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Thread: Pakistani Army commentary

  1. #21
    Former Member George L. Singleton's Avatar
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    Default 3 excellent insider knowledge Pak military stastus posts

    David:

    Good reading in all three paper's cases.

    Thanks for these excellent posts.

  2. #22
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    The Swat operation paper looks like it was written by someone in the Pak army and seems to reflect some recognition that their arming and training of militants was not necessarily a good idea. Thats a good thing. But it does not show any glimmer of understanding that the arming and training of half a million potential terrorists was just one aspect (albeit the most dangerous and self-destructive) of a 60 year record of misrule and misdirection. Pakistan shared the pathologies but also the possibilities of British India. The army hijacked that process and took it upon itself (with US support) to "improve" the nation. Some recognition of the disastrous effect of this is now commonplace in civilian pakistan, but still missing in the army and its think tanks..which would not be the end of the world if the army had not meanwhile destroyed or nearly destroyed all other institutions. Rebuilding those institutions and bringing the military to heel is essential, otherwise the next Napoleon will try something even more disastrous. Ultimately, that is a job for the people of Pakistan, but their job will be nearly impossible if the world's pre-eminent superpower is operating at the level of Anthony "firm-hand-musharraf" Zinni....

  3. #23
    Council Member davidbfpo's Avatar
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    Default Commentaries author

    Taken from Omerali:
    The Swat operation paper looks like it was written by someone in the Pak army...
    I can assure you that the author is not in the Pakistani Army, nor dependent on them.

    davidbfpo

  4. #24
    Former Member George L. Singleton's Avatar
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    Your post is interesting.

    Here are a few curb stone observations as an old Pakistan/Afghan hand from long, long ago, the President /Field Marshal Ayub Khan era in country:

    1. The PPP nationally in Pakistan and in the Northern Pakhtun heavy areas of Pakistan the ANP are helping turning the corner toward more democracy, SW Asia style democracy, than ever before.

    2. The major problem since inception in 1947, as an Islamic or theocratic Republic, has been the Mulism based parties, who are very clearly in my view mixed in with aspects of the Taliban, al Qaida, and their fellow traveler associated splinger groupings of thugs, all in my Muslims friends over there view "bent on kidnapping Islam" to justify their God awful existance.

    3. While in retrospect it is true that the ISI, in particular, enabled and has used the Taliban (in particular) in years of struggle with Afganistan, and in Kashmir against India, last few years even into mainland India via Lahore, the new President of Pakistan is doing in my view his level best to end this sort of foolish, dumb ass tactics and stragety.

    4. The growth in the number and now into higher ranks, as in field grade promtions, of loyal Pakistani Pakhtuns is visible evidence of a better day for ethnic minorities, ie, including and best exemplified by the Pakhtuns, in Pakistan's military, and one would assume now, government.

    5. As the whole free world frets, rightly so, over nuclear weaponry development in Iran, N. Korea, etc., it is a clear cut fact of life in Pakistan which alone justifies heavy involvement when and where allowed to keep the terrorist hands off nukes. This is not a glib remark, as a realistic fear at any time, worldwide, is an unwanted small or large "mushroom cloud" via a non aircraft delivered nuclear bomb, some of which today fit in size into the head of a simple artillery shell....in size.

    In summary, you take what you can get to move forward; you cannot rewrite nor change past history; and your biggest challenge today is the Pakhtun unwritten constituion or cultural "customs" which promote grudges, getting even, and related archaic traditions that create a never ending cycle of violence.

    Quote Originally Posted by omarali50 View Post
    The Swat operation paper looks like it was written by someone in the Pak army and seems to reflect some recognition that their arming and training of militants was not necessarily a good idea. Thats a good thing. But it does not show any glimmer of understanding that the arming and training of half a million potential terrorists was just one aspect (albeit the most dangerous and self-destructive) of a 60 year record of misrule and misdirection. Pakistan shared the pathologies but also the possibilities of British India. The army hijacked that process and took it upon itself (with US support) to "improve" the nation. Some recognition of the disastrous effect of this is now commonplace in civilian pakistan, but still missing in the army and its think tanks..which would not be the end of the world if the army had not meanwhile destroyed or nearly destroyed all other institutions. Rebuilding those institutions and bringing the military to heel is essential, otherwise the next Napoleon will try something even more disastrous. Ultimately, that is a job for the people of Pakistan, but their job will be nearly impossible if the world's pre-eminent superpower is operating at the level of Anthony "firm-hand-musharraf" Zinni....

  5. #25
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    Default Its not the code...

    Quote Originally Posted by George L. Singleton View Post
    Your post is interesting.


    In summary, you take what you can get to move forward; you cannot rewrite nor change past history; and your biggest challenge today is the Pakhtun unwritten constituion or cultural "customs" which promote grudges, getting even, and related archaic traditions that create a never ending cycle of violence.
    I agree that you have to move forward from wherever you find yourself. The point of bringing up past misdeeds was to indicate that the Pakistani army as an institution has pursued policies that are inimical to peace and development in the region and a long term change in their "strategic mindset" is needed, and may not be as deep as they currently present it, so we have to harp on it a little...
    Secondly, I think the role of archaic pakhtun codes in this insurgency (particularly on the Pakistani side) is over-rated. If Pathans are so determined to avenge every attack, then how come they are not avenging the hundreds of deaths suffered at the hands of taliban and their suicide bombers? After all, those deaths in Pakistan exceed the numbers killed by US missiles? I think this "archaic code" is a smokescreen. There is a very real level of support for Islamists (which is not necessarily the same as the archaic code) but in the end, its about the corruption and uselessness of existing structures, determined and ruthless leadership on the other side, delivery of cheap justice, and a good solid guess about who is likely to come out on top. Suicide bombers are NOT usually self starters from Bradford and in this case they are not aggrieved tribesmen out on some "cycle of revenge". There is an organization and there are specific individuals who recruit and train them. How many bombers are taking revenge for the sake of some "archaic code"? my guess is "near zero". They are recruited from madressas and trained and fired as needed by organized groups with very modern organizational skills and very clear aims and revenge is one of the smaller motivators in this package. Nothing archaic about it.

  6. #26
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    Default Pakistani Capabilities for a Counterinsurgency Campaign: A Net Assessment

    NAF, 17 Sep 09: Pakistani Capabilities for a Counterinsurgency Campaign: A Net Assessment
    As a more effective Taliban steps up its operations along the border between Afghanistan and Pakistan, Western observers increasingly are calling on Pakistan to implement a strategy of population-security counterinsurgency, or COIN. This paper will offer a net assessment of Pakistan’s military capabilities to conduct such a campaign based on clearly stated assumptions, an analysis of opensource materials, and textbook COIN doctrine and best practices. It will examine the gap in Pakistani efforts and the choices required to fill this gap based on:

    1. The nature of the insurgency, including its strength, capabilities, tactics, and strategic objectives;

    2. The terrain challenges posed by the Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA) and North- West Frontier Province (NWFP), and

    3. Current and potential Pakistani military capabilities.

  7. #27
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    Default Think outside the box..

    There may be situations where immovable objects face unstoppable forces with tragic results. The writers of this report assume that "countries and their interests" are natural and eternal categories, but such may not be the case. I would submit that Pakistan has already lost control of the Islamic Emirate and does not possess the military force or the political will to reconquer it on its own terms. Eventually, it will settle for a strategy of holding the "settled areas" and I would not be surprised if one day the indo-tibetan border police is being asked to come and help defend Islamabad. Stranger things have happened. The US will inshallah create a reasonable facsimile of a regime in Afghanistan and this regime will contend with the Islamic Emirate for territory and influence for the next generation or so. China, US, EU, even India, will continue to subsidise corrupt "pro-western" regimes in Pakistan and Afghanistan and will wait for time to work its healing magic. This is the best case scenario. Other possibilities include the humiliation and withdrawal of the great satan, followed by an orgy of violence and an expanded Islamic emirate surrounded by India, China and other local powers and at war with all of them. OR, if India and China fail to cooperate, China may use rump Pakistan or the islamic emirate to humiliate and destroy India, but will be left holding the most explosive bag in history, allowing the United States to recover from its near-terminal decline while China tries (unsuccessfully) to pacify Southwest Asia. OR, we could see the triumph of rationality and peace will reign as Pakhtuns buy Chinese HD players to play Indian movies while eating Ramen noodles. My apologies for being flippant, but its than kind of day...

  8. #28
    Council Member davidbfpo's Avatar
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    Default Three generals to stay on?

    The role of the Pakistani Army Chief of Staff is pivotal in Pakistan's future and as an indicator what may happen internally. So it is no surprise to see the current CoS General Kayani may have his two year term of office extended beyond the compulsory retirement age; not to overlook the ISI chief and the Chief of General Staff too.

    http://watandost.blogspot.com/2010/0...ef-kayani.html

    The move has been made to ensure continuity in Pakistan’s policy on the war on terror and it also has a nod from Washington as the Army has achieved remarkable successes in the war on terror under General Kayani’s command.
    I have a longer analytical comment via an email that will posted soon.
    davidbfpo

  9. #29
    Council Member davidbfpo's Avatar
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    Default Gates talks and listens to the Pakistani military

    Hat tip to Zenpundit for his exposure of the Q&A session Secretary Gates had with a Pakistani military forum on his visit recently: Zen's comments:http://zenpundit.com/?p=3338

    Zen's closing, calm remarks:
    Pakistan, or at least an autonomous part of its military, is our enemy in Afghanistan and have been since 2001. Let’s accept that reality and revise our policies accordingly. Being an enemy of the United States ought to come with some costs rather than aid packages.
    A (partial?) transcript of the Q&A
    :http://duckofminerva.blogspot.com/20...-national.html

    The frank talk was apparently a bit heated. At one point, one of the Pakistani military officers asked Secretary Gates point blank: "Are you with us or against us?"

    The transcript reveals a deep level of distrust between the US and the Pakistani military. It also shows that some junior officers of the Pakistani military do not take ownership of their government's current offensives against militants in the North West Frontier Province and the Federally Administered Tribal Areas of Pakistan.
    This could fit on the thread 'The US & others working with Pakistan (a joined up thread)', but fits here too:http://council.smallwarsjournal.com/...ead.php?t=2313
    Last edited by davidbfpo; 02-15-2010 at 11:24 PM.
    davidbfpo

  10. #30
    Council Member davidbfpo's Avatar
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    Default How the Pakistani Army works

    I posted earlier in this thread some comments / analysis by an observer of the Pakistani Army's ways and attached is their latest - just in time as the succession issue has come to the fore. The author is identified, he is not a SWC member, his work has appeared on SWJ before and has given his permission for this item to appear here.
    Attached Files Attached Files
    Last edited by davidbfpo; 02-19-2010 at 10:19 PM. Reason: Consent of author added
    davidbfpo

  11. #31
    Council Member davidbfpo's Avatar
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    Default Retirement dates for generals extended

    This is a cross post and was originally on the 'Round Up Taliban' thread.

    Lieutenant General Ahmad Shuja Pasha, director general of the military's Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) agency, was due to retire this month but will remain in office for another year, Prime Minister Yusuf Raza Gilani's office said in a statement.
    From:http://watandost.blogspot.com/2010/0...extension.html Which has links to two Pakistani press comments and one adds:

    The extension in service to generals, now four in number, by the Chief of Army Staff (COAS), General Ashfaq Parvez Kayani, raises important points.
    From:http://www.dailytimes.com.pk/default...1-3-2010_pg3_2
    davidbfpo

  12. #32
    Council Member davidbfpo's Avatar
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    Default All Kayani’s Men by Anatol Lieven

    An excellent article IMHO and some good quotes:http://www.nationalinterest.org/Article.aspx?id=23214

    Opens with:
    VOLTAIRE REMARKED of Frederick the Great’s Prussia that “where .some states have an army, the Prussian Army has a state!” The same can easily be said of Pakistan. The destruction of the army would mean the destruction of the country. Yet this is something that the Pakistani Taliban and their allies can never achieve. Only the United States is capable of such a feat; if Washington ever takes actions that persuade ordinary Pakistani soldiers that their only honorable course is to fight America, even against the orders of their generals and against dreadful odds, the armed forces would crumble.
    Or:
    ....when it comes to the Pakistani Taliban and their allies. The military as a whole and the ISI are now committed to the struggle against them, and by the end of 2009, the ISI had lost more than seventy of its officers in this fight—some ten times the number of CIA officers killed since 9/11, just as Pakistani military casualties fighting the Pakistani Taliban have greatly exceeded those of the United States in Afghanistan.
    davidbfpo

  13. #33
    Council Member davidbfpo's Avatar
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    Default The next Chief of Staff?

    A short interview of a US-based Pakistani analyst on the next Army Chief of Staff, a decsion due by November 2010, or an extension for General Kayani: http://watandost.blogspot.com/2010/0...ext-chief.html

    I have two questions: a) can the USA stand aside and let Pakistan make its own decision and b) will the civil power, President Zadari, make the decision?
    davidbfpo

  14. #34
    Council Member davidbfpo's Avatar
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    Default Extension for General Kayani

    Finally a decision and a long extension, three years:
    The government extended the term of Pakistan’s army chief by three years on Thursday, a move backed by the United States as it seeks to encourage Pakistan as a more reliable ally against Taliban and Qaeda militants.
    And later:
    General Kayani’s extension was not unexpected. The weak civilian government appears to be grateful to have an army chief that at least consults it, and Mr. Zardari and Mr. Gilani were known to be willing to go along with General Kayani’s desire to stay longer.
    Link:http://www.nytimes.com/2010/07/23/wo..._r=1&ref=world
    davidbfpo

  15. #35
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    The Atlantic Council, 12 Jul 10: The Changing Pakistan Army Officer Corps
    The Pakistan army elicits many concerns about terrorism, nuclear proliferation and the coherence of the state. However, very little is actually known about this institution. This essay mobilizes unique data to address one important facet: the army’s geographical recruitment base. The authors find that the Pakistan army has been successful at expanding the geographical recruitment base while some groups (namely those who are native to Sindh) remain highly under-represented. They also find that the officer corps is increasingly coming from urban areas. The paper concludes with a discussion of the implications of these important shifts subject to the limitations of our data.

  16. #36
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    Default A Pakistani Admiral speaks

    Admiral Fasih Bokhari is a former chief of naval staff and a respected and upright officer (fired in 1999 for demanding a court of inquiry into Pervez Musharraf's botched Kargil operation). He now writes for newspapers and here is his latest. I urge you to read it very carefully, since a better summary of the default Pak army strategic view cannot be found:

    http://paktribune.com/news/index.shtml?231678

  17. #37
    Council Member tequila's Avatar
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    The complete lack of self-reflection combined with paranoia and wistful thinking is quite remarkable. I could waste a good half hour pointing out the historical amnesia implicit in his summation of Bangladeshi independence alone.

    If this is representative of Pakistani civil society leadership, then it is indeed on the way to failed state status.

  18. #38
    Council Member Hacksaw's Avatar
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    Default In Re: Omarali and Tequilla

    Speechless

    Omarali... indeed if this is the prevailing view.... hmmm... revealing

    Tequilla... couldn't agree more
    Hacksaw
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  19. #39
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    I would not describe it as the dominant "civil society" view. It is very much the dominant military view, though the serving generals know enough about where their money comes from to be able to dissemble about it when needed. But its worth keeping in mind that this mindset is amazingly ignorant and naive about the world at large. This means its available for misuse by anyone who understands their psychology and has a more sophisticated understanding of the world. The true Jihadis do it best: the entire Jihadi operation is a tribute to the abiliity of a few Jihadi generals to get the whole high command to follow their suicidal policies while mindlessly repeating nonsense about the "complex strategic threat from India"....But this means the same people can also be manipulated by others. The Chinese do it. I am sure by now the Saudis do it very well. And who knows, Anne Patterson may have learned a trick or two as well. Its a farce and a tragedy of epic proportions...

  20. #40
    Council Member carl's Avatar
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    Default

    I'll add jaw-dropping to speechless and remarkable. This thing reads like it was written as a parody. There ought to be bugles blowing and drum rolls.

    He comes straight out and says the U.S. is the enemy, they are fighting us and the Pakistani government lies like hell; or at least as straight out as anybody associated with the Pakistani gov and army can be.
    "We fight, get beat, rise, and fight again." Gen. Nathanael Greene

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