What Pakistan’s Intelligence Ties Say About Ending the War on Terrorism
The International Herald Tribune today reports on a recent CIA mission to Pakistan to confront leaders of the ISI there about the ties ISI members retain to the Taliban and al Qaeda.
The CIA assessment specifically points to links between members of the spy service, the Directorate for Inter-Services Intelligence, or ISI, and the militant network led by Maulavi Jalaluddin Haqqani, which American officials believe maintains close ties to senior figures of Al Qaeda in Pakistan’s tribal areas.
The CIA has depended heavily on the ISI for information about militants in Pakistan, despite longstanding concerns about divided loyalties within the Pakistani spy service, which had close relations with the Taliban in Afghanistan before the Sept. 11 attacks.
This is not new, but is useful when juxtaposed with the conclusions of the new and very useful Rand Corporation report on how to end terrorism.
While the central argument of the study is to make police work and intelligence the backbone of the counterterrorism efforts, it also argues strongly for a greatly reduced U.S. military presence and overall reduced footprint abroad.
And in the meantime, Bush is praising “Pakistan as an ally on counterterrorism”. I’m not surprised that there are people who consider that Bush’s GWOT is off target. That same Rand Corporation report says:
The analysis focuses on a little-studied aspect of what one might call a terrorist group’s “life cycle.” Examining 648 historical cases of terrorist groups between 1968 and 2006 and their eventual ends, the report concludes that most groups end because they are either incorporated into the political process (43 percent) or are eliminated through police and intelligence services seizing or killing group leaders (40 percent).
“In most cases, military force is too blunt of an instrument and ineffective at ending terrorist groups,” says Jones, a well-known Rand expert on Afghanistan who is also an adjunct political science professor at Georgetown University’s School of Foreign Service.
For one thing, they point out, a major American military role sets the stage for a backlash. “The U.S. military can play a critical role in building indigenous capacity but should generally resist being drawn into combat operations in Muslim countries, where its presence is likely to increase terrorist recruitment,” Jones and Libicki wrote.
Interesting thing… But according to the ISI involvement with Taliban and Islamist terrorists (they have been used against India), who is really recruiting those terrorists? And if Pakistan is soooo good an ally, why CIA has pointed out those plots between members of ISI and Taliban terrorists? Wouldn’t that be a real violation of other people’s territory? What is more: the result of those “talks” between Pakistani Government and the Taliban are already on the table:
Pakistan’s talks with extremists have resulted in a 40 percent rise in rebel activity in Afghanistan, the NATO force said Wednesday, as authorities reported a British soldier had been killed.
Yes, Pakistan is a great ally.