Page 1 of 5 123 ... LastLast
Results 1 to 20 of 708

Thread: The US & others working with Pakistan

Hybrid View

Previous Post Previous Post   Next Post Next Post
  1. #1
    Small Wars Journal SWJED's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    Location
    Largo, Florida
    Posts
    3,989

    Default The US & others working with Pakistan

    20 July New York Times commentary - The Talibanís Silent Partner by Robert Kaplan.

    When the American-led coalition invaded Afghanistan five years ago, pessimists warned that we would soon find ourselves in a similar situation to what Soviet forces faced in the 1980ís. They were wrong ó but only about the timing. The military operation was lean and lethal, and routed the Taliban government in a few weeks. But now, just two years after Hamid Karzai was elected as the countryís first democratic leader, the coalition finds itself, like its Soviet predecessors, in control of major cities and towns, very weak in the villages, and besieged by a shadowy insurgency that uses Pakistan as its rear base.

    Our backing of an enlightened government in Kabul should put us in a far stronger position than the Soviets in the fight to win back the hinterland. But it may not, and for a good reason: the involvement of our other ally in the region, Pakistan, in aiding the Taliban war machine is deeper than is commonly thought.

    The United States and NATO will not prevail unless they can persuade Pakistanís president, Pervez Musharraf, to help us more than he has. Unfortunately, based on what senior Afghans have explained in detail to American officials, Pakistan is now supporting the Taliban in a manner similar to the way it supported the Afghan mujahedeen against the Soviets two decades ago.

    The Taliban has two leadership cells operating inside Pakistan, presumably with the guidance and logistical support of local authorities. Senior lieutenants to Mullah Muhammad Omar, the Talibanís supreme leader, are ensconced in Quetta, the capital of the Pakistani province of Baluchistan. From there they direct military operations in the south-central Afghan provinces of Helmand, Kandahar, Uruzgan and Zabul.

    Meanwhile, one of the Talibanís savviest military commanders, Jalaluddin Haqqani, and his sons operate out of Miramshah, the capital of the North Waziristan Province. From there, they run operations in Kabul and the eastern Afghan regions of Khost, Logar, Paktia and Paktika...

  2. #2
    Council Member
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Location
    Calcutta, India
    Posts
    1,124

    Default

    Brigadier Richard E Simpkins in the his book "Race to the Swift" as far back as 1985 visualised that the Islamic threat would be the spectre that would haunt the western world. It is obvious that he would not have penned such a radical thought in print without it having attained some credibility in the political and military academic circles.

    However, the western political circles did not appreciate the full impact of the Islamist wave that was sweeping the world since it did not affect them, so much so many a Islamist radical movements found sanctuary in Britain and elsewhere. The Tablighi, ostensibly a pacifist Islamic movement was gnawing away at the innards of the western world and swelling the rank of Islam with converts. This was feasible since there was an influx of political asylum seekers and Asian job seekers in the West. It was only after 9/11 when it impacted the western world did the west awake to the devastating effect that this Islamic wave was impacting elsewhere around the world i.e. Kashmir, some places in Africa, West Asia etc.

    Quite shortsightedly the US encouraged these radicals and gave assistance to rid Afghanistan of the Soviet bear even though USSR was, as it is, on its last legs. But then the Americans are by upbringing and psyche an impatient people who like quick fixes. This quick-fix attitude has brought about the menace of Islamic radicals who plague the earth.

    Zia, the born again Islamist, grabbed the US offer and ran camps to organise, equip and control the Taliban hordes against the USSR in Afghanistan. He required this manna since he was an illegitimate usurper of the throne and required to shore up his illegitimacy and nothing is better than religion to divert attention from the miseries of daily life of a poverty stricken and illiterate mass of humanity.

    The defeat of the Soviet Union brought about an illusion amongst the Moslem hordes that superpowers can be defeated if one is resolute in Islam. All said and done, no matter what the apologists have to say, the Koran is clear that the only religion that is pure and authentic is Islam. And yet, Islam was not doing well. It was proliferating at a rapid pace, but it was not the ruler of the world! This dichotomy was put to rest (at least in the Islamic mind) by the defeat of USSR in Afghanistan. It gave the impetus to achieve the impossible - world at the feet of Islam. And, why not? If a totalitarian superpower can be defeated, then surely a democratic superpower too could be brought to its knees since democracy has many an infirmity in mustering a national will.

    Thus, this foundationed the current Islamic fundamentalism that is running wild with a pipe-dream. Only thing is that they don't think it is a pipe-dream.

    In this Islamist dream, the Pakistani population, from whose womb the "Islamic warriors" emerged, has snatched the shining armour from Arabia as the prima Donna and champion and centre of Islam! This fact manifest itself wherein Pakistanis remain in the forefront terrorist attacks in the US (latest being the attempt to blow up a Jewish temple at Seattle). The Arabs are nowhere on the scene any more. Even in the latest meeting of the Organisation of Islamic Countries (OIC) at Kuala Lumpur, Pakistan took the lead to condemn the Israeli bombing on Lebanon!

    Pakistan is the front-line ally of the US in the War on Terror. This is but a ploy to keep Pakistan from exhibiting open terrorism so that the western actions in Afghanistan is not totally derailed. The US mollifies the Pakistani regime with lollies like F 16 etc and massages the Pakistani ego of being the most modern Islamic defence force. But the game maybe deeper than what meets the eye.

    It is in the US interest to mollify and placate Pakistan. Given the commitment in Iraq and the defiance of Iran, the west is in no position to take on Pakistan should it interfere more vigorously in Afghanistan. There is no love lost between the two given the harsh words exchanged by their respective leaders about each other.

    Therefore, to keep Pakistan busy, the US and its proxies are actively participating in the Balochistan liberation movement. If Balochistan remains "hot", Pakistan's attention toward Afghanistan would be diluted. Further, if liberation does come, Iran would be boxed in from both sides and the Chinese influence in Gwadar (aimed to make its presence felt in the Indian Ocean and thus challenge the US; as also have a listening post into US activities in the Middle East) removed. It maybe noted that Gwadar in no way assists Balochistan.
    http://www.thenews.com.pk/daily_detail.asp?id=17800
    http://www.thenews.com.pk/daily_detail.asp?id=17889

    But Afghanistan and Balochistan liberated means the Tazakhistan - Afghanistan - Balochistan pipeline is through to feed the oil guzzling requirements of India and China (NIC 2020)! This miracle is very essential for the US flagging economy!

    Therefore, Pakistan survival depends on delaying the US plans. Taliban is their saviour!
    Last edited by Ray; 08-02-2006 at 03:13 PM.

  3. #3
    Small Wars Journal SWJED's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    Location
    Largo, Florida
    Posts
    3,989

    Default Pakistan: GWOT Ally or Enemy?

    26 August Washington Post news analysis - Pakistan's Awkward Balancing Act on Islamic Militant Groups by Pamela Constable.

    For the past five years, Pakistan has pursued a risky, two-sided policy toward Islamic militancy, positioning itself as a major ally in the Western-led war against global terrorism while reportedly allowing homegrown Muslim insurgent groups to meddle in neighboring India and Afghanistan.

    Now, two high-profile cases of terrorism -- a day of gruesome, sophisticated train bombings in India in mid-July and a plot foiled this month to blow up planes leaving Britain for the United States -- have cast a new spotlight on Pakistan's ambiguous, often starkly contradictory roles as both a source and suppressor of Islamic violence, according to Pakistani and foreign experts.

    Moreover, increasing evidence of links between international attacks and groups long tolerated or nurtured in Pakistan, including the Taliban and Kashmiri separatists, are making it difficult for the military-led government here to reconcile its policy of courting religious groups at home while touting its anti-terrorist credentials abroad...

    The basic problem for Pakistan's president, Gen. Pervez Musharraf, is that he is trying to please two irreconcilable groups. Abroad, the leader of this impoverished Muslim country is frantically competing with arch-rival India, a predominantly Hindu country, for American political approval and economic ties. To that end, he has worked hard to prove himself as a staunch anti-terrorism ally.

    But at home, where he hopes to win election in 2007 after eight years as a self-appointed military ruler, Musharraf needs to appease Pakistan's Islamic parties to counter strong opposition from its secular ones. He also needs to keep alive the Kashmiri and Taliban insurgencies on Pakistan's borders to counter fears within military ranks that India, which has developed close ties with the Kabul government, is pressuring its smaller rival on two flanks...

    Until recently, Musharraf had handled this balancing act with some success, Pakistani and foreign experts said. He formally banned several radical Islamic groups while quietly allowing them to survive. He sent thousands of troops to the Afghan border while Taliban insurgents continued to slip back and forth. Meanwhile, his security forces arrested more than 700 terrorism suspects, earning Western gratitude instead of pressure to get tougher on homegrown violence.

    But this summer, a drumbeat of terrorist violence and plotting in India, Britain and Afghanistan have begun to blur the distinction between regional and international Islamic violence. Pakistan, which has a large intelligence apparatus, is now in the awkward position of denying any knowledge of local militants' links to bombings in India and Afghanistan, while claiming credit for exposing their alleged roles in the London airliner plot...

    Islamabad's fragile new alliance with the West has developed only since 2001, when Musharraf renounced the Taliban and embraced the anti-terrorist cause. The U.S.-Pakistan relationship has been strained both by Musharraf's foot-dragging on democratic reforms and by India's high-profile rapprochement with Washington, including a controversial new nuclear energy agreement.

    Analysts said the Musharraf government may now be playing up its role in foiling the London plot in order to reinforce its importance as a strategic Western ally.

    Some observers suggested that in different ways, both Pakistan and India are using the terrorist threat to bolster their competing relations with the West. Just as Pakistan, the regional underdog, may be exaggerating its role as a terror-fighter, they noted, India, the aspirant to global influence, may be exaggerating its role as a victim of terror.

    Others suggest that U.S. policy in the Middle East is making it difficult for Muslim countries such as Pakistan to remain peaceful and in control of large, impoverished populations who increasingly turn to religion and identify with the struggles of Muslims in other countries.

    But critics said Pakistan's problems with Islamic violence cannot be resolved as long as the military remains in power. In an unusual move last month, a diverse group of senior former civilian and military officials wrote an open letter to Musharraf, warning that the country is becoming dangerously polarized and that a uniformed presidency only exacerbates the problem by politicizing the armed forces. The only solution, the group wrote, is a transition to a "complete and authentic democracy."

  4. #4
    Council Member
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Location
    Calcutta, India
    Posts
    1,124

    Default

    It is to massage the ego of Pakistan that it is the front line ally.

    Musharraf is incongruous in the sphere of Pakistani politics and has been forced by fate into the high office since he had to undertake the coup or else he would be facing court-martial, which was what the Prime Minister Sharif had lined up for him on return from Sri Lanka.

    Ever since then, he has had to play the role of a juggler, both internally and externally. The powerful forces at home that were aligned against him forced him to devise the strategy to show his "prowess" as the saviour by showing positive results taht so far was eluding Pakistan and thereby making himself acceptable both internally and in the international field.

    It was evident that without the US assistance and US permission, no external funds would be available to salvage the bankrupt Pakistan or get rid of the danger of being labelled a rogue state, given the fact that all terrorist acts had its root in Pakistan.

    Thus, Musharaf had no option but to align himself personally to the US policies. However, to keep himself current with the Islamists, he, every now and then had to indicate his pride as a Pakistani (condemning US air strikes within NWFP, but ensuring that the PAF is not scrambled and mauled or thus upsetting the US) and as also as a Moslem (by proclaiming the greatness of Islam, and to please the US, with a touch of moderation). He spoke against the madrassas to please the US and yet did nothing to change the status quo except for some cosmetic actions nor did he expel the foreign madrassa students inspite of vehement assertions of doing so with immediate effect.

    He started the dialogue with India to keep this image of being larger than life! He is yet to match his pious platitudes with the actions against crossborder terrorism. But then, he is a master at jugglery!

    To ensure his survival in Pakistan, he, with Machiavellian cunning divided the formidable opposition with bribes or threats of opening up cases of corruption (which was endemic in Pakistani politics) and cobbled up what is know as the "KIngs Party" and has clung on to his uniform (Post of Chief of the Army) since that alone is his mainstay for staying in power.

    He has also killed a formidable rival, the Balochi leader Akhbar Khan Bugti and even though currently there is riots practically all over Pakistan, he will survive. He will buy up the trouble creator leaders as he has always done.

    In short, he has been a politician par excellence even if not a great military commander.

    It must also be mentioned that the Pakistani politicians as a group are not pro US. Even during the catastrophic earthquake that hit Kashmir, the Pakistani Senators were up in arms in the National Assembly claiming that the US and NATO assistance was basically aimed at spying on Pakistan! Even in a catastrophe, instead of being grateful and singleminded in allievating the woes, the Pakistani politicians vectored on to the sinister!

    That Pakistan is not at all concerned about containing the Taliban is ever so evident. Pakistan has deployed 80,000 troops in the area along the Afghan border and yet it cannot control either the cross border terrorist movement, nor can they rid the Taliban based within or even nab a AQ operative worth the name! If they can find and kill the Balochi leader, Akhbar Khan Bugti (Musharraf was single minded in getting him since it is said that he was the mastermind behind one of the assassination attempts on Musahrraf) and who was surrounded by his own people and in his own state, then the claims that the Taliban and AQ are difficult to find and kill is too slim an excuse to believe.

    To be frank, Musharraf cannot be seen that he is against the "real" defenders of Islam - the Taliban, AQ and Osama! If he does it, he shall hang by the nearest pole and he has no intentions to adorn a tree! Being the master at chicanery, he is playing the fool with the Hudood Law, wherein claiming that it is against Islam and yet ensuring that there is confusion and preventing the amendment being passed. Something on the lines of Pontius Pilate!

    To please the US, on and oft a Taliban leader is caught and is always the fourth important person in AQ hierarchy! The US also plays ball since it help to keep this charade going as it is better to have a reluctant ally rather than an active foe on the Afghanistan border skewing up the works in Afghanistan at a time when the focus and the effort is totally being consumed in Iraq!

    It is not that there is not a bigger game plan that the US is at. As per some Pakistani commentators, the US is neck deep in the Balochistan issue since the TAP oil and gas pipeline is planned to travel through via Afghanistan and Balochistan to the port of Gwadar. Indeed, if Balochistan declares independence with covert US help or through the "good offfices" of India, the border along Balochistan and FATA would be neutralised and Afghanistan would be in a better position to put its house in order so that the pipeline fructifies! If this happens, then the importance of Pakistan will fade as far as the US strategy is concerned and so it is a question of survival for Musharraf to ensure that Balochistan is calmed, but the terrorist threat to Afghanistan kept alive! An independent Balochistan would also be worth the while for the US because Iran will be boxed from both the flanks.

    The port of Gwadar is an important issue in the US strategic map. China is assisting Pakistan in developing this port and will be using it as a listening post into US activities in the Middle East as also be able to interfere with the same when it positions some naval effort there. It will also give teeth to the Chinese strategy of "String of Pearls". Already the Chinese have naval facilities in the Myanmar Coco Islands in the Bay of Bengal. These two naval facilities of Coco Island and Gwadar will compensate for the weakness of the Chinese Navy of not being a blue water navy to protect its interests in the Indian Ocean, which is very critical since the seaway transport oil to China.
    Last edited by Ray; 08-29-2006 at 05:17 PM.

  5. #5
    Council Member Stu-6's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Location
    Occupied Virginia
    Posts
    243

    Default

    Pakistan is a long term liability but we have few other good options. Being overly supportive of non-representative governments especially those with large dissident populations is a risky strategy. If these governments collapse the likely result is government thatís powerbase revolves around confronting the outside power that supported the earlier regime, e.g. Iran. The possibility of a similar situation in Pakistan is very real, made more so by the divides with in the existing power structure.

  6. #6
    Council Member
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
    Location
    Hilo, HI
    Posts
    107

    Default Democratic Pakistan

    That Pakistan's (democratically elected) politicians are not pro-US is perhaps an understatement...Ms. Constable's implicit endorsement of the elected government alternative to Musharraf is as disappointing in its shortness of memory as it is predictable. The US seems to me to be appropriately cautious in not pushing too hard for Musharraf to democratize immediately.

    During my tenure in Pakistan, Benazir Bhutto's government (first woman PM and darling of US liberals) was ebullient in publicly hailing the creation of the "Islamabad-Tehran-Beijing Axis." Progress was made in nuclear weapons development and AQ Khan flourished. The government was worryingly pro-Saddam before and during the Gulf War, until those final days when it became certain that he would lose. The electoral process served as a mechanism by which the entrenched family dynasties of landowning "feudal lords" (an appellation of unusual honesty for Pakistani politics) could cynically maintain their hold on the country while ensuring that the masses remained steeped in ignorance and powerless poverty. Furthermore, our media consistently err in forgetting that Islamic Law was introduced into Pakistan by Ms Bhutto's democratically elected, "leftist" father, Zulfikar Ali Bhutto, and not by General Zia, who ousted him....

    As for the prime minister ousted by Musharraf, Nawaz Sharif, the perennial opponent of Ms Bhutto in a series of national elections, his government was steadfast in its support of the Taleban in Afghanistan....
    Last edited by Mike in Hilo; 08-31-2006 at 07:18 AM.

  7. #7
    Council Member Stu-6's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Location
    Occupied Virginia
    Posts
    243

    Default

    Over the long term I think anti-US democracies can be better than pro-US dictators. If a dictatorship is unresponsive to the population then a resistance too it will develop, if the US overtly supports the dictator this can have the effect of empowering the resistance since they can now cast the dictator as being a foreign lackey. This allows the resistance to cast their struggle in terms of us against the alien power and appeal to nationalistic instincts. If the resistance comes to power or gains significant influence a strongly anti-US policy will soon develop.

  8. #8

  9. #9
    Council Member
    Join Date
    Oct 2005
    Posts
    3,098

    Default

    ICG, 11 Dec 06: Pakistan's Tribal Areas: Appeasing the Militants
    Taliban and other foreign militants, including al-Qaeda sympathisers, have sheltered since 2001 in Pakistanís Pashtun-majority Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA), seven administrative districts bordering on south eastern Afghanistan. Using the region to regroup, reorganise and rearm, they are launching increasingly severe cross-border attacks on Afghan and international military personnel, with the support and active involvement of Pakistani militants. The Musharraf governmentís ambivalent approach and failure to take effective action is destabilising Afghanistan; Kabulís allies, particularly the U.S. and NATO, which is now responsible for security in the bordering areas, should apply greater pressure on it to clamp down on the pro-Taliban militants. But the international community, too, bears responsibility by failing to support democratic governance in Pakistan, including within its troubled tribal belt....

  10. #10
    Small Wars Journal SWJED's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    Location
    Largo, Florida
    Posts
    3,989

    Default Headquarters of the Taliban

    24 November Der Spiegel - Headquarters of the Taliban by Susanne Koelbl.

    To understand the war in Afghanistan, one must go to Pakistan. There, in Quetta, the leaders of the Taliban find safe harbor. Afghan President Hamid Karzai claims Taliban leader Mullah Omar is living there.

    Quetta is located in western Pakistan. It is the capital of Balochistan, the largest and poorest of the Pakistani provinces. Somewhat like a lunar outpost, the 800,000-resident city is situated at an altitude of nearly 1,700 meters between the sand-brown peaks of Chiltan, Takatoo, Mordar and Zarghun. Quetta originally means "fort," and it has always been just that: a fortress, where opposing forces are battling for regional hegemony.

    Quetta is considered the center of terror and resistance against the Americans and their allies -- the "occupiers" of Afghanistan. In the backrooms of radical parties and in the white-washed mosques whose towers spiral decoratively skywards, the elite of the holy warriors meet regularly to organize their comeback. Right out in the open streets -- between the market stalls with pomegranates and dates, the currency exchanges and the vats where meat and beans steam on open fires -- the Taliban recruit the holy warriors who will blow themselves up as suicide bombers in Afghanistan...
    Much more at the link.

  11. #11
    Small Wars Journal SWJED's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    Location
    Largo, Florida
    Posts
    3,989

    Default On the Trail of the Taliban's Support

    24 December LA Times - On the Trail of the Taliban's Support by Paul Watson.

    ... "A hundred armed Taliban men passed through the Pakistani border with their equipment, and with their rocket-propelled grenade launchers," said Qasim Khail, commander of the Afghan border police's 2nd Brigade, which guards the post here. "And they retreated the same way. There are only two escape routes out of here, and both of them end at a Pakistani border post."

    Confidential documents obtained by The Times show that for at least two years, U.S. military intelligence agencies have warned American commanders that Taliban militants were arming and training in Pakistan, then slipping into Afghanistan with the help of Pakistani border control officers...

  12. #12
    Small Wars Journal SWJED's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    Location
    Largo, Florida
    Posts
    3,989

    Default In Current News...

    24 December Washington Post - Taliban Figure Killed in Airstrike by Pamela Constable.

    A top Taliban leader and close associate of Osama bin Laden has been killed in a U.S. airstrike in southern Afghanistan near the Pakistani border, the U.S. military said in a statement Saturday...

    "Osmani was in the top ring of the Taliban leadership, and he was also a close associate of Osama bin Laden," said Col. Tom Collins, a U.S. military spokesman. Collins said Osmani also had close ties to Gulbuddin Hekmatyar, an Afghan militia leader once allied with the United States who is now an anti-American fugitive.

  13. #13
    Council Member
    Join Date
    Oct 2005
    Posts
    3,098

    Default

    CSIS, 1 Feb 07: The Afghan-Pakistan War: Threat Developments
    This briefing provides a broad view of the rising level of violence in the country based on a visit to Afghanistan in late January 2008, and unclassified data from the UN, NATO/ISAF, and US sources in Afghanistan. It provides an analytic overview of threat developments that map and chart a growing overall threat in Afghanistan and Pakistan.

    It shows that the more traditional Taliban structure under the Mullah Omar in the south remains a major problem, and that the mix of Taliban and other Islamist elements in the East has become far more sophisticated and cooperative during the course of 2007. Al Qa'ida influence over the Afghan groups has increased, and the combined role of Al Qa'ida and the emerging Pakistani Taliban has sharply increased in influence and in the territory over which it has de facto control.

    Taliban support areas inside both Afghanistan and Pakistan have increased during 2007, and the Taliban has expanded its control over political and economic space in the south, far northeast, the area around Kabul, and in the central, western, and northwestern areas of Afghanistan. As the briefing shows, US experts in Afghanistan believe that the Taliban has set very clear objectives to expand its activity throughout the country in 2008, and into previously secure provinces and districts.

    The situation in Pakistan is shown as critical, and few in Afghanistan or Pakistan believe the situation will not deteriorate even further in 2008 unless the Pakistani government takes far more decisive action than it has to date. Experts do, however, question Pakistan's willingness to act, the role of the ISI in supporting the Taliban and other threat elements, and whether the Pakistani Army and government are acting with anything like their claimed firmness.....
    Complete 65 slide brief in pdf available at the link.

  14. #14
    Council Member davidbfpo's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
    Location
    UK
    Posts
    13,190

    Default As always - useful

    This CSIS powerpoint is useful, particularly the details on drug production.

    davidbfpo

  15. #15
    Council Member
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Posts
    717

    Default

    MISNA is reporting today that the Pakistani government is seeking a ceasefire with the Taleban and the local tribes in South Waziristan prior to elections:

    The Pakistani government has begun negotiations with the Taliban and allied tribal elders ahead of the crucial February 28 legislative elections, drawing criticism from both the opposition and United States.
    A little more at the link.

  16. #16
    Council Member
    Join Date
    Oct 2005
    Posts
    3,098

    Default The US & others working with Pakistan (a joined up thread)

    Moderator's Note: an old thread 'US and Pakistan Military Cooperation?' has been merged into this thread.

    The Washington Quarterly, Spring 07:

    When $10 Billion is Not Enough: Rethinking US Strategy Toward Pakistan
    ...For all the talk of the United States’ global dominance and despite considerable U.S. support to the Pakistani military, Washington finds itself with relatively little leverage to influence events in Pakistan. During the past five years, the United States has given Pakistan more than $10 billion in assistance, channeled primarily through the Pakistani military. What Pakistan gives in return may be only enough to keep the money coming.

    After the September 11 attacks, many U.S. policymakers believed that Pakistan was one place where they were justified in saying, “You are either with us or against us.” Nevertheless, despite the billions of dollars spent, the United States has not made the necessary commitment to solidify the relationship for the long term. This is not merely a function of the scale of assistance, but of its type. U.S. engagement with Pakistan is highly militarized and centralized, with very little reaching the vast majority of Pakistanis. More problematic still, U.S. assistance does not so much reflect a coherent strategy as it does a legacy of the initial, transactional quid pro quo established in the immediate aftermath of the September 11 attacks and a familiar menu of what the United States was already organized to provide. U.S. soft power in Pakistan, the ability to influence by attraction and persuasion, is far lower than it could be, considering the historic, economic, and personal bonds that unite the two countries....
    Last edited by davidbfpo; 04-08-2011 at 08:54 PM. Reason: Add Mod's note

  17. #17
    Council Member
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    Posts
    1,188

    Default Extending Good Will Into the Frontier Region

    Soft power often entails the transfer of money with good itentions and plans on the part of the donor and recipient but with no quality control over the element of corruption and misappropriation that invariably creeps in. If you want an extension of good will and constructive effort on the part of the US and the Pakistani goverment extended to and into the frontier region, send in an all Muslim Peace Corps with a sole focus on agricultural, educational and health care development. Said components are totally compatible with fundamentalist Islam, which prevails in the frontier region.
    I think the cultural barriers are so high in 3rd world countries that the usual soft approaches can't readily be employed. I'm a veteran of both the Marine Corps and the Peace Corps and I recall a time in our training village in Africa when some of the Jola people came to the Peace Corps school where we were doing cross cultural and language training. The Jolas were preparing to go out in the bush for a puberty ceremony. Their shamans were with them carrying traditonal weapons and everyone was fully decked out with their cultural accouterments. We were all outside under a shade of a tree getting a lecture at the time when they approached, singing, drumming, dancing, etc. Everyone except me and one interpretor went running inside the school house like so many frightened school kids. So much for reaching out and cultural interaction and sharing and all that good stuff. The Jolas came to share and show off and were insulted instead. This occured in about the 4th-5th week of some pretty intensive training given to some pretty intelligent, dedicated people. This was predominately a Muslim area and even though the people were good people, very peaceful and quite pro-West, the successful integration into the bush villages was dismal at best. The soft approach is simply going to have to involve American Muslims. I remember a number of the old men who would very politely and respectfully ask some of the male volunteers to accompany them to their masjid, but none would ever go. Commonality cannot always be acquired, sometimes it has to be a given.
    I think traditonal soft approaches can be adjusted ,reinvented and reinterpreted and need to be. There was a reforestation project in which all kinds of sapplings were obtained and this one village got fired up and hundreds and hundreds of trees were planted. Kids and women and volunteers were hauling water to beat the band, waiting for the arrival of the chickenwire to fence the sapplings to keep the goats out. It never arrived - it ended up being sold out of a store in Banjul. Had the wire been simply shipped to Peace Corps headquarters instead of the government, it would have gotten to the village and saved the trees. By the end of the 3rd day, goats had eaten all the bark off all the sapplings. This was a traditional soft approach failure that not only killed trees but pretty much killed the faith of the people of that village in their government and the Peace Corps.

  18. #18
    Council Member
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Location
    Calcutta, India
    Posts
    1,124

    Default

    It is in the interest of the US to maintain and foster a lasting partnership with Pakistan. However, there are conflicting requirements that makes the task difficult.

    Pakistan in the US sphere of influence would allow the US the following benefits:

    1. It would keep the Islamic fundamentalist under surveillance and check, even if unable to root it out. The point to note is that Pakistan is the womb of international Islamic terrorism since all actions of the Islamists somehow have its root from Pakistan.

    2. It would allow surveillance and intelligence on the AQ activities since ObL and the leading AQ think tank members are holed up in Pakistan or along the borders with Afghanistan.

    3. It would reduce the influence that China has on Pakistan.

    4. It would allow surveillance to Pakistan's north and into the Uighur insurrection in China's Xinjiang area, as also allow the US to 'influence' the Uighur rebellion to China's discomfort. It will be recalled that the US is already undertaking promotion of better relations with Kyrghyzstan to the West of the Xinjiang area and has a air base there.

    5. With Pakistan in the US sphere of influence, the fructifying of the oil and gas pipeline the Central Asian Republics through Afghanistan to Gwadar port in Pakistan's Baluchistan province would become all the more easier, once the situation in Afghanistan stabilises.

    There is, however, the issue of India and the historical animosity including four wars! India, apparently is of major interest to the US because of her vast markets as also as a counter balance to China.

    It would require delicate balancing so that both India and Pakistan are kept on the US bandwagon.

    It is true that the US has not been able to influence Pakistan adequately to prevent the Taliban from using NWFP and Waziristan as its safe havens for action against the US and NATO forces operating in Afghanistan. Nor has the western nations adequate forces to "guard" Afghanistan's frontiers to minimise infiltration nor troops to "sanitise" the areas within a la India in Kashmir.

    In fact, it is not possible for any Pakistani leader to toe the US line, owing to the "awakening" Islam and pan Islamic jihad movement has experienced of late thanks to ObL.

    So long as Islam fundamentalism continues along with the accompanying mayhem, no strategy change will wean away Pakistan from the madness unleashed by ObL.

    At best, a compromise has to be accepted.

  19. #19
    Small Wars Journal SWJED's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    Location
    Largo, Florida
    Posts
    3,989

    Default US and Pakistan Military Cooperation?

    20 May NY Times - U.S. Pays Pakistan to Fight Terror, but Patrols Ebb by David Sanger and David Rhode.

    The United States is continuing to make large payments of roughly $1 billion a year to Pakistan for what it calls reimbursements to the countryís military for conducting counterterrorism efforts along the border with Afghanistan, even though Pakistanís president decided eight months ago to slash patrols through the area where Al Qaeda and Taliban fighters are most active.

    The monthly payments, called coalition support funds, are not widely advertised. Buried in public budget numbers, the payments are intended to reimburse Pakistanís military for the cost of the operations. So far, Pakistan has received more than $5.6 billion under the program over five years, more than half of the total aid the United States has sent to the country since the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks, not counting covert funds.

    Some American military officials in the region have recommended that the money be tied to Pakistanís performance in pursuing Al Qaeda and keeping the Taliban from gaining a haven from which to attack the government of Afghanistan. American officials have been surprised by the speed at which both organizations have gained strength in the past year...

  20. #20
    Council Member
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Location
    VA
    Posts
    57

    Default

    My frustration and subsequent sarcasm in my writing has to do with what I believe is a real lack of knowledge regarding the playing field we find ourselves fighting the Global War on Terrorism. Especially, when we start to talk about the Afghanistan-Pakistan side of the world. I am often amazed that people act like this is our first jaunt into that region militarily, plus I can't seem to wrap my arms around our support for Musharraf. I am not convinced that Pakistan does everything it can for us in our fight against Al Qaeda, however, we continue to dump aid ($$) into his military and economy without any kind of expectation of a return on our investment.

    I will point out two items from Clapper's testimony that I am finding misleading in their logic.

    1) "The NIE highlights one such way in which the enemy has adapted: in response to its loss of Afghanistan: it has reconstituted some of its command and support network in the Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA) along the Pakistan-Afghanistan border."

    Is this really an enemy adaptation? They have always traveled in and out of Waziristan. The Durand Line isn't recognized by the Pashtun nor their foreign guests who continually travel in and out of Afghanistan attacking US and coalition forces, so how does this equate to adaptation by the enemy when this capability has always been there? They exploit our unwillingness to pursue them into Pakistan is a more accurate statement then giving them (Al Qaeda) credit for discovering some sort of technique or tactic. Maybe word smithing but I find the language a little too one sided.

    2) "At the same time, there are signs of a reaction against the extremists. On April 17, 2007, a convention attended by over 2,000 Pakistani religious figures in Peshawar, the capital of Pakistan's ethnically Pashtun North-West Frontier Province (which includes the FATA), proclaimed that suicide bombings were against Islam and condemned the forcible implementation and enforcement of Shari’a (Islamic Law). Also, internal disputes in Pakistan's tribal agency of South Waziristan recently erupted into conflict between Taliban-allied local tribes and al Qaeda-allied Central Asian groups, mostly Uzbeks. Uzbek forces offended local Pashtun groups by their criminal activity and insensitivity to local tribal customs, resulting in open warfare between locals and Central Asian fighters."

    I think he takes a huge leap here implying that a limited reaction by some locals against a particular group equates to a consensus among the people of North Waziristan that there is an exploitable fissure between the Pashtu and the Taliban/AQ and their foreign guests. He couldn't be any further from the truth and this sounds a little like "cherry picking" reporting to paint the picture you want and not the picture that is actually there. There has been some limited (and I want to underscore limited) success by the Pakistani security forces in punishing tribes that allow foreigners among their midsts, but this hasn't taken hold long term and in the end most tribals see the Peshawar based Punjab military and political leaders as U.S. puppets. I would recommend the writers of this testimony spend some time along the border region talking to locals and getting the "ground truth" and not relying on single source reporting from questionable sources to support your arguments.

    Again, not taking anything away from the man personally but I didn't read anything in his testimony about the enemy that was too promising. We can beat these guys and we can win this fight, but real issues need to be addressed and the first one is defining who really is our enemy? If Usama Bin Laden and Ayman al-Zawahiri are the leaders of the enemy organization we wish to defeat then why do we allow them sanctuary in Pakistan? Why do we ally ourselves with Musharraf after he publically states, 1) he believes Al Qaeda's top leaders are in his country but he claims he is supposedly powerless to do anything about it, and 2) he would rather see anyone else BUT the United States be the ones that capture/kill Usama Bin Laden within Pakistan should he be found.... Also, we say the enemy has "adapted" to using Waziristan as a sanctuary, but it only remains a sanctuary if we don't go after them...

    I am no genius (militarily or otherwise) but there lacks basic logic in our policies and actions that I find too easily dismissed by the people who are supposedly "great leaders" and "no nonsense types"....

    PT
    Last edited by Jedburgh; 07-27-2007 at 04:11 PM.

Similar Threads

  1. Replies: 39
    Last Post: 03-21-2014, 01:56 PM
  2. NATO's Afghanistan Challenge
    By Ray in forum OEF - Afghanistan
    Replies: 74
    Last Post: 05-13-2011, 04:11 AM
  3. Step 1: Decentralize Afghanistan
    By IntelTrooper in forum OEF - Afghanistan
    Replies: 15
    Last Post: 07-25-2009, 12:57 PM

Tags for this Thread

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •