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Old 04-26-2012   #541
omarali50
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"the negative effects of the 1990s cutoff" are mostly posthoc propaganda from people who know what works best for the ignorant rich uncle that they want to "touch". The policy of using Jihadis was developed while aid was flowing in the 1980s and continued unabated and expanded when aid was cut off (and the cutoff officially had nothing to do with those policies)..the increase in Jihadist recruitment and usage was not a petulant response to the cutoff. It was focused on wresting Kashmir, creating an "area of influence" in Afghanistan/central Asia, developing muscle against domestic opponents and Islamicate fantasies (with differing proportions for individual policymakers). It was also thought that this policy, as long as it was mostly "India-centric", was not a "red-line" for the Uncle.

It is worth keeping in mind that the person across the table is also a person, with aims or ambitions of his own. And with the ability to churn out propaganda that serves to justify said aims and ambitions.
And to keep in mind that we have a bigger stake in knowing how to play the uncle than the uncle had in playing us. We are therefore naturally better at it.
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Old 04-26-2012   #542
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Chaos can come as much from attempting to exert excessive or inappropriate control over things that are either uncontrollable or simply not one's business to control in the first place.

The US has determined that it must exercise control over the political out come of Afghanistan to make itself safe, and based on that decision they have tied the nation to an impossible task and have thereby elevated and extended violence in Afghanistan by elevating the Northern Alliance into power unnaturally, and equally unnaturally sustained them there; and have facilitated tremendous instability in Pakistan in the actions and expectations we have placed upon them to support this Quixotic quest of ours.

The Chaos we have created is arguably good for India, as it serves to weaken Pakistan and has created opportunities for India to envelop Pakistan in Afghanistan. But that also disrupts the balance of nuclear deterrence and could lead to catastrophic miscalculations by either or both of the parities.

We have chaos now. Dangerous chaos. And it is from misguided attempts to control things that should not be, and perhaps cannot be, controlled.
I reckon that if one has to bankroll a Nation to ensure its breathes, then one sure has a right to know how the money is spent and who spends the money and for what cause. And like it or not, dictate terms. To use an English idiom (without prejudice) - Beggars cannot be Choosers!

Now, it the money is given as charity, then it is a different matter. However, I am sure that the US taxpayer will not be delighted that the US has become Mother Teresa. Even Mother Teresa was driven by an aim and she sure dictated the terms.

If one is to foist any Govt, surely they will not foist a faction that is against the one who is foisting the Govt. That is logical. The US has operated with Pakistan ever since the CENTO and SEATO days and they have seen Pakistan up real close during the time when Pakistan played ball to oust the Soviets. It would be correct to believe that the US is aware of the chaos that Pakistan can create in Afghanistan. Hence, one would not expect US to foist a faction that will create such a horrifyingly untenable situation both in governance and in fighting AQ wherein the US loses on both fronts – fighting the AQ and organising the governance of the country.

I am guessing, but it would be logical that at least on one front the US wanted to keep a grip over the situation and the choice was in helping governance; and so of the two, they decided it was safer to have a Northern Alliance heavy potpourri to govern. It maybe added that the Northern Alliance is not one monolithic bloc.

I take it the aim of the US was to get rid of AQ in Afghanistan and not be concerned about Pakistan and its governance. Hence, if instability has been caused, it is not US’ fault! Surely, it is expected that Pakistan Govt and its Army knows how to maintain stability in their country. Or is it being suggested that Pakistan by birth is like a lost cow that has lost its bearing to return home at sunset? In this part of the world, cows roam free and return to the cowshed on their own to the cowshed, though at times, guided by little boys who job is to tend the cattle when grazing free.

Indeed, many outside the US have claimed that US actions are Quixotic. This is the first time a Westerner admits that the US is quixotic! If indeed that is the Gospel Truth, we live in real dangerous and illogical times! I, for one, do not feel that the US is quixotic. They are pursuing their national and strategic aims that are not to the liking of some. I, as a non US person, would admit that some of the policies of the US do make me uncomfortable, but then I am pragmatic enough to realise that the US Govt is not there to make me comfortable and instead make Americans comfortable, who vote them in!

Afghanistan is not advantage India, except that the terrorists are looking towards Afghanistan and less towards India. The force levels on the border with India do not indicate any appreciable change. It was and it still is a desire of India and any sane nation that Afghanistan remains an independent country charting its own destiny. Surely, that is what should be the desire of the international comity of Nations, or have I missed something?

In no way does an independent Afghanistan weaken Pakistan. At least, I have not been able to see the logic where Afghanistan weakens Pakistan, that is, unless of course it is believed that Afghanistan should be a part of Pakistan and to that end, if Afghanistan remains independent and not a part of Pakistan, it weakens Pakistan’s hegemonic ambitions. So, is it being advocated that it is kosher for Pakistan to be hegemonic?

This nuclear issue is another dramatic invention of those who have nothing else to offer for the sake of argument, but some alarmist romantic escapist claptrap. If the US and USSR did not have a nuclear conflagration, what makes one believe that Asians are not that wise as the Europeans and the US? Do people believe that we are genetically and racial born idiots?

If it was such an issue, then it should have occurred as recently as 1999 when Musharraf had to eat humble pie (or crow to use the US idiom) over Kargil! Musharraf has planned it way before in time. Benazir has vetoed it. Yet, Musharraf who has been wearing this idea on his sleeve got a hiding of his life and he would miss the opportunity to unleash his nukes lest he had to eat crow? Fortunately for the world, which may feel that Asians are genetically blessed as prize idiots, it was proved wrong. The Asians did appear blessed with equal sense as the Caucasians, if not more!

India does not have an continuous landmass to Afghanistan and so ‘enveloping’ Pakistan is another of those figments of imagination trotted out by those who are not seized of the issue in all its facets.

Last edited by Ray; 04-26-2012 at 05:25 PM.
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Old 04-26-2012   #543
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Originally Posted by omarali50 View Post
"the negative effects of the 1990s cutoff" are mostly posthoc propaganda from people who know what works best for the ignorant rich uncle that they want to "touch"....

...And to keep in mind that we have a bigger stake in knowing how to play the uncle than the uncle had in playing us. We are therefore naturally better at it.
Omar: Thank you for those two paragraphs and I now stand corrected. I should have learned and remembered that on my own but didn't.
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Old 04-26-2012   #544
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This nuclear issue is another dramatic invention of those who have nothing else to offer for the sake of argument, but some alarmist romantic escapist claptrap. If the US and USSR did not have a nuclear conflagration, what makes one believe that Asians are not that wise as the Europeans and the US? Do people believe that we are genetically and racial born idiots?

If it was such an issue, then it should have occurred as recently as 1999 when Musharraf had to eat humble pie (or crow to use the US idiom) over Kargil! Musharraf has planned it way before in time. Benazir has vetoed it. Yet, Musharraf who has been wearing this idea on his sleeve got a hiding of his life and he would miss the opportunity to unleash his nukes lest he had to eat crow? Fortunately for the world, which may feel that Asians are genetically blessed as prize idiots, it was proved wrong. The Asians did appear blessed with equal sense as the Caucasians, if not more!
Ray, you don't think that the people inside the beltway, educated at the best schools and renowned for their tolerance and egalitarian outlook actually look down their noses at Indians and Pakistanis do you? That can't be. If it were it would have made it easy for them to be played for fools by the army of one of those nations for years and years.
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Old 04-26-2012   #545
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I would not know.

But the manner in which people out here and the so called 'think tanks' so glibly talk about that it is ever so dangerous a place this Subcontinent is because they have nuclear weapons, does give the impression that people feel that fools inhabit the subcontinent.

While we are not that worried about the bodybags as some are, we still are worried about a nuclear conflagration!
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Old 04-27-2012   #546
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Ray, a few thoughts:

1. Don Quixote believed his Ends-Ways-Means to be quite reasonable and rational. A warning of his saga is that sometimes others can see what we ourselves cannot.

2. The US believes that exercise of control over who/how Afghanistan is governed is essential to the denial of AQ sanctuary in the region; and that specific actions by Pakistan are essential to that end. Inappropriate foreign influence (as assessed by the affected populaces, not as intended by the foreign power), particularly when coupled with physical occupation and actions (but policy alone can be enough), usually triggers the "resistance response" among those affected populaces. We will know when we have tailored our policies and approaches to more appropriate Ends-Ways-Means when the resistance fades.

This is not just a post 9/11 effect in AFPAK; it is in my opinion the beating heart of the entire "war on terror" as US approaches to the Greater Middle East grew increasingly dated and inappropriate following the fall of the Soviet threat to the region. Our nearly "virtual presence" triggering a very real resistance among those populaces with growing revolutionary pressures internal to their respective states, and a belief inflamed by AQ that success with those revolutionary nationalist issues can only be attained once the resistance against inappropriate Western influence is won.

3. India does not need real estate in Afghanistan to make Pakistan feel enveloped, merely political influence and the physical presence of security forces. The US is so desperate for assistance on this mission that we seem blind to dangers of facilitating an Afghanistan-Indian relationship. The Northern Alliance, on the other hand, is fully aware that this is their next best solution to keeping Taliban influence out once the US withdraws. But then the Northern Alliance does not much care if India and Pakistan go to war because of it, so long as they get what they want from the bargain.
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Old 04-27-2012   #547
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Default Sigh. The Pressler Canard. Et tu, Tequila?

Ray, they really believe that if they train military officers in the US, or sell them lots of expensive American weapons, or send lots of civilian aid, then they can change entire cultures and strategic outlooks. They being the Beltway foreign policy class, including the military.

And no one in that class of people--or the American military--will admit in this lifetime that they were psychologically misdirected.

But everyday people know, instinctively, what happened about a year ago. That telegraphed, more than any event in my adult lifetime, the basic fitness of that class. We got it. Most Americans got it.

Oops, another edit:

Sorry, I really didn't mean to direct that at you Tequila, or anyone else. I just don't understand why people keep repeating the same theories over and over, even when events bring the theories into question. I don't get it.

Last edited by Madhu; 04-27-2012 at 02:14 PM. Reason: I was going to add a bunch of references but I don't think they would be of interest. Deleted them.
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Old 04-28-2012   #548
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Ray, a few thoughts:

1. Don Quixote believed his Ends-Ways-Means to be quite reasonable and rational. A warning of his saga is that sometimes others can see what we ourselves cannot.

2. The US believes that exercise of control over who/how Afghanistan is governed is essential to the denial of AQ sanctuary in the region; and that specific actions by Pakistan are essential to that end. Inappropriate foreign influence (as assessed by the affected populaces, not as intended by the foreign power), particularly when coupled with physical occupation and actions (but policy alone can be enough), usually triggers the "resistance response" among those affected populaces. We will know when we have tailored our policies and approaches to more appropriate Ends-Ways-Means when the resistance fades.

This is not just a post 9/11 effect in AFPAK; it is in my opinion the beating heart of the entire "war on terror" as US approaches to the Greater Middle East grew increasingly dated and inappropriate following the fall of the Soviet threat to the region. Our nearly "virtual presence" triggering a very real resistance among those populaces with growing revolutionary pressures internal to their respective states, and a belief inflamed by AQ that success with those revolutionary nationalist issues can only be attained once the resistance against inappropriate Western influence is won.

3. India does not need real estate in Afghanistan to make Pakistan feel enveloped, merely political influence and the physical presence of security forces. The US is so desperate for assistance on this mission that we seem blind to dangers of facilitating an Afghanistan-Indian relationship. The Northern Alliance, on the other hand, is fully aware that this is their next best solution to keeping Taliban influence out once the US withdraws. But then the Northern Alliance does not much care if India and Pakistan go to war because of it, so long as they get what they want from the bargain.
If Don Quixote is taken to be reasonable and rational, I take that you mean the US Administration is reasonable and rational when you call it being Quixotic. That is just what I was saying all along with the caveat that if seen pragmatically, US is doing things that suits her policies and aims even if the do not coincide with the policies of other countries and may even be diametrically opposite.

Some may feel that the show in Afghanistan is basically to deny the influence of AQ. Indeed, that is important since defeating the AQ will make the US safe from terrorist action. However, global action has shifted from Europe to the Asian continent, be it the Middle East, Iran, CAR, Afghanistan, Pakistan, India, China and the nations around the South China Seas. Therefore, one wonders if the US is out in Afghanistan merely against the AQ. Some say that Afghanistan is the cockpit of Asia – occupy Afghanistan or have influence there and you can influence / feel the pulse of Asia!

In so far as Pakistan is concerned, could it be that the US felt that Pakistan would be an ally because the US bankrolled and militarily equipped Pakistan to fight the Soviets in Afghanistan? And that mirage turned sour since Pakistan was not the old Pakistan, but a Pakistan owned by the Taliban and their patrons in the Army and the ISI? And in the bargain, the US is doing everything so that the Prodigal’s Son comes home to roost?

The idea of ‘resistance response’ is interesting in the context of Pakistan. How is it that there was none of it when Pakistan sold itself to CENTO and SEATO? Obviously, the US miscalculated the Islamic oneness and anger of the War on Terror where to be a Muslim meant you had to take up arms or resist the Crusaders (as Bush used that word as is in the English idiom, without realising how sensitive that word is to the Islamic world!). This miscalculation hangs like an Albatross around the US’ neck! And do what the US might, the Pakistani population are now too indoctrinated through their madrassa men and the mullahs who are merely after the temporal and not the spiritual! The army knows which side of the bread is buttered and so they are hunting with the hounds and running with the hare and the Pakistan Govt remains moribund as they have done always historically! And the worse canard is that Pakistan is the one who has suffered the most because of terrorism – as if someone else foisted terrorists own them! Since they do not subscribe to the Bible, they conveniently forget – Sow and so shall Ye Reap!

Historically, India has ties with Afghanistan. Indeed, it is essential for India to be politically relevant in Afghanistan. It is the path to Central Asia, which is a happening place in today’s globalised world, be it for trade, natural resources or strategically. India has no military presence in Afghanistan and to believe it does, is yet another figment of imagination.

The US is in no way encouraging India – Afghanistan relationship. If they are, could you spell out, how? Are you suggesting that Afghanistan is some sort of a personal preserve of Pakistan? Should one not feel better is Afghanistan is independent without any other country’s influence? I cannot understand why some of you feel that Afghanistan belongs to Pakistan!
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Old 04-28-2012   #549
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Ray

I don't write to overcome your bias, I realize it is deep-set in your very fabric and probably reasonable, but you miss most of my points.

I did not say Quixote was rational, I said he thought he was rational. There is a major difference.

I don't buy your assessment of Afghanistan's geostrategic situation though. I realize that when most things moved by land that Afghanistan was a crossroads for global commerce, but that largely ended once man turned to the sea to ship his goods. Now it plays an important role as a buffer between powers, but a buffer need not be particularly well controlled by anyone, and perhaps works best when it is bit of a stew of influence from the surrounding parties. Development of major pipelines, rail systems or roadways could elevate Afghanistan again as a crossroads, but that is one of many alternative futures, not a current reality.

As to Pakistan, I certainly recognize their are no clean hands there; but one cannot ignore the reality of fact that the most important populace group of the region straddles across the line Britain drew through their middle. Perhaps someday a more capable Afghanistan will exercise influence through that shared populace over Pakistan, but until such time it will logically be the other way. I see this as neither good nor bad, just the reality of the situation. My recommendation is that my government embrace that reality and work with it, rather than our position of the past 10+ years of attempting to force an alternative reality of our own making that we have convinced ourselves is better for us. Better to work with what naturally exists than to expend oneself attempting to force something that is not sustainable of itself.
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Old 04-28-2012   #550
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Ray

I don't write to overcome your bias, I realize it is deep-set in your very fabric and probably reasonable, but you miss most of my points.

I did not say Quixote was rational, I said he thought he was rational. There is a major difference.
This is what you wrote earlier at Post #536

Quote:
tremendous instability in Pakistan in the actions and expectations we have placed upon them to support tremendous instability in Pakistan in the actions and expectations we have placed upon them to support this Quixotic quest of ours..
I confess I am bit confused.

On the issue of Quixote, you claimed that US was Quixotic on which I commented it wasn't.

And to that you claim that you were implying that Quixote thought of himself as being rational.

What you have written above and underlined indicates that you claimed that it was US' Quixotic quest that you were stating. Therefore, where does the question arise of what Quixote thought of himself?

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Old 04-28-2012   #551
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In that the US believes, like Quixote, their pursuits to be rational, but like Quixote, we tilt at what many others can clearly see to be mere windmills.

But I forget, that you too see ferocious giants where none exist. At least none that threaten any interest of the US. India has much more reason to engage to shape this region, but should perhaps best leave well enough alone as well. Is Pakistan a windmill or giants? I guess it depends upon where one stands and what their objectives are.
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"The modern COIN mindset is when one arrogantly goes to some foreign land and attempts to make those who live there a lesser version of one's self. The FID mindset is when one humbly goes to some foreign land and seeks first to understand, and then to help in some small way for those who live there to be the best version of their own self." Colonel Robert C. Jones, US Army Special Forces (Retired)
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Old 04-29-2012   #552
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I don't buy your assessment of Afghanistan's geostrategic situation though. I realize that when most things moved by land that Afghanistan was a crossroads for global commerce, but that largely ended once man turned to the sea to ship his goods. Now it plays an important role as a buffer between powers, but a buffer need not be particularly well controlled by anyone, and perhaps works best when it is bit of a stew of influence from the surrounding parties.
No, that is not completely correct. Afghanistan is not a crossroads for global commerce, but it is a crossroad for regional commerce. It is and will be that until you can dock a container ship in Tashkent. If you want to get something from Karachi to the Stans or vice versa, you have to mostly go through Afghanistan.

When you say a buffer works best when it is a bit of a stew of influence from surrounding parties, that seems like an excellent argument for frustrating the Pak Army/ISI's plans for making Afghanistan a vassal state, making sure the Northern Alliance retains influence and getting the Indians in, rather than keeping them out.

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As to Pakistan, I certainly recognize their are no clean hands there; but one cannot ignore the reality of fact that the most important populace group of the region straddles across the line Britain drew through their middle. Perhaps someday a more capable Afghanistan will exercise influence through that shared populace over Pakistan, but until such time it will logically be the other way. I see this as neither good nor bad, just the reality of the situation. My recommendation is that my government embrace that reality and work with it, rather than our position of the past 10+ years of attempting to force an alternative reality of our own making that we have convinced ourselves is better for us. Better to work with what naturally exists than to expend oneself attempting to force something that is not sustainable of itself.
That is the fallacy of the false alternative. What you are saying is Afghanistan will make trouble in Pakistan or the Pak Army/ISI will make trouble in Afghanistan. I don't buy that at all.

Then once you establish the false alternative, you recommend (I think) we back the Pak Army/ISI because that is the way the world is naturally ordered. That choice is to further the aims of people who actively kill Americans. That is not a good choice.
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Old 04-29-2012   #553
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3. India does not need real estate in Afghanistan to make Pakistan feel enveloped, merely political influence and the physical presence of security forces. The US is so desperate for assistance on this mission that we seem blind to dangers of facilitating an Afghanistan-Indian relationship.
Probably it is not a good idea to base judgments or actions on how the Pak Army/ISI "feels" about something or other especially since their "feelings" don't appear to be firmly grounded in reality, their belief that Afghanistan can be used to provide "strategic depth" being one example. Another would be their feeling that the presence of (I assume) Indian security forces in Afghanistan envelops them since India couldn't support enough force there to make a difference.

What danger would an Afghan-Indian relationship pose to the US? There is none as far as I can see. We are supposed to base our actions on how it affects us so I don't see the big deal. The Pak Army/ISI may feel such a relationship poses a danger to them but their feelings shouldn't guide our actions.
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Old 04-29-2012   #554
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Carl,

If you recall, Afghanistan was not a problem for the US under the Taliban and their Pakistani allies. Yes, AQ had sanctuary there, and that was a problem for us, but only because totally ignored it until they launched the attacks of 9/11 (which I doubt their host knew much about), and until we were forced to act quickly to figure out how to deal with reprisals on a non-state actor. We ignored the Saudi State that most of the attackers and leaders of AQ hailed from, and the Egyptian state; and instead made loose connections to bring our wrath down upon the Afghan and Iraqi states. I understand why we attacked Afghanistan, but believe we could have achieved at least equal effects against AQ without inflaming the region by expanding our fight to the Taliban.

I know if you leased a shed in your backyard to some guy who then went out and robbed a bank, you would not expect the police to come in and chase that guy off your property, and then take out their anger on you, throwing you in jail and your family out into the street, and then putting some homeless people from the area into your home in your stead. That is what we did in Afghanistan.

I know you don't like Pakistan. I on the other hand don't worry about if I "like" or "dislike" Pakistan, I simply assess that they acted rationally and reasonably in seeking to exert influence over Afghanistan through the shared Pashtun populace prior to 9/11; and that they acted rationally and reasonably in both agreeing to help the US in exchange for massive aid, while at the same time continuing to work covertly to do what they had always done as it was still the smartest way to address their interests as they reasonably defined them.

I cannot say that the US also action rationally or reasonably. I cannot say that the US had powerful interests to do what we did and are doing. I think we made mistakes in the heat of the moment and don't know how to get back on track. Pakistan plays a dangerous game with the US, but to be fair, it is not a game they asked to play, it is a game we forced them to play.
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Old 04-29-2012   #555
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...don't worry about if I "like" or "dislike" Pakistan, I simply assess that they acted rationally and reasonably in seeking to exert influence over Afghanistan...

...Pakistan plays a dangerous game with the US, but to be fair, it is not a game they asked to play, it is a game we forced them to play. (emphasis added / kw)
Act in haste, repent at leisure as the Actress said to the Bishop.

Perhaps the Actress was / is simply better at the game than the Bishop...

Consider also that the Actress can be strongly independent and amoral; the Bishop has to engage in many compromises to maintain his appearance of sanctity if not sanity and to satisfy his synod and all those parishioners with different ideas...
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Old 04-29-2012   #556
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In that the US believes, like Quixote, their pursuits to be rational, but like Quixote, we tilt at what many others can clearly see to be mere windmills.

But I forget, that you too see ferocious giants where none exist. At least none that threaten any interest of the US. India has much more reason to engage to shape this region, but should perhaps best leave well enough alone as well. Is Pakistan a windmill or giants? I guess it depends upon where one stands and what their objectives are.
The short answer is did the US find the USSR a windmill or giants?


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...don't worry about if I "like" or "dislike" Pakistan, I simply assess that they acted rationally and reasonably in seeking to exert influence over Afghanistan...
If that be the case, would it not be that all nations acted rationally and reasonably?

Some would concede that Germany too acted rationally and reasonably by having the policy of Lebensraum and also increasing their 'strategic depth'!

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it is a game we forced them to play.
One can take a horse to water, but it cannot make it drink!

What makes one feel that it was not Pakistan than made the US play their game, by creating conditions where the US had no option but to play the game?

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Old 04-29-2012   #557
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I don't write to overcome your bias, I realize it is deep-set in your very fabric and probably reasonable, but you miss most of my points.

Wow.

It's like Lord Churchill addressing Gandhi.

Omar Ali (not an American military officer, I know, but no one is perfect) has posted a very interesting article, representing the opinion of one particular populace with Pakistan (gee, populace is an interesting word):

Quote:
Between 2003 to 2007, over 200 political activists, including tribal leaders in South Waziristan were target killed under mysterious circumstances never investigated by the government of Pakistan. The common denominator among them is that they all were anti-Taliban. Their families hold the ISI responsible for their killing. Many of the eliminated anti-Taliban people were local activist of Pashtun nationalist political parties, PMAP and ANP. Mahmud Achakzai, leader of PMAP, repeatedly visited Waziristan to attend the funeral ceremonies of his assassinated party workers.
http://www.thefridaytimes.com/beta3/...0120420&page=6 - the piece is titled, "Taliban are Pak Army proxies, not Pashtun nationalists - III

Translation: not all Pashtuns support the Taliban.

But at this point I am not going to argue about it anymore. OBL was found in Abbottabad and KSM was found in Rawalpindi. And the Saudis and the Pakistan military and its intelligence services have always worked together. I can think of lots of reasons people might ignore potential connections between the two --and to 9-11--but none of them are flattering to the holders of that opinion. Aw, relax, everyone, I'm talking about the Beltway. CYA might explain a lot.

At any rate, this is all rapidly becoming a waste of my time. It's been quite an education, though.

Last edited by Madhu; 04-29-2012 at 07:25 PM. Reason: said something redundant about coindinistas and colonialism. Didn't matter to the post, deleted it.
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Old 04-29-2012   #558
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It's like Lord Churchill addressing Gandhi.
Madhu: I stand in awe of your power with the language. That was great!

Please hang around.
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Old 04-30-2012   #559
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Carl,

If you recall, Afghanistan was not a problem for the US under the Taliban and their Pakistani allies. Yes, AQ had sanctuary there, and that was a problem for us, but only because totally ignored it until they launched the attacks of 9/11 (which I doubt their host knew much about), and until we were forced to act quickly to figure out how to deal with reprisals on a non-state actor. We ignored the Saudi State that most of the attackers and leaders of AQ hailed from, and the Egyptian state; and instead made loose connections to bring our wrath down upon the Afghan and Iraqi states. I understand why we attacked Afghanistan, but believe we could have achieved at least equal effects against AQ without inflaming the region by expanding our fight to the Taliban.
I do recall, but not what you recall (remember that scene in The Princess Bride where Inigo said to Vizini...). I recall the Embassy bombings in Africa and that guy who got caught at the border with the explosives and perhaps the U.S.S. Cole. I recall that was a problem for the US because AQ had sanctuary in Afghanistan and we couldn't get at them. I also recall that we tried with cruise missiles and AQ was a focus of the various intel groups and that Mr. Clinton regretted that he couldn't get Osama. That doesn't seem like totally ignoring to me but as Inigo said to Vizini...

AQ's host may not have known much about 9-11 beforehand but if they knew anything at all about it, they didn't tell us thereby making themselves complicit in the mass murder of Americans.

We expanded our fight to include the Taliban because after being asked politely, they didn't give up AQ. They could have avoided inflaming the region by giving up a mass murderer but they chose not to, with some encouragement by the ISI.

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I know if you leased a shed in your backyard to some guy who then went out and robbed a bank, you would not expect the police to come in and chase that guy off your property, and then take out their anger on you, throwing you in jail and your family out into the street, and then putting some homeless people from the area into your home in your stead. That is what we did in Afghanistan.
I prefer to avoid the strained analogies. The actual situation was simple and clear enough. AQ was hosted by the Taliban. AQ killed thousands of Americans. We asked Taliban to give up AQ. They refused. We went after them both.

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I know you don't like Pakistan. I on the other hand don't worry about if I "like" or "dislike" Pakistan,...
Well actually, you don't know I don't like Pakistan. I on the other hand do know. I asked myself that question and I believe I received an honest answer. I like Pakistan just fine. How can you not like a country that produces people like the Karachi cop and ambulance driver profiled in a video highlighted on this site some time back, or that produces hyper-brave men like the Pakistani journalist beaten to death by the ISI last year.

I do dislike, to put it mildly, the Pak Army/ISI; mainly the officer corps though, especially the high guys. The poor troops get betrayed by their officers probably more often than we do. I dislike the Pak Army/ISI as an institution because they kill Americans and they put a country composed of people like the cop, ambulance driver and journalist I mentioned at grave risk solely to preserve the privileges and power of the Pak Army/ISI.

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...I simply assess that they acted rationally and reasonably in seeking to exert influence over Afghanistan through the shared Pashtun populace prior to 9/11; and that they acted rationally and reasonably in both agreeing to help the US in exchange for massive aid, while at the same time continuing to work covertly to do what they had always done as it was still the smartest way to address their interests as they reasonably defined them.

I cannot say that the US also action rationally or reasonably. I cannot say that the US had powerful interests to do what we did and are doing. I think we made mistakes in the heat of the moment and don't know how to get back on track. Pakistan plays a dangerous game with the US, but to be fair, it is not a game they asked to play, it is a game we forced them to play.
So the Pak Army/ISI is acting rationally and reasonably by pursuing a course of action that puts their country at grave risk. The US on the other hand hasn't been acting rationally and reasonably by reacting as we did to the attack on 9-11. Like I said about Inigo and Vizini...

I will concede however that we have screwed up royally in Afghanistan in the last 10 years. The biggest mistake being of course that we refuse to recognize the Pak Army/ISI as being the enemy and treating them accordingly.
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Old 04-30-2012   #560
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There is nothing wrong with Pakistan.

Except for the fact that they want to hunt with the hounds and run with the hares at the same time!

In the bargain, they are themselves confusing themselves as to what they really want.

Good chaps otherwise!
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