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Thread: The US & others working with Pakistan

  1. #521
    Council Member Bob's World's Avatar
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    Perhaps a glimmer of hope for Pakistan.

    http://www.thedailybeast.com/newswee...-minister.html
    Robert C. Jones
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    (Understanding is more important than Knowledge)

    "The modern COIN mindset is when one arrogantly goes to some foreign land and attempts to make those who live there a lesser version of one's self. The FID mindset is when one humbly goes to some foreign land and seeks first to understand, and then to help in some small way for those who live there to be the best version of their own self." Colonel Robert C. Jones, US Army Special Forces (Retired)

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    Council Member davidbfpo's Avatar
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    Default Go back a bit, to go forward?

    Bob,

    Our occasional correspondent Hamid Hussain has provided a commentary (on attachment) on Pakistan's emerging political situation, notably the guided emergence of Imran Khan's political party and yes, the role of the military / ISI.
    Perhaps worth a return visit, Post 234 on the Pakistani Politics thread:http://council.smallwarsjournal.com/...t=2912&page=12
    davidbfpo

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    Council Member carl's Avatar
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    That Newsweek article made me laugh once or twice. It mentioned that once Imran Khan is elected he plans to order the Army to do something. (I started laughing again when I wrote that sentence.) That the author of the article could let that pass without expanding greatly upon it indicates that the author may be a little out of touch with Pakistani politics.
    "We fight, get beat, rise, and fight again." Gen. Nathanael Greene

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    Time for me to replug an old article about Imran Khan: http://www.3quarksdaily.com/3quarksd...man-rises.html

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    That Newsweek article made me laugh once or twice. It mentioned that once Imran Khan is elected he plans to order the Army to do something.
    Some feel he is an Army stooge!

  6. #526
    Council Member Bob's World's Avatar
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    I don't know much about this man, but I do believe he makes some important points. Points that I think are important, and that he seems to stand for are:

    1. That it is important for the leader of Pakistan to not be perceived as selling out his/her country by subjugating the interests of Pakistan and the Pakistani people to the interests of some foreign power in exchange for favor and economic benefit. Arguably recent leaders of Pakistan have done this with the US.

    2. That it is important for the leader of Pakistan to reestablish the tradition of non-interference with the tribal populaces shared with Afghanistan and to refrain from excessive efforts to exercise governmental control over the same.

    3. Pakistan is in a challenging situation, and must carefully balance relationships with powerful neighbors, such as China and India; while at the same time also balancing the often odd demands of far away powers such as the US. No easy task between these nuclear powers. To add a degree of difficulty most of us Westerners cannot fully appreciate is the relationships the government must manage with the many diverse and distinct populace groups that live within and expand across her borders.

    4. No Pakistani leader will be able to make everyone happy or answer to every powerful party's demands. To attempt to make all happy will make none happy, and only failure can come of that. One must choose, and recent choices seem to have been poor ones for Pakistan. For Americans, we must learn that an honest "no" is a far better answer to live with than a disingenuous "yes."
    Robert C. Jones
    Intellectus Supra Scientia
    (Understanding is more important than Knowledge)

    "The modern COIN mindset is when one arrogantly goes to some foreign land and attempts to make those who live there a lesser version of one's self. The FID mindset is when one humbly goes to some foreign land and seeks first to understand, and then to help in some small way for those who live there to be the best version of their own self." Colonel Robert C. Jones, US Army Special Forces (Retired)

  7. #527
    Council Member carl's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bob's World View Post
    1. That it is important for the leader of Pakistan to not be perceived as selling out his/her country by subjugating the interests of Pakistan and the Pakistani people to the interests of some foreign power in exchange for favor and economic benefit. Arguably recent leaders of Pakistan have done this with the US.

    2. That it is important for the leader of Pakistan to reestablish the tradition of non-interference with the tribal populaces shared with Afghanistan and to refrain from excessive efforts to exercise governmental control over the same.

    3. Pakistan is in a challenging situation, and must carefully balance relationships with powerful neighbors, such as China and India; while at the same time also balancing the often odd demands of far away powers such as the US. No easy task between these nuclear powers. To add a degree of difficulty most of us Westerners cannot fully appreciate is the relationships the government must manage with the many diverse and distinct populace groups that live within and expand across her borders.

    4. No Pakistani leader will be able to make everyone happy or answer to every powerful party's demands. To attempt to make all happy will make none happy, and only failure can come of that. One must choose, and recent choices seem to have been poor ones for Pakistan. For Americans, we must learn that an honest "no" is a far better answer to live with than a disingenuous "yes."
    As to point 1. I think they already run that game on us. They talk all the time about the primacy of Pakistani interests, but then when they want the money, they say what good buddies they are. They choose to run the game.

    As to point 2., I agree to an extent. They should stop supporting the expansion of the wild eyed Jihadis in the areas despite the opposition of the local people. The relatives of all the tribal elders killed by the Jihadis and the people represented by them would like that and would probably like to see a few killers come to trial.

    Also, I read once that one of the problems of the border areas is that they are not subject to the same laws as the rest of the country. That results in some inequities.

    As to point 3., no doubt.

    As to point 4., I am somewhat puzzled. As far as I can see, there is no "leader" of Pakistan. The closest thing is Kayani sahib who is primarily interested in fostering the well being of his group, the army, everything else being secondary.

    But your use of the word leader raises a question. Do you think it would be beneficial for Pakistan to have a system whereby there was something like a "leader"? Do you think the country would benefit if there was a civilian leader who could call up Kayani on the phone, tell him he wanted his resignation within 20 minutes, and be obeyed?

    Your are darn right that we should learn to live with an honest no rather than a lying yes. But we have been the ones rewarding the lying yes, for years. Why on earth should they stop the lying yes if we give them money for it? That is our fault, not theirs. We're the frog, they're the scorpion.
    Last edited by carl; 04-24-2012 at 02:21 PM.
    "We fight, get beat, rise, and fight again." Gen. Nathanael Greene

  8. #528
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    To me this excerpt seems pretty relevant:

    from: http://dawn.com/2012/04/24/negotiating-with-america/


    The US agenda included transformation of Pakistan’s armed forces and their mission. Relations with Pakistan would not have plunged so low if Washington had not embarked upon a policy to tame Pakistan’s military establishment. The coercive approach ran into a major crisis with Nato’s fateful air attack on the Pakistani border post of Salala. The Pakistan Army has since demonstrated that it can leverage its strength better than the hapless civilians devoid of popular support.

    Given the present realities, the iron law of necessity demands that Pakistan and the US successfully negotiate the parameters of their future relations. In Pakistan, the project is endangered by two sets of people: a powerful lobby in the political class, diplomacy, economic ministries and the media that yearns to get back to a golden past that never existed and agitational groups that thrive on pathological anti-Americanism. In Washington, the threat comes from segments of the establishment that are still not willing to factor into policy Pakistan’s strategic concerns and the aspirations of its people to achieve a semblance of what the political scientists fashionably call ‘sovereign equality’.

  9. #529
    Council Member carl's Avatar
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    Translation of the passage quoted by VCheng "It's the Yankees fault and things would be so much better if they would just understand the Pak Army/ISI's strategic concerns." or more simply "Just do what we want and keep the money coming."
    "We fight, get beat, rise, and fight again." Gen. Nathanael Greene

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    Quote Originally Posted by carl View Post
    Translation of the passage quoted by VCheng "It's the Yankees fault and things would be so much better if they would just understand the Pak Army/ISI's strategic concerns." or more simply "Just do what we want and keep the money coming."

    Pakistan Army has perfected the milking of the foreign bogeyman concept to a high art over the decades, and is finding it to its purpose to paint the India-USA (Hindus and Jews - "Hanood-o-Yahood" in local parlance- what could be juicier?) nexus as the existential threat to its captive nation.

    From USA's point of view, it will be a long hard struggle to bring this out-of-control nuclear-capable terrorist-spawning monster under some form of decent civilian control, given the absolutely horrible robber baron trash that passes as politicians these days in Pakistan.

    Couple this with the increasingly insurmountable social problems ranging from water to power to education to the economy, and John Le Carre himself could not lay the stage for a more dramatic thriller for the next decade or two.

    Am I being hyperbolic? Not at all, for I have some idea of what I speak about here.

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    The following Op-Ed peice from DefPk gives an insight into the kind of thinking that pervades the Pakistani mindset these days:

    http://www.defence.pk/drives-america...ms-region-721/

    excerpts:


    Since the end of Second World War America has been constantly in a state of war. This strategy of endless war justifies the existence of its massive war industry. Nationalistic or religious unrest is fomented in its areas of “interest” followed by moving in as a “savior”, with or without a UN “mandate”. ........................

    In the hearing of the Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations of the US House of Representatives Committee on Foreign Affairs held on February 8, 2012, the American designs on this region were brought into the open. What was before routinely dismissed as a conspiracy theory has now been clarified: “Let's stick it to the Pakistanis”.

    ...................

    The larger picture is that this would eventually help them in isolating, containing and restraining China.

    The current setbacks against Taliban are merely a nuisance for the Americans.

    The region is ready for their next move: There is ample unrest. Iran is isolated and crippled under sanctions. It has hostile Sunni Arabs on its western side and an Afghanistan occupied by hostile American forces on its eastern side. Pakistan’s economy and law and order are in shambles, due to inept government and the American War on Terror.

    With this single goal in mind, the American policy suffers from severe myopia. For now it doesn’t matter for policy-makers if:
    - The Committee leaders holding the hearings and presenting resolutions calling for an independent Balochistan can even pronounce the name properly.
    - The Committee Congressmen have enough insight about the people, its politics and geographical makeup; or
    -The Baloch diaspora originating from Pakistan, Afghanistan and Iran have enough influence over their Congressmen. (If so, it would be welcome and can be used to legitimize America’s intervention.);

    .........................

  12. #532
    Council Member davidbfpo's Avatar
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    VCheng,

    As I have posted before what happens to Pakistan if the USA decides it has had enough and stops / reduces the flow of financial support?

    One wonders if the Pakistani military are prepared to think through the implications of such a reduction for their own institution. The civil Pakistani economy may be able to replace some of the funding, although IIRC revenue raising is a little difficult.
    davidbfpo

  13. #533
    Council Member carl's Avatar
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    VCheng:

    The USA can't do much about bringing Pakistan under decent civilian control. I would be thrilled if we would just stop giving money to the killers in the Pak Army/ISI. If we did that at least it might start them, only start them mind you, down the path to realistic thinking. Beyond that, I don't think we can do anything despite the people inside the beltway thinking we can guide and influence anybody, anywhere, anytime.

    I didn't think you were being hyperbolic at all.
    "We fight, get beat, rise, and fight again." Gen. Nathanael Greene

  14. #534
    Council Member tequila's Avatar
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    Carl - Given the effects of the Pressler Amendment and subsequent cutoff of aid in 1990, I think that may be rather wistful thinking. The Pakistani Army saw itself isolated and without Western patronage. Rather than spurring a reexamination of its institutional priorities, this only aggravated its paranoia about Western intentions, especially towards Pakistan's nuclear capability, and saw the growth of ties to China.

    The negative effects of the 1990 cutoff probably weigh on policymakers' reluctance to completely cut off ties to the Pakistani military.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Bob's World View Post

    1. That it is important for the leader of Pakistan to not be perceived as selling out his/her country by subjugating the interests of Pakistan and the Pakistani people to the interests of some foreign power in exchange for favor and economic benefit. Arguably recent leaders of Pakistan have done this with the US.
    There is no doubt that the leaders of a Nation should not appear as if they have sold their nation to a foreign power or be taken to have subjected the country to vassalage.

    However, when a country is solely dependent on a specific foreign country for sustenance as a Nation and requires that foreign country to remain relevant as a Nation, then one has to not live in denial of its sorry state.

    If indeed the Pakistanís are so concerned about their national pride, then they should do something for themselves as a starter rather than await dole to salvage them from pecuniary. Majority of Pakistanis donít pay tax! It is not that they are poor, it is just that they evade paying tax!

    Pakistan's transgender tribe of tax collectors
    http://articles.cnn.com/2011-04-14/w...ne?_s=PM:WORLD

    Pragmatic parasite
    What happened to all the posturing in Pakistan on patriotism and sovereignty?
    Most of Pakistanís ministers, MPs and judges donít pay taxes. On an average, a Pakistani MP is worth $9,00,000. The assets of its richest MP, Mahboobullah Jan of the ruling PPP, is worth $37 million, according to Pakistan Institute of Legislative Development and Transparency. Nawaz Sharif paid no income tax last year.
    http://expressbuzz.com/opinion/colum...te/382290.html

    The Secret Strength of Pakistan's Economy
    Nasirís business, his home, his power and water supply, and even the cup of tea Abid brings him donít exist in Pakistanís official figures. Theyíre part of another economy that doesnít pay taxes or heed regulations. It probably employs more than three quarters of the nationís 54 million workers and is worth as much as 50 percent of Pakistanís 18 trillion rupee ($200 billion) official gross domestic product. And while the documented economy had its smallest expansion in a decade at 2.4 percent in the year ended June 2011, soaring demand for cars, cement for houses, and other goods shows the underground market is thriving.



    If the US is bankrolling Pakistanís survival, both economically and militarily, and that too a country that has an adage that there is nothing called a Free Lunch, one would feel that the US is indeed very restrained and doing its level best to keep itself in check, unless when the situation goes totally against US strategic and political aims.

    2. That it is important for the leader of Pakistan to reestablish the tradition of non-interference with the tribal populaces shared with Afghanistan and to refrain from excessive efforts to exercise governmental control over the same.
    Indeed that is a correct step. However, such areas cannot be totally divorced from the reality of the nation of Pakistan.

    One cannot have laws that are repressive and totally freewheeling. At best, the tribal customs and traditions should not be tinkered, but even so, archaic laws that are out of step with Pakistan and even the world cannot be condoned as being non interfering.

    The sovereignty of Pakistan has to run in all areas of Pakistan.


    3. Pakistan is in a challenging situation, and must carefully balance relationships with powerful neighbors, such as China and India; while at the same time also balancing the often odd demands of far away powers such as the US. No easy task between these nuclear powers. To add a degree of difficulty most of us Westerners cannot fully appreciate is the relationships the government must manage with the many diverse and distinct populace groups that live within and expand across her borders.
    What unique challenging situation is Pakistan in that is no applicable to every other country in the region?

    If indeed, Pakistan has diversity, is it not applicable to others too? Say, India or China? India has no regulated border with Nepal and the population cross over either way at will.

    Indeed tribesmen, who have had a freewheeling existence, will create problems. However, what is required is not let them loose and instead educated them to understand the realities of the world. If Christian missionaries could Ďtameí the wild ones of the Orient and Africa or even early Europe, what prevents application of their formula (without proselytising) and tame the wild ones?

    It is, however, politically prudent to keep the wild ones wild so as to extract the usual pound of flesh through blackmail, while the locals loot the Nation and yet stay afloat with US munificence!


    4. No Pakistani leader will be able to make everyone happy or answer to every powerful party's demands. To attempt to make all happy will make none happy, and only failure can come of that. One must choose, and recent choices seem to have been poor ones for Pakistan. For Americans, we must learn that an honest "no" is a far better answer to live with than a disingenuous "yes."
    In short, do I read that let the chaos continue and the US be bled white?

  16. #536
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    To me this excerpt seems pretty relevant:

    from: http://dawn.com/2012/04/24/negotiating-with-america/

    The US agenda included transformation of Pakistanís armed forces and their mission. Relations with Pakistan would not have plunged so low if Washington had not embarked upon a policy to tame Pakistanís military establishment. The coercive approach ran into a major crisis with Natoís fateful air attack on the Pakistani border post of Salala. The Pakistan Army has since demonstrated that it can leverage its strength better than the hapless civilians devoid of popular support.

    Given the present realities, the iron law of necessity demands that Pakistan and the US successfully negotiate the parameters of their future relations. In Pakistan, the project is endangered by two sets of people: a powerful lobby in the political class, diplomacy, economic ministries and the media that yearns to get back to a golden past that never existed and agitational groups that thrive on pathological anti-Americanism. In Washington, the threat comes from segments of the establishment that are still not willing to factor into policy Pakistanís strategic concerns and the aspirations of its people to achieve a semblance of what the political scientists fashionably call Ďsovereign equalityí.
    From a Pakistani newspaper, such comments are natural.

    In Pakistan, the civil govt is redundant. It is cosmetic.

    The power in Pakistan grows from the barrel of the gun.

    What options are there but to make the Pakistan military come to heel?

    This very statement proves the point that the Army is the supreme authority in Pakistan and hence requires to be addressed:

    The Pakistan Army has since demonstrated that it can leverage its strength better than the hapless civilians devoid of popular support.
    The remainder part of the article is pure hogwash in English!

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    Quote Originally Posted by davidbfpo View Post
    VCheng,

    As I have posted before what happens to Pakistan if the USA decides it has had enough and stops / reduces the flow of financial support?

    One wonders if the Pakistani military are prepared to think through the implications of such a reduction for their own institution. The civil Pakistani economy may be able to replace some of the funding, although IIRC revenue raising is a little difficult.
    If the US stops giving money and arms, Pakistan will be in a cul de sac.

    It will turn to China with the bowl. And that would not be to US' advantage.

    China is keen to have the Pakistani pear drop into its waiting hands so that Pakistan has no options but to stop all terrorists going into China and upsetting her attempt to change the demographic pattern in East Turkmenistan and assimilating them into the Han culture.

    However, China has no qualms about niceties and so it will drive a hard bargain. As it is China is in control of Northern Areas with its Army working overtime out there. Pakistan will be owned!

  18. #538
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ray View Post

    In short, do I read that let the chaos continue and the US be bled white?
    Chaos can come as much from attempting to exert excessive or inappropriate control over things that are either uncontrollable or simply not one's business to control in the first place.

    The US has determined that it must exercise control over the political out come of Afghanistan to make itself safe, and based on that decision they have tied the nation to an impossible task and have thereby elevated and extended violence in Afghanistan by elevating the Northern Alliance into power unnaturally, and equally unnaturally sustained them there; and have facilitated tremendous instability in Pakistan in the actions and expectations we have placed upon them to support this Quixotic quest of ours.

    The Chaos we have created is arguably good for India, as it serves to weaken Pakistan and has created opportunities for India to envelop Pakistan in Afghanistan. But that also disrupts the balance of nuclear deterrence and could lead to catastrophic miscalculations by either or both of the parities.

    We have chaos now. Dangerous chaos. And it is from misguided attempts to control things that should not be, and perhaps cannot be, controlled.
    Robert C. Jones
    Intellectus Supra Scientia
    (Understanding is more important than Knowledge)

    "The modern COIN mindset is when one arrogantly goes to some foreign land and attempts to make those who live there a lesser version of one's self. The FID mindset is when one humbly goes to some foreign land and seeks first to understand, and then to help in some small way for those who live there to be the best version of their own self." Colonel Robert C. Jones, US Army Special Forces (Retired)

  19. #539
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    Quote Originally Posted by tequila View Post
    Carl - Given the effects of the Pressler Amendment and subsequent cutoff of aid in 1990, I think that may be rather wistful thinking. The Pakistani Army saw itself isolated and without Western patronage. Rather than spurring a reexamination of its institutional priorities, this only aggravated its paranoia about Western intentions, especially towards Pakistan's nuclear capability, and saw the growth of ties to China.

    The negative effects of the 1990 cutoff probably weigh on policymakers' reluctance to completely cut off ties to the Pakistani military.
    I will concede that probably nothing but a smashing defeat at the hands of somebody or other or a national collapse will get the Pak Army/ISI to change their thinking. The problem with our policymakers reluctance to stop the money is they use it to kill us. I don't like my money being used to kill a guy I may have sat next to in a chow hall. If the money were completely cut off, at least they would have use their own or somebody else's money when they try to kill us.

    There were some negative effects to the 1990 cutoff but those negative effects have to be weighed against the negative effects that occur with aid being given. To me no aid or aid is a tossup so we should save the money.
    "We fight, get beat, rise, and fight again." Gen. Nathanael Greene

  20. #540
    Council Member carl's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bob's World View Post
    The US has determined that it must exercise control over the political out come of Afghanistan to make itself safe, and based on that decision they have tied the nation to an impossible task and have thereby elevated and extended violence in Afghanistan by elevating the Northern Alliance into power unnaturally, and equally unnaturally sustained them there; and have facilitated tremendous instability in Pakistan in the actions and expectations we have placed upon them to support this Quixotic quest of ours.

    The Chaos we have created is arguably good for India, as it serves to weaken Pakistan and has created opportunities for India to envelop Pakistan in Afghanistan. But that also disrupts the balance of nuclear deterrence and could lead to catastrophic miscalculations by either or both of the parities.

    We have chaos now. Dangerous chaos. And it is from misguided attempts to control things that should not be, and perhaps cannot be, controlled.
    You say we have facilitated instability in Pakistan. The Pak Army/ISI are playing a double game by sponsoring and supporting the Afghan Taliban & Co.. From what I read they are pretty careful not to upset the Pak Army/ISI because they could not succeed without that support. They don't make trouble in Pakistan. The Pak Army/ISI supports them to insure "strategic depth" for its own odd purposes. So how does all that translate into our actions facilitating instability in Pakistan?

    Also how does something that advantages India, disadvantage us? India has its problems but if you are looking for allies, India is vastly superior; and they don't take our money and kill Americans with it.

    And I don't understand how India can "envelop" Pakistan in Afghanistan. They surely aren't going to base an armored corps there to make a "cold start" easier. The use of the word "envelop" in that context is as strange as "strategic depth".

    If India did "envelop" Pakistan in Afghanistan, how does that alter the balance of nuclear deterrence? Pakistan's nukes aren't based in Jalalbad. I don't see how it would change a thing.

    Last question, aren't the Pak Army/ISI's actions in Afghanistan being taken because it "has determined that it must exercise control over the political out come of Afghanistan to make itself safe"?
    Last edited by carl; 04-26-2012 at 02:05 PM. Reason: I forgot something.
    "We fight, get beat, rise, and fight again." Gen. Nathanael Greene

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