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Thread: Pakistani Army commentary

  1. #81
    Council Member carl's Avatar
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    Default No gun sales to the Pak Army, says the gun maker

    Here is an interesting story about an American gun maker that is pulling out of a contract competition because they are concerned that any guns sold to the Pak Army may be used to slay Americans.

    http://www.foxnews.com/us/2014/01/05...with-pakistan/

    Every body gets it but the genii inside the beltway. The Pak Army/ISI is the enemy.
    "We fight, get beat, rise, and fight again." Gen. Nathanael Greene

  2. #82
    Council Member davidbfpo's Avatar
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    Default Pakistan's delicate civil–military balance

    A timely IISS Strategic Comment as Afghanistan is in a flux, there are no talks with the Pakistani Taliban and the Pakistani Army are "prepping" for ground action in Waziristan. To name just three factors.

    Link:http://www.iiss.org/en/publications/...y-balance-1d21
    davidbfpo

  3. #83
    Council Member carl's Avatar
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    Here is a comment that appeared today on the Onviolence blog. It has to do with their series dealing with Lone Survivor, book and movie.

    The Taliban actually videotaped the fight with Seal Team 10 that day. I saw it in 2007 when I was there. It was obviously a controlled item and required a clearance to view. The main reason for viewing it was that after the fight, when the fighters are going through discarded equipment, they find the Panasonic Toughbook laptop the team was carrying. One of the fighters came up with some equipment and was able to actually “map” the hard drive. This demonstrated the presence of those trained or employed by Pakistan’s intelligence service(ISI). But with regard to the fight, from the first shot to the last was less than two minutes. How long did it appear to last in the book and film?
    You can all judge for yourselves whether you believe the man who made the comment or not. I do. It all fits with everything that has been happening for more than a decade.

    We have videotaped evidence that the Pak Army/ISI kills our people and we do nothing, except lie, about that and everything about this particular fight.

    http://www.onviolence.com/?e=762

    (The comment is the very last one.)
    Last edited by davidbfpo; 03-16-2014 at 11:26 AM. Reason: fix quote
    "We fight, get beat, rise, and fight again." Gen. Nathanael Greene

  4. #84
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    Default Fighting to the End: The Pakistan army

    Professor Christine Fair's new book "Fighting to the End; the Pakistan Army's Way of War" is out.

    http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00..._prd_ttl_sol_0

    I am only on chapter two, but hope to have a review when done and when I get some time to write one. I look forward to enlightening comments from professional/academic people on this blog.

    I think the introduction pretty much nails it. I am sure I will disagree with some details as I go along, but the overall thesis seems accurate to me.
    What do others think?
    Interestingly the current rating on Amazon is 2 stars because there is only one review and that person appears to be unhappy that she was not harsh enough or went easy on Islam. You can't win em all..

  5. #85
    Council Member davidbfpo's Avatar
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    SitRep book report:
    Christine Fair's book on the Pakistan military is out. From Amazon: Simply put, acquiescence means defeat. Fighting to the End convincingly shows that because the army is unlikely to abandon these preferences, Pakistan will remain a destabilizing force in world politics for the foreseeable future." Oxford University Press
    davidbfpo

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    Nice discussion at the Hudson institute on that other 10 years too late book:

    http://www.hudson.org/events/1146-th...otta-gall42014

    (Carlotta Gall: The Wrong Enemy)
    Last edited by omarali50; 04-11-2014 at 06:57 PM.

  7. #87
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    Default Chris Fair's Flawed Book

    Quote Originally Posted by omarali50 View Post
    Professor Christine Fair's new book "Fighting to the End; the Pakistan Army's Way of War" is out.

    http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00..._prd_ttl_sol_0
    Interestingly the current rating on Amazon is 2 stars because there is only one review and that person appears to be unhappy that she was not harsh enough or went easy on Islam. You can't win em all..
    Well, I am the one who wrote the review and gave the rating. Here's my review: http://www.amazon.com/review/R1EQTVWSDJJN38

    The explained reason why this book failed in its primary purpose is essentially this: the author failed to properly understand what drives Pakistan or why it continues to be revisionist.

    Surely, Christine Fair has published extensively on Pakistan in peer-reviewed journals – in fact, far more than perhaps any other scholar. However, just about all of them address small issues with nothing putting together to identify what Pakistan is really all about. Her prolific publishing on small issues is less optimal in developing a long view, and it shows. I can say that because I have read most of her publications in intimate detail, and have referred to her work in my forthcoming scholarship.

    Through my exchanges with her over the years, I have realized that she is a sectarian by nature, who tends to somewhat blindly identify with people who call themselves victims (perhaps owing to her financially-deprived family origins). I have noticed that, in the context of South Asia, she never properly understood that the claims of Muslim victimization was mostly a self-induced effect, and that it was tactic used to undermine and victimize non-Muslims (I have covered this in great detail in my book, Defeating Political Islam). For example, her constant theme with regard to India’s Muslim minorities is her emphasis of their “discrimination” in India, without understanding the situation in a wholesome manner.

    With such a strong outlook and background, it is hard to see how she can be objective or produce a wholesome analysis. It showed finally, in the form of a flawed book.

  8. #88
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    Default

    On this subject, I also recommend Haider Mullick's Pakistan's Security Paradox: Countering and Fomenting Insurgencies, published by the Joint Special Operations University in 2009.

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    Is there any book that deals with the American end of this disaster? What is the dominant theory? Were all the American policy makers just foolish? or did they have nefarious motives of their own?

  10. #90
    Council Member carl's Avatar
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    Omar:

    There is no book like that that I'm aware of. There probably won't be for years. To write one people in power right now would have to talk truthfully about their flaws or allow access to source material that demonstrated their flaws. That isn't going to happen easy.

    Until then guesses are all we may have. And your guess about the 'romance of the raj' being used as the fulcrum of a grift is one of the best.
    "We fight, get beat, rise, and fight again." Gen. Nathanael Greene

  11. #91
    Council Member davidbfpo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by omarali50 View Post
    Is there any book that deals with the American end of this disaster? What is the dominant theory? Were all the American policy makers just foolish? or did they have nefarious motives of their own?
    No, not to my knowledge. Hopefully the long running thread 'The US & others working with Pakistan' may have an answer; it does have 685 posts so may take a while for you to check:http://council.smallwarsjournal.com/...ead.php?t=2313

    Have a look elsewhere for Myra MacDonald's writing.

    She has just reviewed in RUSI Journal a book by a former Pakistani Ambassador to Washington DC 'Magnificent Delusions: Pakistan, the United States and an Epic History of Misunderstanding' by Husain Haqqani.
    davidbfpo

  12. #92
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    Hamid Karzai: Last will and testament...well, not exactly. But an important interview as he is on the way out:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=We-5RdJxgf0

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    Red face No Pakistan policy

    Quote Originally Posted by omarali50 View Post
    Is there any book that deals with the American end of this disaster? What is the dominant theory? Were all the American policy makers just foolish? or did they have nefarious motives of their own?
    Omar, without first understanding why Pakistan behaves the way it does, your question may not be answered.

    The policy-makers have to rely on political scientists such as the likes of Christine Fair. Not to be so hard on Fair, quite frankly, no one has yet to figure out the conundrum called Pakistan. Hence, circumstances and our belief that our Pakistani specialists are credible forced us into foolish policies initially.

    Now, at least the policy-makers know that they can't trust our Pakistan experts, as a result the U.S. has no Pakistan policy

  14. #94
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    Default If I can borrow a phrase fom Mirbeau....

    Pakistan is not a state with an army but an army with a state. Any analysis of Pakistan should begin there IMO. Pakistan ends wherever the army's ability to exert influence ends regardless of the internationally recognised border. Add to that the parralel state of the ISI and its own overlapping, competing and in some cases greater/longer reach and the, if that weren't complicated enough, civilian state apparatus which compete for authoity with the others then you have what can only charitably described as a headache (SNAFU to the locals). Ontop of that thes ovelpping netoks of power intersect at key points. Anyone who thinks "normal" diplomatic relations is possible with that setup is welcome to try. Even figuring out what "Pakistani" national interest depends upon figuring out which "power ministry" (to borrow a phrase from post-soviet analysts) is exerting internal and external pressure. Figuring out the correlation of frorces at any given time may actually be the easy part (), the next step requires a degree of patience and mirror imaged machiavellianism that would confound the most seasoned wheeler-dealer.hardly something western european or even the US democracies with their short attention spans and black and white public diplomacy narrative (good guys/bad guys) can handle. Good luck to anyone who tries.
    Last edited by Tukhachevskii; 04-14-2014 at 10:25 PM. Reason: bugger it. my new tablet (cnm) is crap. apologies for the spelling!

  15. #95
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    I have my first thoughts about both the Fair book and the Carlotta Gall book:
    https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/...om_search=true

    An excellent quick summary of the Afghan war and where and how America went wrong. She presents a very strong case against Pakistan (from the American and Afghan perspective). She does mention some of America's own cruelties and absurdities and does not fail to mention the terrible and tragic "shoot first and ask questions later" aspect of actual military operations (the scene where a translator witnesses his troops pointlessly shoot innocent Afghan civilians is devastating), but she does not provide any insight into WHY the top US decision-makers were so thoroughly fooled. Still, thanks to her book, this question must now be front and center; that the US was taken for a ride is documented in devastating detail.. WHY they allowed themselves to be taken for a ride (or did they really WANT to be taken for a ride because their aims were never the stabilization of Afghanistan?) is left unclear.
    I dont know enough about particular Afghan personages to know if her somewhat uncritically positive views of various police chiefs are really accurate, but even if some details are wrong, this is a must read book. And it is hard to see how this will fail to influence future American attitudes to Pakistan...

    About Christine Fair's book:
    https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/...om_search=true

    A thorough and very well documented exposition of the Pakistan army's dominant strategic culture. I think she may slightly exaggerate the unanimity of this consensus. In actual fact the majority of officers are probably thinking far more about their plots and post-army jobs than about the strategic needs of Pakistan, but those who think they are thinking are indeed thinking exactly this.
    Her conclusions seem unimpeachable: the army will not reform in return for X or Y amount of money or even minor territorial concessions. Nothing less than the fall of India will be enough. Since that seems less likely than GHQ believes, it is therefore going to be Pakistan that will fight to the end....sad, but most likely true

  16. #96
    Council Member carl's Avatar
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    Omar is right. Ms. Gall's is a must read book.

    Some of her viewpoints dovetail into things I've read in other books. Her point about the displacement of local strong men leaving a vacuum to be filled by Taliban & Co. matches things I've read in War Comes to Garmser and Little America. She is very emphatic about how badly the errant air strikes and shootings have hurt the fight and hurt Afghans. (The account of the translator Omar mentions is an account of straight up premeditated mass murder in my view. But they were spec ops so it's ok. That's my sarcasm not Ms. Gall's.)

    One of the things that she writes I hadn't read before. I had always read that Mullah Omar was a self made man. He saw lawlessness and started the fight against it on his own and things went from there. Ms. Gall writes that what actually happened is that a group of former mujahideen commanders, local strong men, got tired of the chaos down around Kandahar and created an organization to fight it. MO was the equivalent of a squad leader in the employ of one of those strong men, a good reliable fighter and a good man but not too bright . Within a very few months what the commanders created had turned into the Taliban with MO at its head eclipsing everybody else. Ms. Gall didn't actually say it but I think she very strongly suggested MO's rise was the result of ISI machination and he is their creature completely.

    The other thing that surprised me is she ends the book on an optimistic note. She seems to say that Afghans dislike Taliban & Co intensely and if given support they will reject them, as in kill them reject them. But they need support to counter the support Taliban & Co receive from Pakistan.

    So it is a great book. But like Omar says, even Ms. Gall doesn't have an idea about how we got so thoroughly fooled by the Pak Army/ISI.
    "We fight, get beat, rise, and fight again." Gen. Nathanael Greene

  17. #97
    Council Member davidbfpo's Avatar
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    Default Foolish?

    Citing Carl in part:
    ...how we got so thoroughly fooled by the Pak Army/ISI.
    Prompted me to recall an exchange with a retired USG decision-maker, who was closely involved in monitoring Pakistan's nuclear developments and in particular the leading scientist, Dr. Abdul Qadeer Khan, known as the ' the father of Pakistan's nuclear programme'. See:http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Abdul_Qadeer_Khan

    Several times Dr. Khan was outside Pakistan on his missions, with "hands on" access to incriminating evidence and each time those further up the command chain declined to authorise action.

    The USG decision-maker IIRC referred to an overwhelming US national interest in the maintenance of at least a friendly Pakistani state, that was not totally opposed to the interests of the USA and allies.

    This seems a rather high price to pay given what happened over the conflict in Afghanistan, but as I have posted before Pakistan is far more important than Afghanistan.

    Yes an element of being 'fooled' existed, I suspect more of the explanation and blame rests closer to home than the murky corridors of the Pakistani Army/ISI.
    davidbfpo

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    Quote Originally Posted by davidbfpo View Post
    Citing Carl in part:
    Yes an element of being 'fooled' existed, I suspect more of the explanation and blame rests closer to home than the murky corridors of the Pakistani Army/ISI.
    David, I suspect that the history is repeating itself.

    At this time Pakistan is embarking on a massive buildup of Plutonium based nukes. These compact nukes are versatile and dangerous. To my knowledge, the U.S. has no game plan on what to do about Pakistan becoming a Sunni Islamist nuke factory.

    If Pakistan played a role in facilitating the conditions that led to the 9/11 attacks on America, it is now setting the stage for a nuclear 9/11.

    http://www.frontpagemag.com/2010/moo...i-third-reich/

  19. #99
    Council Member carl's Avatar
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    David:

    Everything about our official attitude toward Pakistan cries out "How on earth can we think that and do that!?". The Pak Army/iSI and the feudal elites haven't well hidden much of anything. What the have done is too big and brazen for that. All they really bother to do is say "We did not!" one second and "It's your fault! Can you blame us?" the next. And we go right on cooing to them as you would a favored but petulant child.

    What on earth is with us? The Pak Army/ISI is the most dangerous organization in the world and will have to be brought low or tens of millions will die, if that is even possible anymore. And yet we still think we can deal with the devil's spawn.
    "We fight, get beat, rise, and fight again." Gen. Nathanael Greene

  20. #100
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    A WoTR review of Carlotta Gill's book 'The Wrong Enemy: America in Afghanistan, 2001-2014:http://warontherocks.com/2014/05/fin...-and-al-qaeda/

    The review author, David Isby has visited Afghanistan for thirty years.

    One passage:
    Unsurprisingly, Gall does not provide a comprehensive account of the strategy, organizations, or background behind Afghan or Pakistani actions (and U.S. reactions to them), which is unfortunate. She reports largely what she saw. Similarly, Gall does not attempt to provide a prescription of how U.S. policy might focus away from the “wrong” enemy without compounding the damage already done. She does not look at the larger story of U.S. relations with Pakistan, nor does she aim to identify and examine the alternatives to the perceived policy of appeasement bitterly opposed by her Afghan sources such as Amrullah Saleh, the former intelligence chief, one of the most thoughtful and effective Afghan officials (hated by the ISI, not least for his sympathy towards India). But without Pakistan providing access through its territory, both coalition military forces and Afghanistan’s economy would be at risk of being cut off. Despite Pakistan’s dysfunctional democracy, the ISI remained hands-off as an elected government served its full term for the first time in the country’s history, to be replaced by an elected successor of a different party.


    davidbfpo

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