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Thread: US plan to improve Afghan intelligence operations branded a $457m failure

  1. #181
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    This is Paks Foreign Minister, Now, Pakistan accuses India of 'lies and deceit'.

    No wonder there is zero credibility.

  2. #182
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    It's Time to End Pakistan's Double Game

    President Trump, in his tweet about Pakistan, called a spade a spade. Since 9/11, Pakistan has consistently played a double game, providing just enough sporadic assistance in capturing members of Al Qaeda and logistical support for our forces to give an impression of helpfulness, while at the same time harboring, training, and assisting violent extremist groups such as the Taliban and the Haqqani network that have killed thousands of American, Coalition, and Afghan soldiers and an even greater number of innocent Afghan civilians.

    Islamabad's duplicitous policy has been the single most important factor preventing success in Afghanistan. Ending Pakistani support for terrorists and insurgents is essential if we hope to reduce the terrorist threat in and from the region, contain the pernicious violence and achieve the negotiated settlement of the conflict in Afghanistan that will finally bring relief to the people of that country and allow our troops to come home.

    After the Coalition toppled the Taliban in late 2001, there was a key moment—a golden hour when the United States could have achieved the conditions to win the War on Terror in the Afghanistan-Pakistan theater. President Bush declared that countries needed to choose whether they were “with us or against us,” which in the case of Pakistan meant that we required them to support Operation Enduring Freedom, which targeted Islamabad’s Taliban protégés, and cooperate in the hunt for Al Qaeda leaders.

    But soon Pakistan concocted a complex strategy of cooperating on logistics and occasional help with hunting Al Qaeda leaders in exchange for massive U.S. aid, while simultaneously building out a clandestine program to reconstitute the Taliban. Yet, when evidence began to emerge that Pakistan was providing sanctuary and active support to the Taliban, the Bush administration did not follow through on its earlier "with us or against us" dictate but instead gave Islamabad what amounted to a pass.

    The situation grew worse under President Obama. The administration enhanced U.S. diplomatic engagement and significantly increased the already generous economic and military assistance to Pakistan. The Pakistanis had indicated that, with enhanced military capability and economic inducements, they would move against the Afghan insurgents based on their territory. Then—continuing their earlier pattern—they took the aid but continued with sanctuary and support for the insurgents.

    U.S. commanders developed a northern logistical route to reduce dependence on Pakistan for logistical access to landlocked Afghanistan, but the Obama administration did not confront Pakistan about its conduct. At the end of the day, Chairman of Joint Chiefs of Staff Michael Mullen openly stated that the Haqqani Group acted as “a veritable arm of Pakistan’s Inter-Services Intelligence agency,” the ISI, which is the intelligence service that operates support programs to the Afghan insurgent groups. The network not only carries out deadly attacks but also holds Americans and others as hostages in Pakistan.

    With welcome clarity, in his speech announcing a new strategy for Central and South Asia, President Trump said that:

    Pakistan has also sheltered the same organizations that try every single day to kill our people. We have been paying Pakistan billions and billions of dollars at the same time they are housing the very terrorists that we are fighting. But that will have to change, and that will change immediately. No partnership can survive a country’s harboring of militants and terrorists who target U.S. service members and officials. It is time for Pakistan to demonstrate its commitment to civilization, order, and to peace.

    And the administration provided a list of actions that Pakistan should take.

    Islamabad has been unresponsive. The Pakistani military leaders probably believe that the United States once again will get distracted by other crises and that U.S. officials will ultimately be sufficiently fooled by the occasional helpful action to let Pakistan continue to get away with its double game. However, his tweet indicates that President Trump seems prepared to break with this pattern. Now, the issue is how to implement that resolve. There will be a role for intensified diplomatic engagement, but to fully get Pakistan's attention the United States should also lead a multilateral effort to dramatically increase the costs to Pakistan, and especially to those parts of its security establishment that run Afghan policy. This should involve several steps:

    First, sanction the ISI and individual Pakistanis who are involved in supporting insurgents and terrorists, including bans for them and their family members on travel to the United States and freezing of financial assets. U.S. intelligence agencies have the ability to identify everyone playing a role in Pakistan’s pro-terrorist programs, including senior officials. The United States should also designate key figures as supporters of terrorism. Washington should end Pakistan’s status as a major non-NATO ally, a designation that provides benefits such as preferential access for military technology and sales. We should also suspend all military assistance including military support funds.

    Second, undertake unilateral U.S. military strikes on insurgent targets in Pakistani territory. While the United States has targeted Al Qaeda and the Pakistani Taliban with drone and other strikes, it has only on rare occasions attacked insurgents operating against the Coalition and Afghanistan. This has given such groups a free hand.

    Third, prepare to designate Pakistan as a state sponsor of terrorism unless it changes course and abandons support for terrorists Such a designation will impose ongoing restrictions to assistance, bans on defense exports and sales, limitations on exports of dual use items, and other financial restrictions.

    Fourth, suspend our economic assistance to Pakistan. This should include not just bilateral assistance but also multilateral assistance through institutions such as the IMF and World Bank, where the United States has major decision-making power. Also, the Treasury should prepare a campaign of escalating financial sanctions, like those imposed on Iran before the nuclear deal, that will curtail Pakistani access to the international financial system. The United States should encourage allies and partners around the world including Saudi Arabia—which has strong ties with Pakistan—to do the same. China has been supporting Pakistan to gain leverage against India and access to the Arabian Sea. We should press Beijing to make its support conditional on Islamabad ending its support for terrorists and extremists.

    Fifth, together with the major regional victims of Pakistan’s actions, including Afghanistan and India, we should hold Islamabad accountable before regional and international organizations.

    Lastly, it will be important to reach out to the people of Pakistan and document Pakistan’s support for terrorists and extremists that has brought about the change in our approach to their country. We should make it clear that we look forward to cooperation and partnership with Pakistan once its government abandons its policy of support for terror and extremism. As indicated by the January 3, 2018, response of former prime minister Nawaz Sharif to President Trump’s tweet, Pakistani civilian leaders are not united in their support of terrorists and question the wisdom of the military establishment’s policy. Sharif has called for abandoning “self-deception” by the Pakistani military and an end to policies that are leading to Pakistan’s international isolation. Sharif’s statement is important because his family dominates the country’s largest and most important province, Punjab, and his brother is the likely next prime minister of Pakistan. Punjabis dominate Pakistan. Opposition to the military’s policies of support for terrorists have been widespread among non-Punjabis especially the Pashtun and Baluch nationalists. The leaders of the previous civilian government, led by the Pakistan People’s Party, similarly opposed the military’s policy. The Trump administration should consider how to help mobilize civilian opponents of support for terror against the military supporters.

    Some will argue that forceful actions like those listed above would be counterproductive, causing Pakistan to cut the supply lines that run across its territory. To this, one could answer that the need to supply Afghanistan is only necessary because Pakistan has kept the conflict at a constant boil. In essence, this has been a racket. While the best and cheapest routes do indeed go through Pakistan, there are acceptable alternatives. Fuel can be sourced in Central Asia. Personnel and munitions are brought in by air. The east-west route going through Georgia, Azerbaijan, Turkmenistan or Kazakhstan, and Uzbekistan or the northern route through Russia and Central Asia can bring in other heavy equipment and materiel. It is notable that President Putin recently acknowledged that the situation in Afghanistan would be worse if the United States withdrew. This might be a matter on which the United States and Russia could cooperate.

    If Pakistani support for the insurgents is curtailed, a definitive reduction of Afghanistan's conflict is achievable. With reduced levels of violence, Afghan forces should be able to handle the residual violence, greatly reducing the burden on U.S. and Coalition forces. Such a development in turn can lead the Taliban to realize that time is not on their side and that they should cooperate in a negotiated settlement, the outcome that the United States prefers. To achieve this turnaround, we need to remain firm and consistent in the imposition of coercive measures. And, in the event that Pakistan changes its policy, we should be ready to return to a positive relationship and encourage improved regional relations, including with Afghanistan, that respect legitimate Pakistani concerns.

    Patience, positive incentives, and occasional feeble pressure have not induced Pakistan to end its double game. Yet, success against terrorism and extremism in Afghanistan and the region requires a change in Pakistan’s policy of support for such groups. To bring about such a change, the time has come to embrace a strategy that dramatically increases the cost to Pakistan of its current approach.

    Zalmay Khalilzad, a former director of policy planning in the Department of Defense, was the U.S. ambassador to Afghanistan, Iraq and the United Nations. He is the author of The Envoy: From Kabul to the White House: My Journey through a Turbulent World. St Martin's Press.

  3. #183
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    Pakistan Has All the Leverage Over Trump

    CFair bang on target.
    If US can work with a duplicitous Pakistan, it sure can work with Iran.

  4. #184
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    US-Pakistan relations cannot 'bear weight of contradictions,' US official says

    Pakistan fought war against terrorism largely from its own resources: FO on US aid cut

    WTF? Drugs are ISIs' tool for revenue generation that it uses to stoke unrest in Kashmir. The Taliban are ISIs proteges who survive on that money.

  5. #185
    Turbanator Senior Contributor Double Edge's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Oracle View Post
    She says Trump can't do more than Obama because

    there is little that is, or ever will be, new in Trump’s Pakistan policy.In fact, there is little that is, or ever will be, new in Trump’s Pakistan policy. That’s true for two simple reasons: the logistics of staying the course in Afghanistan and the night terrors triggered by imagining how terrifying Pakistan could be without American money.
    Let's leave logistics aside. Obama had a bigger headache there than Trump does but what about the second reason. Just how terrifying can Pakistan become ?

    Without American money, Pakistan has to scrounge. The Chinese have the Norks as a client state. Pakistan has nine times more mouths to feed. So there are limits to Chinese largess here. How do they make up the balance ? offer nuclear weapons services to the highest bidder. That will get a whole load of sanctions put on them. They will be isolated on a global level. Just how long can they survive in that state or several steps before they get to that state.

    What more is possible here ? How much more Pakistan can really be squeezed hinges on it

    First, Pakistan has the fastest growing nuclear program in the world, which includes efforts to develop so-called tactical nuclear weapons (I prefer to call them “battlefield nuclear weapons,” as even the smallest nuclear bomb will have strategic effects if used). Given Pakistan’s well-known reputation for black market nuclear trafficking, well-publicized reports of moving its warheads around in unescorted soft-skin vehicles (such as ordinary vans), and a petting zoo of every kind of domestic, regional, and transnational Islamist terrorist organization thriving under its protection, America and its allies are rightly concerned that any instability in Pakistan may result in terrorists getting their hands on Pakistan’s nuclear technology, fissile material, or a nuclear device. This is Washington’s worst nightmare. Ironically, Pakistan has invested in both its nuclear and terrorist arsenals on Washington’s time and dime. Yet, even as the continued payments to Pakistan intensify the country’s nuclear coercion, American officials in virtually all branches of government fear that a complete breakoff in aid will hasten the worst-case outcome.
    Why is this Washington's nightmare to start with. If anything it should be the Pakmil's worst nightmare because they will be first in line and the last obstacle preventing extremists from taking over Pakistan. Therefore the Pakmil has every interest not to allow nukes to fall into the wrong hands especially in their own country because those nukes will be used to threaten the Pakmil for supremacy at the outset.

    Second and related to the first, the United States worries about Pakistan’s solvency. If it really wanted to bring Pakistan’s to its terrorism-loving knees, it would let the International Monetary Fund (IMF) cut the country off when it reneges on its own commitment to financial reform. Soon, international contributors to the IMF will essentially be subsidizing Pakistan’s exorbitant loan repayments to the Chinese. This alone should be adequate reasoning to let the IMF cut Pakistan off. However, this is unlikely to happen. Pakistan has essentially developed its bargaining power by threatening its own demise.Pakistan has essentially developed its bargaining power by threatening its own demise. With any economic collapse of Pakistan, Washington again fears that the specter of a nuclear-armed terrorist group rising up from Pakistan will materialize.
    Why not let the Paks go insolvent. India was there in 1991 with gold worth two weeks of energy flown out to the bank of England as a security

    Why is the possibility of going insolvent not more scary to Paks than Americans ?

    Finally, the United States has placed itself in an unwinnable position in the Afghan war. One can argue that the United States lost the war in Afghanistan when it went to war with Pakistan, one of the states most committed to undermining U.S. efforts there. Whereas the United States wants a stable Afghan government that can resist its predatory neighbors and keep Islamist militants out of the government and prevent these militants from using Afghanistan as a sanctuary to train, recruit, and plan terrorist attacks in the region and beyond, this is precisely the Afghanistan that Pakistan wants. The only way Washington could have had any hope of avoiding the situation in which it finds itself is if then-President Bush had capitalized on the opening with Iran that President Mohammad Khatami offered.
    Unless an overture with Iran can be made. Obama already did that with the nuke deal. Right now Pakistan is worth more than Iran so we have all these excuses being given by these experts. But....

    But most Americans recoil at the suggestion of cooperating with Iran, arguing that Tehran is a potential nuclear-proliferating sponsor of terrorism. Needless to say, Pakistan is an actual nuclear-proliferating sponsor of terrorism. Moreover, Pakistan is actually more dangerous than Iran: Tehran’s terrorist proxies are regional menaces rather than the international, hydra-headed scourges cultivated by Islamabad.
    Back to the spooky language again. Pakistan is too scary to fail bla bla

    The Obama administration also withheld funds from Pakistan for several years. It did so because the U.S. Congress passed legislation that authorized $1 billion in coalition support funds (CSF) but rendered $300 million hostage to Pakistan taking decisive action against the Haqqani Network and in later years against the Lashkar-e-Taiba. This money could only be paid if the administration certified that Pakistan had complied with the requirements. On several occasions, it demurred to do so.
    Now we get to the funding bit. How much is reimbursement and how much is aid. According to the above, the Paks have already been reimbursed $700 million and $300 million is outstanding

    Haqqanis and LeT are worth more than $300 million to Pakistan. Wonder what their sell out price is. A billion ?

    It is also worth noting that Trump’s tweet only reinforced what the New York Times reported on Dec. 29, that the Trump administration was going to withhold — wait for it — $255 million in foreign military financing (FMF). FMF funds enable partner countries to buy “U.S. defense articles, services, and training” and are provided either as a nonrepayable grant or on a loan basis. This is hardly a sweeping punishment that will persuade Pakistan to begin acting against terrorism. Historically, FMF funds have not been the mainstay of the American dole to Pakistan. Out of the more than $33 billion given to Pakistan since fiscal year 2002, FMF has accounted for less than $4 billion. The most lucrative payouts have been through the CSF program, which totals more than $14.5 billion.
    So witholding aid means no $225 million. Slap on the wrist.

    If US can work with a duplicitous Pakistan, it sure can work with Iran.
    At least the americans won't have to put up with the duplicitous part. Key question is how will such a policy play out domestically in the US
    Last edited by Double Edge; 05 Jan 18, at 23:48.

  6. #186
    Turbanator Senior Contributor Double Edge's Avatar
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    Trump beware: Pakistan’s luck playing China card is turning | SCMP | Aug 27 2017

    Good points by a china pak watcher and bears repeating

    In light of US cutting off funds to Pakistan, the argument in this piece on China’s reaction still applies – Beijing will be more supportive than in the past, but contrary to some recent commentary, it will NOT be happy. Why?

    Insofar as Pakistan’s value to China is partly as a counterbalance to India, US weapons and US economic support to Pakistan are actively helpful to China’s regional agenda

    China doesn’t want its own relationship with Pakistan to come under scrutiny / pressure from the US, as has happened in the past (which included Chinese companies sanctioned)

    China doesn’t want Pakistan to come under economic pressure – even more so now, with CPEC underway; and it certainly doesn’t want to be responsible for bailing Pakistan out

    China doesn’t want Pakistan to come under military pressure – it is very uncomfortable with talk of US military action outside FATA (notably e.g. Balochistan), again all the more so given CPEC

    As China sees it, a healthy US-Pakistan relationship places certain implicit limits on the US-India relationship

    A bad US-Pakistan relationship further complicates China’s already-complicated Afghanistan / CT agenda

    Fundamentally, the China-Pakistan relationship is as close as China wants it to be – it doesn’t see political opportunities to US-Pakistan tensions, it sees risks and liabilities

    As a result, China will be looking for ways to fix this, not rubbing its hands. This is part of the trend of claiming that China is “the winner” almost anytime anything happens anywhere, even when Chinese policymakers themselves think precisely the opposite…
    Last edited by Double Edge; 06 Jan 18, at 00:54.

  7. #187
    Turbanator Senior Contributor Double Edge's Avatar
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    Older article from six months back has some interesting info about drone ops in Pakistan

    What China has to fear from US drones in trump’s afghan search | SCMP | Jul 02 2017

    To deprive Afghan insurgents of safe havens, the US is considering extending its drone operations against the militants to areas of Pakistan outside mutually agreed “flight boxes” in northwestern tribal areas bordering Afghanistan. The first such drone strike took place on June 13 on the home of Haqqani Network commander Abu Bakar Haqqani. The Pakistani army’s chief of staff, General Qamar Javed Bajwa, reacted angrily, calling US action “counterproductive and against the spirit of ongoing cooperation and intelligence sharing being diligently undertaken by Pakistan”.

    Of greater concern to China are reports that the new US drone operations have extended to the western Pakistani province of Balochistan – a hub of Taliban activity and home to the Chinese-operated port of Gwadar, the centrepiece of the US$57 billion China-Pakistan Economic Corridor. “In Balochistan in the last few weeks, drones have repeatedly hovered over and into Pakistani airspace. In at least one known incident, US drones had to be pushed back [into Afghan airspace] by Pakistani aircraft,” Pakistani political analyst Syed Talat Hussain wrote in a recent column.

    Pakistani analysts fear further punitive US actions, including “hot pursuit” of Taliban commanders into Pakistani territory by US special forces. In addition to Haqqani Network facilities in and around the northwest tribal areas, targets could include Taliban residencies and other facilities in Balochistan towns like Kuchlak.
    Mullah Mansour was droned when in a taxi in Baluchistan in 2016 too


    Joshua T. White, who served as senior adviser on South Asian affairs to the Pentagon and White House during the Obama presidency, said a deterioration in US-Pakistan relations would be “bad for China”.

    “China wants a Pakistan that is economically vibrant, at peace with its neighbours, and accepted as ‘normal’ in the international system – to include in the financial markets, the non-proliferation regimes, and global counterterrorism coalitions. All of those things become harder if Pakistan isolates itself by neglecting its responsibilities to deal with militancy on its own soil. China’s deepening stakes in Pakistan make it more invested in these outcomes,” he said.

    As Pakistan’s key ally, and with the security of its Belt and Road projects at stake, “China wants to do all it can to prevent a break between the US and Pakistan,” said Barnett R. Rubin, a South Asian affairs expert.

    The success of China’s efforts will hinge on its ability to persuade the Taliban to re-engage with Kabul. As a facilitator of the QCG process, China has hosted several Taliban delegations. During these interactions, the Taliban committed to preventing Islamic State and Uygur militants from infiltrating Xinjiang ( 新疆 ).

    “China is not in a position to change Pakistan’s longstanding policies but it wants to cooperate with the US on the medium- to long-term strategy of providing Pakistan with incentives to abandon its use of terrorism as a tool of foreign policy,” said Rubin, associate director and senior fellow at the Centre on International Cooperation at New York University. “To the extent possible, the US should try to coordinate messaging with China, either by having the same message or by playing the role of bad cop to Beijing’s good cop.”
    Last edited by Double Edge; 07 Jan 18, at 00:49.

  8. #188
    Turbanator Senior Contributor Double Edge's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Oracle View Post
    Chris concludes by saying logistics trumps strategy every time, see how Khalizad views it

    Some will argue that forceful actions like those listed above would be counterproductive, causing Pakistan to cut the supply lines that run across its territory.

    To this, one could answer that the need to supply Afghanistan is only necessary because Pakistan has kept the conflict at a constant boil. In essence, this has been a racket. While the best and cheapest routes do indeed go through Pakistan, there are acceptable alternatives.

    Fuel can be sourced in Central Asia. Personnel and munitions are brought in by air. The east-west route going through Georgia, Azerbaijan, Turkmenistan or Kazakhstan, and Uzbekistan

    or the northern route through Russia and Central Asia can bring in other heavy equipment and materiel.

    It is notable that President Putin recently acknowledged that the situation in Afghanistan would be worse if the United States withdrew. This might be a matter on which the United States and Russia could cooperate.
    Mathis said recently logistics isn't a problem.

    An older one by Jeff Smith lamenting the at the time lack of sticks ie resolve and offering advice to the next president

    Don't Be Scared to Squeeze Pakistan | NI | Jun 08 2016

    A full year before Trump would make it policy

    America suffers not from a lack of information, but from a lack of resolve. And a lack of perspective. They say the greatest trick the devil ever pulled was convincing the world he didn’t exist. The greatest trick Pakistan ever pulled was convincing America it only had two choices: tolerate and bankroll Pakistan’s double game, or stir an unstable cocktail of Islamist extremism and weapons of mass destruction.

    It’s nonsense—a fabricated dichotomy in a fictional reality where the mere specter of U.S. pressure threatens the integrity of the Pakistani state, where the million-man Pakistani army is powerless to protect its nuclear arsenal and where a severing of bilateral relations would prove more costly to the United States than to Pakistan. This narrative has ensured the U.S. toolbox is brimming with $20 billion in carrots but desperately lacking in sticks. What’s worse, the sticks America does possess are only to be wielded in the event Pakistan crosses an existential threshold, such as a successful terrorist attack on U.S. soil planned or perpetrated from its territory.

    Arguably the fundamental flaw in America’s Pakistan strategy was withholding its sticks for this single punitive threshold and refusing to apply calculated, escalating pressure in response to repeated bouts of Pakistani malfeasance short of that threshold.

    A punitive threshold should have been crossed the first time U.S. intelligence intercepted Pakistan’s notorious intelligence service, the ISI, feeding the Taliban information about U.S. airstrikes, or aided them in organizing attacks in Afghanistan. Or when the Haqqani Network, a known proxy of the ISI, orchestrated the deadliest attack on the CIA in the agency’s history in 2009. Or when the same group orchestrated an attack on the U.S. embassy in Afghanistan two years later. Above all, it should have been crossed when Pakistan’s “game” resulted in the death of American servicemen and women in Afghanistan.

    Each flagrant offense should have triggered an escalating wave of pressure, from suspension of aid to economic isolation, and from targeted sanctions on the ISI or Pakistani military to unilateral kinetic operations inside Pakistan against nonstate and, if necessary, state actors. The pressure should have continued until the United States was convinced Pakistan had altered its course. That’s what superpowers do when their interests are threatened and their soldiers are under fire. And that’s what “making no distinctions between terrorism and those who harbor them” means.

    Instead, America has responded to each Pakistani provocation with lucrative aid and scholarly lectures about the unethical and counterproductive nature of its support for Islamist militants. Yet from Pakistan’s perspective, its strategy has been anything but counterproductive. For the past decade a formidable coalition of powers has been committed to a secure and stable Afghanistan free from Taliban rule. They include the United States, Russia, Iran, India, the EU, Central Asia and even China. The lone country pursuing a weak and divided Afghanistan under Taliban rule has not only bested this coalition, it’s forced them to bankroll their own defeat. The problem isn’t with them; it’s with us.

    The next U.S. president must learn from, and avoid repeating, the mistakes of their predecessors. My advice: trying to alter Islamabad’s cost-benefit calculation without imposing costs is a fool’s errand. Don’t be afraid to use calibrated pressure as a direct response to Pakistani transgressions. And don’t conclude that employing sticks will produce catastrophe before you’ve deployed your first.

    Don’t accept the canard that nuclear terrorism is the only alternative to the status quo. And don’t be deluded into thinking America is a hopeless victim at the mercy of the Pakistani military, incapable of imposing unbearable costs on any person, group or institution it deems a threat to national security.

    Don’t assume employing sticks with Pakistan will be easy or cost-free. But remember that, like most rational actors, Pakistan’s generals are concerned foremost with self-preservation. They have a great deal more to fear from a fundamental rift in U.S.-Pakistan relations than America does.


    Finally, and above all, if showering Pakistan with money has a demonstrated track record of failure, don’t assume throwing more money at the problem will produce a different result. That, they say, is the definition of insanity.
    So much for how terrifying Pakistan can be ......
    Last edited by Double Edge; 07 Jan 18, at 12:38.

  9. #189
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    Tweets and consequences

    Openly admitting the obvious now.

  10. #190
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    Quote Originally Posted by Double Edge View Post
    She says Trump can't do more than Obama because


    Let's leave logistics aside. Obama had a bigger headache there than Trump does but what about the second reason. Just how terrifying can Pakistan become ?

    Without American money, Pakistan has to scrounge. The Chinese have the Norks as a client state. Pakistan has nine times more mouths to feed. So there are limits to Chinese largess here. How do they make up the balance ? offer nuclear weapons services to the highest bidder. That will get a whole load of sanctions put on them. They will be isolated on a global level. Just how long can they survive in that state or several steps before they get to that state.

    What more is possible here ? How much more Pakistan can really be squeezed hinges on it
    You can't leave logistics aside. Logistics should have been the main concern for the Americans and they haven't figured it out in the last 16 years. CAR route is costly. A stable shia Iran, in my POV, is way better than a sunni, terrorist infested Pak.

    Chinese are not known as aid-givers. So, Pak is dependent on the US for military, civilian as well as the dollars that funds the NGOs that run in Pak for various programmes like polio eradication, sanitation etc.

    One thing to note by watching Pak's tone and tenor in the last 1 week since Trumps' tweet - Pak FM and civilian politicians have expressed outrage, blamed the US and India, said that there are no terrorist sanctuaries in Pak, and that they get insignificant aid, while the military have been issuing statements cautiously, because they know when missiles stuck they will have nowhere to run.

    Oh!, and the usual Pak is a nuclear state bla bla statements in their media etc. Pak as a state is very inconsequential, the day US figures it out, that will be the end of Paks duplicit behavior.

    No alliance with US anymore, says Khawaja Asif
    Haqqani network not active in Pakistan: Janjua
    Abbasi calls US aid ‘insignificant’
    Pakistan considers blocking US supplies

    It is time for America to realise that it needs to change its foreign policy and strategy especially after being obsessed with South Asia. Its failure in Afghanistan is already costing the peace of neighbouring countries like Pakistan , Iran and some of the Arab states.
    Madrassah geo-politics. Trump's New Year resolution is getting under Pakistan's skin

    And, Kidnapped Afghan official returns home, any guesses who's behind this?

    Quote Originally Posted by Double Edge View Post
    Why is this Washington's nightmare to start with. If anything it should be the Pakmil's worst nightmare because they will be first in line and the last obstacle preventing extremists from taking over Pakistan. Therefore the Pakmil has every interest not to allow nukes to fall into the wrong hands especially in their own country because those nukes will be used to threaten the Pakmil for supremacy at the outset.
    No. Pak nukes, if they go missing, would go missing with the active knowledge and support of the Pak Army and the ISI, and it would head for Mumbai and New York. It's true, this is not suppossed to be Washington's nightmare, but people like Michael Kugelman have made it to be.

    Quote Originally Posted by Double Edge View Post
    Why not let the Paks go insolvent. India was there in 1991 with gold worth two weeks of energy flown out to the bank of England as a security

    Why is the possibility of going insolvent not more scary to Paks than Americans ?
    And let China gobble up Paks for free?
    Foreign loans contracted by government cross $40b

    Quote Originally Posted by Double Edge View Post
    Unless an overture with Iran can be made. Obama already did that with the nuke deal. Right now Pakistan is worth more than Iran so we have all these excuses being given by these experts. But....
    Trump is not a politician, so he will lap up the advice given to him by his advisors. I hope there is someone who advises him correctly on Iran.

    Quote Originally Posted by Double Edge View Post
    Back to the spooky language again. Pakistan is too scary to fail bla bla
    We have Pak as a buffer against the mess in Afghanistan. It's in our interests that Pak doesn't fail and we (India/US) try to convince the Pak security apparatus to get rid of its policy of exporting terrorism. We surely don't want refugees from Pak in India, and then bombs going off in major metros.

    Quote Originally Posted by Double Edge View Post
    Now we get to the funding bit. How much is reimbursement and how much is aid. According to the above, the Paks have already been reimbursed $700 million and $300 million is outstanding

    Haqqanis and LeT are worth more than $300 million to Pakistan. Wonder what their sell out price is. A billion ?
    Neighbor's Envy. Owner's Pride.
    Haqqanis = Priceless!

    Quote Originally Posted by Double Edge View Post
    So witholding aid means no $225 million. Slap on the wrist.
    Yep.

    Quote Originally Posted by Double Edge View Post
    At least the americans won't have to put up with the duplicitous part. Key question is how will such a policy play out domestically in the US
    The Israeli lobby and the conservatives will have to be won over if this has to succeed, with an explicit recognition of Israel as a Jewish state from Iran.

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  12. #192
    Turbanator Senior Contributor Double Edge's Avatar
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    Mathis says he's not concerned about logistics that is as of this current aid cut. Whether that continues to hold if stricter action is taken remains to be seen

    Mattis pledges anti-terrorism partnership with Pakistan intact as US cuts aid to the country | Stars & Stripes | Jan 05 2017

    U.S. personnel use key air and ground supply routes that run through Pakistan into Afghanistan to supply American forces. But Mattis said he was not concerned that Pakistan might cut off access to the supply routes as retaliation for the State Department announcement Thursday that the United States would stop all military aid to the nation.
    Last edited by Double Edge; 08 Jan 18, at 13:46.

  13. #193
    Turbanator Senior Contributor Double Edge's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Oracle View Post
    No. Pak nukes, if they go missing, would go missing with the active knowledge and support of the Pak Army and the ISI, and it would head for Mumbai and New York. It's true, this is not suppossed to be Washington's nightmare, but people like Michael Kugelman have made it to be.
    This canard has been trotted out numerous times and addressed here already

    if a nuke goes off, forensics will identify its signature and based on current intel, pinpoint where in the world the fuel came from as in which reactor to a fairly high degree of certainty

    At this point there will be massive retaliation. If there is active knowledge and support then culpability will be fixed but this is secondary and unimportant

    So, assuming the PA isn't crazy enough for the reason i mentioned earlier they will be staring at the same brought upon themselves

    Now, do you still think they can get away with this ?

    If deterrence means anything the answer is no. If you do not believe in deterrence then the answer is yes and there are people who do not believe in deterrence
    Last edited by Double Edge; 08 Jan 18, at 14:15.

  14. #194
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    Quote Originally Posted by Double Edge View Post
    This canard has been trotted out numerous times and addressed here already

    if a nuke goes off, forensics will identify its signature and based on current intel, pinpoint where in the world the fuel came from as in which reactor to a fairly high degree of certainty

    At this point there will be massive retaliation. If there is active knowledge and support then culpability will be fixed but this is secondary and unimportant

    So, assuming the PA isn't crazy enough for the reason i mentioned earlier they will be staring at the same brought upon themselves

    Now, do you still think they can get away with this ?

    If deterrence means anything the answer is no. If you do not believe in deterrence then the answer is yes and there are people who do not believe in deterrence
    Not disagreeing with you here. However, my reply was specific to your statement that -
    Why is this Washington's nightmare to start with. If anything it should be the Pakmil's worst nightmare because they will be first in line and the last obstacle preventing extremists from taking over Pakistan. Therefore the Pakmil has every interest not to allow nukes to fall into the wrong hands especially in their own country because those nukes will be used to threaten the Pakmil for supremacy at the outset.
    The remnants of the BIA that Pak inherited is long gone. PA is not a professional military anymore. They are the religious zealots that the US hunts and drones in AfPak region (PA regulars and ISI are often killed with irregulars). If relationship deterioriates further to the extent that US declares Pak as a terrorist state, and the country is on the verge of collapse, the Pakmil would find a way out to engage US and India. Nukes then will be the end-game.

    So, with all the praise and honor bestowed on the Pakmil and the ISI, does my POV that an attack in NY or Mumbai (most probably) take place with the active knowledge of the thekedars of Islam make sense? Certainly. Are the generals that crazy? Nope. But the beauty of the PA is that they take a dump thinking nobody is watching, and then deny it outright. Did they ever think Osama would be found? They denied harboring Osama.

    What you say about nukes is true, but what if the Pakmil rejects the accusations after one goes off in NY or Mumbai? Will US or India retaliate with nukes against a country of 200 million?

    And to answer your last sentence - I don't believe in deterrance against rouge countries, nuclear or non-nuclear. If the stage is set for us to burn, let's burn and bury them first.
    Last edited by Oracle; 08 Jan 18, at 15:35.

  15. #195
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    Quote Originally Posted by Oracle View Post
    What you say about nukes is true, but what if the Pakmil rejects the accusations after one goes off in NY or Mumbai?
    Every nuclear reactor in the world has its own unique signature. We can tell which nuclear reactor the fissile materials came from. The Pakistanis can reject everything they want but they cannot refuse the nuclear forensic evidence.

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