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Thread: The US & others working with Pakistan

  1. #81
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    Quote Originally Posted by davidbfpo View Post
    Under the headline 'Tensions rise....' the UK Daily Telegraph reports: http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worl...bing-raid.html

    I know other websites have commented upon events in Pakistan recently, I cannot recall much on SWC.

    davidbfpo
    There has been some very interesting reporting in regards to the incident reported in linked article, which is very different from the statement, The Afghans were persuaded to return "amicably"..... I'm looking forward to hearing the rest of the story.

  2. #82
    Council Member davidbfpo's Avatar
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    Default Pakistani troops bombed

    A different account, with more details after what appears to be a press briefing by the US command: http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20080611/...tMb9NlKkys0NUE

    I draw attention to this part of the story and my italics: 'The Pentagon did not rule out the possibility that friendly forces were killed, but officials did not discount the idea that paramilitary fighters may have attacked coalition troops. The Pakistani army said the coalition strike hit a post of the paramilitary Frontier Corps and was a "completely unprovoked and cowardly act."

    Note it was suggested in '07 that the USA provide training and support to the Frontier Corps, a locally recruited para-military force.

    Different sources and background: http://www.longwarjournal.org/archiv...oops_clash.php

    davidbfpo
    Last edited by davidbfpo; 06-12-2008 at 08:07 AM. Reason: Add text re FC support

  3. #83
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    Video has been released. There is a bomb explosion off camera, so I guess the video doesn't answer all the questions. It does make me wonder if the Pakistan Army was shooting at the good guys.
    Quote Originally Posted by SteveMetz View Post
    Sometimes it takes someone without deep experience to think creatively.

  4. #84
    Council Member Ken White's Avatar
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    Default I have an acquaintance

    Quote Originally Posted by Rank amateur View Post
    Video has been released. There is a bomb explosion off camera, so I guess the video doesn't answer all the questions. It does make me wonder if the Pakistan Army was shooting at the good guys.
    who has a head wound and a son who got a merit badge that says emphatically that the Waziris and Pushtuns in the Frontier Force on the south side of the border are far more in tune with their friends and neighbors than they are with Islamabad...

    Happens a lot.

    Thus our message that it needs to stop. Because we won't stop, and should not, even though we're trying to fix it through 'diplomacy' (whatever that is...). Our patience with probes from the ME for 22 years only encouraged more. We don't need to repeat that mistake.

  5. #85
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ken White View Post
    who has a head wound and a son who got a merit badge that says emphatically that the Waziris and Pushtuns in the Frontier Force on the south side of the border are far more in tune with their friends and neighbors than they are with Islamabad...

    Happens a lot.
    That could explain why it took 45 minutes; somebody wanted approval from higher up. I wonder how high?
    Quote Originally Posted by SteveMetz View Post
    Sometimes it takes someone without deep experience to think creatively.

  6. #86
    Council Member Ken White's Avatar
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    Default Probably in country,

    but with a feed to Doha where the JAOC is located. Certainly no higher than CentCom (who have their fingers further into things than they probably should).

  7. #87
    Council Member davidbfpo's Avatar
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    Default More reporting on Pakisani reliability

    Found in today's UK The Observer: http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2008...an.afghanistan

    Refers to a RAND report which touched upon the Frontier Corps; which may have appeared here before?

    davidbfpo

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    Quote Originally Posted by davidbfpo View Post
    Found in today's UK The Observer: http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2008...an.afghanistan

    Refers to a RAND report which touched upon the Frontier Corps; which may have appeared here before?
    The study was previously posted in the Afghanistan Security and Stability thread.

  9. #89
    Small Wars Journal SWJED's Avatar
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    Default Strategy Targets Pakistan Ties

    Strategy Targets Pakistan Ties - Sara Carter, Washington Times

    The new U.S. military commander in Afghanistan, Army Gen. David D. McKiernan, said he will visit Pakistan in the next few weeks to coordinate strategy amid a deteriorating relationship between the two U.S. allies.

    As a NATO command, the mandate for the International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) "does not extend across the border to Pakistan," Gen. McKiernan told The Washington Times in an exclusive interview. "So we do have a right to self-defense, but we do not have any ISAF military operations in the sovereign territory of Pakistan."...

  10. #90
    Council Member davidbfpo's Avatar
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    Default Another Canadian discovery

    Found on the Kings of War blogsite, a Canadian journalist based in Kandahar reports on interviewing a Taliban prisoner who alleges being trained by the Pakistani Army: http://cnews.canoe.ca/CNEWS/War_Terr...996761-cp.html

    davidbfpo

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    IHT, 30 Jun 08: Amid Policy Disputes, Qaeda Grows in Pakistan
    ....Just as it had on the day before 9/11, Al Qaeda now has a band of terror camps from which to plan and train for attacks against Western targets, including the United States. Officials say the new camps are smaller than the ones the group used prior to 2001. However, despite dozens of American missile strikes in Pakistan since 2002, one retired CIA officer estimated that the makeshift training compounds now have as many as 2,000 Arab and Pakistani militants, up from several hundred three years ago.

    Publicly, senior American and Pakistani officials have said that the creation of a Qaeda haven in the tribal areas was in many ways inevitable — that the lawless badlands where ethnic Pashtun tribes have resisted government control for centuries were a natural place for a dispirited terror network to find refuge. The American and Pakistani officials also blame a disastrous cease-fire brokered between the Pakistani government and militants in 2006.

    But more than four dozen interviews in Washington and Pakistan tell another story. American intelligence officials say that the Qaeda hunt in Pakistan, code-named Operation Cannonball by the CIA in 2006, was often undermined by bitter disagreements within the Bush administration and within the intelligence agency, including about whether American commandos should launch ground raids inside the tribal areas.....

  12. #92
    Council Member Fuchs's Avatar
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    Pakistan has a population of about 167 million, growing by about 1.8% annually.
    It has a GNP of about USD 144 billion, growing by about 6.4% annually (this surprised me).

    That's about 4-5 % annual GNP/capita growth. Make that 10-15 % for ten years with a Marshall plan (concentrated on the politically decisive lowlands).
    The costs would probably be about 1/5th of the overall effect at most, that's about 2% of their GNP = USD 3 billion in the first year and less than USD 12 billion at the end of the period.

    Wouldn't that be surprisingly cheap in comparison to 'classical' national security / great power games policy? Even the military aid is expensive and equals just consumption, not investment.

    The result would be that the youth migrates from the backwardish tribal areas into the cities. The population in the cities would be busy with business/jobs and with the exploitation of their new wealth.
    Pakistani parents would more often than ever before consider (free!) secular schools as important for their youth instead of religious schools.

    Poverty isn't the reason for terrorism, but it sure helps to recruit jihadists and it helps populists of all political wings.


    A major problem of such a project would be the relationship to India, though.
    India is a bit large and difficult to influence. Well, unless you look at it from the perspective of U.S. national security spending...
    Last edited by Fuchs; 06-30-2008 at 03:45 PM.

  13. #93
    Council Member Ken White's Avatar
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    Default I think the non-response was not due to what you seem to attribute

    rather it was due in part to the fact that such an initiative would require getting a fractious Congress to agree to put up the money and most of us would deem that a highly unlikely prospect for several reasons. Those reasons, ranging from simple bias in a few cases to the long term impact on US spending in the view of most are compounded by the India - Pakistan relationship conundrum.
    I supposed it would be surprisingly cheap in comparison to military actions & sanctions.
    Arguable at best but a part of the problem is the US Congress view of spending money -- it is generally predicated on very short term efforts that will realize a benefit for the incumbents. Long range thought is, very regrettably, not in the makeup of too many in Congress.
    The members of this forum/board are so proud about their "non-kinetic" approaches...
    Most also are in favor of other approaches that will work and are not prone to favor those that come equipped with obvious difficulties that may not be overcome; to wit (from your original post)
    ...Even the military aid is expensive and equals just consumption, not investment.
    True, however, you're asking us for an investment and like most investors, we'd prefer that there be a guarantee of no harm and a good expectation of some small profit. Lacking that, the desire to invest is reduced. Another factor leading to non-response is, I think, that in dealing with other Nations since 1945, we've discovered that spending massive amounts of money will not buy love and indeed can often be counterproductive. You may have noted that our net government to government foreign aid has declined considerably over the years -- lack of return for the investments involved is a significant contributor to that.
    The result would be that the youth migrates from the backwardish tribal areas into the cities. The population in the cities would be busy with business/jobs and with the exploitation of their new wealth.
    In an ideal world -- indications lead me (and, I suspect, most observers) to believe that the Imams would fight that tooth and nail and it would not happen. That too is, IMO, a reason for the lack of response.
    Pakistani parents would more often than ever before consider (free!) secular schools as important for their youth instead of religious schools.
    Possible but also highly improbable in the near term -- which, as sadly stated above, is Congress' focus.
    Poverty isn't the reason for terrorism, but it sure helps to recruit jihadists and it helps populists of all political wings.
    True -- but so is this;
    A major problem of such a project would be the relationship to India, though.
    India is a bit large and difficult to influence. Well, unless you look at it from the perspective of U.S. national security spending...
    Now, back to your most recent post:
    As I said, it represents a mainstream reply from European peace & conflict studies, a whole academic field.
    It would also represent the thoughts of many in this country; mostly those that lean a little to the left and who oppose conflict on principle. Fortunately or unfortunately, viewpoint dependent, the fact is that the majority of people in the US do not lean that way, they're pretty well centric in their views -- and they're very pragmatic. Moderate centrists far outnumber both left and right leaning persons in the US; those folks tend to be pretty thoughtful and realistic (they also tend to be quiet; that old 'silent majority'). Your suggestion would be nice in an ideal world and it would have great merit were it proposed for a nation with a western orientation. Pakistan is not such a nation -- and most Americans are well aware of the subtle differences therein involved. Yet another factor in no responses, perhaps.

    Another pair of very minor factors are your noted "European peace & conflict studies, a whole academic field." Rightly or wrongly, that mass of moderate American is suspicious of anything emanating from Europe and anything from the vales of Academe. Neither font of knowledge and rectitude has proven to really have all the answers. Au contraire...
    Are we so hard-wired to consider force (even "non-kinetic" one) as answer to international security concerns?
    No, I don't think so. History since 1945 and most particularly in the last 30 years seems to point away from that. Recall that we would not be in Afghanistan or Iraq lacking the attacks on the World trade Center and the Pentagon.
    (Or is the English-speaking countries bias here so overwhelming and the understanding of rather foreign approaches to security concerns too small?)
    Pragmatic versus dogmatic, I think.
    Last edited by Ken White; 07-05-2008 at 06:45 PM. Reason: Reomve ADDED NOTE

  14. #94
    Council Member davidbfpo's Avatar
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    Default The UK angle

    Not sure about the details, but the UK has recently announced a new aid package to Pakistan, with an emphasis on the FATA; see links below:

    http://www.thenews.com.pk/daily_detail.asp?id=122125
    http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/south_asia/7486948.stm

    A respected Pakistani columnist commented on the issues a few weeks ago: http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/south_asia/7433349.stm

    The UK has sound strategic reasons to be involved in Pakistan and the FATA. Considerable emphasis is given to the links to the UK, with 400k Pakistani origin UK citizens travelling there each year and an estimated 100k citizens being there at any one time. Note most of the UK's Pakistani population come from Kashmir and not the FATA.

    This aid package started in 2006 and I do wonder if the announcement has been timed for when US policy is so un-decided.

    I am wary of any aid to Pakistan, knowing that other civil irrigation projects, have been seriously weakened by corruption and the diversion of materials. That was a decade ago and how any external, let alone UK, aid can be delivered effectively in the FATA is a moot point.

    davidbfpo
    Last edited by davidbfpo; 07-05-2008 at 06:48 PM. Reason: Add signature and last paragraph

  15. #95
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    Default Fuch's Recommendation

    Economic investment has merit, but has you stated Pakistan (and Bangladesh) are already in an upward trend economically. I think our bias isn't being military focused, but rather our bias is a few bombs go off in a country and there are some insurgents/terrorists in their midsts, so we assume the country is a basket case, and that is far from the reality. The majority of Pakis don't want anything to do with the extremists.

    I think we already invest enough in Pakistan, and we encourage economic growth by providing technical expertise to assist them. The issue is diversifying the wealth distribution, but that needs to be tied to some sort of behavior change by the tribes in the FATA.

    I think you hit the main issue and that is their relationship with India. If we could cool the flames between India and Pakistan (it may take a Christmas miracle), then both countries could direct more attention on their internal troubles. They're both allies, so like Egypt and Israel, we have to balance our aid to both to avoid the perception we're picking a side.

    Economic incentives are not enough to quiet the radical voices of discontent. Saudi Ariabia is an example where radicals emerge from the middle class. Poverty may assist their propaganda campaign, but it isn't the reason that terrorists become radicals.

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    CFR, 16 Jul 08: Securing Pakistan's Tribal Belt
    ....Few dimensions of dealing with Pakistan are the source of as much frustration as the tribal areas bordering Afghanistan, the subject of this Council Special Report commissioned by the Center for Preventive Action. Daniel Markey analyzes the unique challenges of this region, which has long been largely outside Pakistani government control. He argues that the United States must work with Islamabad to confront security threats and improve governance and economic opportunity in the Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA), something that could reduce militancy. The report lays out a cooperative, incentives-based strategy for the United States that would aim to increase the capacity of the Pakistani government and its security institutions, foster political and economic reform, and build confidence in the bilateral relationship. At the same time, the report outlines alternatives to be considered should this positive approach fail to advance U.S. interests. These alternatives, be they coercive sanctions to induce Pakistan to act or unilateral U.S. action against security threats, could bring some short-term progress in dealing with significant threats—but at the cost of bringing about a more hostile Pakistan that would cease to be a partner of any sort.....

  17. #97
    Council Member davidbfpo's Avatar
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    Default Mixed bag

    This CFR report is worth reading, the description of the situation is excellent; the policy options are well intentioned and from my armchair hopelessly optimistic. Particularly over any effective American or other Western presence in the FATA, for both civil and military aid, training etc.

    Pakistanis are proud of their country, whatever it's flaws; any perceived "hardline" by the USA to achieve change will reinforce those opposed to this difficult relationship.

    Let's be honest there are two strands to the relationship, not one joined up national government; there is the military - who control security policy and civil politics - who do little for most Pakistanis.

    Any US / NATO / Western policy needs to acknowledge this. Can we influence enough change in the military to achieve jointly held objectives? How is this done, in view of the "stop go" Pakistani policy to date? At the same time we will seek to build up civil politics, for good governance plus and in the medium term hopefully gain more influence on security policy making.

    davidbfpo

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    NYT, 1 Aug 08: Pakistanis Aided Attack in Kabul, U.S. Officials Say
    American intelligence agencies have concluded that members of Pakistan’s powerful spy service helped plan the deadly July 7 bombing of India’s embassy in Kabul, Afghanistan, according to United States government officials.

    The conclusion was based on intercepted communications between Pakistani intelligence officers and militants who carried out the attack, the officials said, providing the clearest evidence to date that Pakistani intelligence officers are actively undermining American efforts to combat militants in the region.

    The American officials also said there was new information showing that members of the Pakistani intelligence service were increasingly providing militants with details about the American campaign against them, in some cases allowing militants to avoid American missile strikes in Pakistan’s tribal areas.....

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    CEIP, 4 Sep 08: Engaging Pakistan—Getting the Balance Right
    Pakistan will remain a daunting challenge for the next American administration. The near-term challenge of defeating terrorism requires Washington to strengthen ties with the Pakistani military—the source of its national problems—whereas the long-term goal of nursing Pakistan to health requires a robust partnership with civilian leaders, which could undermine the military’s counterterrorism cooperation. Unfortunately, the United States cannot choose between these approaches. U.S. strategy in these circumstances ought to consist of:

    - Strengthening the civilian government in Pakistan.

    - Investing in Pakistan’s human capital and supporting its civil society.

    - Assisting Pakistan with counterterrorism while emphasizing the long-term U.S. commitment to Afghanistan and Pakistan.

    - Encouraging Indo–Pakistani reconciliation without American mediation.

    - Encouraging Indo–Pakistani economic integration.

    Because Pakistan’s problems are deep-rooted, the United States should be satisfied in the interim with positive trends in governance, macroeconomic management, foreign policy, and temperate ideological orientation.....

  20. #100
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    Default Pakistani Aggresion

    Pak Helicopter's fly in support of Taliban

    Anybody else see somthing on this or have any first-or second hand knowledge of the event described?
    Also, just today..Pak troops fire on US helicopters

    Whats the breaking point before we openly engage Pakistani troops?
    Reed

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