For the past few days, the major media outlets have been reporting something (again) that should not come as a shock to our nation, and I’m sure is no surprise to the U.S. military or intelligence community. Pakistan is not really a good ally, or perhaps even a trusted partner in the U.S. effort to create a stable Afghanistan and eliminate the Taliban and Al-Qaeda presence or influence there or within its own borders in the Federally Administered Tribal Areas.
The Pakistani government routinely chastises the U.S. for conducting drone attacks on Taliban, Al-Qaeda, or militant leaders within the Tribal Areas. Leaders who cross the border regularly from Pakistan into Afghanistan to coordinate attacks against U.S. and Afghan forces. Admiral Mullen, outgoing Chairman of the Joint Chiefs was the first senior U.S. government official to actually call out the Pakistani Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) organization as being a supporter of the attack on the U.S. Embassy last week during his testimony before the Senate Armed Services Committee.
It gets worse. Remember where we found Usama Bin Laden? That’s right. In Pakistan. A little town called Abbottabad that just happens to be where a large number of Pakistani military senior officers retire to, and home of the Pakistani Military Academy. You may also remember that we did not tell the Pakistani government that we were sending an armed assault force into their sovereign territory to capture or kill Bin Laden. That in itself proves the point. Pakistan is not really our full ally or trusted friend, despite the political rhetoric from U.S. and Pakistani governments since 9/11.
If they were, we would have briefed the Pakistani government on Bin Laden’s location, asked for permission to send in a team to capture him, and they would have agreed, or at the very least assaulted the house themselves and turned him over to us. That’s what we do when we deal with an ally or friendly nation, because we know they would be happy to accommodate the request of a friend.
Instead, we sent our Special Operations Forces to sneak into Pakistan with stealth helicopters, staged a daring raid in the middle of the night, killed Bin Laden, took everything we could of intelligence value, and snuck out again, leaving the Pakistanis a destroyed stealth helicopter. The remains of which they probably allowed nations like China and Russia to examine and sample, for a small fee of course, before they let us come pick up the parts.
Pakistan has obviously decided that it isn’t interested in being a full partner in dealing with Al-Qaeda, the Taliban, and the remaining insurgents in Afghanistan. In fact, the Haqqani network, probably the biggest threat to the U.S military and U.S. goals in Afghanistan at the present time, in spite of being strongly supported by the U.S. during the Soviet occupation of Afghanistan, is allegedly now supported by the Pakistani ISI.
It’s past time the U.S. began to cut back massively on our aid to Pakistan, and hold the Pakistani government directly responsible for the ISI’s actions by revealing what it knows about the ISI’s activities that work to undermine U.S. and Afghan efforts to keep Afghanistan on a path to self determination and governance.