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Old 12-11-2006   #21
Jedburgh
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ICG, 11 Dec 06: Pakistan's Tribal Areas: Appeasing the Militants
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Taliban and other foreign militants, including al-Qaeda sympathisers, have sheltered since 2001 in Pakistanís Pashtun-majority Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA), seven administrative districts bordering on south eastern Afghanistan. Using the region to regroup, reorganise and rearm, they are launching increasingly severe cross-border attacks on Afghan and international military personnel, with the support and active involvement of Pakistani militants. The Musharraf governmentís ambivalent approach and failure to take effective action is destabilising Afghanistan; Kabulís allies, particularly the U.S. and NATO, which is now responsible for security in the bordering areas, should apply greater pressure on it to clamp down on the pro-Taliban militants. But the international community, too, bears responsibility by failing to support democratic governance in Pakistan, including within its troubled tribal belt....
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Old 12-24-2006   #22
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Default On the Trail of the Taliban's Support

24 December LA Times - On the Trail of the Taliban's Support by Paul Watson.

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... "A hundred armed Taliban men passed through the Pakistani border with their equipment, and with their rocket-propelled grenade launchers," said Qasim Khail, commander of the Afghan border police's 2nd Brigade, which guards the post here. "And they retreated the same way. There are only two escape routes out of here, and both of them end at a Pakistani border post."

Confidential documents obtained by The Times show that for at least two years, U.S. military intelligence agencies have warned American commanders that Taliban militants were arming and training in Pakistan, then slipping into Afghanistan with the help of Pakistani border control officers...
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Old 12-24-2006   #23
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Default In Current News...

24 December Washington Post - Taliban Figure Killed in Airstrike by Pamela Constable.

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A top Taliban leader and close associate of Osama bin Laden has been killed in a U.S. airstrike in southern Afghanistan near the Pakistani border, the U.S. military said in a statement Saturday...

"Osmani was in the top ring of the Taliban leadership, and he was also a close associate of Osama bin Laden," said Col. Tom Collins, a U.S. military spokesman. Collins said Osmani also had close ties to Gulbuddin Hekmatyar, an Afghan militia leader once allied with the United States who is now an anti-American fugitive.
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Old 02-28-2007   #24
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Default The US & others working with Pakistan (a joined up thread)

Moderator's Note: an old thread 'US and Pakistan Military Cooperation?' has been merged into this thread.

The Washington Quarterly, Spring 07:

When $10 Billion is Not Enough: Rethinking US Strategy Toward Pakistan
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...For all the talk of the United States’ global dominance and despite considerable U.S. support to the Pakistani military, Washington finds itself with relatively little leverage to influence events in Pakistan. During the past five years, the United States has given Pakistan more than $10 billion in assistance, channeled primarily through the Pakistani military. What Pakistan gives in return may be only enough to keep the money coming.

After the September 11 attacks, many U.S. policymakers believed that Pakistan was one place where they were justified in saying, “You are either with us or against us.” Nevertheless, despite the billions of dollars spent, the United States has not made the necessary commitment to solidify the relationship for the long term. This is not merely a function of the scale of assistance, but of its type. U.S. engagement with Pakistan is highly militarized and centralized, with very little reaching the vast majority of Pakistanis. More problematic still, U.S. assistance does not so much reflect a coherent strategy as it does a legacy of the initial, transactional quid pro quo established in the immediate aftermath of the September 11 attacks and a familiar menu of what the United States was already organized to provide. U.S. soft power in Pakistan, the ability to influence by attraction and persuasion, is far lower than it could be, considering the historic, economic, and personal bonds that unite the two countries....

Last edited by davidbfpo; 04-08-2011 at 08:54 PM. Reason: Add Mod's note
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Old 02-28-2007   #25
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Default Extending Good Will Into the Frontier Region

Soft power often entails the transfer of money with good itentions and plans on the part of the donor and recipient but with no quality control over the element of corruption and misappropriation that invariably creeps in. If you want an extension of good will and constructive effort on the part of the US and the Pakistani goverment extended to and into the frontier region, send in an all Muslim Peace Corps with a sole focus on agricultural, educational and health care development. Said components are totally compatible with fundamentalist Islam, which prevails in the frontier region.
I think the cultural barriers are so high in 3rd world countries that the usual soft approaches can't readily be employed. I'm a veteran of both the Marine Corps and the Peace Corps and I recall a time in our training village in Africa when some of the Jola people came to the Peace Corps school where we were doing cross cultural and language training. The Jolas were preparing to go out in the bush for a puberty ceremony. Their shamans were with them carrying traditonal weapons and everyone was fully decked out with their cultural accouterments. We were all outside under a shade of a tree getting a lecture at the time when they approached, singing, drumming, dancing, etc. Everyone except me and one interpretor went running inside the school house like so many frightened school kids. So much for reaching out and cultural interaction and sharing and all that good stuff. The Jolas came to share and show off and were insulted instead. This occured in about the 4th-5th week of some pretty intensive training given to some pretty intelligent, dedicated people. This was predominately a Muslim area and even though the people were good people, very peaceful and quite pro-West, the successful integration into the bush villages was dismal at best. The soft approach is simply going to have to involve American Muslims. I remember a number of the old men who would very politely and respectfully ask some of the male volunteers to accompany them to their masjid, but none would ever go. Commonality cannot always be acquired, sometimes it has to be a given.
I think traditonal soft approaches can be adjusted ,reinvented and reinterpreted and need to be. There was a reforestation project in which all kinds of sapplings were obtained and this one village got fired up and hundreds and hundreds of trees were planted. Kids and women and volunteers were hauling water to beat the band, waiting for the arrival of the chickenwire to fence the sapplings to keep the goats out. It never arrived - it ended up being sold out of a store in Banjul. Had the wire been simply shipped to Peace Corps headquarters instead of the government, it would have gotten to the village and saved the trees. By the end of the 3rd day, goats had eaten all the bark off all the sapplings. This was a traditional soft approach failure that not only killed trees but pretty much killed the faith of the people of that village in their government and the Peace Corps.
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Old 03-19-2007   #26
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It is in the interest of the US to maintain and foster a lasting partnership with Pakistan. However, there are conflicting requirements that makes the task difficult.

Pakistan in the US sphere of influence would allow the US the following benefits:

1. It would keep the Islamic fundamentalist under surveillance and check, even if unable to root it out. The point to note is that Pakistan is the womb of international Islamic terrorism since all actions of the Islamists somehow have its root from Pakistan.

2. It would allow surveillance and intelligence on the AQ activities since ObL and the leading AQ think tank members are holed up in Pakistan or along the borders with Afghanistan.

3. It would reduce the influence that China has on Pakistan.

4. It would allow surveillance to Pakistan's north and into the Uighur insurrection in China's Xinjiang area, as also allow the US to 'influence' the Uighur rebellion to China's discomfort. It will be recalled that the US is already undertaking promotion of better relations with Kyrghyzstan to the West of the Xinjiang area and has a air base there.

5. With Pakistan in the US sphere of influence, the fructifying of the oil and gas pipeline the Central Asian Republics through Afghanistan to Gwadar port in Pakistan's Baluchistan province would become all the more easier, once the situation in Afghanistan stabilises.

There is, however, the issue of India and the historical animosity including four wars! India, apparently is of major interest to the US because of her vast markets as also as a counter balance to China.

It would require delicate balancing so that both India and Pakistan are kept on the US bandwagon.

It is true that the US has not been able to influence Pakistan adequately to prevent the Taliban from using NWFP and Waziristan as its safe havens for action against the US and NATO forces operating in Afghanistan. Nor has the western nations adequate forces to "guard" Afghanistan's frontiers to minimise infiltration nor troops to "sanitise" the areas within a la India in Kashmir.

In fact, it is not possible for any Pakistani leader to toe the US line, owing to the "awakening" Islam and pan Islamic jihad movement has experienced of late thanks to ObL.

So long as Islam fundamentalism continues along with the accompanying mayhem, no strategy change will wean away Pakistan from the madness unleashed by ObL.

At best, a compromise has to be accepted.
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Old 04-01-2007   #27
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CRS Report, 27 Mar 07: Pakistan and Terrorism: A Summary
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This report provides a summary review of issues related to Pakistan and terrorism, especially in the context of U.S. interests, policy goals, and relevant assistance. The outcomes of U.S. policies toward Pakistan since 9/11, while not devoid of meaningful successes, have neither neutralized anti-Western militants and reduced religious extremism in that country, nor have they contributed sufficiently to the stabilization of neighboring Afghanistan. Many observers thus urge a broad re-evaluation of such policies....
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Old 05-20-2007   #28
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Default US and Pakistan Military Cooperation?

20 May NY Times - U.S. Pays Pakistan to Fight Terror, but Patrols Ebb by David Sanger and David Rhode.

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The United States is continuing to make large payments of roughly $1 billion a year to Pakistan for what it calls reimbursements to the countryís military for conducting counterterrorism efforts along the border with Afghanistan, even though Pakistanís president decided eight months ago to slash patrols through the area where Al Qaeda and Taliban fighters are most active.

The monthly payments, called coalition support funds, are not widely advertised. Buried in public budget numbers, the payments are intended to reimburse Pakistanís military for the cost of the operations. So far, Pakistan has received more than $5.6 billion under the program over five years, more than half of the total aid the United States has sent to the country since the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks, not counting covert funds.

Some American military officials in the region have recommended that the money be tied to Pakistanís performance in pursuing Al Qaeda and keeping the Taliban from gaining a haven from which to attack the government of Afghanistan. American officials have been surprised by the speed at which both organizations have gained strength in the past year...
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Old 07-01-2007   #29
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Default Is It Time to Severe Ties With Pakistan?

I'm beginning to wonder whether the strategic and ethical costs of the U.S. relationship with Pakistan have surpassed the benefits. Personally, I see little sign that nation is serious about transcending its benighted condition.

From Times Online
June 18, 2007
Pakistan says Rushdie knighthood justifies suicide bombings
Jenny Booth, Joanna Sugden and Stewart Tendler

Britain's decision to award Salman Rushdie a knighthood set off a storm of protest in the Islamic world today, with a Pakistani government minister giving warning that it could provide justification for suicide bomb attacks.

Rushdie was awarded the title in the Queen's Birthday Honours on Saturday. He has lived under police protection since the late Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini of Iran pronounced a fatwa (a religious ruling) calling for his death over alleged blasphemies against Islam in his 1988 novel The Satanic Verses.

Today, Pakistan's religious affairs minister suggested that the knighthood was so grave an offence that any Muslim anywhere in the world would be justified in taking violent action.

"If somebody has to attack by strapping bombs to his body to protect the honour of the Prophet then it is justified," Mr ul-Haq told the National Assembly.

The minister, the son of Zia ul-Haq, the military dictator who died in a plane crash in 1988, later retracted his statement in parliament, then told the AFP news agency that he meant to say that knighting Rushdie would foster extremism.

"If someone blows himself up he will consider himself justified. How can we fight terrorism when those who commit blasphemy are rewarded by the West?" he said.

He said Pakistan should sever diplomatic ties with Britain if it did not withdraw the award, adding:"We demand an apology by the British government. Their action has hurt the sentiments of 1.5 billion Muslims...

Last edited by Tom Odom; 07-01-2007 at 02:09 PM.
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Old 07-01-2007   #30
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Default Make That "Sever"

It's the age old question: Why do bad typos happen to good people?
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Old 07-01-2007   #31
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Default So Let It Be Written

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It's the age old question: Why do bad typos happen to good people?
Done and done
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Old 07-01-2007   #32
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Done and done
Wow, the force is with you! Can you lift heavy objects with your mind as well?
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Old 07-01-2007   #33
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Wow, the force is with you! Can you lift heavy objects with your mind as well?
Yep ever time I get up
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Old 07-02-2007   #34
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Can I ask, do you mean end our ties with Pakistan, or with the Musharaff regime?

In the light of the widespread public protests against his dismissal of the former Chief Justice Chaudry there, it's debatable how much longer he'll be able to cling to power; and while Musharaff finds the specter of Islamist takeover useful to rationalize his continued value to the States, I believe the Islamist parties last polled somewhere around 12%.

While Benazir Bhutto and Nawaz Sharif's parties have no shortage of blemishes in their past themselves, I think writers like Stephen Cohen (The Idea of Pakistan) and Hussain Haqqani (Pakistan Between Mosque and Military) make a good case that some of Pakistan's greatest problems can be traced to the military's regular usurpations of the democratic process, more than the demagogues like Zia Jr ó while not something to be ignored, he and those like him are symptoms of a larger problem.
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Old 07-02-2007   #35
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Can I ask, do you mean end our ties with Pakistan, or with the Musharaff regime?

In the light of the widespread public protests against his dismissal of the former Chief Justice Chaudry there, it's debatable how much longer he'll be able to cling to power; and while Musharaff finds the specter of Islamist takeover useful to rationalize his continued value to the States, I believe the Islamist parties last polled somewhere around 12%.

While Benazir Bhutto and Nawaz Sharif's parties have no shortage of blemishes in their past themselves, I think writers like Stephen Cohen (The Idea of Pakistan) and Hussain Haqqani (Pakistan Between Mosque and Military) make a good case that some of Pakistan's greatest problems can be traced to the military's regular usurpations of the democratic process, more than the demagogues like Zia Jr ó while not something to be ignored, he and those like him are symptoms of a larger problem.
I actually meant Pakistan. I think any alternative regime there is going to be even worse than the current one. The bottom line is that the perceptions and objectives of the Pakistani public and elite are so diverse from our own that I don't see grounds for cooperation.

It's harsh, but I think all we can do is downgrade ties, control Pakistani immigration to the United States, and be prepared to take out or control their nuclear weapons if necessary.
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Old 07-02-2007   #36
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Mullah Omar, DNO (director nuclear operations) ???

"....be prepared to take out or control their nuclear weapons if necessary."
(stevemetz)

Amen
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Old 07-02-2007   #37
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Mullah Omar, DNO (director nuclear operations) ???
Look at the bright side--he only has one eye so there's a decent chance that if he fires one off toward us it will actually hit Venezuela. Or some other foreign country like Southern California.
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Old 07-03-2007   #38
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Originally Posted by SteveMetz
...It's harsh, but I think all we can do is downgrade ties, control Pakistani immigration to the United States, and be prepared to take out or control their nuclear weapons if necessary.
How about something simple, like stop importing from Pakistan? It ain't China, but we get plenty of sheet sets, soccer balls and weightlifting gloves from the Pakis. If you realized how bad security is along the entire factory-to-port supply chain in that damn place, how strong (not to mention corrupt and linked to the bad guys in the NWFP) is the Pathan presence in the trucking and "security" industries, and how much of an ugly joke it is to even begin to consider Port Qasim for CSI status....
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Old 07-03-2007   #39
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Of course, stopping the importation of US dollars INTO Pakistan would be tops on my list....
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Old 07-03-2007   #40
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Of course, stopping the importation of US dollars INTO Pakistan would be tops on my list....
...the U.S. government puts a bit of official pressure on domestic companies to continue doing business with Pakistan, despite the threat, in the hope that it will contribute to stability there.
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