Several years ago, while researching the extensive and confusing data on radical Islam in Pakistan, I read a number of articles by B. Raman and other experts on Indian national security. The wealth of information they presented about Pakistan’s devious maneuvers made me realize that Pakistan is one of the three epicenters of the Great Jihad, with the other two being Iran and Saudi Arabia.
In the heat of events during the fall of 2001 — when President Bush lauded Pervez Musharraf’s Pakistan as a “friend of the United States” — it was easy to forget that the Taliban had been the creation of Pakistan’s security services, and were their preferred means of controlling Afghanistan.
Despite Pakistan’s reluctant acquiescence — we made the country an offer it couldn’t refuse — in the war to oust the Taliban from power, there is no evidence that Musharraf and his successors have ever given up their ambition to control Afghanistan through their favorite instrument.
Pundita has posted an excellent roundup and analysis of the current state of affairs between Pakistan and Afghanistan, with a particular focus on our own government’s stupid, incompetent, cynical and perhaps treasonous involvement with Pakistan’s machinations:
Pakistan-U.S. relations: Why General Stanley McChrystal is going straight to hell
On or about August 30, 2009, Secretary of Defense Robert Gates received a detailed assessment of the military situation in Afghanistan that included a request for additional U.S. troops. The report was from General Stanley A. McChrystal, Commander, Nato’s International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) and Commander, U.S. Forces Afghanistan. But as noted on the first page the assessment was a joint effort representing input from ISAF staff and the component commands.
On the matter of Pakistan the report noted:
Afghanistan’s insurgency is clearly supported from Pakistan. Senior leaders of the major Afghan insurgent groups are based in Pakistan, are linked with al Qaeda and other violent extremist groups, and are reportedly aided by some elements of Pakistan’s ISI.
A year earlier McChrystal’s predecessor, General David D. McKiernan, delivered a franker assessment of the same situation. He stated flatly that he was certain there was a “level of ISI complicity” in the militant areas of Pakistan and within organizations like the Taliban.
McKiernan’s observation came on the heels of a secret visit by a top CIA official to Islamabad; the visit was to directly confront Pakistan’s most senior officials with new data about ties between the ISI and militants operating in Pakistan tribal areas.
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It seems the CIA met with the same stonewalling Britain’s government encountered in 2006 when they brought virtually the same charges to Pakistan because their next move echoed the one taken by Britain’s Ministry of Defense: the CIA leaked news of the trip to a major press outlet — in their case, The New York Times.
These naive attempts to embarrass a government comprised of terror-masters, dope dealers and professional beggars skilled at wheedling billions in aid out of the West came to nothing, beyond the ISI’s decision to outsource more of their oversight of terrorist attacks on NATO troops to front agencies such as the SSG.
And General McKiernan hardly needed to study a classified CIA report to know the score. Over a period of years scores of intelligence analysts and journalists from India, Pakistan, Europe and the USA, not to leave out Afghanistan’s President Hamid Karzai and his intelligence advisors, have spent years publishing books, churning out reports, and generally doing everything they could think of to impress on Washington that Pakistan is the biggest problem.
However, look at it from Washington’s viewpoint. You know how it is when you can’t find the keys you lost inside the house: you go outside to search because the light is better out there.
So Washington continues to search high and low for solutions in Afghanistan that don’t address the biggest problem there.
There’s much more to the story, and some of it may surprise you. Read the rest at Pundita’s place.