iraq) in WW I and in Iran in WW II were made possible from bases in Imperial India and with the independence of India he suggested replacing Imperial India with Pakistan. The British really expected India to fragment and so needed a stable country to thwart the southward expansion of communism and protect the oilfields of the Middle East. Francis Tucker, the last General Officer-Commanding of the British Indian Eastern Command, believed that the creation “of a new Muslim power supported by the science of Britain” would “place Islam between Russian Communism and Hindustan.” Hinduism was thought too weak because of its “superstition and formalism” and therefore an easy prey to a "philosophy such as Communism”. It was therefore deemed necessary by the British to place “Islam between Russian Communism and Hindustan”. They also needed a fuelling/transit point for flights to Far East. The British also had little faith that Indian leaders will accept the British hegemony after Independence whereas a Pakistan created with the goodwill of the British, will remain grateful to them. They also wanted to protect the ‘wells of power’ as Sir Olaf Caroe called the discovery of oil in the Middle East.

Thus, the Great Game was continued by the USA which promptly co-opted a more than willing Pakistan into various defence treaties by c. 1955. India, which refused to be drawn into superpower politics and wished to remain non-aligned with either power block, was alarmed by the axis of Pakistan and the USA and sought to restore the balance by seeking and getting help from the USSR even though it neither subscribed to Communism nor it joined the Soviet-bloc of countries. India's non-alignment was characterized as 'immoral' by Secretary of State, John Foster Dulles of the Eisenhower administration. This perception continued throughout the Cold War and was accentuated by India's counter moves to court the Soviet Union to balance the deep nexus US-Pakistan. Also, Nehru’s attempts at forging third world solidarity and his unmasked revulsion of the United States added fuel to the American (f)ire. Nehru declared in c. 1960, “The future destiny of the world cannot be decided by two or three great powers. We stand looking at the crest of tremendous changes in the world. We are not mere onlookers there. We are actors in this drama and we propose to be actors in it in our own way”. In addition to all these factors, two more important factors helped shape the US policies in the region: cultural and religious. The Indians were characterized as 'effeminate Hindus' while the Pakistanis were thought of as belonging to 'martial race' and fiercely passionate about their religion.

One can easily see therefore that the alliance between Pakistan and the US was flawed right from the beginning because there was never a convergence of fundamental strategic interest between the two nations; it was based on a faded Imperial power's spurious visions for itself; it was transactional because the exigencies of situations demanded that and when these exigencies disappeared the US-Pakistan relationship also quickly fell apart only to be revived all over again when the next situation arose; Pakistan always wanted the US-Pakistan relationship to be directed against India as a zero-sum game which a superpower could not accede to against a large democracy and a powerful country like India.

If only the US would do two things now, Pakistan would immediately put its relationship with the US back on the rail. They are, accord primacy to Pakistan in evolving a solution to the Afghanistan issue accepting it unquestioningly, and curtail Indian involvement in Afghanistan drastically, nil if possible.
Posted by Pak-Watch at 8:18 PM 
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« Reply #1135 on: October 22, 2011, 04:35:14 PM »

Post by V.Sood, ex Chief of India's spy agency.

The Nature of Our Neighbour
One was reasonably sure many years ago that Osama was hiding in Pakistan, most probably in the Abbottabad area. Pakistan authorities, however, consistently denied Osama's presence in their country.

But, as it embarrassingly turned out, Osama was living with his family, along with an entire terrorist and communication paraphernalia. This was despite the country's ubiquitous intelligence machinery with its close contacts with the terrorist underworld.

If Islamabad did not know, then its is clear that the terrorists there are running out of control. If Islamabad did know, then it obviously chose not to disclose the information and assist the US in its effort against terrorism. This was either a strategic decision of the rulers for use of assets later, or a tactical decision to keep the ultra radicals at bay. Both underscore a natural desire to play the terror card.


House of terror: Pakistan authorities had repeatedly denied Osama's
presence in their country, even as he lived a short distance away from
the country's capital.

Pakistan is to try Dr Afridi, who is suspected to have given information to the US, which led to the famous SEAL assault on May 2 and the subsequent death of Osama. Is it treason to help the US find the world's most wanted terrorist? It was rather a service that he did to the US and the world. Yet, the attitude is that not helping the US find Osama was an act of supreme loyalty by the ISI and the Pakistan Army.

These are unfortunate directions Pakistan is taking, egged on by an increasingly intolerant section that is strident, violent, and at times vicious. Just looking at photographs of thousands of Islamists protesting against the sentencing of Salman Taseer's killer, juxtaposed with the news that 13 innocent Shias were taken off a bus, lined and killed in cold blood by Sunni radicals, has a chilling effect. It is not that radicalism spreads in one massive tsunami. It creeps in slowly and all it takes is a few good men to keep quiet for the virus to spread. It happens when a small child is accused of blasphemy for misspelling, when Ahmedi children are banned from attending school, or when religious laws that discriminate against women are espoused.

Why is it that Pakistan chooses to behave in a manner that has made it an international pariah with a broken economy and a rundown social structure that can't give its young the gift of modern education, but subjects them to the medieval obscurantism of many madrassas? Soon after its birth, Pakistan was naturally anxious to make its formation a success. Its mistake was to perennially seek equality with India. Since then it has boxed above its weight. It decided to play its locational card with the West. It offered its territory for US Cold War objectives, then for the Afghan jihad and then again, ostensibly against terrorism. Pakistan's leaders also learnt that delinquency could be rewarding, so they either played the victim or spread terror, assured protection by the country's status as a nuclear power.

The West, especially the US has continued its policy of coddling Pakistan. What were considered startling accusations by the outgoing American Chief of Joint Staff Admiral Mullen 10 days ago, are already being watered down. True, there are many Pakistani men and women who shudder at the direction their country is taking. It is also true that there are far more in Pakistan who believe in the ideology of the Taliban and Lashkar-e-Tayyaba that promises ultimate and global Islamic dominance.

The only thing they dislike is violence against Pakistanis. The main worry in India is not that Pakistan will use the nuclear bomb; the main worry is that it will continue to use militias like the Lashkar-e-Tayyaba as a veritable arm of the Pakistan Army whose own motto is 'jihad f'isb illah' (jihad in the name of Allah). Our fear should be that hordes of militant believers could be let loose by their mentors. If a country's rulers can be duplicitous with their benefactor there is very little reason to believe they will not do likewise or worse with their 'sworn enemy'.

The writer is former chief of Research and Analysis Wing (RAW)
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« Reply #1136 on: October 23, 2011, 11:10:57 AM »

Here's a solution to pak (that I have proposed earlier!), by B.Raman.
US: TIME FOR A NEW STRATEGY ON PAKISTAN
B.RAMAN

The indicators from reliable sources in Pakistan are that the just-concluded visit ( October 21,2011) of Mrs.Hillary Clinton, the US Secretary of State, to Pakistan at the head of a high-power delegation including the new incumbents to the important posts of Chairman, Joint Chiefs of Staff, General Martin Dempsey and Director of the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA),David Petraeus, failed to have the necessary impact on the military as well as civilian leadership.


2. What she was expecting was a clear commitment from the Pakistani leadership with a time-bound plan of operation to neutralise the sanctuaries of Al Qaeda and the Haqqani network, an arm of the Afghan Taliban, in the Pashtun belt in the Federally-Administered Tribal Areas (FATA)---particularly in North Waziristan.


3. The Pakistani civilian and military leaders were as evasive as ever and the Army headed by Gen.Ashfaq Pervez Kayani, the Chief of the Army Staff (COAS), avoided making any commitment on this issue despite cautions emanating from identified and unidentified sources in Washington regarding the likely punitive consequences of continued Pakistani inaction against the terrorist sanctuaries in Pakistani territory from which, according to the US, attacks are launched against NATO and Afghan targets in Afghan territory.


4. As the US moves towards the Presidential elections next year, the counter-insurgency and counter-terrorism operations of the US-led NATO forces in Afghanistan have been stalling on the ground. Spectacular decapitation strikes against high-value targets through pilotless Drone aircraft and commando actions such as the one that killed Osama bin Laden on May 2 last have not produced any major qualitative change in the ground situation.


5. Successful decapitation strikes need time to produce results on the ground situation. The Obama Administration wants quick results that would enable it to start thinning out the US troop presence in Afghanistan well before next-year’s elections when Mr.Obama will be seeking re-election.


6. Such quick results in counter-insurgency and counter-terrorism operations come only from successful strikes against terrorist sanctuaries and other infrastructure on the ground through a mix of air and ground actions. Such a mix facilitated the elimination of OBL in Abbottabad, but it is difficult to repeat it against widely-scattered terrorist infrastructure.


7. The US faces a dilemma because it does not have the stomach for sustained ground operations by its forces in Pakistani territory. Any ground operation by the US forces that is confined to North Waziristan alone would not produce enduring results because the entire Pakistan---its tribal belt as well as the non-tribal hinterland--- provides a strategic depth to the Afghan Taliban, including its Haqqani network.


8. The cruel reality is that without the co-operation of the Pakistan Army, the US is not in a position to mount a successful counter-sanctuary operation in Pakistani territory. The Pakistan Army has a clear understanding of the limitations to the ground action capabilities of the US in Pakistani territory. Such limitations do not arise from Pakistan’s nuclear arsenal as it is generally presumed. They arise from the nature of the tribal belt and the vast non-tribal hinterland.


9. There are no quick answers to the operational dilemma faced by the US in Pakistan. The US has to realise that Pakistan as constituted presently will continue to keep coming in the way of the over-all strategic objectives of the US in the Af-Pak region. Unless the Pakistani capabilities are weakened, there is going to be no enduring solution to the US dilemma in Pakistan. Economic and military sanctions alone will not weaken Pakistan’s capabilities in view of the assistance that would be forthcoming to Pakistan from China and Saudi Arabia.


10. The only enduring way of weakening the capability of Pakistan is to work strategically for changing the very nature of Pakistan as it is constituted presently by identifying friendly elements in Pakistan such as the Balochs, the Mohajirs and the Shias and helping them in achieving their objective of freeing themselves from the control of the Pakistani Army. What he is saying is that Balochistan, Sindh, and some Parts of Pashtoonistan should be encouraged to become free !


11. These three elements have been struggling on their own, but they have not made much headway due to lack of external support and absence of strategic unity amongst them. If they can be persuaded to come together in a Southern Alliance and struggle jointly and if their political objectives are supported by the outside world---the US particularly—one may see the beginning of the process of weakening the capability of the Pakistani Army to stand in the way of peace and stability in the region.


12. The time has come for a clear realisation that Pakistan as constituted presently is the problem in the region and that unless the non-radical sections of the Pakistani society are helped to assert themselves, no enduring solution would be possible. ( 23-10-11)


( The writer is Additional Secretary (retd), Cabinet Secretariat, Govt. of India, New Delhi, and presently, Director, Institute For Topical Studies, Chennai, and Associate of the Chennai Centre For China Studies. E-mail: seventyone2@gmail.com.

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« Reply #1137 on: October 23, 2011, 10:24:23 PM »


Karzai Says Afghanistan Would Back Pakistan if U.S. Attacks
Published October 23, 2011
| Associated Press
 
AP
Oct. 20: US Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton, right, shakes hands with Afghanistan's President Hamid Karzai during their meeting in Kabul.

KABUL, Afghanistan –  Afghan President Hamid Karzai has said if the United States and Pakistan ever went to war, his country would back Islamabad, drawing a sharp rebuke Sunday from Afghan lawmakers who claimed the country's top officials were adopting hypocritical positions.

The scenario is exceedingly unlikely and appears to be less a serious statement of policy than an Afghan overture to Pakistan, just days after Karzai and U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton said Islamabad must do more to crack down on militants using its territory as a staging ground for attacks on Afghanistan.

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"If fighting starts between Pakistan and the U.S., we are beside Pakistan," Karzai said is an interview with private Pakistani television station GEO that aired Saturday. "If Pakistan is attacked and the people of Pakistan need Afghanistan's help, Afghanistan will be there with you."
He said that Kabul would not allow any nation, including the U.S., to dictate its policies.
Both Washington and Kabul have repeatedly said Pakistan is providing sanctuary to militant groups launching attacks in Afghanistan.
The comments set off a firestorm of criticism in the country. Afghan lawmakers argued they were particularly hypocritical coming just weeks after the assassination of former Afghan President Burhanuddin Rabbani by a suicide bomber.
While it is unclear who masterminded Rabbani's killing, the Afghan government has said it was planned in the Pakistani city of Quetta, the Taliban leadership's suspected base. In addition, the Afghan interior minister accused the Pakistani intelligence service of being involved -- a claim that has not been substantiated.
"Pakistan has never been honest with Afghanistan, and the nation of Afghanistan will never forget those things that happen here" because of Pakistan, Shah Gul Rezaye, a lawmaker from Ghazni province told The Associated Press, citing Rabbani's death and other incidents of violence.
"They make deal with terrorists, and then with the international community ... to get $1 billion from the U.S. under the name of the struggle against terrorism," she said.
The U.S. Embassy in Kabul said it was up to the Afghan government to explain Karzai's remarks.
"This is not about war with each other," Embassy spokesman Gavin Sundwall told the AP. "This is about a joint approach to a threat to all three of our countries: insurgents and terrorists who attack Afghans, Pakistanis, and Americans."
Following her stop in Kabul, Clinton flew to Pakistan to deliver the blunt message that if Islamabad is unwilling or unable to take the fight to the al-Qaida and Taliban-linked Haqqani network operating from its border with Afghanistan, the U.S. "would show" them how to eliminate its safe havens.
Even so, she said the U.S. has no intention of deploying U.S. forces on Pakistani soil, and that the favored approach was one of reconciliation and peace -- an effort that needed Islamabad's cooperation.
Pakistan has been reluctant to move more forcefully against the Haqqani, arguing such an act could spark a broader tribal war in the region.
While it weighs its options, NATO pressed ahead with its operations.
The U.S.-led coalition and Afghan forces on Saturday concluded two operations aimed at disrupting insurgent operations in Kabul, provinces south of the Afghan capital and along the eastern border with Pakistan -- all places where the Haqqani network has launched attacks.
NATO did not release further details about the operations, but Army Lt. Col. Jimmie Cummings, a coalition spokesman, said Sunday that "a number of Haqqani affiliated insurgents plus additional fighters have been either detained or killed in the course of operations."
During her visit to Pakistan, Clinton said Haqqani fighters were among those killed and captured during the operations.
"Many dozens, if not into the hundreds, have been captured or killed on the Afghan side of the border," she said in Islamabad.
The push comes as NATO plans to pull out its combat forces by the end of 2014 and hand over full security responsibility to the Afghans.
But the attacks and assassination attempts continue.
In the latest such incident, bodyguards for Afghan Interior Minister Bismullah Khan Mohammadi shot and killed a would-be suicide bomber who was waiting for the minister's convoy Sunday in Sayyed Khel district of Parwan province, north of Kabul, the ministry said. The minister was not in the convoy at the time.
NATO also said three of its service members were killed separate clashes with insurgents in the south and east of the country. The coalition did not provide additional details, but the deaths, which occurred Saturday and Sunday, raised to 474 the number of NATO service members killed so far this year in Afghanistan.
Also, five villagers were killed while trying to remove a roadside mine planted by the Taliban in the western province of Herat, the provincial governor's spokesman, Mohyaddin Noori, said Sunday.

Read more: http://www.foxnews.com/world/2011/10/23/karzai-says-afghanistan-would-back-pakistan-if-us-attacks/#ixzz1beyUKKMu
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« Reply #1138 on: October 24, 2011, 08:35:35 PM »

I listened to the original video. karzai clearly makes those statements in hindi/urdu. After making those statements, he abruptly switches to english for the remainder of the interview. I think Karzai is panicking, the rabbani and other assasinations are striking home, the US will leave soon, he has signed security accords with India, he needs to get on the right side of the ISI, afterall many still remember the fate of najibullah.
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« Reply #1139 on: October 27, 2011, 07:55:37 PM »

http://www.thefridaytimes.com/beta2/tft/article.php?issue=20111028&page=4
Some snippets...
The ghosts that haunt Kayani


The military is not committed to this conflict. But it's not because of "strategic-depth" brinksmanship, nor the endgame "hedging" of the Haqqanis, not even due to India's "Cold Start" doctrine. It is because it has serious emotional baggage.



An extraordinary number of young officers killed in action since 2001 has severed the command and control structures of several frontline units for the Pakistan Army.

So let the hawks romanticise the SSG. Or the rest of the Army. Or the Rangers or the Levies or the FC or even the Coast Guards. It really doesn't matter, for the Pakistani military does not want to fight this war.

That's right. It's not news that the military is not committed to this conflict. But it's not because of "strategic-depth" brinksmanship, nor the endgame "hedging" of the Haqqanis, not even due to India's "Cold Start" doctrine. No, those are official reasons for public consumption and posturing diplomacy. They're good enough motives to influence the Pakistani military's strategic calculus, at least from its own perspective. But still, all of them are constructed and contrived reasons, conceived by khaki strategists to convince themselves, as well as others, about how things really ought to be. Thus, these are talk-show reasons. Or drawing-room reasons. Or conference-hall reasons. Not intrinsic ones.

The 'real' types of reasons - especially in paranoid, semi-failed and irrational security states - that drive or mitigate war are, always, intuitive and emotional. And the Pakistani army has serious emotional baggage when it comes to fighting this war, for it is evident all over Cherat.

This army was never ready for counterinsurgency and counterterrorism operations before it jumped into them, because deployment in that type of combat requires small, dynamic formations that can think independently and "on their feet"
It is in that remote mountainous cantonment where one glimpses the slivers of this Army's confused raison d'etre: A sign that points to the direction of Srinagar as well as Jerusalem; a memorial dedicated to the war-dead from 1965, embarrassingly smaller than the one dedicated to 1971; Coats of Arms of various Raj-era units, that once conquered and killed locals here, chiselled along the face of the mountains; and of course, emblazoned quotes from the Quran. And then, at the far edge of the camp, past a 30-foot mural of an SSG warrior who is declaring in Farsi,"Mun Janbaz Um" (that he is ready to give up his life), there is the Officer's Mess: A single-story structure with a view more befitting of a millionaire's Swiss chalet than the haunt of men who command an elite, third-world military formation.

But once inside, along the walls of the main hall, all you see are the ghosts of battles past.

Photographs, of each and every SSG officer killed in action, adorn the rich teak panelling. The pictures go around the room, about the size of any upper-class Pakistani foyer, covering almost three of the four walls. A few of the images, from the early wars, are black and white. The rest of them, from newer, more familiar conflicts, are in colour. Among the artificial swords, antique rifles, and a cheap oil landscape of Shaitan Taikri (a jagged outpost in the Ali-Barangsa sector on the Line of Actual Control in Siachen) there are a whole lot more of these fresh, framed fatalities.

Image analysts would have a field day in this SSG shrine. Some of the officers lost in earlier battles are clean-shaven, with a debonair and dapper English country-gentleman look to them. Then come the moustaches of the '70s. Then the beards of the Siachen era. But then, a notable pattern begins. Younger officers. Older officers. Lots of them. All killed in the War on Terror. Very, very recently.

In his phantom punching that aimed at preempting the Clinton visit's agenda, General Kayani said many things in his GHQ meeting with our parliamentarians last week. He postured: "They [the US] will have to think ten times [before attacking] because Pakistan is not Iraq or Afghanistan". He bluffed: "If anyone convinces me that everything will be sorted out if we act in North Waziristan, I will take immediate action". He even got to play statesman-in-chief: "For short-term gains, we cannot lose [sight of] our long-term interests [in Afghanistan]".

But then, the general appealed.

Citing a staggering statistic, Gen Kayani let us into what's really beginning to haunt his institution: That the army has suffered 12,829 casualties since 2001, including 3,097 killed, with what the New York Times reports as an "unusually high ratio of one officer killed for every 16 soldiers since it [the Pakistan army] began fighting the Taliban".

This is critical. Like him or not, agree with him or not, but if you just believe Gen Kayani's math, then it means the Pakistan Army has lost almost 194 officers in this conflict. As the average strength of a Pakistani infantry battalion (primarily the type of unit deployed in forward areas and that most prone to casualties) is about 900 men, with around 10 or so of them being officers, then Kayani's accounting means his army has lost enough enlisted men to completely wipe out more than three entire battalions (that's one brigade) and incapacitate 14 or so battalions (almost 5 brigades). But the real problem is that the army has lost enough officers to decapitate around 20 battalions; a shocking, disturbing statistic, especially for an institution that has been documented to be thoroughly weaved together through fraternal, kinship, tribal and legacy connections, and where the officer calls all the shots - on and off the field.

If they have weren't already been briefed by Munter's defence analysts about this on their trip, then Clinton, Petraeus, Dempsey et al should think hard what they dealing with. Sure, the intransigence to not commit to combat from the Pakistan Army has many 'larger' reasons, but the root cause may well be morale - the toughest factor to quantify for battle - or lack of it.

In an elitist army where many officers are related to each other, and where the commander-centric modules of conventional training ensure that units are highly dependent on officers to lead them, it's a safe bet to assume two things: One, that almost all of Pakistan's top brass have lost an officer they know and/or are related to, or work directly with someone in uniform who has. And two, that Pakistan's undertrained and underequipped soldiers are increasingly leaderless in battle.

After due sympathies and respect for such a tremendous loss, it must be stressed that this is the Army's own fault. The policy decision to commit troops in FATA etc has been debated too often, so let it be a forgone conclusion that the Pervez Musharraf/ Ehsan-ul-Haq/ Ashfaq Kayani/ Nadeem Taj/ Shuja Pasha-led GHQ-ISI combine made some questionable strategic and operational decisions in the last decade.

Just focus on what really went wrong in FATA operations for the army: a top-heavy institution that has for decades trained for conventional war with India, expecting its officers to mostly lead all formations - small and large - into battle, and thus (much like it's colonial-era predecessor) heavily invested in the "thinking and doing" capacity of its officers versus just the "doing" potential of its soldiers.

That is where the army's extraordinarily high officer-to-soldier losses have come in. This army was never ready for counterinsurgency and counterterrorism operations before it jumped into them, for deployment in that type of combat requires small, dynamic formations that can think independently and "on their feet". As our enlisted men have always been treated for the initiative-lacking, "Allah-u-Akbar" swearing, soldiers that they essentially are, the need to achieve viable objectives has forced the army to thrust its officers to over-commit in frontline deployments they've never trained for either. As more of these ranks have been killed - over-exposed by 'leading from the front' operations and/or increasingly 'target killed' by selective snipers - internally, for the Army's officer corps, this means more brothers, cousins, nephews and in-laws are also dead.

So, for the Pakistan Army, this war is questionable. Not just strategically. Nor economically. Not even religiously. But more than any other reason, existentially. Thus, the SSG warrior's mural in Cherat lied: He might be ready to give life in battle...But he doesn't really want to fight this war.

The writer is a former Shorenstein Fellow at the Harvard Kennedy School and a broadcast/online journalist. He can be reached at wajahat_khan@hks.harvard.edu and @wajskhan on Twitter
 
« Last Edit: October 27, 2011, 08:00:23 PM by ya » Logged
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« Reply #1140 on: October 27, 2011, 08:06:46 PM »

stats..http://www.longwarjournal.org/pakistan-strikes.php
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« Reply #1141 on: November 04, 2011, 06:51:17 PM »

Pakistan's nuclear weapons vulnerable to theft: report
(AFP) – 6 hours ago  
WASHINGTON — Pakistan has begun moving its nuclear weapons in low-security vans on congested roads to hide them from US spy agencies, making the weapons more vulnerable to theft by Islamist militants, two US magazines reported Friday.
The Atlantic and the National Journal, in a joint report citing unnamed sources, wrote that the US raid that killed Al-Qaeda chief Osama bin Laden in May at his Pakistani compound reinforced Islamabad's longstanding fears that Washington could try to dismantle the country's nuclear arsenal.
As a result, the head of the Strategic Plans Divisions (SPD), which is charged with safeguarding Pakistan's atomic weapons, was ordered to take action to keep the location of nuclear weapons and components hidden from the United States, the report said.
Khalid Kidwai, the retired general who leads the SPD, expanded his agency's efforts to disperse components and sensitive materials to different facilities, it said.
But instead of transporting the nuclear parts in armored, well-defended convoys, the atomic bombs "capable of destroying entire cities are transported in delivery vans on congested and dangerous roads," according to the report.
The pace of the dispersal movements has increased, raising concerns at the Pentagon, it said.
Pakistan has long insisted its nuclear arsenal is safe and the article quotes an unnamed official from the powerful Inter-Services Intelligence agency saying: "Of all things in the world to worry about, the issue you should worry about the least is the safety of our nuclear program."
The Pentagon declined to comment on the article but a senior US military official told reporters in Washington Friday that the United States remains confident Pakistan's nuclear weapons are secure.
"I believe the Pakistan military arsenal is safe at this time, well guarded, well defended," said the military official, who spoke on condition of anonymity.
The article, based on dozens of interviews, said the US military has long had a contingency plan in place to disable Pakistan's nuclear weapons in the event of a coup or other worst-case scenario.
The Joint Special Operations Command (JSOC) has for years trained for a potential "disablement campaign" that its forces would lead and that would require entering more than a dozen nuclear sites and seizing or defusing atomic weapons, it said.
The operation would use sensitive radiological detection devices that can pick up trace amounts of atomic material and JSOC has even built mock Pashtun villages with hidden mock nuclear-storage depots at a site on the East Coast to train elite Navy SEAL and Delta Force commandos, the report said.
Although Pakistan has suggested it might shift towards China and forsake its ties to Washington, Chinese officials have reached an understanding in secret talks with US representatives that Beijing would raise no objections if the United States opted to secure Pakistan's nuclear weapons, said the report, citing unnamed US sources.
« Last Edit: November 04, 2011, 07:27:48 PM by Crafty_Dog » Logged
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« Reply #1142 on: November 04, 2011, 07:34:57 PM »

John Crosbie, a former Canadian federal cabinet minister and currently lieutenant-governor of Newfoundland and Labrador, joking..

"This fellow said, 'I was so depressed last night thinking about the economy, wars, jobs, my savings, social security, retirement funds, etc., I called a suicide hotline and got a call centre in Pakistan. When I told them I was suicidal, they got all excited and asked if I could drive a truck.' "
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« Reply #1143 on: November 04, 2011, 07:59:13 PM »

That has been floating around for a couple of years now, but in light of your preceding post you have me looking like a Jewish Don King. shocked
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« Reply #1144 on: November 04, 2011, 08:02:29 PM »

There has been long term concerns about the security of the Pak-nukes. It appears it's getting worse.

Or, the ISI is setting up their alibi for a "whoopsie" when a Pak-nuke detonates CONUS.
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« Reply #1145 on: November 04, 2011, 08:24:08 PM »

Now there is an unpleasant thought.

Of course, just the fact/rumor that something had disappeared could have an intimidating effect all of its own.
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« Reply #1146 on: November 04, 2011, 08:29:12 PM »

Now there is an unpleasant thought.

Of course, just the fact/rumor that something had disappeared could have an intimidating effect all of its own.


And a new approach for funds to ensure the Pak-nukes remain secure.
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« Reply #1147 on: November 04, 2011, 08:43:19 PM »

http://hotair.com/archives/2011/11/04/great-news-pakistani-intel-driving-around-in-lightly-defended-vehicles-in-traffic-with-nuclear-weapons/

Great news: Pakistani intel driving around in lightly defended vehicles in traffic with nuclear weapons
 

posted at 5:33 pm on November 4, 2011 by Allahpundit

 
Something light from Jeffrey Goldberg and Marc Ambinder to start the weekend on an upbeat note.
 

One method the SPD uses to ensure the safety of its nuclear weapons is to move them among the 15 or more facilities that handle them. Nuclear weapons must go to the shop for occasional maintenance, and so they must be moved to suitably equipped facilities, but Pakistan is also said to move them about the country in an attempt to keep American and Indian intelligence agencies guessing about their locations.
 
Nuclear-weapons components are sometimes moved by helicopter and sometimes moved over roads. And instead of moving nuclear material in armored, well-defended convoys, the SPD prefers to move material by subterfuge, in civilian-style vehicles without noticeable defenses, in the regular flow of traffic. According to both Pakistani and American sources, vans with a modest security profile are sometimes the preferred conveyance. And according to a senior U.S. intelligence official, the Pakistanis have begun using this low-security method to transfer not merely the “de-mated” component nuclear parts but “mated” nuclear weapons. Western nuclear experts have feared that Pakistan is building small, “tactical” nuclear weapons for quick deployment on the battlefield. In fact, not only is Pakistan building these devices, it is also now moving them over roads.
 
What this means, in essence, is this: In a country that is home to the harshest variants of Muslim fundamentalism, and to the headquarters of the organizations that espouse these extremist ideologies, including al-Qaeda, the Haqqani network, and Lashkar-e-Taiba (which conducted the devastating terror attacks on Mumbai three years ago that killed nearly 200 civilians), nuclear bombs capable of destroying entire cities are transported in delivery vans on congested and dangerous roads. And Pakistani and American sources say that since the raid on Abbottabad, the Pakistanis have provoked anxiety inside the Pentagon by increasing the pace of these movements. In other words, the Pakistani government is willing to make its nuclear weapons more vulnerable to theft by jihadists simply to hide them from the United States, the country that funds much of its military budget.
 
That’s the tastiest morsel from a long, horrifying piece chronicling 20 years of Pakistani paranoia, treachery, and jihadism. The big takeaways aren’t surprising: It isn’t “rogue” elements of ISI that support terrorism, it’s the whole establishment; our “alliance” is a complete fraud held together by mutual fear of what would happen if it collapsed; as Pakistani society slowly crumbles, their nuclear deterrent becomes more important to them as a matter of national pride and as a sword/shield against India, etc. If you follow news about Pakistan, you learned those lessons long ago and re-learn them every week. Case in point: If you missed it last month, enjoy this NYT report on rockets being fired at U.S. troops in Afghanistan from across the border in Pakistan over the past six months — coincidentally, ever since the Bin Laden raid that embarrassed our “ally” so much. Ten days later after it was published, a U.S. general accused Pakistani foot soldiers in the area of either looking the other way at jihadis firing the rockets or outright collaborating with them in the attacks. If that story’s not to your taste, try this one from a few days ago about leaders of the Haqqani network — the single most dangerous jihadist outfit in Afghanistan — moving freely about Pakistan with ISI’s blessing, even to the point of visiting military facilities in Rawalpindi. (And yet they’d have you believe they didn’t know where Bin Laden was.) Pakistani hostility isn’t an open secret anymore; it’s simply not secret at all in any meaningful sense.
 
Why read the Goldberg/Ambinder piece, then, when you already know all this stuff? Well, for details like this. What happens if there’s a coup or the army fractures and suddenly Pakistan’s nuclear arsenal is in play? Quote:
 

JSOC [U.S. Special Operations Command] would take the lead, however, accompanied by civilian experts, and has been training for such an operation for years. JSOC forces are trained to breach the inner perimeters of nuclear installations, and then to find, secure, evacuate—or, if that’s not possible, to “render safe”—any live weapons. At the Nevada National Security Site, northwest of Las Vegas, Delta Force and SEAL Team Six squadrons practice “Deep Underground Shelter” penetrations, using extremely sensitive radiological detection devices that can pick up trace amounts of nuclear material and help Special Operations locate the precise spot where the fissile material is stored. JSOC has also built mock Pashtun villages, complete with hidden mock nuclear-storage depots, at a training facility on the East Coast, so SEALs and Delta Force operatives can practice there.
 
At the same time American military and intelligence forces have been training in the U.S for such a disablement campaign, they have also been quietly pre-positioning the necessary equipment in the region. In the event of a coup, U.S. forces would rush into the country, crossing borders, rappelling down from helicopters, and parachuting out of airplanes, so they could begin securing known or suspected nuclear-storage sites. According to the former senior Special Operations planner, JSOC units’ first tasks might be to disable tactical nuclear weapons—because those are more easily mated, and easier to move around, than long-range missiles.
 
In a larger disablement campaign, the U.S. would likely mobilize the Army’s 20th Support Command, whose Nuclear Disablement Teams would accompany Special Operations detachments or Marine companies into the country. These teams are trained to engage in what the military delicately calls “sensitive site exploitation operations on nuclear sites”—meaning that they can destroy a nuclear weapon without setting it off. Generally, a mated nuclear warhead can be deactivated when its trigger mechanism is disabled—and so both the Army teams and JSOC units train extensively on the types of trigger mechanisms that Pakistani weapons are thought to use. According to some scenarios developed by American war planners, after as many weapons as possible were disabled and as much fissile material as possible was secured, U.S. troops would evacuate quickly—because the final stage of the plan involves precision missile strikes on nuclear bunkers, using special “hard and deeply buried target” munitions.
 
Just one minor problem with this strategy: Pakistan knows we have standby plans to seize their arsenal if things turn desperate, which is why they’ve resorted to insane tactics like driving operational nukes around in civilian vehicles and, of course, why they’ve been ramping up production of their nuclear trump card for the past two years. They’d rather risk a catastrophic accident or the atomic version of the great train robbery by Al Qaeda than lose face by letting the U.S. know where its nukes are — which, ironically, only increases the odds of an emergency that’ll require American intervention. (The fact that this cat-and-mouse game is already being played explains why, I assume, Goldberg and Ambinder felt free to delve into detail. They’re not telling either side here anything it doesn’t already know; in fact, I wonder if U.S. intel deliberately outed Pakistan’s reckless transport of “mated” nukes to force them to take greater precautions.)
 
So what’s our next move in dealing with a paranoiac armed to the teeth with nuclear weapons? Why, there is no next move: Goldberg and Ambinder conclude, correctly, that the only option is to maintain the “alliance” and keep U.S. military aid flowing since that gives us marginally more leverage in averting disaster than we’d otherwise have. Imagine a lunatic wired with a bomb who’s holding a bunch of people hostage. You’ve got only two options — either shoot him or, if you can’t do that, keep talking talking talking and hope that eventually his attitude changes. That’s the only way to understand our surreal new strategy of inviting ISI to join peace talks in Afghanistan while simultaneously accusing them of sponsoring terrorists. Exit question: It seems taken as a given on our side that a nuclear Iran would be the most dangerous country in the world. But why? Pakistan is filthy with jihadists too, they’ve already got a huge stockpile of weapons, and their command and control seems much dicier than the Revolutionary Guard’s. And needless to say, if Iran’s regime crumbles, we won’t have to worry as much about what replaces it the way we do with Pakistan.
« Last Edit: November 04, 2011, 11:14:56 PM by Crafty_Dog » Logged
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« Reply #1148 on: November 04, 2011, 11:18:06 PM »

From 2001:

http://www.isis-online.org/publications/terrorism/stanleypaper.html

According to a variety of media reports, Pakistan's nuclear weapons are implosion-type designs and are stored with their fissile cores separated from the non-nuclear components.7 This arrangement may reflect safety limitations in the weapons, rather than be a fundamental method to provide better access control over the weapons as in the case of South Africa. Pretoria designed its weapons to have front and back sections that were stored separately.

The simplest interpretation of the available information is that the fissile core and the rest of the device are stored separately in vaults. However, it is also possible that the weapon minus the fissile core is mounted on a delivery vehicle, and the fissile core is stored separately.

Pakistan's nuclear weapons are not thought to be "one-point safe" or equipped with permissive action links (PALs), at least as defined by the United States.8 PALs are often viewed broadly as devices to prevent the unauthorized use of a nuclear weapon. The more effective ones, however, are integral to the warhead and require the entry of a code before the weapon can be armed and fired. A box and a lock could under some definitions be called a PAL. The problem, however, is that such a system is not integral to the weapon, and should be more appropriately considered as a physical protection device rather than a PAL. Similarly, a system applied after the weapon is built, such as a control over the electronic firing systems, could also be bypassed in a straightforward manner. Here, PALs are thus defined narrowly as a system incorporated in the design of the weapon that prevents unauthorized access.

It is unknown if Pakistan has coded switch devices integral to its delivery systems (as opposed to the actual warheads). Such switches would act as hardware "gatekeepers" for ballistic missiles or aircraft. The need for a special code to arm and fire the missile or drop a gravity bomb would impede the ability of unauthorized personnel to carry out a nuclear strike. Such devices may be easier to master than PALs.

Pakistan appears to emphasize the need to keep its storage locations secret. This strategy is different from the situation in the United States and Russia, where nuclear storage sites are relatively distinctive because of the elaborate security arrangements. These sites have extensive security, including fences, towers, guards, and bunkers, that is visible in overhead surveillance.
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« Reply #1149 on: November 05, 2011, 12:52:31 PM »

Thought this titbit is revealing, India unilaterally granted  MFN status to Pak 17 years ago. Apparently the paki army is against it, for increased trade and increased export of Indian goods might be destabilizing.

Pakistan: India Not Granted Most Favored Nation Status - PM

November 5, 2011
Pakistan has not granted most favored nation status to India, Pakistani Prime Minister Yousaf Raza Gilani, stated, adding that the Cabinet approved the Commerce Ministry to proceed with the issue during bilateral negotiations, PTI reported Nov. 5. Pakistan will move forward only if the situation is favorable and in the national interest, Gilani said.
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