« "Israel’s Nukes" By Richard Sale | Main | Pakistan wants a Chinese naval base. »

26 October 2011


Feed You can follow this conversation by subscribing to the comment feed for this post.

Cato the Censor

What the Taliban leaders say may very well be true, but if I were a Talib trying to stir up dissent between the U.S. and Pakistan, these are exactly the sort of allegations that I would want to make. Again, I'm not disputing that what they say may be true, just that it's hard to distinguish hard facts from statements made with ulterior motives through the Clausewitzian fog.

Jim Ticehurst

No Surprise..to Me.Col..Long suspected they were Protecting Bin Laden..and perhaps helped Set up an Ambush for Team 6..recently along with the many Convoy Ambush's..that froze vehicles into sitting targets inside pakistan..We just never Learn..to the Delight of Many other Nations..
Thanks to NEOCON Policys..We still Pay the Price in American Blood..for the Domino's..That Yet will Fall in Failure..As you Once said.."Something Evil..This way Cometh.."....Indeed..Sir..indeed..


Er... IIUC, The only "news" here is the candid admission by the Taliban of their Pakistani support, right?


Obviously, there is an easy solution to all this. Wise up and get real about war goals in Afghanistan - what can be achieved, and what can't, whether it is feasible to pursue policies there that run counter to what Pakistan perceives as their vital national interest (it appears it isn't, really), what the US interest is in this etc pp.

Oh wait, false answer. Let me check my Weekly Standard talking points ...

OBVIOUSLY, the only reasonable solution is to launch a full scale surprise attack on Afghanistan, Pakistan and Iran, preferably at the same time. Nobody will expect that, thus the US will achieve total and complete strategic surprise.

This brilliant move will in particular catch realists in the US, Afghanistan, Iran and Pakistan completely off guard, and it will demonstrate the indomitable US will to boldly lead where nobody else dares to go (and it will also punish these pesky little countries and the people who happen to live there that dare defy the will of American think think punditry - they really have it coming for that).



Why would the Taliban want to cause trouble between the US and Pakistan? Relations are terrible between the two countries. They have a sanctuary in Pakistan and have more or less fought the Pakistan army to a stndstill in Waziristan. Why would they want to stir up the Pakistanis? pl


So how does Pakistan's military and law enforcement feel about all this? Haven't their casualties been far higher than ours and NATO's? How about the Afghan soldiers and policemen?

Obviously this won't come as news to them, but where's the outrage? Why are their top officers letting their people die and be injured when the Pakistani government plays both sides of the battlefield against each other?

Colm O' Toole

Well a few things strike me about this. Recently read Syed Saleem Shahzad's book "Inside Al-Qaeda and the Taliban" which really goes into detail on all the major factions within the Taliban and also talks about the role of the ISI.

Firstly on the ISI, it is known that alot of devout Muslims in the ISI retired after 9/11 and alot more were expelled during Musharaf's purges of the military and ISI. Could well be this group that is providing support. I look at it as similar to former US vets joining patriot and militia movements in the US. In Pakistan its Jihadist and Talib groups that these people join after military service. Could give the impression that the trainers are official ISI.

Secondly which faction of the Taliban are these commanders speaking of? The Tehrik E Taliban (AKA Pakistani Taliban) have a large interest in inciting a conflict between the US and Pakistan. As do the Al Qaeda groups like 313 Brigade and Lashkar Zil.

But anyway wouldn't be suprised. Pakistan does have long links to not only the Haqqani Network but also the Quetta Shura (or classic Taliban).

John Waring

Read "Ghost Wars" by Stephen Coll. Pakistan has played us like a violin for thirty years.






Obviously I am not Pat but this appears to be the place to start.



I've never seen a willing violin in my entire life. I suggest the answer lies elsewhere. We built the violin. We put it in their hands. We provide the music sheets. We payed for the tutor. We even payed for the PR that, occasionally, and in less than MSM forums, TOLD us we were being played. And so on.

Are we victim (played)? Or are we perp (player). For whatever apparently inexplicable reason/s?

Complex...but the biggest clues lie at Tora Bora.



Nah. We are just stupid. pl

William R. Cumming

Do we or should we consider the Taliban or ISI as terrorist organizations?


Is that we are just stupid? There was/(is ?) an entrenched coterie of "South Asia" experts, whose world view seems to be stuck in the 1950s, which at least in the press and in the literature seem to dominate the discourse (until recently). Their names appeared all over the State Department sponsored meetings and in testimony to Congress committees. They have had the greatest trouble in facing the reality of Pakistan. Instead they view Pakistan through the lens of "Pakistan & USSR" or "Pakistan & China" or "Pakistan & India".



Love how you don't beat around the bush, succinct and to the point. LOL


Well Col, I'm over 60. So I don't rule "stupid" out in any circumstances. But if stupid is the explanation, that is some "stupid". You must agree.

There is an old saying in law:

"Any sufficiently advanced incompetence is indistinguishable from malice."

This is rises to the level of malice. If I knew, (and I did) me, a civilian, what does that say about them?

And I still say there are lots of things to learn from Tora Bora.....


An inquiring mind should check into the ownership structure of the two ammonium nitrate fertilizer plants in Pakistan that source the raw material for IEDs. One wonders where that would lead.


This is from a highly reliable Pakistani with long eperience and continuing contacts on both sides of the border:

"I don't know these fellows. Never heard their names. However, the ONLY accessible Taliban found in Kabul belong to the Hizb-e-Islami, Gulbaddin Hikmatyar's group, now irrelevant.
Back in the 1980s he was the ISI's and, therefore, the CIA's favorite. After the Soviet withdrawal, he was expected to take over. He did, but was unacceptable to most Afghans . Soon after he was "deserted" by the ISI. Last year, his entire force was almst eliminated in Jalalabad by the Haqqanis but for a rescue operation by Karzai's forces.

Yes, they would be easily bought by the CIA to say anything against Pakistan/ISI----they would willingly do so anyway!

Anybody receiving assistance from the ISI would NEVER disclose it, for fear of losing support"


I think Col. Lang pinpointed the problem some considerable time ago; They don't want to be like us. They are not us. They do not want the same things we want.

To put that another way; The American "One size fits all" democratic model is not their model and anyone who starts from the assumption that Pakistani motivations match Americas is doomed to failure before they open their mouth.

To put that yet another way; Pakistan has not "Played America like a violin" they didn't need to. They just sat back and let nature take its course as the hill tribes have been doing for what? A Thousand years?



"An inquiring mind should check into the ownership structure of the two ammonium nitrate fertilizer plants in Pakistan that source the raw material for IEDs. One wonders where that would lead."

An inquiring mind should consider why on one hand Western Aid Agencies were handing out Ammonium Nitrate fertiliser in parts of Afghanistan and "we" - Australians(?) were sending patrols out to confiscate it ASAP on the other.


Dr. Brenner

Hikmatyar may have been a friend to ISI but never to the CIA. The man who headed the CIA mission in Pakistan back in the USSR war days went to a meeting with Hikmatyar to meet him. GH's first words were, "you have come to kill me have you not?" Don't let the "America the conspiratorial devil" stuff sweep you into such judgments. You consistently seek rational patterns in US Government actions. Such a thoing would be a rarity. There is something in this story that tells me it is largely true. pl



OK. We played the violin for ourselves. We usually do. In 40 years of doing this sort of thing, it has been a contiinuing theme that the Americans deceive themselves about the locals. It is also a continuing theme that conspiracy theory buffs do not believe that the USA is as inept as it is,

As for the ammonium nitrate, do you really think all these characters wandering around out there have coordinated their efforts so that they do not conflict? pl


Pakistan's ammonium nitrate manufacturer:

About Pakarab Fertilizers:

"Pakarab Fertilizers Limited was established as a result of protocol concluded and signed on November 15, 1972 by the Government of Pakistan to further strengthen and develop fraternal ties between Islamic Republic of Pakistan and State of Abu Dhabi."

"Under the privatization policy of Government of Pakistan, Pakarab Fertilizers Limited was privatized on July 14, 2005 at a cost of Rs.14.125 billion. It was acquired by a consortium of Fatima Group and Arif Habib Group."


The structure of the Arif Habib company, holders of 50% of Pakarab Fertilizers:


The comments to this entry are closed.

My Photo

February 2021

Sun Mon Tue Wed Thu Fri Sat
  1 2 3 4 5 6
7 8 9 10 11 12 13
14 15 16 17 18 19 20
21 22 23 24 25 26 27
Blog powered by Typepad