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Old 03-25-2014   #681
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Carl asked:
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Did they ever get the whole story on that attack?
IIRC the official Pakistani report was "leaked" and is within this thread. It was quite damming. Obviously I maybe mistaken.
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Old 03-25-2014   #682
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Quote:
Originally Posted by carl View Post
Did they ever get the whole story on that attack?
I am assuming they did. I am also assuming we never will.
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Old 03-25-2014   #683
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Default Four Pakistani conspiracy theories that are less fictitious than you'd think

A succinct explanatory comment on WoTR; which ends with:
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Ultimately, the point here is not to legitimize Pakistani conspiracy theories. Rather, it is to highlight how U.S. policies in Pakistan often strengthen—and validate—anti-American narratives that Washington would much prefer to undercut.
Link:http://warontherocks.com/2014/03/fou...an-youd-think/
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Old 03-27-2014   #684
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LOL. I wonder if Mr Kugelman has been picked up by paknationalist psyops yet? His work will be much cited in the days to come. If national security types get credit for citations, this will transform his ratings completely.
I do realize that he means well, but I am not sure what the meaning is supposed to be? what is the lesson here?

Not that it matters. We are about to win a strategic victory (probably with US support as Kerry and company arrange an honorable exit). But as I asked in 2011, what then? What if we win?

http://www.3quarksdaily.com/3quarksd...if-we-win.html
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Old 03-27-2014   #685
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Default The bad guys might make hay, ergo he should remain silent?

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Originally Posted by omarali50 View Post
LOL. I wonder if Mr Kugelman has been picked up by paknationalist psyops yet? His work will be much cited in the days to come.
And? If not his, someone else’s.

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Originally Posted by omarali50 View Post
I do realize that he means well, but I am not sure what the meaning is supposed to be? what is the lesson here?
One lesson would be to keep things in perspective. Don’t sacrifice big picture, long term success at the altar of the crisis of the moment. Anyone who thinks endangering the closing round of decades of work towards eradication of polio from our planet was worth the risk if it meant getting a DNA sample from OBL (talk about risk aversion; were there not multiple lines of evidence that lead the U.S. Intelligence Community to that compound? why the need to nail it down that tightly?) is ignorant or a moron. But this is a nurse’s son speaking here.
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Old 03-27-2014   #686
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On polio I absolutely agree that the CIA should not have added fuel to the anti-polio vax fire, but I would point out that the ban against polio vaccination has been there since 2007, well before poor Dr Afridi and his team of health visitors tried to get DNA. The campaign against polio vaccine started even before the 2007 ban on vaccination in Waziristan. You can read more about the Polio Jihad here: http://www.3quarksdaily.com/3quarksd...lio-jihad.html

I am curious, what do you think was the big picture that was missed in Pakistan?

Again, I would add that I dont think the US did a good job. Far from it. I now think the US was not culturally or institutionally capable of obtaining a really good outcome in the region and would have done much better to stay out. Long distance punishment of hostile governments, support to their enemies and carrots to buy them out would have been cheaper and at least as effective, probably far more so. But the US public wanted a war after 9-11 so there was a war. By now the blood lust has settled, so the whole exercise is looking pointless.
But I dont think the mistakes were the ones Kugelman thinks were mistakes. (To be fair, I am not sure what he thinks. I dont think he has spelled out his "lessons learned" in that article).
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Old 12-08-2014   #687
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Default US transfers Taliban commander to Pakistani custody

As the USA reduces its presence in Afghanistan The Long War Journal's blog has this intriguing story, which starts with:
Quote:
The US military turned over Latif Mehsud, formerly a senior commander in the Movement of the Taliban in Pakistan, to the Pakistani government within the past week. Latif was snatched by US forces from Afghan intelligence officials in the Afghan province of Logar in October 2013.

Just whether as a 'bad' Pakistani Taliban leader he remains in custody is a moot point.
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Old 04-10-2015   #688
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Default US$31 billion later

The following BBC News report acted as a catalyst to post Christine Fair's WoTR piece. Working with Pakistan has hardly gone away!

The BBC headline 'Mumbai attack suspect Lakhvi released on bail in Pakistan', this man has been in custody since 7 December 2008, days after the Mumbai attack:http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-asia-32250763

His detention was reportedly symbolic rather than actual; with LET visitors, internet access and the like. As we know, especially for India, symbols are important.

Christine Fair has a very clear stance on Pakistan, which is critical and the WoTR piece is an effective update:http://warontherocks.com/2015/04/gro.../?singlepage=1

Her aim is:
Quote:
The United States needs a more realistic policy towards Pakistan. In this essay, I argue why these decades-long policies have long failed and I put forward several propositions that should inform a new policy towards a state that is the problem from hell.
She ends:
Quote:
In the end, such a realistic policy towards Pakistan may not result in a Pakistan that behaves better in the policy-relevant future. However such a policy will at least spare the American public the continued indignity of subsidizing Pakistan’s most dangerous policies, several of which account for thousands of dead Americans and many more injured in the Afghan war.
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Old 04-10-2015   #689
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Quote:
His detention was reportedly symbolic rather than actual; with LET visitors, internet access and the like. As we know, especially for India, symbols are important.
David,

Symbols are not important in India.

The dispensation of law as per the criminal code, rules and procedure are.

In India is you are in prison, then you do not get the privileges of the open society at large.

Lakhvi has all facilities of open society available to him while in Jail and he also fathered a child in Jail.

I wonder if that is symbols or miscarriage of justice.

Which country allows a terrorist organiser such facilities?

I am sure none in the West.

The Prosecution, it is said, did not present the case well leaving loopholes that the Pakistani Judges exploited to free this man.
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Old 04-21-2015   #690
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Default Twitter giggles as Pakistan, China launch RANDI think tank

ISLAMABAD:
Chinese President Xi Jinping’s two-day visit to Pakistan has been replete with flowery rhetoric extolling mutual love between both countries, but the name chosen for a new joint think tank has left some social media users in titters.

Dedicated to research on the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor, a $46 billion dollar plan linking China’s restive west to the Arabian Sea, the newly inaugurated Research and Development International (RANDI) organisation has been widely pilloried because its acronym sounds like “whore” in Urdu and Hindi.


http://tribune.com.pk/story/873511/t...di-think-tank/

People are having too much fun at twitter and other fora because of RANDI. Some are assuming that the name is deliberately chosen by the Chinese. Earlier Shireen Mazari, a "security expert" created a think tank called
P.I.S.S(Pakistan Institute of Strategic Studies).
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Old 04-21-2015   #691
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The hashtag #RANDI was number one on Pakistani twitter today, so the joke has been widely shared. English acronym fails have a long history in Pakistan. The first incarnation of the genocidal anti-Shia party "Sepah e Sahaba Pakistan" (soldiers of the (prophet's) companions, Pakistan) was named "Anjuman Sipah e Sahaba" (ASS) "Party of soldiers of the (prophet's) companions".
what is different in this case is that the thing was started as an English language title, not an off-chance weirdness of translation from Urdu to English.
Some people think the Chinese are in on the joke, but of course that too is a joke (Pakistan, like the old Soviet Union, is very joke-happy and there is a joke for every possible political and military development): from what I can tell the Chinese are generally clueless about the cultural nuances of Pakistan (and about Middle eastern societies). So clueless that their imperium may make US imperialism look subtle and deeply knowledgeable..perhaps in the same way that some people look back to the British (with their insatiably curious, astonishingly successful and "proof of the pudding" street-wise "soldier-sahibs") as imperial wizards compared to the easily fooled but highly arrogant Americans.
On the other hand, the Chinese are known to be able to count money, so their actual losses may be less than what the Americans sank into their adventures in imperial policing.
Pakistan has almost certainly promised Big-Big more than Pakistan can possibly deliver. But then again, Big-Big and his accountants may or may not buy the spiel, but they will not sink real money till they see some real returns on early pilot efforts. GHQ will have to up it's game after the first round of investments, otherwise, "you broke it, you pay". Uncle Chin will not extend credit forever...
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Old 05-02-2015   #692
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Default Explaining Pakistan’s Self-Defeating Afghanistan Policy

A short article via the Lawfare blogsite, whose Editor writes:
Quote:
The relationship between Pakistan and Afghanistan has long been ugly. Pakistan’s efforts to control and influence Afghanistan have played a major role in advancing radical groups like the Taliban and fomenting unrest in Pakistan itself. The last few months have seen signs of improvement, but Pakistan’s policies will not be easily changed no matter how self-defeating, as its perceived strategic interests and domestic politics are both intertwined with radical groups. Khalid Nadiri of SAIS explains the logic of Pakistan’s actions in Afghanistan and why a true rapprochement between the two countries is likely to remain elusive.
Link:http://www.lawfareblog.com/2015/04/t...nistan-policy/

The author concludes, optimistically IMHO:
Quote:
In short, matching deeds to words will be a critical requirement for peace in Afghanistan and, by extension, in Pakistan. If Afghanistan is to become stable, it will be a country that maintains active and cordial but independent relations with all of its near and far neighbors and is not used to objectively threaten any other country. In return, Afghanistan’s neighbors would have to refrain from interfering in its internal politics. Such a situation could provide extraordinary economic benefits and open up new political possibilities. Afghanistan and its key partners, including the United States, will need to forge a political formula that provides for regional cooperation. But to get there, Pakistan needs to act in line with its own commitments.
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Old 08-31-2015   #693
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Default $300m of the $900m for Pakistan is being witheld

Omarali50 posted two days ago on the Afghanistan, its neighbours and non-NATO nations thread, with my emphasis and I didn't recognise what CSF stood for:
Quote:
China is still in the "1950s" phase of being big brother to Pakistan. Their strategy is likely to be to wait for their man in Islamabad to deliver the peace and strategic depth and free bauxite he promised.
It takes a while to get to to CSF suspension level. Sometimes it takes decades. (Chinese are fast learners though )
Thanks to WoTR Stephen Tankel explains that US relations with Pakistan, notably its military, is about to undergo a change:
Quote:
The visit came on the heels of an announcement that U.S. Secretary of Defense Ash Carter declined to certify that Pakistan had taken adequate steps against the Haqqani network, which is believed to be responsible for a recent spate of attacks in Afghanistan. Unless Carter reverses this decision, Pakistan’s military is out $300 million in what is called “Coalition Support Funds.” That still leaves $600 million in authorized money on the table for the fiscal year, and that money is unlikely to be withheld. The financial loss of $300 million is not inconsequential, but the political symbolism of the decision is the real story.
Link:http://warontherocks.com/2015/08/is-...military-aid/?
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Old 01-12-2016   #694
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Default No change

Hat tip to WoTR for a long review by Myra McDonald of the Indo-Pakistani relationship after the latest two attacks, an Indian air force base and the Indian consulate @ Mazar-e-Sharif, Afghanistan:http://warontherocks.com/2016/01/on-...or-the-worst/?

A nice pithy ending passage, with my highlight:
Quote:
the United States should ensure that despite the multiple distractions in the Middle East, it is properly prepared for a fresh crisis. China has been helpful in the past in managing Pakistan — though a strategic rival of India, China has no interest in seeing a major war on its doorstep. The United States should build on that, while continuing to encourage nuclear confidence-building measures between India and Pakistan. In other words, it needs to hope for the best and prepare for the worst. It will be in a stronger position to do that if it remains very clear-sighted about how little has changed since those days of the Kargil War. With every new army chief that takes office, Washington somehow convinces itself Pakistan has turned a corner. It never does.
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Old 01-14-2016   #695
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I have a piece arguing that talks should continue, but with eyes open (and with realistic secondary aims even if the primary aim fails)

http://brownpundits.blogspot.com/201...lk-or-not.html

Excerpt:


10. I obviously hope it works at the first level. As a Pakistani, I would much prefer that the security establishment comes to its senses and the country manages to get out of the jihadi violence cycle (none of which will be easy in any and every imaginable scenario). I don’t think war is in the interest of the Pakistani OR Indian elite or their long-suffering common people. Very narrow sections of the elite may believe it is in their benefit to stoke conflict, but they are narrow sections in both countries...that is exactly the reason why there is an opening.
That may be hoping for too much. But miracles are possible. I am afraid that the core Islamicate region is in the throes of a major civilizational crisis. As a major Islamic state, we share in that crisis, over and above our India-centric adventures. But we are also part of Indic civilization and our divorce from that civilization is not complete. If we can move back into that orbit (NOT back into the Indian state, just back into Indian orbit) we will have many problems to solve (the largest collection of really poor, malnourished, poorly governed people in the world for example) but at least we will not have to solve the Islamic political crisis just to continue living. That will be a major relief and a huge step forward. For that to happen, we need to make peace with India. For that to happen, both India and Pakistan will need to try (even at the cost of transiently looking bad to their own nationalist constituency) some very patient and competent maneuvers. That sounds like a tall order.
But we have to hope.
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Old 03-03-2016   #696
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Default Surely not? The Taliban leaders are in Pakistan

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The Pakistani prime minister's adviser on foreign affairs has indicated in a talk at Washington's Council on Foreign Relations (CFR) that the leadership of Afghan Taliban is living in Pakistan.

Aziz said: "We have some influence on them because their leadership is in Pakistan, and they get some medical facilities, their families are here. So we can use those levers to pressurise them to say, 'come to the table'."
Link:http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-asia-35719031
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Old 03-29-2016   #697
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Default Pakistan bombing: what is Jamaat ul-Ahrar?

After he mayhem in Lahore, targeting Christian children celebrating Easter, although the BBC reports most casualties were Muslim; the Pakistani state has responded. This article is a backgrounder:https://theconversation.com/pakistan...l-ahrar-56888?

A BBC report:http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-asia-35910124

Note the Pakistani Army appear to have decided to respond in the Punjab, a province currently dominated by the Prime Minister's party.
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Old 03-30-2016   #698
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Originally Posted by davidbfpo View Post
After he mayhem in Lahore, .. the Pakistani Army appear to have decided to respond in the Punjab, a province currently dominated by the Prime Minister's party.
This seems to imply that the Prime Minister is less interested than the army or that the army is taking an unusual/leading role in some virtuous action. This is a bit misleading (though understandable, given the fact that people overseas are mostly getting their information from sources that the army has long mastered and manipulated); one aspect of Pakistani internal politics is reliably unchanging: that the army will use any and all crises to further elbow the civilians aside and to undermine their authority, usually in self-defeating and completely unnecessary ways (unnecessary in the sense that the civilians are frequently not resisting "the right thing", though there can be rare exceptions to that). Thus the first thing the army did after the latest horrendous attack is to start sending out press releases and tweets via the ever vigilant and extremely efficient ISPR about how it has started taking action in Punjab and to make sure that their supporters/agents in the media amplify this unilateral action and undermine the credibility of the counter-terrorism department and police (both of which have in fact been active recently against the terrorists) as much as possible. When the hapless (more hapless in PR, than in law enforcement) civilian regime tried to point out that these were joint operations and that they were fully on board, the army chief supposedly stated that the army was NOT doing any joint raids. Every retired air marshal and general has been on TV making sure everyone gets the message.
This would all be fine if the army was as capable in this area as they pretend. But they have a long long history of pushing aside civilians (frequently corrupt and modestly incompetent civilians) and failing to do what even the corrupt civilians were managing to do. Thus everything from the Water and Power authority to the Railways to everyday policing deteriorated under army rule (they have also deteriorated under civilian rule, the story is unpleasant all around, but part of that is also due to how the army has undermined civilian institutions for decades, undermining trust in them and tolerating corrupt politicians who do its bidding while making sure anyone half-effective is cut to size).
In the case of the police and the administration the issue is not just that the army does not really know how to handle stuff even at the British Raj level (which outdated level is about the best the civilian administration could manage), but that the army introduces dual responsibility in administration; everybody knows the real power lies with the army, but the civilian chief or police are still responsible on paper, so both sides have no incentive to take any responsibility. It never works well, but the army will do it anyway.
This is more of the same.
They would do much better if they cooperated with the civilians (pushing, if necessary, from behind the scenes, in the national interest; but then again, who does that?) but that is never job 1. Job 1 is grabbing more power.

Last edited by omarali50; 03-30-2016 at 02:59 AM.
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Old 03-30-2016   #699
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I turned this comment into a blog post..

http://brownpundits.blogspot.com/201...is-on-job.html
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