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30 August 2011


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what I said for Pakistan goes for Iran as well, even more so since their nuclear thread as of now is a putative one.

US actions as much as Iranian intentions, which interact, can change that. As a matter of fact, the US policies of the last decade have made it more likely for that threat to possibly manifest itself.


The easiest American option, if they could trust the Pakistani generals, would be for Pakistan to capture OBL. This story of them having to oblige Saudi Arabia is constructed to avoid that issue. The other uncomfortable issue sidestepped is that of possible Pakistani public opinion in favor of OBL.

Since you also have the opinion that Obama was seeking personal glory and reelection by authorizing a risky raid, we see how feeble arguments based on the President's character are.

Since you are the military guys, tell me how this works. Does an assurance from Kayani mean that he tells subordinates to ignore explosions and gunfire and UFOs on the radar? Or is it that on detecting such, the question of what to do goes up the entire chain of command? In brief, how do assurances from Kayani not translate into actions invisible to the supposed bad eggs responsible for sheltering OBL? Wouldn't not being caught by surprise even by 5 minutes not jeopardize the SEALs' mission?

Anyway, far more important than OBL is the army's role in this:



Yes, Pasha met Panetta in DC April 13 2011. But then he met Pakistan President Zardari in Turkey.

Presumably he had something to brief Zardari on, other than OBL. So that OBL was on the agenda in that April 13 th dash to DC is not at all necessary because whatever else.was on the agenda was sufficiently important. The argument, what could it have been other than OBL, which Brig FB Ali is trying to imply, without explicitly stating it, falls flat. Unless we want to postulate that Zardari was also told about OBL.

William R. Cumming

If the President campaigns on his success in killing UBL he will lose for sure.

Arun Gupta

One more data point: Dexter Filkins in the New Yorker:


And then Shahzad changed the subject. What he really wanted to talk about was his own safety. “Look, I’m in danger,” he said. “I’ve got to get out of Pakistan.” He added that he had a wife and three kids, and they weren’t safe, either. He’d been to London recently, and someone there had promised to help him move to England.

The trouble, he said, had begun on March 25th, the day that he published the story about bin Laden’s being on the move. The next morning, he got a phone call from an officer at the I.S.I., summoning him to the agency’s headquarters, in Aabpara, a neighborhood in eastern Islamabad. When Shahzad showed up, he was met by three I.S.I. officers. The lead man, he said, was a naval officer, Rear Admiral Adnan Nazir, who serves as the head of the I.S.I.’s media division.

“They were very polite,” Shahzad told me. He glanced over his shoulder. “They don’t shout, they don’t threaten you. This is the way they operate. But they were very angry with me.” The I.S.I. officers asked him to write a second story, retracting the first. He refused.

And then Admiral Nazir made a remark so bizarre that Shahzad said he had thought about it every day since.

“We want the world to believe that Osama is dead,” Nazir said.

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