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

  1. #241
    Turbanator Senior Contributor Double Edge's Avatar
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    Must be from Steve Coll's latest



  2. #242
    Turbanator Senior Contributor Double Edge's Avatar
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    Chinese insist any Afghan traffic pass through Kashgar, they won't allow an Afghan route into China via the Wakhan corridor, to not allow uighur militants. So the location of this upcoming base is to stop them coming in much before they even get to the Chinese border. Fight the Uighurs in Afghanistan. To keep the Chinese interested the Afghans allow them to set up a base.

    Wakhan corridor Map

    China in talks over military base in remote Afghanistan: Officials | Straits Times | Feb 02 2018

    KABUL (AFP) - Worried about militants sneaking into a restive Chinese region from war-torn Afghanistan, Beijing is in talks with Kabul over the construction of a military base, Afghan officials say, as it seeks to shore up its fragile neighbour.

    The army camp will be built in Afghanistan's remote and mountainous Wakhan Corridor, where witnesses have reported seeing Chinese and Afghan troops on joint patrols.

    The freezing, barren panhandle of land - bordering China's tense Xinjiang region - is so cut off from the rest of Afghanistan that many inhabitants are unaware of the Afghan conflict, scraping out harsh but peaceful lives.

    However they retain strong links with neighbours in Xinjiang, and with so few travellers in the region local interest in the Chinese visitors has been high, residents told AFP on a recent visit there.

    China's involvement in the base comes as President Xi Jinping seeks to extend Beijing's economic and geopolitical clout.

    The Chinese are pouring billions of dollars into infrastructure in South Asia. With Afghanistan's potential to destabilise the region, analysts said any moves there would be viewed through the prism of security.

    Beijing fears that exiled Uighur members of the East Turkestan Islamic Movement (ETIM) are passing through the Wakhan into Xinjiang to carry out attacks.

    It also worries that Islamic State group militants fleeing Iraq and Syria could cross Central Asia and Xinjiang to reach Afghanistan, or use the Wakhan to enter China, analysts say.

    Afghan and Chinese officials discussed the plan in December in Beijing, but details are still being clarified, Afghan defence ministry deputy spokesman Mohammad Radmanesh said.

    "We are going to build it (the base) but the Chinese government has committed to help the division financially, provide equipment and train the Afghan soldiers," he told AFP recently.

    A senior Chinese embassy official in Kabul would only say Beijing is involved in "capacity-building" in Afghanistan.

    Nato's US-led Resolute Support mission in Afghanistan declined to comment. But US officials have previously welcomed China's role in Afghanistan, noting they share the same security concerns.

    Joint patrols

    Members of the Kyrgyz ethnic minority in Wakhan told AFP in October they had been seeing Chinese and Afghan military patrols for months.

    "The Chinese army first came here last summer and they were accompanied by the Afghan army," said Abdul Rashid, a Kyrgyz chief, adding that he had seen vehicles flying Chinese flags.

    The Afghan army arrived days earlier "and told us that the Chinese army would be coming here", he said, adding: "We were strictly told not to go near them or talk to them and not to take any photos." Rashid's account was confirmed by other Kyrgyz, including another chief Jo Boi, who said the Chinese military spent almost a year in Wakhan before leaving in March 2017.

    Both Chinese and Afghan officials deny the claims, with China's defence ministry telling AFP that the "Chinese army is not engaged in any military operation in the Wakhan Corridor".

    With little access to the corridor, Kabul provides almost no services to those who live there - but the Chinese, Boi said, have been bringing "a lot of food and warm clothes".

    "They are very good people, very kind," he told AFP.

    After their March visit, he said, they returned in June for roughly a month. "Since then they come every month... to distribute food." .

    Economic interests

    China fears militancy could threaten its growing economic interests in the region, Ahmad Bilal Khalil, a researcher at the Kabul-based Center for Strategic and Regional Studies, told AFP.

    "They need to have a secure Afghanistan," he said, estimating Beijing had provided Kabul with more than US$70 million in military aid in the past three years.

    It recently flagged the possibility of including Afghanistan in the US$54-billion China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) linking western China to the Indian Ocean via Pakistan.

    "The anti-terrorism motivation is an important one but it's not as important as the bigger move to boost the CPEC," said Willy Lam, a political analyst in Hong Kong.

    Kabul is also keen for Beijing to have a "more active role", Andrew Small, author of The China-Pakistan Axis, told AFP.

    It hopes China will use its "special relationship" with Islamabad to encourage the Pakistani military, who wield significant influence over Afghanistan's insurgents, to "force the Taliban into peace talks", Small said.

    "In the end China has vastly greater financial power than anyone else. So having them engaged... may end up being critical to the country's basic economic viability," he said.
    Last edited by Double Edge; 03 Feb 18, at 22:35.

  3. #243
    Turbanator Senior Contributor Double Edge's Avatar
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    Ooh yeah, gimme some more of that collusion. Amongst other things, they're working on the Northern route : D

    Huntsman gets around. he used to be the China amb a while back.

    Chiefs Of Three Russian Intelligence Agencies Travel To Washington | RFERL | Feb 01 2018

    WASHINGTON -- The directors of Russia's three main intelligence and espionage agencies all traveled to the U.S. capital in recent days, in what observers said was a highly unusual occurrence coming at a time of heightened U.S.-Russian tensions.

    Russia's ambassador to the United States had earlier confirmed that Sergei Naryshkin, the head of the Foreign Intelligence Service (SVR), was in Washington in recent days to meet with U.S. officials about terrorism and other matters.

    But the presence of the two other chiefs -- Aleksandr Bortnikov, director of the Federal Security Service (FSB), and Colonel General Igor Korobov, chief of Russian General Staff’s Main Intelligence Directorate (GRU) -- was not previously known.

    The Washington Post said on January 31 that Bortnikov and Korobov came to the U.S. capital last week, and that Bortnikov had met with CIA Director Mike Pompeo, as did Naryshkin.

    It wasn’t clear whom Korobov may have met with.

    The visits came also just days before President Donald Trump's administration announced new actions against Russia, in compliance with a law passed overwhelmingly by Congress last summer. But the measures taken late on January 29 by the State and Treasury departments were met with disbelief by many observers, who expected asset freezes, travel bans, and other sanctions to be imposed, none of which happened.

    In a radio interview in Moscow on January 30, U.S. Ambassador to Russia Jon Huntsman said Pompeo had indeed met with Russian spy officials, but he did not say where the meeting occurred or say specifically who attended.

    "Just in the last week, he has had probably the most important meetings on counterterrorism that we've had in a very, very long time, at the senior levels," Huntsman told Ekho Moskvy radiо.


    A spokesman for the Russian Embassy in Washington did not immediately respond to an e-mail seeking comment.

    A CIA spokesperson declined to give details of Pompeo's meetings.

    "While we do not discuss the schedules of U.S. intelligence leaders, rest assured that any interaction with foreign intelligence agencies would have been conducted in accordance with U.S. law and in consultation with appropriate departments and agencies,” the official said in an e-mail to RFE/RL, on condition of anonymity.

    Pompeo said in a January 29 interview with the BBC that U.S. and Russian spy agencies had cooperated, but he told the BBC that Russia was still considered an adversary. "I haven't seen a significant decrease in their activity," he said.

    CIA directors regularly meet and hold talks with their Russian counterparts on a variety of issues. But veteran and retired U.S. intelligence officers say the presence of all three Russian officials in Washington at the same time, and at a time of intense scrutiny over Russia's alleged interference in the 2016 U.S. presidential campaign, is highly unusual.

    "I can't recall any time in the last 15 years" that all three Russian agency chiefs were in the U.S. capital at the same time, Steven Hall, a former CIA station chief in Moscow, tells RFE/RL. "It's highly unusual."

    During his tenure, Hall says, it was always a big deal, politically and logistically, whenever a senior Russian intelligence officer got in to see a U.S. counterpart, giving Moscow a way to assert they were on equal footing with the United States.

    The Russians "consider it a big political win if they can do it. There is certainly a political perspective," Hall says. "So it's particularly strange under these circumstances that we would want to give them something like that."

    "Given the political conditions in the United States now, it's flabbergasting to be honest. I can't imagine who would have signed off on that," he adds.

    U.S. intelligence agencies have accused the FSB -- considered Russia’s main domestic intelligence agency -- and the GRU -- the Russian military’s intelligence arm -- of being behind the hacking of U.S. political parties and activists.

    A U.S. intelligence assessment released in January 2017 said the two oversaw a hacking-and-propaganda campaign to sway the 2016 election campaign.

    The SVR, meanwhile, was linked by U.S. law enforcement to a ring of "deep cover" agents who were living in the United States and arrested and deported in 2010.

    An SVR officer posing as an attache at the Russian mission to the United Nations was also linked to an effort in 2013 to recruit Carter Page, a former Moscow-based investment banker who was later an official in Donald Trump's election campaign.

    Naryshkin’s trip to the United States raised concerns among some U.S. senators.

    The chamber's Democratic leader, Chuck Schumer, pointed out that Naryshkin had been hit with a travel ban by the United States in 2014 in connection with Russia’s annexation of the Ukrainian Black Sea peninsula of Crimea.

    With reporting by TASS, The Washington Post, and BBC

  4. #244
    Turbanator Senior Contributor Double Edge's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Oracle View Post
    Was head of NDS from 2004 till 2010, when he quit after a failed terrorist attack. His relationship with Karzai started to slip, as he saw Karzai fall into the trap of ISI who wanted to accommodate his Taliban brothers in peace talks. Oh, and that failed terrorist attack was also an ISI ploy to get him off the NDS. Enemy #1 for the ISI when he was in office.
    Afghan ex-intel chief opposed Karzai peace plan | Reuters | Jun 08 2010

    Don't think it was the attack that made him quit but Karzai wanting to reconcile with the Taliban

    In his first act since then, Karzai ordered a review of all insurgent prisoners in Afghan jails, a move Saleh said was a main reason for him quitting. Asked if he agreed that he had become an obstacle to Karzai’s plan, Saleh said: “Absolutely.”

    “Negotiating with ... suicide bombers will disgrace this country,” he added. He denied he was forced to resign, however.

    “No. My conscious force made me to resign. When the moment came and I saw that there is a stain in that relationship (between him and Karzai), the morality of my profession pushed me to resign,” he said.
    Imagine having caught these people and one fine day the boss says well, we better re-examine if they're really guilty (!) in exchange for some elusive future. Isn't that enough to send anyone up the wall : (

    If political leadership flip flops it can be very difficult to keep at it.


    He is highly rated by foreign intelligence agencies, and is considered a clean, patriot who dreams of a pluralistic free Afghanistan. He is a minister for security reforms under Ghani now. This guy hates the Paks so much, that given an opportunity he would chew all 200 million of them without needing any acidity stabilizer. He also founded a political party called the Green Trend. I forgot many things I read years back, but many articles are open source.
    He makes an impression quickly. i remember an interview years back with a BBC reporter which i found amusing in how short is his answers were all either yes or no and this irritated expression as the questions wore onl

  5. #245
    Turbanator Senior Contributor Double Edge's Avatar
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    Chabahar Port lures Afghan traffic away from Karachi | Asia Times | Feb 02 2018

    Economic blow for Pakistan as its maritime transit role is diminished
    By F.M. SHAKIL FEBRUARY 2, 2018 2:43 AM (UTC+8)

    Afghanistan has shifted 80% of its cargo traffic from Pakistan’s Karachi seaport to Iran’s Bandar Abbas and Chabahar ports. The move comes two months after Chabahar, barely 100 kilometers from Pakistan’s Gwadar port, was inaugurated. The shift, prompted in part by a new trade tariff imposed by Islamabad, is expected to greatly reduce Pakistan’s role in the transit of Afghan goods.

    Pakistani business leaders believe that more Afghan trade will eventually shift to the strategic Chabahar Port, as it is Iran’s closest sea link to the Indian Ocean. The first phase of Shahid Beheshti Port in the Sistan-Balochistan province was commissioned last year. It is expected that US$5 billion worth of Afghan trade will be conducted solely through the tripartite Chabahar Port – sponsored jointly by India, Iran, and Afghanistan – once it starts feeding the International North-South Transport Corridor (INSTC).

    In mid-November last year, Afghan Chief Executive Abdullah Abdullah was quoted by the media as saying that Afghanistan was no longer dependent on Pakistan for the shipment of goods as it can now use Iran’s Chabahar Port for this purpose.

    The current fiscal year has seen a US$2 billion drop in trade with Afghanistan due to frequent border shutdowns, military skirmishes and the new trade tariff. The trade volume, which stood at US$ 2.5 billion in 2016, has gradually declined to US$500 million following the deterioration of relations between the South Asian neighbors.

    “The leadership of both countries should not mingle politics with trade and discourage the use of bilateral trade as a leverage to settle political and regional disputes,” Zia Ul Haq Sarhadi, director of the Pakistan Afghanistan Joint Chamber of Commerce & Industry (PAJCCI), told Asia Times. He attributed the decline to heightened tensions on the border, tariffs and Chabahar port, where he claimed India offered huge incentives for Afghan traders.



    “On a reciprocal basis, Afghanistan opened a second aerial corridor for India, enabling her to establish a direct trade link between Mumbai and Kabul. The first flight took 40 tons of dried and fresh fruits and medicinal herbs to India through the aerial route,” Sarhadi said.

    The US$2 billion reduction in bilateral trade with Afghanistan is expected to adversely hit the country’s economy, which is already reeling under a widening trade deficit and worsening balance of payments. Data released by the Pakistan Bureau of Statistics (PBS) in December last year point to a dismal economic outlook.

    The PBS said Pakistan’s trade deficit surged to an alarming US$15.03 billion in just five months – July to November 2017 – mainly because China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC)-related imports increased by 16.48% at US$24.06 billion compared to the same period last year. An official from Pakistan’s finance ministry expressed serious concern about the widening trade deficit and pointed out that if growth remains stagnant, it will be a whopping US$35 billion by the end of fiscal 2017-18.

    As a widening trade deficit invariably puts pressure on foreign reserves, Pakistan’s foreign exchange deposits figure is gradually sinking. It is presently estimated at US$14.66 billion, which includes US$2.5 billion worth of sales proceeds from euro and Sukuk bonds. Pakistan needs to pay back $6 billion for foreign debts servicing by the end of June 2018. To make matters worse for the country, the US government announced it was freezing military aid to Pakistan.

    “The imposition of regulatory duties on Afghan items like fresh and dry fruits, marble and granite has rendered Pakistan uncompetitive for transit trade and made businesses switch over to Iranian ports Bander Abbas and Chabahar,” Daroo Khan Achakzai, PAJCCI’s vice president, told Asia Times. “Misguided policies have hit bilateral trade between Pakistan and Afghanistan, and inflicted a colossal financial loss on the business communities of Balochistan and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa – two of the four provinces of Pakistan.”

    The government, it seems, is giving top priority to the CPEC projects, diverting all its energy and resources to completing the Chinese-funded development plans. “It is unfortunate that trade under CPEC is facilitated by the government and Afghan transit and bilateral trade is totally ignored,” Sarhadi lamented.

    As bilateral trade continues to shrink, Pakistan is looking at a looming economic crisis, while the Chabahar Port becomes a lucrative alternative for the Afghans. It is doubtful that the CPEC will be able to plug the gap.

  6. #246
    Turbanator Senior Contributor Double Edge's Avatar
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    Pretty much nails it

    Dead end of the Afghan policy | Nation | Feb 03 2018

    Afrasiab Khattak

    In recent times Pakistani political and military leadership has come around to the position where it is publicly accepting the fact that General Zia’s policy of supporting private Jihadist networks in 1980s was actually a fassad (turmoil) as according to them Jihad is sole domain of the state. Not only that. From General Musharraf’s “enlightened moderation” after 9/11 to the Zarb-e-Azb and National Action Plan (NAP) of 2014 and Operation Radul Fassad of 2016, military and political campaigns were launched one after another with the declared aim of eliminating the phenomenon of fassad. But unfortunately the country’s security establishment has stubbornly clung to an Afghan policy which is totally based on the very evil which the Pakistani state claims to be eradicating. This policy is basically aimed at supporting Taliban to fight a war of attrition against the Afghan state and society. By owning responsibility for the recent brutal terrorist attacks in Afghan urban centres, Taliban have given up even the pretence of being a serious political opposition of any sort. For supporting the demolition squad of Taliban now practically amounts to supporting the efforts for deconstructing the Afghan state and Afghan national identity. The result is rise of animosity with Afghans and growth of extremism and terrorism in the region without an end. Problem is that for exporting Talibanisation to Afghanistan its production line in Pakistan has to continue. That explains non implementation of NAP, active existence of the so called proscribed organisations and “mainstreaming” of organisations working for promotion of religious militancy.

    Movers and shakers of the country’s Afghan policy have always depended on the strategy of living in denial. Non of the four wars fought in Afghanistan have ever been publicly owned. But this option is not available anymore. In the first week of March 2016, Mr. Sartaj Aziz as Adviser to the Prime Minister on Foreign Policy and National Security, publicly and on record admitted the fact about presence of Afghan Taliban leaders in Pakistan for the last so many years. Taliban’s “Emirate” revolves around its Amir and the “ Emirate” is where Amir resides. So going by the statement of the country’s top foreign policy and national security person, Pakistan has been hosting the Amir. In the last one year when Pakistan claims to have cleared its territory of all terrorists, US drones have been targeting lower Kurram Agency to hit Afghan Taliban commanders. Out of 13 drone strikes during the last one year, 9 have hit targets in Lower Kurram Agency and 4 have gone after targets in Waziristan. After most of the attacks, reports appearing in Pakistani media confirm the death of important commanders of Afghan Taliban. Which means sanctuaries of Afghan Taliban still exist inside Pakistan. Now even even in 2018 foreign terrorists are being attacked by foreign drones in Pakistan. Ironically some Pakistani leaders reject the idea of acting against Afghan Taliban on the ground that it will bring Afghan war into Pakistan but that’s exactly what they are doing by providing safe heavens to Taliban.

    One is amazed to see some pro establishment media circles and analysts in Pakistan gloating over the “successes” of Taliban in Afghanistan. Interestingly these are the very people who will outrightly reject the reports of the “ infidel” western media on many subjects. But when the same western media publishes reports about the growing activities of Taliban in Afghanistan these “patriots” will enthusiastically quote such reports to prove the “invincibility” of Taliban. It’s particularly disappointing to watch mentors of Taliban celebrating these so called successes achieved through devastating suicide bombings in various Afghan cities.

    But this is a very myopic policy with potential for creating the following serious security and political threats to Pakistan.

    One, the experience of the last four decades has proved that the ascendency of religious militancy in Afghanistan results in the rise of extremism and terrorism in Pakistan. It was not long ago that local and international terrorist networks were not only ruling FATA but they were expanding their control over different districts in Malakand Division. Traders in Peshawar, Islamabad and many other cities were forced to pay extortion money to Taliban. At one stage according to credible experts 40 per cent of Karachi was under the influence of Taliban. Why wouldn’t all this happen again?

    Two, the growing Talibanisation of the region will undermine regional peace creating serious security challenges to regional economic development projects such as CPEC, TAPI and CASA. Taliban is basically a security threat for this region which includes, apart from others, China and Russia also. US did topple Taliban’s regime in Afghanistan for providing sanctuary to OBL but US didn’t go for their total elimination which would have included elimination of their sanctuaries in Pakistan. Americans are angry at Taliban for killing their soldiers in Afghanistan and they would try to push them back to that extent. In the final analysis the task of tackling terrorist threat emanating from Taliban will be left to regional players including China and Russia.

    Three, naked and brazen Pakistani support for Taliban is creating immense hatred against Pakistan among the Afghan people. This process has particularly intensified after recent horrendous terrorist attacks in Afghan cities for which Taliban publicly claimed responsibility. As if this wasn’t enough the policy of pushing out Afghan refugees for creating chaos in Afghanistan in support of Taliban’s war is taking this animosity to new heights. It is even worse than the hostility that existed between Sikh Punjabi state and Durrani Afghanistan in the 19th century.

    Four, the aforementioned bankrupt Afghan policy is creating alienation among Pashtuns in Pakistan because it is bringing war with large scale death and destruction, displacement ghettoisation to them.

    Five, the rise of local IS or Daish is yet another existential threat capable of turning this region into a battlefield by attracting players from outside. By now it is quite clear that far from being the actual branch of Middle Eastern IS it is just a side show of Taliban. It is meant to make Taliban look good by taking responsibility for some “undesirable” terrorist attacks. In eastern Afghanistan most of Daish’s cadres are from Pakistan and in northern Afghanistan it’s ranks are manned by Central Asian fighters.

    It’s needless to say that factors mentioned above originate from Pakistan’s flawed Afghan policy and they constitute an explosive mix. Again it’s not a coincidence that political government in Pakistan has been rendered totally incapacitated to have any say in foreign policy.



    The writer is a retired Senator and an analyst of regional affairs.

  7. #247
    Former Staff Senior Contributor Ironduke's Avatar
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    We're long overdue for a withdrawal. There's no victory to be had there and nothing to be accomplished. Allow a soft partition and if anything, keep a small force there for threat mitigation.

  8. #248
    Turbanator Senior Contributor Double Edge's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ironduke View Post
    We're long overdue for a withdrawal. There's no victory to be had there and nothing to be accomplished. Allow a soft partition and if anything, keep a small force there for threat mitigation.
    Time to withdraw is when the Taliban, Haqqanis & TTP join hands against Pakistan. Until such time keep ramping up pressure to achieve that end. Make them confront their own monsters. Do that and you can say mission accomplished.
    Last edited by Double Edge; 14 Feb 18, at 02:13.

  9. #249
    Turbanator Senior Contributor Double Edge's Avatar
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    Supply routes to Afghanistan

    https://www.europeaninstitute.org/in...-and-the-stans

    1. Pakistan supply line, cheapest but not the only



    2. Northern Distribution Network (NDN) - North



    3. NDN - South ( No Russia)



    4. KKT ( No Uzbekistan)



    5. China to Kazahkhstan



    Point ? Pak leverage over the US in terms of supply routes is overestimated. We knew this already back in 2012 where after six months the Paks reopened the routes. Wasn't enough of a squeeze plus loss of transit revenue

    So why was Chris Fair harping on about it...
    Last edited by Double Edge; 14 Feb 18, at 18:32.

  10. #250
    Turbanator Senior Contributor Double Edge's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Oracle View Post
    I think the objective is to give a big F to President Trump for his AfPak policies by the Pak Army and the ISI, saying look 'without our co-operation, you're doomed'. And make Ghani look weak as you have said.
    Afghanistan: In midwinter attacks, a brutal Pakistani reply to Trump | CS Monitor | Feb 09 2018


    Quote Originally Posted by Oracle View Post
    What NDS can't do is track or intercept communication that is written down on paper and passed through a reliable courier. No intercept, no intelligence, except HUMINT. The ISI have devised this strategy since Osamas' escape from Tora Bora. I'm not saying it's foolproof, but it works.
    Sceptics to the above theory question how this operation could have been mounted as fast. Within three weeks. How did the planning work this fast if they were using pieces of paper.

    Or it was in the works shall we say. Since August. In any case this means no peace talks because clearly the Taliban thinks they can fight it out. Time to fight back.

    Quote Originally Posted by Double Edge View Post
    Note it took several attempts during the month to build the body count up. That is a positive. This is not just one attack that gets 100+.
    I was wrong about this, they did get 100 in one attack, because analysis showed they used plastic explosives. Not the homemade variety, military grade.
    Last edited by Double Edge; 14 Feb 18, at 18:36.

  11. #251
    Turbanator Senior Contributor Double Edge's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Oracle View Post
    Maybe the story about Paks collapse and a loose nuke in NY is too terifying for the politicians to foresee the after-effects. I sometime think this is a nightmarish story, deliberately pushed in the global media by somebody who wants the US to stay engaged in AfPak region and take hit after hit, moan in anger and then continue taking hits.
    Obama was quite concerned about just this eventuality. Continuing on from the previous administration

    Four Nuclear Security Summits have been held since President Obama spoke in 2009 of “a new international effort to secure all vulnerable nuclear material around the world.” The fewer sources of fissile material that exist, the easier it will be to secure the remaining locations from theft or attack. It is precisely for this reason that the United States has made the lockdown of nuclear materials a national priority. Most of the international community ostensibly shares this objective.
    Nuclear Terrorism - Imminent Threat ? (pdf) | Center for the Study of weapons of mass destruction (NDU) | Nov 11 2017

    Check out the technical & operational issues involved for a terror org to actually pull this off.

    Ain't easy and there are people diligently working to make it still harder.

    While terrorists may employ suicide bombers, the terrorist leadership itself surely would want to live to guide the organization and likely would see the need to develop a good plan for staying hidden and alive for a lengthy period of time.

    The security of terrorists’ operations from leaks or the disruptive effect of counterterrorism missions, combined with the challenges of coordinating and executing secure shipment, add extra elements of risk and uncertainty to the major challenges terrorists face in trying to acquire the nuclear material itself.
    Can run but where to hide

    states that possess nuclear material are not likely to transfer a weapon or weapons-usable material to a terrorist or non-state actor without a great deal of confidence that the transfer would go undetected, and attribution would remain undetermined. This would mean that “a state seeking to orchestrate a nuclear attack by proxy would be limited to collaboration with well established terrorist organizations with which it had existing relationships, simplifying the task of connecting terrorist perpetrators to their state sponsors.” Moreover, “no state would be likely to give its nuclear weapons or materials to a terrorist organization with which it did not have a long record of cooperation and trust.”
    Not hard to figure out who the sponsor is

    “Few states trust their proxies,” commented one analyst, “and indeed they often gravely weaken movements they support in order to control them.” A terrorist group “might use the weapons or materials in ways the state never intended, provoking retaliation that would destroy the regime.”
    And we're back to the trust issue again

    A failure to accomplish its mission of a devastating nuclear attack, either because of technical difficulties or the active measures to disrupt terrorist operations, would in turn undercut the stature or prestige of the group. This need to successfully accomplish what would be the ultimate terrorist mission could drive terrorist leaders to not take some of the risks that may be acceptable at lower levels of violence.
    Risk

    Of course, in principle, it is always possible that a nuclear terrorist could succeed. However, one who grants a carte blanche to the terrorist must at the same time ignore the mountain of obstacles that stand between terrorist aspirations and the realization of a nuclear terrorist attack.
    Anything is possible, question is how probable ?

    The subject of deterring terrorists from employing nuclear weapons is not well understood, and thus is a good area for more debate and research. It is worth trying to understand the role that deterrence plays, and what policies may serve to support the goal of letting terrorist leaders rethink their commitment to conducting a nuclear attack.

  12. #252
    Turbanator Senior Contributor Double Edge's Avatar
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    Break this title down and its hilarious

    https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/...w/63003098.cms

    US stands firm

    Pakistan begs for Fatf mercy

    Hafiz Saeed continues to preach hate

    In one recent video, Hafiz mocks Pakistan government’s seizing of his organisation Jamaat-ul-Dawa’s assets, saying if the government shuts one door, ''Allah will open 100 doors.''

    He also spews his rhetoric of hate, blaming Islamabad’s move as being forced by ''yahoodis and kaffirs,'' a reference to Jews and Hindus.
    The Pakistani media reported that of the 35 permanent members of the FATF, ''only China supports Pakistan whereas the rest are likely to fall behind the US resolution,''

    even as many of its TV talking heads blamed India for the ''saazish'' (conspiracy) to put Pakistan in trouble.
    One argument Pakistan’s establishment is making is that cracking down too hard on terror groups and their leaders whom the country’s military has long patronized

    as the first line of offense against India and Afghanistan will destabilise the country if they turn their attention inwards.
    Ya! this should be the plan. Shouldn't be difficult for the PA to finish them off. They have been weakened already so as to be controlled

    The US is not impressed with the argument and wants action beyond a token seizing of assets. ''We may consider lifting the suspension when we see decisive and

    sustained actions to address our concerns, including targeting all terrorist groups operating within its territory, without distinction,'' US Under Secretary of State John

    Sullivan told a Senate hearing recently, adding, ''we have shared with Pakistan our South Asia strategy in detail and have made our expectations clear.''
    Thumbs up!
    Last edited by Double Edge; 20 Feb 18, at 19:56.

  13. #253
    Former Staff Senior Contributor Ironduke's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Double Edge View Post
    Time to withdraw is when the Taliban, Haqqanis & TTP join hands against Pakistan. Until such time keep ramping up pressure to achieve that end. Make them confront their own monsters. Do that and you can say mission accomplished.
    I really don't mind if we'd pull out and just let the Iranians, Pakistanis, and the Russians jockey and fight over it. That would be the silver lining. A strategic vacuum that would suck them in, keep them busy against each other, allowing Afghanistan to be a major source of tension and conflict between them. That's my realpolitik view.

    Pakistan has been double dealing on us since 2001, allowing logistical transit in exchange for economic and military aid, while at the same time tolerating and supporting the terrorist groups in Afghanistan, compelling us to continue to commit to staying there and thus keep up this farce of an arrangement. It's a vicious cycle, and quite frankly, I'm sick of it. India holds a world of promise for us as an ally, while Pakistan has nothing to offer.
    Last edited by Ironduke; Yesterday at 05:34.

  14. #254
    Padishah Shahanshah Senior Contributor xerxes's Avatar
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    I recall reading the Exxon book by Steve Coll.
    Didn't like his style of writing. I need to consider this.
    If we contrast the rapid progress of this mischievous discovery of gunpowder with the slow and laborious advances of reason, science, and the arts of peace, a philosopher, according to his temper, will laugh or weep at the folly of mankind. - Edward Gibbon

  15. #255
    Regular PeeCoffee's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ironduke View Post
    I really don't mind if we'd pull out and just let the Iranians, Pakistanis, and the Russians jockey and fight over it. That would be the silver lining. A strategic vacuum that would suck them in, keep them busy against each other, allowing Afghanistan to be a major source of tension and conflict between them. That's my realpolitik view.

    Pakistan has been double dealing on us since 2001, allowing logistical transit in exchange for economic and military aid, while at the same time tolerating and supporting the terrorist groups in Afghanistan, compelling us to continue to commit to staying there and thus keep up this farce of an arrangement. It's a vicious cycle, and quite frankly, I'm sick of it. India holds a world of promise for us as an ally, while Pakistan has nothing to offer.
    Afghanistan is Islamic...same as Pakistan. Welcome to the brotherhood.

    India is predominantly Hindu.

    Both are jacked with nuclear arsenals.

    I believe American forward-thinking was to pal up with Pakistan to keep Chinese and/ or Russian ambitions at bay.

    Paling up with India will swiftly drag the US in once India and Pakistan start seriously swinging for the fences at each other.
    Kashmir aspirations could light that tinder-box off in a heartbeat.

    Think back to the last time that kettle heated up. Just saying.
    Real eyes realize real lies.

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