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Thread: The US & others working with Pakistan

  1. #201
    Council Member davidbfpo's Avatar
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    Default Lahore police arrest Sri Lanka cricket team attackers

    Copied to here 6th April 2011 from 'Terrorist Attacks in Pakistan' thread.

    Hat tip to Circling the Lion's Den, a story I've not seen reported elsewhere, despite the prominence of the original attack, in March 2009:
    Police in Lahore, Pakistan, have announced that another six members of the gang that attacked the Sri Lankan cricket team in March 2009 have been arrested following a tip-off.
    Link:http://circlingthelionsden.blogspot....a-cricket.html

    Note Circling is not persuaded those arrested are TTP, preferring LeT. There's also the reported arrest of a Bali bombs suspects (back in October 2002) in Pakistan and his likely transfer to Indonesia. Well-timed arrests due to the cricket match between India and Pakistan.

    Now will we see those arrested appear in court charged?
    Last edited by davidbfpo; 04-06-2011 at 01:24 PM. Reason: Copied here and note added - following new prominence of bali suspects arrest
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  2. #202
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    Default David Cameron pledges 'fresh start' with Pakistan

    A BBC report on the PM's visit for talks in Islamabad, sub-titled:
    David Cameron has said he wants a "fresh start" in relations with Pakistan as he offered £650m in aid and better security co-operation.
    The most substantial aid is for education:
    The prime minister...also pledged £650m of additional aid for Pakistan's schools system...to help more children go to primary school. He said the four-year package of support would help an extra four million children go to primary schools, train an extra 90,000 teachers and provide six million text books.
    Link:http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-12967819

    I doubt this aid to schools will be endorsed by the 'man on the Clapham omnibus' as cuts in spending spread here. Given the weakness of the Pakistani school system, as reported by Owen Bennett-Jones (BBC reporter) who never found a teacher present in any state school he visited, implementation will be messy.

    What happened to supporting the civil police, as advocated recently?
    Last edited by davidbfpo; 04-06-2011 at 10:03 AM.
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  3. #203
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    Pakistan:A great deal of ruin in a nation
    Why Islam took a violent and intolerant turn in Pakistan, and where it might lead

    Mar 31st 2011 | ISLAMABAD AND LAHORE | from the print edition

    “TYPICAL Blackwater operative,” says a senior military officer, gesturing towards a muscular Westerner with a shaven head and tattoos, striding through the lobby of Islamabad’s Marriott Hotel. Pakistanis believe their country is thick with Americans working for private security companies contracted to the Central Intelligence Agency; and indeed, the physique of some of the guests at the Marriott hardly suggests desk-bound jobs.

    Pakistan is not a country for those of a nervous disposition. Even the Marriott lacks the comforting familiarity of the standard international hotel, for the place was blown up in 2008 by a lorry loaded with explosives. The main entrance is no longer accessible from the road; guards check under the bonnets of approaching cars, and guests are dropped off at a screening centre a long walk away.

    Some 30,000 people have been killed in the past four years in terrorism, sectarianism and army attacks on the terrorists. The number of attacks in Pakistan’s heartland is on the rise, and Pakistani terrorists have gone global in their ambitions. This year there have been unprecedented displays of fundamentalist religious and anti-Western feeling. All this might be expected in Somalia or Yemen, but not in a country of great sophistication which boasts an elite educated at Oxbridge and the Ivy League, which produces brilliant novelists, artists and scientists, and is armed with nuclear weapons.

    More at:
    http://www.economist.com/node/184883...ry_id=18488344
    A perspective that is relevant to the situation that is prevailing and gripped by almost some sort of a political and social schizophrenia.

  4. #204
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    Quote Originally Posted by davidbfpo View Post
    2967819"]

    I doubt this aid to schools will be endorsed by the 'man on the Clapham omnibus' as cuts in spending spread here. Given the weakness of the Pakistani school system, as reported by Owen Bennett-Jones (BBC reporter) who never found a teacher present in any state school he visited, implementation will be messy.

    What happened to supporting the civil police, as advocated recently?
    The issue is not money that will assist Pakistan as far as education is concerned.

    What is essential is that there has to be less emphasis on religion in the text books as also correct historical untruth aimed at generating a Muslim identity aimed at generating some sort of a patriotism.

    Some links on Pakistani Education and curriculum:

    Education Reform in Pakistan
    http://www.au.af.mil/au/awc/awcgate/crs/rs22009.pdf

    The Subtle Subversion
    AH Nayyar and Ahmad Salim
    http://www.sdpi.org/whats_new/report...&TextBooks.pdf

  5. #205
    Council Member davidbfpo's Avatar
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    Default Squabbling over who deals

    Following on Post 114 and the arrest in Pakistan of a Bali bombing suspect in Pakistan.

    Today I noted, hat tip to CLS mailing, there is a viewpoint that the suspect should be handed over to the USA, not Indonesia; see NYT story 'The biggest terrorist catch of the Obama era':http://www.washingtonpost.com/opinio...PcC_story.html
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  6. #206
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    As a Pakistani, I really think this is not a good way to earn ou keep. We are selling nuisance value (or rather, our ability to control nuisance value), but the problem is that we may not have what we are selling…we may not have control. We may not even know what we are trying to control.
    Someday, the bubble may burst and we will be left holding nothing. David Cameron is thinking he can buy “deradicalization” (not just in Pakistan, but in the Pakistani-British community) and in the short term, he may be right…but long term, I dont think so. I think money is fungible. What the deep state saves here, it spends on insane schemes elsewhere. Unless something has seriously changed in the heart of GHQ, its not going to end well (or unless the old empire is really as schemingly evil as we were told and they have “a cunning plan”….I am thinking of Black Adder).
    I may be wrong. I accept that I dont have inside information and maybe NATO and the American embassy have all sorts of secret ways of making sure things are going the way they want. Maybe they even know what they want. Maybe what they want is even a good idea. But these are a lot of maybes and public information does not seem to support too many of them....Still, one hopes for the best.

  7. #207
    Council Member davidbfpo's Avatar
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    Default Khyber Impasse

    Understandably SWC have tired of this issue, partly I expect from a good amount of frustration over the perceived and actual sanctuary afforded to those who attack those in Afghanistan. Secondly, the diplomatic and other "dancing" around the issues.

    Hat tip to FP Blog and 'Khyber Impasse' and sub-titled How long can the United States and Pakistan keep pretending that they actually have any interests in common?

    No surprises, but a good current summary:http://www.foreignpolicy.com/article...khyber_impasse

    I liked these passages:

    ..in the past Pakistan's national security elite have been willing to ignore public sentiment in order to allow the United States to conduct operations that are also in the Pakistani interest. This is the crux of the new dilemma: The fundamental incompatibility of Pakistani and American national security interests can no longer be avoided. And it can't be cured; it can't even be admitted.
    Ends with:
    ..Obama would be wise to bring the war in Afghanistan to a quicker end than he now plans, to expect less and demand less of Pakistan, and to turn his attentions toward the kind of problems the United States can actually do something about, at home and abroad.
    Not sure how the later would go down inside the US government.
    davidbfpo

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    Cross posting from another thread, since it seems more relevant here:
    \
    the following article

    http://www.brownpundits.com/2011/04/...ean-and-saarc/

    may be a way to get to the pathology underlying the current "strategic" direction of Pakistan. Pakistan's military rulers are obsessed with an outdated and self-destructive vision of "national interest". And they learned this focus from their mentors in Western militaries and strategic schools. The diffference is that in Western countries (and in China, for that matter) other parts of the state take care of other concerns (like trade policy) and even supervise the generals (to some extent)...and basic notions of modern social and economic development are taken for granted, even by most generals. What the visiting generals don't fully grasp is that this is NOT the case in Pakistan (and possibly in some other countries). OUR generals are NOT under adult supervision and don't even know what they dont know...
    when they show up to have 3 cups of tea with Kiyani, they dont ask him why his institution spends so much time and effort making sure things dont get too cozy with India (or if they ask him, they are happy to accept the strategic bull#### he offers in return, that bull#### being familiar to them from their own staff college days). Unless they do so, there will be no change in the strategic disconnect between the US and Pakistan. That strategic disconnect is not about Taliban or LET, its about the fact that Pakistani generals still see India and Pakistan as a zero-sum game between one warrior-state and another, and American Generals have no idea how deeply that notion poisons all their actions...

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    http://dailytimes.com.pk/default.asp...1-4-2011_pg3_2

    http://www.miamiherald.com/2011/04/2...f-keeping.html

    Dr Taqi (the first article) thinks the Pakistani deep state is not just play-acting for domestic consumption, they really do want to push their dangerous (dangerous for the people of Pakistan, India and Afghanistan) strategic "vision" ahead, and are willing to play hardball with the US. The second item suggests that such brinkmanship may no longer be welcome, even with the usually ISI-friendly Admiral Mullen. Does than mean a clash is coming? and if so, what shape can it take?
    My own guess is that just like the budget deal, this will be "solved" at 5 minutes to midnight by more of the same...until next time.

  10. #210
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    Quote Originally Posted by davidbfpo View Post
    Understandably SWC have tired of this issue, partly I expect from a good amount of frustration over the perceived and actual sanctuary afforded to those who attack those in Afghanistan. Secondly, the diplomatic and other "dancing" around the issues.
    Perceptive as always David. Mr. Traub said "For the U.S. side, the stakes are only getting higher because Pakistan's repeated intransigence has given the Afghan Taliban a sanctuary that virtually ensures the failure of the current massive counterinsurgency effort in Afghanistan."

    If that doesn't change, what's the use?
    "We fight, get beat, rise, and fight again." Gen. Nathanael Greene

  11. #211
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    Default Compromise on drones for Pakistan?

    At he same time as a reported drone strike in North Waziristan (multiple sources and only this:http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-south-asia-13167425

    Elsewhere Reuters reports:
    The United States will provide Pakistan with 85 small "Raven" drone aircraft, a U.S. military official told Reuters, a key step to addressing Islamabad's calls for access to U.S. drone technology.
    Note the Raven:
    can deliver real-time colour or infrared imagery, giving troops on the ground an edge on the battlefield.
    Link:http://www.reuters.com/article/2011/...73K1TB20110421

    Will that be enough for Pakistan?
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  12. #212
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    Default Hard Power Why Pakistan is so difficult to work with.

    Hat tip to FP and an excellent article by Anatol Lieven:http://www.foreignpolicy.com/article...power?page=0,0

    Interestingly and contrary much expected opinion he opens with:
    Given this explosive situation, is it really possible for the United States and Pakistan to go on working together against terrorism?

    The answer is complicated, but basically it is yes.
    Here is one potential agreement, painful to quite a few I'd say:
    In fact, the United States should accept and even welcome continued Pakistani military links to Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT), the terrorist group alleged to be behind the 2008 Mumbai attacks, while holding to the absolute condition that the Pakistani military uses these connections successfully to prevent further LeT attacks on India and, above all, the United States.
    Near the end:
    Nonetheless, American policymakers need to remain focused on the most important U.S. goal -- and the official reason that the United States is fighting in Afghanistan -- which is to prevent terrorism in the West.
    Now I'd add so other nations and parties to having policy goals. I am not convinced they would all share this goal.

    Enjoy.
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    Anatol Lieven assumes that while Pakistan keeps LET on a tight leash, some magical effects of US aid will modify their future plans in a more permanent fashion. I think that is not what most people in Pakistan think. Everyone I know expects that the US will pay for a few years until it can extricate itself from Afghanistan, and will then move on. At which point the carefully preserved Jihadi architecture will be brushed off and put to use. Why else would we want to keep it around?
    I also think that GHQ is correct in its calculation as far as America is concerned. The US will leave and a regional war will restart. I have little expectation that the US can do anything else or even wants to. That regional war will primarily affect India, Pakistan and Afghanistan in its first iteration and all three richly deserve what is coming their way...Distant powers may even make some money till the combatants run out of money. from a coldly cynical point of view, what could be better than having every jihadi in the afpak region fighting India and Iran and local infidels?

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    My apologies for being sarcastic, but its not a good time to be too optimistic.

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    Somehow the Pak Army/ISI is supposed to make a good faith effort to keep an organization that exists to kill Indians and westerners from killing Indians and westerners. That organization, LeT, (omar correct me if i got this wrong) was in part created by the Pak Army/ISI. What are they going to have them do, open up a line of paintball emporiums to use their skills productively?

    The only part of Mr. Lieven's article that is sensible is the last sentence:

    "If Pakistan fails to do so, however, then all bets are off. "
    "We fight, get beat, rise, and fight again." Gen. Nathanael Greene

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    Of course it was created by the army. I dont think even Leiven would seriously dispute that.
    The whole notion that somehow Pakistan in the 1990s was awash with free lance heroes who would suddenly get up one day and create large armed organizations and start training in well organized training camps without the army knowing, helping or basically creating the whole setup, is something no one except maybe Brian Cloughley, can believe. SInce 2001, sure, the army has indeed lost control of some people. But the project of training half a million armed men and deploying them as needed was an army project. period.
    Pakistani leftists would say that the project of protecting those deemed essential to future plans is also an army project. The leftists may be absolutely correct about that. But in the interest of fairness, I would say that there is a non-zero possibility that SOME people at high levels do want to gradually get rid of these organizations, but dont seem to be able to do it and in fact, dont give a very convincing picture of even trying or THINKING about trying to do so.
    That is about the MOST charitable you can be and to be this charitable you have to believe a few other things before breakfast, so its not exactly easy...

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    Omarali,

    What will be the effect of the massive dharna Imran Khan and others undertook on Saturday and Sunday to protest the Drone strikes as also to block the logistic route to the ISAF through Pakistan?

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    The "massive dharna" will be as massive as the ISI wants it to be. Its effects will be calibrated to obtain the best possible deal in response. Its a cynical and dirty game...on both sides. I am not convinced that the US is simply a naive patsy in all this. But I do think GHQ is more focused and clearer about their objectives. US policy appears more confused. Still occasionally vicious and underhanded in ways we dont hear about, but also confused. Worst of both worlds. As an American citizen, I wish this particular part of the empire were lost to China ASAP. As a Pakistani, I fear for what will follow. I am as confused as the people I criticize...

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    Quote Originally Posted by omarali50 View Post
    The "massive dharna" will be as massive as the ISI wants it to be. Its effects will be calibrated to obtain the best possible deal in response. Its a cynical and dirty game...on both sides. I am not convinced that the US is simply a naive patsy in all this. But I do think GHQ is more focused and clearer about their objectives. US policy appears more confused. Still occasionally vicious and underhanded in ways we dont hear about, but also confused. Worst of both worlds. As an American citizen, I wish this particular part of the empire were lost to China ASAP. As a Pakistani, I fear for what will follow. I am as confused as the people I criticize...
    What is the China connection?

    With regards to dharna and the 2,000km-long Pakistan Ground Lines of Communication (PAKGLOC) to Afghanistan and ISAF, what will be the effect on Pakistan if the Northern Distribution Network (NDN), a series of rail, water and road links that deliver cargo to Afghanistan through the former Soviet republics of Central Asia and handles about 30% of all ground supplies become fully operational?

    What will be the effect on the leverage that Pakistan currently enjoys, the intensity of the Drone attacks, and importantly, on the political health of Pakistan as also the on the activities of the Pakistani Taliban.

    Imran Khan seems to be riding a new high on the political popularity.

    The NDN comprises a southern route – starting at the Georgian port of Poti, going over land to the port of Baku, Azerbaijan, then by ferry to Aqtau, Kazakhstan, and on through Uzbekistan to Afghanistan – and a more heavily used northern route, traversing Latvia, Russia, Kazakhstan and Uzbekistan. A spur of the northern route bypasses Uzbekistan and runs from Kazakhstan via Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan, but is hampered by bad roads in Tajikistan.

    http://intellibriefs.blogspot.com/20...ies-to-us.html

  20. #220
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    Default Supply routes to Afghanistan: another thread

    Ray,

    There is an earlier thread 'Supply routes to Afghanistan' on:http://council.smallwarsjournal.com/...ead.php?t=6386

    Just scrolled through that the alternative routes to Pakistani ports, the two you refer to are limited in capacity and at one time permission existed for only non-lethal items. I am sceptical, despite official statements, that much is coming in from these two northern routes.

    What would be interesting and maybe dangerous to know (not for OPSEC reasons) are: a) are non-lethal items now allowed to transit and b) can local, not imported overland POL supplies be provided?

    There was contingency planning for adjusting, if not stopping, all UK medevac flights out of Afghanistan during the Icelandic volcanic ash eruption and severe restrictions on medical supplies inwards.

    My question is can NATO / partners wage a war in Afghanistan, at present scales of kit and numbers, if Pakistani routes are not available?

    I am less concerned about the impact on Pakistani itself.

    You did ask:
    What will be the effect on the leverage that Pakistan currently enjoys, the intensity of the Drone attacks, and importantly, on the political health of Pakistan as also the on the activities of the Pakistani Taliban.
    The impact of the alternative routes on Pakistani leverage? Significant in the short-term and less as alternatives are used and numbers etc are cut. Drone attacks unaffected. Political health? None, for far wider reasons (another time on that subject). Pakistani Taliban activities? None, that war has very different factors and I am amazed the overland routes have not been attacked more.
    davidbfpo

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