Continued Escalation in US-Pakistan Rhetoric
The dramatic accusations made by Joint Chiefs Chairman Michael Mullen in yesterday’s Senate Armed Services Committee hearing provoked immediate, strong reactions from Pakistan. Here is how the Washington Post described Mullen’s testimony:
Last week’s attack on the U.S. Embassy in Kabul and a Sept. 10 truck bombing that killed five Afghans and wounded 77 NATO troops were “planned and conducted” by the Pakistan-based Haqqani network “with ISI support,” said Adm. Mike Mullen, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. The ISI is the Pakistani military’s Inter-Services Intelligence agency.
“The government of Pakistan and most especially the Pakistani army and ISI” have chosen “to use violent extremism as an instrument of policy” to maintain leverage over Afghanistan’s future, Mullen testified during a hearing of the Senate Armed Services Committee. Defense Secretary Leon E. Panetta also testified.
As seen in the video above, Mullen’s remarks provoked a sharp response from Pakistani Foreign Minister Hina Rabbani Khar:
“You will lose an ally,” Khar told Geo TV in New York in remarks broadcast on Friday.
“You cannot afford to alienate Pakistan, you cannot afford to alienate the Pakistani people. If you are choosing to do so and if they are choosing to do so it will be at their (the United States’) own cost.”
Pakistani Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani also chimed in. From GEO:
The United States should take care of the feelings of 180 million people of Pakistan while issuing statements or commenting on important issues, said Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani on Friday.
He said, “Our 180 million people want to defend their motherland and its sovereignty”.
“US cannot live with us and without us,” he said and added “thus the United States should avoid sending ‘wrong messages’ which would affect the bilateral ties”.
From these comments, it is clear that both Khar and Gilani are warning the US that Pakistan could withdraw all cooperation if the war of words continues.
I will stand by the prediction I made yesterday:
Should the US be successful in attaching some sort of cooperation requirement for US funding to flow to Pakistan, look for some sort of token move by Pakistan that will provide even more heated rhetoric. The situation likely will then be resolved by Pakistan grudgingly cooperating in an action against the Haqqani network. The most important point to watch for in this current “crisis” will be to see just how high in the Haqqani network Pakistan is willing to go in sacrificing a part of it to the US in order to keep their seemingly endless supply of US funds flowing.
Stay tuned for further developments.
It seems an important part of this is the parallel effort at the UN for us to deny Palestine a state. Saudi Arabia has threatened us over that. They’re funding Pakistan on some of these activities. So while we’re dickering over sending more free money to our terrorists in Pakistan, the Saudis and the Pakistans may be thinking much bigger.
Meanwhile Obama is pushing to lift sanctions on torture regime Uzbekistan so we have another way to supply Afghanistan.
Everywhere you turn, it’s another case of “what could go wrong?”
It is also one of those situations where if the accusation is made, you had better have the hard evidence to back it up. This is even more important for us now after all of the well-documented lies perpetrated by the Bush Administration regarding the threats and activities by Saddam Hussein in particular [a drop in the bucket as it turns out for Bu$hie lying], because our credibility is shot in that part of the world.
Understand also that our recent overtures to India on trade and other matters is seen by Pakistan as an insult. India remains their mortal enemy.
Those troops we’re withdrawing from Iraq have to go *somewhere*.
Good for Foreign Minister Hina Rabbani Khar. She was very impressive, and I’m sure that she reflects the thoughts of many Pakistanis. The US had better listen and take her words seriously. There needs to be a comprehensive review of Operation Enduring Freedom.
This is a crazy relationship the US has, allying with a country (Pakistan) that is supporting US enemies in Afghanistan where the US is promoting the fortunes Pakistan’s mortal enemy India, and then complaining that Pakistan isn’t doing US bidding. It’s nuts but the US does it anyhow.
Russia, China and India must think the US policy is too good to be true, because it benefits all of them while it does harm does to the US.
in other news, acording to a recent army report:
Can *anyone* control the ISI?
It sounds like Obama/Clinton Co. has decided to play chicken with Pakistan’s generals, betting that they have become dependent enough on the toys we give them that they won’t abandon us.
But I’ll bet China would just *LOVE* to replace us in PAK. Recall that China is financing the construction of a major port in southern Baluchistan that would give them access to the Indian Ocean. Remember how the Great Game was all about preventing the Russians from gaining access to Pakistan’s ports? Now it looks like same game, different powers.
Bob in AZ
At the risk of exposing my ignorance, it seems that Haqqani + PK + nukes = trouble.
I don’t fault Petraeus one bit.
This appears to be lethal.
Between reading about PK/ISI involvement in that horrendous Mumbai massacre, along with OBL living near their military college for years, it’s interesting to watch the layers getting peeled off this onion.
@readerOfTeaLeaves: I may be way off here, but I get the distinct feeling that much of what is going on now can be described as gamesmanship. And the Pakistanis know that the nukes are WAY outside the boundaries of the game: if the nukes got involved, there’d be a full-scale invasion so fast Congress wouldn’t even have a chance to vote before the fact.
China has long had a close military relationship with China including military equipment.
sorry — make the first word Pakistan.
I’ll agree it’s lethal, but do we really need to be there and incite the locals with the not-totally-accurate drone strikes?
Don, for years Pakistan was the US ally in the region, we used Karachi a lot. India was the Soviet counterweight. But, you are correct in pointing out that the Chinese government is exploiting the situation. I wouldn’t be surprised to see their hands involved in creating wedges.
totally OT: MLB lowers the BOOM!
‘Major League Baseball on Friday asked a federal bankruptcy judge to order the sale of the Dodgers, arguing in court papers that Frank McCourt’s plan to retain ownership of the team is “dead on arrival.”‘
@rosalind: Not quite O/T; sounds like Obama’s reelection chances.
On topic – CBS News tonight reported the following:
How are you guys doing?
Jim another great posting & your as usual right for the most part, but you guys are missing the crucial part of ADM mullens testimony
Now you can pretty much read a lot into those words therefor ill give you some pointers
Iran(jerusalem), Pakistan, India see also new start and beyond. AQ (who we know whants to aquire nuklear material)i found this blog that states that the AFGH president just murdered just got back from Iran (dunno if it checks out though)
pls note mondus operandi
Pls also note in Hellmand they found “aluminum powder” thats the trademark of a pro (se its reaktions to water)
Pipelines, NATO southern supply route,
Knowing marcy and the rest of the gang here at EW that should be well enough to squise ½ the world secrets out of any administration
Have fun and give em’ hell marcy
OT – An update via CNN on the CIA pulling its ads from Arab American News, and since then, relenting by putting them back up:
Why did the CIA pull ads from a Muslim paper in Detroit?
More OT – Via a story in The Guardian comes this:
The UK approach to unmanned aircraft systems. (102 page PDF)
@MadDog: Apparently this was also reported yesterday in a Reuter’s piece:
And even more OT (or not), via the White House, John Brennan’s remarks at the Harvard Law School, September 16, 2011:
Strengthening our Security by Adhering to our Values and Laws
And a sample of the GWOT policies expressed:
Trash Talk is a coming.
Don’t be afraid, Trash Talk will not hurt you.
Trash Talk is good.
You know you want to partake in Trash;
Your wait is almost over.
Yah, but Obama doesn’t have a TV deal with Fox.
So Brennan and his buddies are trying to strongarm NATO into supporting the DOD and the CIA, against their (possibly) better judgement?
Hope you have a segment on the disloyalty
of Curt Schilling.
Along with Clemens, he’s a typical Republican dickhead.
Spahn and Sain and pray for rain?
Why not quit your lawyering gig, and become a
full time sports writer?
I don’t think it’s nice to highjack Jim’s thread with sports crap.
With all due respect, I think Jim loves sports…
@Bay State Librul:
I think Jim doesn’t want his threads highjacked, so there. And whatever he thinks, I’ll bark about it when it happens ‘cuz he’s my favorite EW diarist in the whole world especially when he agrees with me which is amazingly and inexplicably often.
Now excuse me, I have to go to bmaz and spout off some war stuff. Baseball is so booooring.
Hard evidence? It’s the US that is behind the terrorism so the only available evidence will not be produced in DC, although the NYT today–9.25.11–noted that the US taxpayer is supporting the Haqqani network paying them to allow our supply convoys to go thru.
Remember the Raymond Davis affair? He shot two Pakistani police agents apparently because they had evidence that he was one of the agents behind the terror attacks–in Pakistan? Afghanistan? India?–all three?
So the Paks forced the repatriation of all similar US agents–more than 60 or more– and the US has been a tizzy ever since to allow them back in. Their mission: destablize Pakistan.
It was such a scandal that the Paks finally decided not to continue to allow the destabilization of their country.
The US response: We’ll destabilize you anyway or any which way.
@readerOfTeaLeaves: I think there are interests in Pakistan which don’t really want us or Zardari interfering with their profit-making and there are political interests which would like to see a mess develop which they can blame on Obama.
American policy has been to cooperate with Zardari and that has generally gone well. But, the opponents of Zardari and Obama want trouble and they’re good at creating it.
Frankly, if there are people who want trouble, then they would be very lucky to avoid it arriving at their own door. Sadly, this can refer also to people in many parts of the world far from Pakistan.