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The tangled reality of US/Pakistan relations

Mark Urban | 13:56 UK time, Tuesday, 17 May 2011

WASHINGTON - The current crisis in US/Pakistan relations is not the first - but it is the most difficult one since 9/11, and it could easily be aggravated further by the intelligence arising from the raid on Osama Bin Laden's compound.

For this reason, Washington insiders are not so sure that diplomatic moves to ease the problem will succeed.

Senator John Kerry has just been in Islamabad asking for "action not words" from the Pakistani authorities. He says he has gained some agreement for practical steps but, apart from gaining the return of remnants of the US helicopter that was destroyed at the compound, has not yet specified what these might be.

This morning he and other members of the US Senate Committee on Foreign Relations will be holding hearings on Pakistan, including the question of how the billions given in aid could be used more effectively to buy the kind of counter terrorist cooperation that the Americans are after.

Juan Zarate, counter terrorist adviser to President George W Bush, argues that the kind of benchmarks that congressmen have advocated in the past for linking aid to performance on specific actions against militant groups could prove counter-productive in the short term because the Pakistanis consider this "humiliating".

He poses the further question, "what happens tomorrow if we have to go after Ayman al-Zawahiri?", referring to the former Al Qaeda number two and presumed leader after Bin Laden's death.

The question of what leads are thrown up by the intelligence trove from the raided Abottabad compound is now in itself a key factor in whether Mr Kerry and members of President Barack Obama's administration are able to soothe the relationship. Myriad questions arise from the material seized on flash drives and laptops.

Pakistani officials insist there was no contact between their Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) and Bin Laden - but what about possible ties with the courier who owned the house and was the key figure in sheltering him?

Will phone numbers leading to ISI officials be found in Bin Laden's effects? Will there be intelligence that allows the CIA to quickly pinpoint Dr al-Zawahiri or other key figures who might now take control of Al Qaeda?

John McLaughlin, deputy director of the CIA until 2004, argues that even in this current difficult moment for US/Pakistan relations, America will reserve the right to act unilaterally against terrorist targets in Pakistan.

He believes though that ties can slowly be re-built with Pakistan, despite the fact that the raid, mounted without their leaders' foreknowledge, gave them their "biggest shock for a generation".

At previous moments of tension between the two countries, accommodations have been found. Intelligence about Al Qaeda suspects has flowed or the army has been sent in to one of the restive tribal areas on the Pakistan border. The US has signed off on new aid payments.

What tends to happen though is that within months, the Americans again accuse the Pakistanis of foot dragging in the fight against militancy, and Islamabad for its part counters with arguments that the US routinely violates its sovereignty.


The tangled reality of the situation is made worse by the fact that Pakistani ministers, mindful of anti-American sentiment in their country, will often not admit publicly to their agreement to drone strikes or other steps. Many people I have spoken to here compare the relationship to a dysfunctional marriage in which both sides need one another but find the reality of daily life increasingly unbearable.

There are those who see ways though in which the two countries might navigate their way through the perfect storm of recrimination and resentment that the Bin Laden operation has produced.

Juan Zarate and some others believe that if the materials seized in the raid produce some nugget of intelligence that leads to the discovery of Dr al-Zawahiri or other key figures, the US may chose to trust the Pakistanis with this knowledge, and make them partners in acting upon it.

If the exploitation of the intelligence went wrong and a leak was suspected the US could use this to place further pressure on Pakistani ministers. But if it all went well, trust might be re-built. The problem is though that there are many within the secret side of US counter terrorism who, because of the way that Osama Bin Laden hid for years where he did, are no longer prepared to take that risk.

Watch Mark Urban's report on the state of US/Pakistan relations on Newsnight on Tuesday 17 May 2011 at 2230 on BBC Two, and then afterwards on the BBC iPlayer.

Comments

  • Comment number 1.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 2.

    OH WHAT A TANGLED WEB. WHY DO PAKISTAN PLAY ALONG WITH THE 9/11 LIE?

    As usual, nothing joins up.

    If you are the highest value propaganda prize to your enemy, and you go to great lengths to remain hidden (no communications – burn rubbish) and you are still sharp enough to plot atrocities, you do not allow the shooting of a video that makes you look pathetic, then leave it lying about. ('Finding' videos and passports is endemic.)

    If you are making a video of a Great Man – again, you do not make him look pathetic, and you SHOW HIS ICONIC FACE.

    This whole bin-Laden death charade is no more convincing that the Building 7 charade. Might it have been done by the same B-feature team?

    Is the BBC too dumb or too Scared? Go back to Ground Zero and ask THE RIGHT PEOPLE THE RIGHT QUESTIONS.

  • Comment number 3.

    The one and only reason behind the militancy in Pakistan is that Pakistan has always used terrorism as a foreign policy tool. It includes foreign policy towards India, Afghanistan, Russia etc. Moreover as an Islamic nation some fundamentalist sympathizers gave their support for the terrorists from inside the government. It includes ISI, a part of military and a portion of civilian government (although it's influence is minimal). This situation started since the birth of the country. Now the Frankenstein they have created is out of control and destroying the country itself. When Pakistani authorities claim that they have lost so many lives `fighting' against terrorism, it is a mere eyewash. They haven't lost innocent peoples lives fighting against terrorism, rather because of the international pressure after 9/11 they were forced to reduce support/covert support terrorists and that angered the terrorist groups who were enjoying safe havens and open financial support and training until then. They went on rampage and start killing innocent people. If Pakistan is really serious about fighting terrorist, first thing they have to do is to stop using terrorists as a foreign policy tool.

  • Comment number 4.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 5.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 6.

    The reason why these problems exist is because such a large number of people in Pakistan support terrorism against the United States. This mostly because they have bought into the fundamentalist Islamic rhetoric of a US war on Islam. This also explains why Pakistani officials have such a hard time admitting to their own populace that they granted the US permission to act on its territory. It is hard to paper over differences arising from one side hating the other so much.

  • Comment number 7.

    worrying times...Pakistan...nuclear armed....volatile population and a lot of hostility towards America....that will be the next flashpoint....

  • Comment number 8.

    Pakistans support for terrorism is rooted in its relationship with India. The Pakistanis are unable to reconcile with the fact that India is the regions military, economic and political power.

    Lets look at the facts, the only country in the region of South Asia which is dependent upon its relationship with Pakistan is Afghanistan. At the end of the day the success of Afghanistan's democracy will be determined by the politics of Islamabad and not Kabul. Unlike the Indians who even with a rocky relationship with Pakistan are still well on thier way to becoming one of the leaders of the 21st century.

    Pakistan is exploiting a neighbor which is even poorer than their own country by being a safe haven for cross border militants. If you make Pakistan give up its support for the Taliban and other groups such as the Haqqani network then the Pakistanis would lose any sort of influence they posses in the region. At the end of the day, the terrorists which cross into India do not have the same effect as those that go into Afghanistan. The LoC is probably one of the most heavily fortified borders in the world and very few militants make it past Indian security forces. They may able to carry out a few attacks such as that which happened in Mumbai but in terms of destabilizing the nation which the Pakistanis have been doing to Afghanistan it will not happen.

    Pakistan refuses to conduct itself as a country which earns the respect of other nations and would rather destabilize other nations in order for short term geo-political controls. Why Pakistan has not been designated as a state sponsor of terrorism is beyond me. Nevermind, its not. The terrorists are sent to kill Afghans and Indians, not Americans.

    Not yet anyways.

  • Comment number 9.

    Remember Churchill, 1936? "Owing to past neglect, in the face of the plainest warnings, we have entered upon a period of danger. The era of procrastination, of half measures, of soothing and baffling expedience of delays, is coming to its close. In its place we are entering a period of consequences…. We cannot avoid this period, we are in it now…" Goes bang on for American policies towards Pakistan over last decade.

  • Comment number 10.

    I am very, very confused that WHY so many people are accepting that Bin Laden was REALLY there in Pakistan. Has US shown any proof yet? Where are the pictures, DNA Test Results, videos, eye witnesses? It's just like that one day we all get up and someone tells us that he went to Mars and return in one night. Won't we ask him to give proof? How it is possible that US was able to conduct the raid in one night, killed Bin Laden, flown his body to Afghanistan, took DNA and other identification tests, arranged the funeral, put his body on a helicopter again, flown again to some Navy base in some unknown sea, and buried it. All this happened in just 5-6 hours? And then we are shown some videos supposedly found from Bin Laden's compound. How it can be proved that these are recovered from the same compound, the old man watching his own videos is really Bin Laden? Where's the audio? Summarizing, the world is just believing what the Americans and telling and showing. There is no proof as yet. There is no independent source confirming all this. And we all are believing all this like a Gospel truth. And Anti-Pakistan elements now have an opportunity to do as much propaganda as they like.

  • Comment number 11.

    USA must take a stance - and be firm - refuse any further aid or cash unless Pakistan demonstartes a desire and show chnages- as for access to Afganistan impose a no fly zone for Pakistan Air Force - after all we are dealing with basically a crooked regime -

  • Comment number 12.

    There was no intelligence gleaned from the Bin Laden lair because there was no Bin Laden Lair - in fact no Bin Laden unless the US froze his body ten years ago and propped him up for one last exploitation.
    How dare Kerry ask for "action not words" from the Pakistani authorities? How many Pakistani soldiers have bled & died due to the endless American pressure - 3,000, 4,000?
    As for the billions that Americans give Pakistan, in a previous article I explained all the research I had conducted; I could not find billions, only millions. That's a big difference. Besides, use your head, where would the US ever get these so-called BILLIONS when they have whacked debt ceiling?
    The Pakistanis have already begun to turn their faces towards China, Russia and Iran - all better and more loyal friends. So if Obama wants his Af/Pak War, he will find it will cost him big-time in both casualties and money.
    Why should Pakistan be soothed? They have been side-stepped, mistreated, mocked, humiliated all while their soldiers die for this American war in Northern Pakistan and along the border. Pakistani officials insist there was no contact between their Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) and Bin Laden; of course not, Bin Laden is, has been, and will now remain dead.
    After all this John McLaughlin, Deputy-Director of the CIA until 2004, argues that US will reserve the right to act unilaterally against terrorist targets in Pakistan...and who defines one person as a terrorist, another as a spy, another as just an ordinary citizen?
    This situation is indeed a dysfunctional marriage where the US is the aggressor and the bully, and Pakistan is the battered wife. US needs Pakistan for AfPak; for what tell me does Pakistan need the US?
    Why doesn't the US simply arrange the reinstatement of Musharraf (presently holed up in Britain, waiting his chance), and get done with it. Couldn't the Americans have a blast then!

  • Comment number 13.

    Meanwhile, to the relief of the US, counterrevolution seems to be winning in the Middle East. A very downbeat analysis from Der Spiegel:

    http://www.spiegel.de/international/world/0,1518,762861,00.html

  • Comment number 14.

    ADDITIONAL (#10)

    America has endless form in the area of complex, inept deceit.

    AGE OF PERVERSITY

  • Comment number 15.

    I found this site very illuminating. Pahshtuns seem to be a cross-national group with sufficient sense of identity to self-organise, perhaps somewhat like the Kurds. http://www.pakhtun.com/

    The analysis of the role of Mullahs in Pakistan is also revealing; "He also knows fully well that most Pakistanis do not have the patience, time or the resources for learning Arabic. He, therefore, insists so much on the mastery of the Arabic language and culture."
    "Two facts are noteworthy; the stupendous rise of the west since it broke free from the priestly hold of the Church and the horrendous decline of the Muslim world since the entry of priesthood into Islam."
    http://pakhtun.com/index.php/about-pashtuns/current-issues/the-naked-truth-of-the-pakistani-mullahs


    [Echoes of 14th century Britian, "Wycliffe produced dozens of English language manuscript copies of the scriptures... translated out of the Latin Vulgate.]
    http://www.greatsite.com/timeline-english-bible-history/

  • Comment number 16.

    As a country Pakistan and Pakistanis needs to do some introspection.
    With whom they want to keep relation as a friend and why?
    With whom they want to fight for 1000 years and why?
    No outsider will be able to help them out neither with money nor with military.
    Yesterday they were with America, today they want to go with China. People and leaders of Pakistan should understand, realize and accept that nobody in this world will help them unless that country has some sort of interest. The moment interest is solved the relationship will come to an end.
    How many big brother you will find in this world?
    Pakistan as a country has to accept that they have to understand and solve their problem by themselves, unfortunately they have not identified what is their problem?

  • Comment number 17.

    I see the US is still at it:
    The US government has released “new” video of Bin Laden.
    The US claims it was part of the haul from that wreck of a compound in Pakistan. The first and biggest problem is that the video fails to show an alive Bin Laden with eyes blinking and lips moving; in fact, the picture shows an entirely refreshed, rejuvenated man far from the decrepit person that we saw huddled in the dusty, dingy, non-electrified compound.
    My opinion - just another forgery, a sign that the US may be getting desperate to put this issue to bed, except for the war(s) that it may prompt. The United States always needs a war - for the profiteering of the industrial/military complex.
    France is mentioned explicitly with five (5) captives now apparently ready for killing.
    Why?
    France is just not getting its military out of Afghanistan!
    I knew there would be a video, but "knights of Egypt"! Would Bin Laden call the Egyptian revolutionaries the "knights of Egypt? Knights is a western word belonging to the same category as crusades. If he had said "knights", he would've choked to death and the Americans would not have needed their stealth helicopters.
    The video, like the alleged assassination is amateurish and downright stupid. I'm guessing the Americans think the rest of the world is pretty naive.
    This latest video is not propaganda; it's just sadly laughable.

  • Comment number 18.

    Pakistan is an epi-center of terror,its establishments are fool and currupt,they have no respect for their country.they are slowly consuming their country.but how long one can make the whole world fool and run freely safe haven for terrorist.

  • Comment number 19.

    I read all these comments and I am flabbergasted. One question to everyone commenting here:
    How many of you have lived in Pakistan and Afghanistan...
    And understand their languages.
    And how many of you have had access to top military officials and the admin of both countries.
    And does anyone understand the outlook and mindset of these people and cultures??
    Also do Muslim world has any control over the media, news papers and propaganda channels around the world?
    --------------------------------------------------------------------
    This war, this debacle didn't happen in a day it was >30years in the making.
    US is a world superpower and Pakistan and India and for that matter any other country out there who would serve it's purpose through either oil, fighting on it's behalf, access to their rich natural resources or providing strategic bases from where US can keep a violent hold over it's ‘non visible colonialist regime’.
    This is all a hogwash blabbering coming from a hegemonic Imperialistic power.
    Nietzsche’s words, the bigger yeast eats the smaller yeast, plain and simple.
    All that aid is spend in buying more arms from who may I ask? Of course, US. And US is spending 1 million/soldier/year.... and Pakistan is supposed to fight this war that they brought to them with the puny aid. And obviously, consider the corrupt politicians and a very dangerous intelligence agency sitting atop Pakistan—who btw, were all trained in this warfare by CIA themselves—what a recipe for disaster and a situation which has gone out of control of US's hands.
    When communist Afghan leadership invited USSR to invade Afghanistan, they didn't think anyone would be able to mount a response since Afghans are all tribal, there were Ashvagan 1000 years ago and they still are.
    Remember Reagan's world scale soap opera in that husky deep voice...."The Mujahideens have been the pivot which has won this war against terrorism"....hell yeah, they are same Mujahideens which US trained who thought when US left them high and dry in a miserable war destroyed country.... oh, let us teach US a lesson for abusing us. Those same youthful teenagers have grown up.
    And that is where Pakistan's flaw lies.
    Military should have eradicated this renegade bunch since as deprived a nation as Afghanistan is where do you think they would have made their headquarters for easy access, food, connections, travel, etc.
    And India is an even bigger fool than Pakistan. It has a cold, conniving power like China on one side, more than 40% of its population is living below poverty line and Indians are bawling over Pakistan’s obsession with them. Oh well! If India can answer this one question then years of misery, terror, torture and killing of Kashmiri men and mass rapes of women, at their army’s hands can be discussed:
    =Why did Nehru refuse to hold the referendum in 1961 as promised on UN’s platform to ask Kashmiris, who they want to be with: India or Pakistan? It is 50 years now.... and Kashmir is just a wounded, abused pawn in this game between India and Pakistan.
    And in reference to comment about Pashtuns: a Pashtun province won’t last if they got their so called freedom.... unless the world is okay with mass amount of heroin/charas/hashish flooding every port. That would be their economic contribution and there is no question about it.

    This is the background in which US came mucking in, with their selfish schemes and thought they can make others do their bidding. No regards to human rights or how many civilians are killed/ slain in getting rid of a problem which they started
    And killing OBL was just a saving straw in the hat of a military whose morale is low, whose soldiers have no desire to fight, rather it’s a young generation of Americans who take pleasure in killing humans. Those who don’t, come home with diseased minds. And who on earth’s name is, was OBL? Open up CIA files and see the glorious platitudes for him bringing in millions of dollars to Afghanistan to fight the Russian war.... but who didn’t spend a single penny to do one constructive thing to build his adopted country’s infrastructure.
    And oh yes, then there comes the propaganda machine lambasting....
    isn’t Pakistan the bad apple in all this?

  • Comment number 20.

    America needs to put the following offer before the Pakistanis;

    'We know that for you all roads lead to India. So, we will bring the Indians to the table. We will pull out all the stops to ensure that you both don't get up until all issues are resolved. A comprehensive & permanent peace with your mortal enemy. There is just one precondition i.e. you must accept (in secret if you wish) that Pakistani sovereignty will not extend over an additional inch of land beyond where it currently exists, de facto & de jure. This offer is a one-time. If you refuse, then we're leaving Afghanistan, we're pulling all the aid, and all the best to ya'.

    Now, if only wishes were dollars; or rather, gold coins.

  • Comment number 21.

    The tangled reality of US relations with Pakistan is about the same as the US relations with EVERY country.
    Angry protests taking place in Afghanistan provide picture of the US government’s entire foreign policy, its so-called war on terrorism. Afghan citizens are protesting NATO’s killing of 4 people, including 2 women. NATO officials are saying that the four were terrorists, but that's pretty much always what NATO says.
    Afghan forces then proceeded to kill 14 protesters.
    I suppose there are better examples how the US government has instigated and perpetuated the war on terrorism. It's come down to a murderous, sabotaging, ugly and utterly boring refrain. The US kills a human being in Afghanistan, Iraq, Pakistan or anywhere else in the middle East, and then it shouts: "Got another one of those leading terrorists" of which the rest of us have never heard.
    The US has been (and is) a military invader and occupier. There are billions of hard-working people just trying to oust the occupier. Therefore, often the US defines human corpses as terrorists, but the locals don’t see them like that. It's a fact that most people killed in Iraq and Afghanistan were average, hard-working human beings, like you and me; even the fighters were only fighting for FREEDOM.
    The endless killing! The endless war on terror!!
    NATO officials apologized for accidentally killing two children — a 14-year old boy and a 12-year-old girl — in separate incidents. They apologized because they said that they had no intention of killing kids. They were accidentally killed as part of the US policy of nighttime raids against terrorists.
    It’s never-ending, and that's the Way THE American MILITARY/INDUSTRIAL COMPLEX WANTS IT BECAUSE
    a) It provides employment for thousands of American soldiers who would otherwise by unemployed, angry, trained & ready to use weaponry
    b) It provides a market for weaponry and the R&D used to create that weaponry
    c) It allows Americans to bully and steal whatever it needs or wants.
    Solution: AMERICANS GO HOME!
    You will find out Pakistan does not need you, neither do Iraq, Afghanistan, and every other country dying to be free.

  • Comment number 22.

    EYES OPENER STATEMENT....
    LONDON: A Labour MP has called on the West to realise how essential it was to work with Pakistan at this stage, and not point fingers at the legitimacy of Pakistan as an ally.
    Yasim Qureshi, Labour MP for Bolton South East, focused on the impact and implications of the war on terror upon Pakistan, in the debate on “Middle East, Libya, Afghanistan and Pakistan” held in the House of Commons.
    She told fellow parliamentarians: “Pakistan has bore the brunt of the war on terror since 2002 and the efforts have cost it 30,000 civilian causalities, 5000 security causalities and devastation of property and infrastructure. The focus on security and military assistance has taken a toll on the economy and failure to invest in education and health.
    “Many have mentioned the aid given to Pakistan over the past 12 years, which amounts to about $10 billion. However, the USA has spent $146 billion on this war on terror. In terms of loss — and, indeed, the near-destruction of Pakistan — $10 billion is chickenfeed. It does not even start to compensate Pakistan for the breadth of destruction that it has suffered.”
    She said it was wrong to tarnish the whole of the Inter Services Intelligence (ISI), the army and the government of Pakistan, and that it was an insult to the civilian population who suffer on a daily basis. The US-led drone attacks and recent suicide bombings have resulted in a breeding ground for al-Qaeda and Taliban, she said.
    She added: “In all these wars that are taking place across the world, we lost the plot in the graveyard of empires, turning the hunt for the now largely irrelevant inventor of global jihad into a war against tens of thousands of Taliban insurgents who have little interest in al-Qaeda, but much enthusiasm for driving western armies out of their country.”

    MR KHAN ARIZONA US



  • Comment number 23.

    unfortunately both pakistan&USA are in the loosing side for the simple reason that the national interests of each are diametrically opposite just like the beginning of the cold war between USSR&USA towards the tail end of WWII.Unless Pakistan either on its own or by coaxing realises its true calling the future does not appear to bode well for them in 21st cent geo politics.

  • Comment number 24.

    I don't think that any country, anxiously awaiting the departure of US forces, appreciates the high potential (almost certainty) of the replacement of soldiers with wild-west cowboys, also called contractors.
    e.g. Iraq in 2004 - Blackwater employees entered into the city of Fallujah and under the pretense of looking for terrorists, they carried out nighttime raids, mistreated women and children, and tortured and murdered local men and teenage boys. Due to this, the local Iraqis took the law into their own hands and killed the Blackwater employees. I happen to agree with what the Iraqi People did, but that's not my point.
    It's almost better to have soldiers in uniform than PMCs (Private Military Contractors).
    Why?
    Because of the secrecy afforded by US Government contracts, as well as the fact that PMCs ARE NOT ACCOUNTABLE TO THE US MILITARY, receiving orders directly from the Pentagon. If you look, as I did, you will not even find an accountability for exactly what these cowboys are paid. Do you think they get paid by the head, scalp?
    Try to put your hands on an actual contract wherein you will find gaps wherein should be the actual specifications of the mission, and how they will be held legally accountable for any illegalities that they commit.
    e.g. DynCorp Contract: $1,000,000 from the US State Department to organize the Iraqi criminal justice system. In June 2004, four of DynCorps, heavily armed, led Iraqi police on a raid of the former Iraqi leader in exile, Ahmed Chalabi. I didn't see this in the contract, maybe you will.
    What happened?
    DynCorp did not receive any penalty - the contract is simply too vague.
    (Remind you of the recent UNSCR1970-73)
    Vagueness is a characteristic of American agreements & signed contracts is an "art form".
    All I am saying is that countries, like Iraq, need to be careful about soldiers being replaced by wild-west cowboys.
    (Did you that Congress does not allocate funds to the oversight of private companies? This allows them to play inside a country like psychotic sociopaths. In fact, I am sure some of them are.)
    Coalition Provisional Authority Order 17 of June 2003, the Iraqi provisional government granted exemption from prosecution to all personnel action on behalf of the coalition- including PMC employees.
    Holy Cow! Why on earth...?
    Well, Iraq, you had best get rid of this piece of butcher's paper.
    The Geneva Convention clearly distinguishes between civilians and armed combatants. However, the employees of private companies aren't civilians “since they are involved in%2

  • Comment number 25.

    I don't think that any country, anxiously awaiting the departure of US forces, appreciates the high potential (almost certainty) of the replacement of soldiers with wild-west cowboys, also called contractors.
    e.g. Iraq in 2004 - Blackwater employees entered into the city of Fallujah and under the pretense of looking for terrorists, they carried out nighttime raids, mistreated women and children, and tortured and murdered local men and teenage boys. Due to this, the local Iraqis took the law into their own hands and killed the Blackwater employees. I happen to agree with what the Iraqi People did, but that's not my point.
    It's almost better to have soldiers in uniform than PMCs (Private Military Contractors).
    Why?
    Because of the secrecy afforded by US Government contracts, as well as the fact that PMCs ARE NOT ACCOUNTABLE TO THE US MILITARY, receiving orders directly from the Pentagon. If you look, as I did, you will not even find an accountability for exactly what these cowboys are paid. Do you think they get paid by the head, scalp?
    Try to put your hands on an actual contract wherein you will find gaps wherein should be the actual specifications of the mission, and how they will be held legally accountable for any illegalities that they commit.
    e.g. DynCorp Contract: $1,000,000 from the US State Department to organize the Iraqi criminal justice system. In June 2004, four of DynCorps, heavily armed, led Iraqi police on a raid of the former Iraqi leader in exile, Ahmed Chalabi. I didn't see this in the contract, maybe you will.
    What happened?
    DynCorp did not receive any penalty - the contract is simply too vague.
    (Remind you of the recent UNSCR1970-73)
    Vagueness is a characteristic of American agreements & signed contracts is an "art form".
    All I am saying is that countries, like Iraq, need to be careful about soldiers being replaced by wild-west cowboys.
    (Did you that Congress does not allocate funds to the oversight of private companies? This allows them to play inside a country like psychotic sociopaths. In fact, I am sure some of them are.)
    Coalition Provisional Authority Order 17 of June 2003, the Iraqi provisional government granted exemption from prosecution to all personnel action on behalf of the coalition- including PMC employees.
    Holy Cow! Why on earth...?
    Well, Iraq, you had best get rid of this piece of butcher's paper.
    The Geneva Convention clearly distinguishes between civilians and armed combatants. However, the employees of private companies aren't civilians “since they are involved

  • Comment number 26.

    I don't think that any country, anxiously awaiting the departure of US forces, appreciates the high potential (almost certainty) of the replacement of soldiers with wild-west cowboys, also called contractors.
    e.g. Iraq in 2004 - Blackwater employees entered into the city of Fallujah and under the pretense of looking for terrorists, they carried out nighttime raids, mistreated women and children, and tortured and murdered local men and teenage boys. Due to this, the local Iraqis took the law into their own hands and killed the Blackwater employees. I happen to agree with what the Iraqi People did, but that's not my point.
    It's almost better to have soldiers in uniform than PMCs (Private Military Contractors).
    Why?
    Because of the secrecy afforded by US Government contracts, as well as the fact that PMCs ARE NOT ACCOUNTABLE TO THE US MILITARY, receiving orders directly from the Pentagon. If you look, as I did, you will not even find an accountability for exactly what these cowboys are paid. Do you think they get paid by the head, scalp?
    Try to put your hands on an actual contract wherein you will find gaps wherein should be the actual specifications of the mission, and how they will be held legally accountable for any illegalities that they commit.
    e.g. DynCorp Contract: $1,000,000 from the US State Department to organize the Iraqi criminal justice system. In June 2004, four of DynCorps, heavily armed, led Iraqi police on a raid of the former Iraqi leader in exile, Ahmed Chalabi. I didn't see this in the contract, maybe you will.
    What happened?
    DynCorp did not receive any penalty - the contract is simply too vague.
    (Remind you of the recent UNSCR1970-73)
    Vagueness is a characteristic of American agreements & signed contracts is an "art form".
    All I am saying is that countries, like Iraq, need to be careful about soldiers being replaced by wild-west cowboys.
    (Did you that Congress does not allocate funds to the oversight of private companies? This allows them to play inside a country like psychotic sociopaths. In fact, I am sure some of them are.)
    Coalition Provisional Authority Order 17 of June 2003, the Iraqi provisional government granted exemption from prosecution to all personnel action on behalf of the coalition- including PMC employees.
    Holy Cow! Why on earth...?
    Well, Iraq, you had best get rid of this piece of butcher's paper.
    The Geneva Convention clearly distinguishes between civilians and armed combatants. However, the employees of private companies aren't civilians “since they are involved%

  • Comment number 27.

    Gilani's four-day visit to China.
    Pakistan is eager to show the demanding White House that it has a strong diplomatic alternatives.
    Defense Minister Ahmad Mukhtar said Pakistan was seeking delivery within six months of the JF-17 Thunder jets, a single-engine multi role fighter developed in cooperation between China & Pakistan.
    Pakistan's initial squadron of 14 was used alongside US-made F-16s to bomb insurgent strongholds in South Waziristan in 2009, and its air force long has long been waiting for more American planes.
    Defense cooperation is a major aspect of what Pakistan and China call their "all-weather friendship," a term Islamabad accentuates in contrast to its fickle and demanding Washington relations.
    China and Pakistan also mutually distrust India. Pakistan and India have battled three times since 1947.
    Gilani's visit was long planned as part of commemorations of 60 years of China-Pakistan diplomatic ties. He has met with top Chinese leaders and overseen the signing of three agreements on economic and technological cooperation, banking & mining.
    Along with friendship, China provides Pakistan with aid and investment, while Pakistan offers Beijing diplomatic backing, including among Islamic nations who might otherwise criticize China's handling of its Muslim Uighur minority.
    Both countries have troubled relations with the US.
    Pakistan is distrusting & furious that the US did not inform it in advance of the May 1 raid that took out bin Laden.
    It's as though the United States has literally pushed Pakistan into Chinese arms.

  • Comment number 28.

    Pakistan and Russia have agreed to promote trade, investment and pursue joint projects particularly in energy, infrastructure development, metal industry & agriculture.
    Both leaders agreed that this enhanced cooperation would help develop a strong bilateral relationship based on mutual respect and mutual interests.
    President Asif Ali Zardari was on his FIRST three-day official visit to Russia.
    Both Presidents emphasized the importance they attach to promoting stability and peace in the broader region.
    The two sides welcomed the signing of the agreement between Pakistan and Russia on Air Transport as well as the Memorandum of Understanding between the Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Resources of Pakistan and the Ministry of Energy of the Russian Federation in energy cooperation.
    Discussing regional issues, the Presidents underscored the importance of stability and peace in Afghanistan and reaffirmed their support for Afghan-led efforts towards promoting national reconciliation in Afghanistan.
    Pakistan and Russia underlined the importance of joint efforts to fight terrorism and narco related crimes, posing a serious challenge to the international peace and stability.
    Both Pakistan & Russia expressed interest in the implementation of projects related to the creation of a system to transmit electric power from Tajikistan to Afghanistan and Pakistan (CASA-1000) and to the building of a gas pipeline between Turkmenistan-Afghanistan-Pakistan-India (TAPI).
    The Russian side welcomed Pakistan’s involvement in the activities of Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO). Russia supports Pakistan’s joining the SCO.
    It's as though the Americans have pushed Pakistan into the waiting arms of the Russians.

  • Comment number 29.

    "Suspected" militants have RAIDED Karachi airbase, rocking one of the nation's MOST HEAVILY GUARDED MILITARY INSTALLATIONS, leaving at least 10 people, including six of the "suspected" militants. This just three-week after the alleged assassination of Osama bin Laden.
    They also blew up 2 PC3 Orion aircraft in one of the most BRAZEN ATTACKS in years. Pakistani security personnel are still CHECKING SITE for militants that may be holed up at the Pakistan Air Force's Faisal Airbase.
    Well now, what is one to make of this except that it is the beginning of the process demonstrating to the world that Pakistan is not a safe place for nuclear bombs; so our heroes, the Americans, must attempt to make the world safer by denuclearizing Pakistan.

  • Comment number 30.

    More tension on Pakistan...
    US prosecutors are outlining an an elaborate plot that allegedly preceded the 2008 attack on Mumbai. The case (right now) against a Chicago businessman.
    The trial of Tahawwur Rana starting on Monday right on the heels of the alleged assassination of Osama bin Laden, adding fuel to the debate re American aide to Pakistan - millions of dollars.
    Rana, a Canadian citizen, is only a peripheral figure, accused of providing resources as well as creating cover story for David Headley, the American who has admitted scouting targets in Mumbai for the Pakistani militant group Lashkar-e-Taiba.
    Headley has plead guilty to avoid the death penalty and to keep from being extradited to India.
    He has described to investigators how he funneled his surveillance to Pakistani militants who organized the attack that killed more than 160 people in the Indian commercial capital, including six Americans.
    Headley maintained that the militants' "handlers" were members of Pakistan's main spy agency, the ISI.
    Prosecutors say Rana served as go-between for messages between Headley and a man known as "Major Iqbal" (believed part of the ISI).
    Iqbal and a former Pakistani military officer are among six Pakistanis who have been indicted. NONE ARE IN CUSTODY.
    Well now, what is one to make of this except that it is the beginning of the process demonstrating to the world that Pakistan is not a safe place for nuclear bombs; so our heroes, the Americans, must attempt to make the world safer by denuclearizing Pakistan.

  • Comment number 31.

    President Obama has a strategy:
    Create gross confusion in others' ranks and then watch them self destruct. But, history tells us such tactics always back fire in the end. He reminds me of Leonid Brezhnev.
    This current focus on Pakistan is not about US's so called war on terror. What US is doing is digging itself into a hole deeper and deeper.... and if RAW is aiding it in this, well even worse. And Pakistan is a hard country, I hope to God US realizes, this can do to them what Afghanistan did to Russia. You are not dealing with a small population, it is huge. And that population doesn't dislike US, it hates them. I guess they equally hate their own politicians as well. This is a live wire leading to a gunpowder keg.

    US, please get out of there. You are out of your depth. And trying to create civil war in Pakistan will mean your end as well.
    Just look at history, this finale does not bode well.

 

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