Monday, May 09, 2011

Why Should We Trust Pakistan?

Bruce Riedel was the CIA chief for the Middle East when I worked with Jefferson Waterman on some projects. One time, Charlie Waterman was going to see him and asked if I wanted to come along. I forget why I couldn't go, but I certainly wanted to go, because along with Reuel LNU, Riedel was a member of elite Middle East analyst/operatives who were a legend in Langley.
Pakistan is the most dangerous country in the world, but also one of the most complicated. There are basically two possible explanations for the relationship between al Qaeda and the Pakistani army: the army manipulates the jihadis or the jihadis manipulate the army. Both are terrifying. The first is awful, the second is much more frightening. Both are true.

Riedel goes on to mention that Pakistan has only had one military victory in the 60 years since its inception---except of ourse for its victories over constitutional government several times over its mottled history.
Osama bin Laden was killed in Abbottabad, in some ways the Pakistani equivalent of West Point. He started his career as a fundraiser for the Pakistani army's only military success in its 60-plus years—the war against the USSR in Afghanistan. He worked side by side with the ISI, the Pakistani intelligence agency, then. He helped create the army's jihadist Frankenstein masterpiece: Lashkar-e-Taiba—the army of the pure—which attacked Mumbai and which has mourned him more than any one else. Lashkar leader Hafez Saed has openly eulogized bin Laden, but Saed is also a regular feature at rallies attended by senior army officers.
And yet al Qaeda's other ally in Pakistan, the Pakistani Taliban, was with the army. Together al Qaeda and the Taliban have killed hundreds of Pakistani soldiers, even attacking their headquarters and cantonments. They have killed senior officers and declared their intention to kill chief of army staff General Kayani. Al Qaeda's new boss, Ayman al-Zawahri, has written a book on why Pakistan needs an Islamic revolution. Its most effective operator, Muhammad Ilyas Kashmiri, was trained by the ISI but now regularly hunts it. He has killed several senior commanders, and has even tried to eliminate former dictator Pervez Musharraf.

Does anyone get the impression that ISI has a confused mission statement? And today, the pathetic retards in the senior brass are making more nukes than any country in the world---after A.Q. Khan spread nuclear secrets to Iran, N. Korea, and other rogue nations like peanut butter and jelly sandwiches.
So how is the army both at war with al Qaeda and in bed with it? The answer is the army is riddled with jihadist sympathizers. For decades, the officer corps has been told India is the enemy, America is unreliable and rapacious, and that Islam is the answer. Even those officers who appreciate American support (the country has received billions in aid since 9/11) resent it too. Like all Pakistanis, they also believe America is closer in values and interests to India. They are right.
The Pakistani army, the fifth largest in the world, is a maze of contradictions and complexities. Meanwhile it steadily builds more nuclear weapons faster than any other country in the world today.
The syndicate of terror in Pakistan is not a monolith. It has no single leader. Its fluidity is a strength, because it is so complex and multi-layered. Now it is clear it has put its agents deep in the Pakistani military. Obama was right not to trust it on Osama.
The Pakistani army, the fifth-largest in the world, is a maze of contradictions and complexities. Meanwhile it steadily builds more nuclear weapons faster than any other country in the world today. It has close ties to China and Saudi Arabia and troops deployed to back up monarchies like Bahrain and Oman.
It is easy to be confused and angry about Pakistan. But that is not a strategy. The right course calls for engagement, with tough redlines, backed by unilateral operations when needed.

Pakistan has one great enemy in its own confused "mind," if that's what foreign observers call the paranoid fantasies that Islamabad regularly entertains about it giant and PROSPERING neighbor, India. Pakistan sent the US stealth helicopter parts to the PRC immediately so as to curry favor, like the teaboys the top Pak brass are, in order to keep India from completely overwhelming these third-rate religious freaks.

Sadly, when Bruce Riedel talks about "engagement, with tough redlines, backed by unilateral operations when needed," he means treating a mad dog like it should be handled, without any sort of mollycoddling.

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