Rogue State Pakistan

Interesting news, if “Dog Bites Man” stories can be considered interesting. Not on their surface, of course, but the implications which they contain. A dog biting man story begs the question “Who owns the dog?”. Our story though is not about something as mundane as a dog but of a putative ally, Pakistan.

Report: Pakistani spy agency supports Taliban

ISLAMABAD – Pakistan’s main spy agency continues to arm and train the Taliban and is even represented on the group’s leadership council despite U.S. pressure to sever ties and billions in aid to combat the militants, said a research report released Sunday.

….But the report issued Sunday by the London School of Economics offered one of the strongest cases that assistance to the group is official ISI policy, and even extends to the highest levels of the Pakistani government.

“Pakistan’s apparent involvement in a double-game of this scale could have major geopolitical implications and could even provoke U.S. countermeasures,” said the report, which was based on interviews with Taliban commanders, former Taliban officials, Western diplomats and many others.

Here is a text of the actual report (PDF):

The Sun in The Sky: The Relationship Between The ISI and Afghan Insurgents

I wager the case therein is understated when measured against the actual reality. 

Of course, I am not surprised. a while back, I asked why Pakistan was considered an ally rather than an enemy of the United States:

The horns of our dilemma is that our long time “ally” whom we have hitched ourselves to in a grand war effort against revolutionary Islamist terrorism is not our ally at all, but a co-belligerent with our enemy. By every policy measure that matters that causes the United States – justifiably in my view – to take a tough stance against North Korea and Iran, applies in spades to Islamabad. Yet none dare call Pakistan a rogue state.

It is the elephant in our strategy room – if the elephant was a rabid and schizophrenic trained mastodon, still willing to perform simple tricks for a neverending stream of treats, even as it eyes its trainer and audience with a murderous kind of hatred. That Pakistan’s deeply corrupt elite can be “rented” to defer their ambitions, or to work at cross-purposes with Pakistan’s perceived  “interests”, is not a game-changing event. Instead, it sustains and ramps up the dysfunctional dynamic we find ourselves swimming against.

What is interesting is how broad a consensus view of Pakistani perfidy this is coming to be across the American political spectrum. Let us take two blogfriends of starkly different political coloration as examples, Pundita and Steve Hynd of Newshoggers.com. First Pundita:

Miss Pundita is an inside the Beltway blogger with expertise and interest in the financial-economic and diplomatic nuances of American national security and foreign policy. She is quite conservative, tending, IMHO, to a mix of hard-nosed realism on economic realities and neoconservatism on potential security threats. Here is what she posted on Pakistan:

British report exposes Pakistani regime’s support for Taliban terrorism (UPDATED 2 X)

However, after I finally got to read Waldman’s paper I noticed that his conclusion repeats the canard that if only the Indian Kashmir problem could be solved, this would go a long way to tamping down the Pakistan regime’s murderous rampages. In other words, he’s saying that India bears a big responsibility for the Pakistani regime’s murder and mayhem against NATO troops in Afghanistan.Readers may recall the New York Times (or maybe it was the LA Times; I’d have to check my archives) reporting last year that the CIA station chief in Kabul accused his counterpart in Islamabad of Going Native; i.e., sympathizing far too much with the Pakistani regime’s view of things.

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