Out-going Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Admiral Mike Mullen accused Pakistan of not only aiding terrorism against the US, but of fomenting it by supporting and directing the militant Haqqani network. By the way, the Haqqanis are located among the semi-autonomous, Federally-Administered Tribal Areas (FATA) and are a US-manufactured group dating back to the days of our war against the Soviet Union in Afghanistan. Not to be out-done, calls are coming from Congress to take military action against Pakistanand to send US troops within Pakistan to resolve the “Haqqani problem”; it is, after all, time for elections.
While such strong statements may pander well to the American public, they do nothing to help ease the increasingly worsening situation in the “Af-Pak” region in fact, such speeches only underscore the dismal state of understanding of the problems in that region. America defines problems exclusively as they relate to itself and attempts to define the origins and broader impacts of the underlying issues, are regarded as treason. Continue reading
“U.S. Is Deferring Millions in Pakistani Military Aid”
“WASHINGTON – The Obama administration is suspending and, in some cases, canceling hundreds of millions of dollars of aid to the Pakistani military, in a move to chasten Pakistan for expelling American military trainers and to press its army to fight militants more effectively.”
This headline may strike well at home in the US, but it reflects the arrogant, self-centered, group-think that has become the hallmark of the US. To be sure, there are many lobbies that will applaud this decision, lobbies such as, Right-wing Republicans, the Tea Party, right-wing Jewish and Christian groups and of course, there is always India. To these groups, any bashing of the “nucular, trrrrst” Pakistan is a welcome development.
Of course, Pakistan does deserve a swift kick in the behind and often, but this is not the time to do so. A sudden cutting off of aid reinforces the unreliability of the US as a friend and partner; the US has been complaining for long that the US-Pakistan relationship is a transactional one and by treating it so transactionally right now, the US is telling Pakistan…the civilians and the military… that the US cannot be trusted when Pakistan needs a friend Continue reading
First published March 7, 2007. Recently, Vice-President Dick Cheney made a surprise visit to Pakistan during which he apparently lectured Pakistan’s President Parvez Musharraf for not doing enough to fight Taliban and Al-Qaeda in Afghanistan and in Pakistan. Clearly, this visit and lecture were meant for US consumption otherwise, Mr. Cheney would also have noted that Pakistan has lost more soldiers in this fight than NATO and US troops in Afghanistan put together and that it is Pakistan’s stability that is being threatened by our War On Terror, not the stability of any of the others. Mr. Cheney might also have noted some of the reasons for Pakistan’s vested interest in Afghanistan, an interest that will still be there after the last coalition soldier has long gone. Continue reading