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Thread: Pakistan shuts down U.S. 'intelligence fusion' cells

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    Pakistan shuts down U.S. 'intelligence fusion' cells

    The Los Angeles Times reported:

    In a clear sign of Pakistan's deepening mistrust of the United States, Islamabad has told the Obama administration to reduce the number of U.S. troops in the country and has moved to close three military intelligence liaison centers, setting back American efforts to eliminate insurgent sanctuaries in largely lawless areas bordering Afghanistan, U.S. officials said.

    The liaison centers, also known as intelligence fusion cells, in Quetta and Peshawar are the main conduits for the United States to share satellite imagery, target data and other intelligence with Pakistani ground forces conducting operations against militants, including Taliban fighters who slip into Afghanistan to attack U.S. and allied forces.
    U.S. Pakistan intelligence: Pakistan shuts down U.S. 'intelligence fusion' cells - latimes.com

    This is a worrying but not entirely surprising development. This development is the latest consequence of a weak, corrupt, and incompetent government in Pakistan that has increasingly embraced accommodation with radical elements in a bid to survive. However, on account of that government's questionable legitimacy, such efforts are not likely to insulate it from growing centrifugal pressures, radical elements seeking power, and the established or emergent political opposition. In the meantime, such an evolution has potentially significant ramifications for the U.S. The U.S. can ill-afford to fall behind the curve of developments in Pakistan.

    In the past, I suggested that the U.S. should avoid pushing then President Musharraf from power (http://www.debatepolitics.com/archiv...-response.html). Instead, I preferred that the U.S. work behind-the-scenes with President Musharraf to help Pakistan build effective democratic institutions so that when elections were held, Pakistan would possess the capacity to sustain its democratic governance.

    I also noted that unfortunately, the U.S. has sometimes lacked a strategic approach to foreign policy. Its foreign policy has occasionally been reactive rather than proactive.

    IMO, the bias for being reactive contributed to the United States pressuring President Musharraf to abandon power. Now, with Pakistan accelerating its shift from marginal and inconsistent cooperation to increasing lack of cooperation, if not episodic hostility to the U.S. government and U.S. interests, it is becoming more evident that the U.S. likely made a strategic error in accelerating President Musharraf’s departure. That the U.S. did it with the best intentions of democratic reform in the naive belief that elections would immediately lead to democracy does not alleviate it of the burdens that are now accumulating. To be sure, President Musharraf was not entirely cooperative, but his military regime was more reliable than the one now in place. His recent anti-U.S. rhetoric e.g., calling the operation against Osama Bin Laden an "act of war," is very likely the result of lingering bitterness from the U.S. role that led to his political demise and exile from Pakistan.

    The U.S. cannot turn back the clock and it cannot undo the situation. However, it can take measures to manage the situation so as to mitigate the potential fallout should Pakistan either collapse into a failed state or develop into a fully hostile entity, although neither outcome is assured just yet (a continuing slow decay of Pakistan's regime and a muddling through in terms of its policy is probably the most likely scenario in the near-term).

    Toward that end, the immediate questions concern:

    • Will the U.S. military have the strategic foresight to identify and begin to phase-in alternative supply routes that reduce dependence on Pakistan and reduce that country’s ability to exploit the ill-advised single route approach over which it can exact disproportionate leverage?

    • Will the U.S. military develop a plan to secure or destroy Pakistan's nuclear weapons and/or deter the proliferation of such weapons, should such a nightmare situation become necessary?

    • Will the U.S. government have the strategic foresight to deepen bilateral relations with India and to intensify relationship building with Afghanistan’s neighboring states (excluding Iran and Pakistan) so as to offset the costs of the worsening relationship with Pakistan (should that trajectory continue) and, if necessary, establish and sustain a regional balance of power that neither Iran nor Pakistan could exploit?

    • Will the U.S. government have the strategic foresight to link continued assistance to Pakistan to concrete conduct and cooperation and, absent that conduct, will it have the courage to draw down the assistance, even as an increasingly uncooperative Pakistan contributes a diminishing minimum of cooperation to try to hang onto the foreign aid?

    Ideally, the bilateral relationship can still be mended. However, that may well be a difficult challenge, especially if Pakistan continues to slide toward failed state status whereby an ever weaker regime runs larger risks in a bid to survive. In any case, the U.S. should have a coherent strategy in place should the relationship continue to deteriorate or even collapse. Otherwise, its ability to secure its goals and safeguard its regional interests could be compromised.
    Last edited by donsutherland1; 05-26-11 at 11:37 PM.

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    Re: Pakistan shuts down U.S. 'intelligence fusion' cells

    Pakistan is forcing our withdrawal from A-stan. Starting with shutting down liaison centers....and eventually closing our supply routes.

    Once we are out of A-stan, the Pakis turn to their Chinese benefactors. The one that will sell them arms for cheaper prices than ours

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    Re: Pakistan shuts down U.S. 'intelligence fusion' cells

    This is a direct result of us having a weak leader with no idea of how to deal with allies or friends. Obama has shown the world that he is lacking the leadership and forcefulness needed to be a leader, not only here but in the whole World.

    I lay this at the feet of Obama because he has been such a poor excuse not only as a leader but as an American in general.

    He seems to stand only for what ever can keep his ignorant followers in his corner.

    If Obama wants to make changes in the World he needs to set an example that sticks to the principles that got the US to be, as Ronald Reagan put it, "The Shining City on The Hill."

    Obama needs at least one advisor who is not a radical who will stand up to his Black Liberation Theology ideology that is so anti-American that that it clouds his judgement.

    If you ask would i say this to his face the answer is HELL YES I would.

    Obama marks a milestone in my life, in that he is the first one in the office that is so unqualified to hold the office that I could do a better job in my sleep, than he is doing.

    Maybe that is because I dream of the US as it was envisioned by our founders who not only had a dream but fought and died to make possible for us.

    My Dad fought in WW-II to give you and I what we have as generations have done for about 235 years and we are blowing it because of Obama.

    We have to put our mark on the World by putting Obama on the street, and out of the Oval Office.

    He has made us look like the weak limp wristed step sister cowering in the corner apologizing for things we should be proud of.
    Last edited by Councilman; 05-27-11 at 08:52 AM.

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    Re: Pakistan shuts down U.S. 'intelligence fusion' cells

    Quote Originally Posted by Councilman View Post
    This is a direct result of us having a weak leader with no idea of how to deal with allies or friends. Obama has shown the world that he is lacking the leadership and forcefulness needed to be a leader, not only here but in the whole World.
    So how could have Obama stopped a soveriegn government choosing what to do with it's own territory after the US has already violated it once?
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    Re: Pakistan shuts down U.S. 'intelligence fusion' cells

    Quote Originally Posted by Councilman View Post
    .

    He has made us look like the weak limp wristed step sister cowering in the corner apologizing for things we should be proud of.
    Which apologies do you belive where unwarented?

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    Re: Pakistan shuts down U.S. 'intelligence fusion' cells

    Quote Originally Posted by Councilman View Post
    This is a direct result of us having a weak leader with no idea of how to deal with allies or friends. Obama has shown the world that he is lacking the leadership and forcefulness needed to be a leader, not only here but in the whole World.

    I lay this at the feet of Obama because he has been such a poor excuse not only as a leader but as an American in general.

    He seems to stand only for what ever can keep his ignorant followers in his corner.

    If Obama wants to make changes in the World he needs to set an example that sticks to the principles that got the US to be, as Ronald Reagan put it, "The Shining City on The Hill."

    Obama needs at least one advisor who is not a radical who will stand up to his Black Liberation Theology ideology that is so anti-American that that it clouds his judgement.

    If you ask would i say this to his face the answer is HELL YES I would.

    Obama marks a milestone in my life, in that he is the first one in the office that is so unqualified to hold the office that I could do a better job in my sleep, than he is doing.

    Maybe that is because I dream of the US as it was envisioned by our founders who not only had a dream but fought and died to make possible for us.

    My Dad fought in WW-II to give you and I what we have as generations have done for about 235 years and we are blowing it because of Obama.

    We have to put our mark on the World by putting Obama on the street, and out of the Oval Office.

    He has made us look like the weak limp wristed step sister cowering in the corner apologizing for things we should be proud of.
    so....this is all Obama's fault because he had the balls to make the call to go into that hellhole, and bleach out a shytestain on the undies of humanity? and poor pakistan, who was, in my opinion, harboring osama bin hidin' , now have their undies in a bunch? awww...poor thangs...if i were Obama, i'd say 'fine, no more funding for you, and expect everytime we get intelligence that you are harboring terrorists, expect us to be paying you a little visit, we are done dealing with backstabbers'.

    OBAMA GOT OSAMA

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    Re: Pakistan shuts down U.S. 'intelligence fusion' cells

    Quote Originally Posted by spud_meister View Post
    So how could have Obama stopped a soveriegn government choosing what to do with it's own territory after the US has already violated it once?
    Obama comes across as a big pussy to these people, a paper tiger, and a big bloviator. He doesn't impress them as a man with guts. He doesn't impress them as tough. Don't be a fool, and believe that this has no bearing. It's everything. When President doesn't seem tough....neither does our country. They look at his domestic policy too, where he's not leading. He looks weak and feable. I'm telling you that the cowboy held their attention and respect, whether liked him or not. They were afraid of him. He cut wood, he meant what he said, and he was on the offensive all the time. I know you'll deny, and so will every liberal in lockstep.
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    Re: Pakistan shuts down U.S. 'intelligence fusion' cells

    America needs to de-fund Pakistan. They are acting irrationally and I am growing more skeptical based on their actions that they may be supporting or harboring terrorism and terrorist organizations.
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    Re: Pakistan shuts down U.S. 'intelligence fusion' cells

    Quote Originally Posted by American View Post
    Obama comes across as a big pussy to these people, a paper tiger, and a big bloviator. He doesn't impress them as a man with guts. He doesn't impress them as tough. Don't be a fool, and believe that this has no bearing. It's everything. When President doesn't seem tough....neither does our country. They look at his domestic policy too, where he's not leading. He looks weak and feable. I'm telling you that the cowboy held their attention and respect, whether liked him or not. They were afraid of him. He cut wood, he meant what he said, and he was on the offensive all the time. I know you'll deny, and so will every liberal in lockstep.
    What is better....a President who "talks tough" or one that gets results? hmmmmmmmmm......seems like you prefer the former....personally I'll take the latter.
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    Re: Pakistan shuts down U.S. 'intelligence fusion' cells

    Quote Originally Posted by donsutherland1 View Post
    The Los Angeles Times reported:



    U.S. Pakistan intelligence: Pakistan shuts down U.S. 'intelligence fusion' cells - latimes.com

    This is a worrying but not entirely surprising development. This development is the latest consequence of a weak, corrupt, and incompetent government in Pakistan that has increasingly embraced accommodation with radical elements in a bid to survive. However, on account of that government's questionable legitimacy, such efforts are not likely to insulate it from growing centrifugal pressures, radical elements seeking power, and the established or emergent political opposition. In the meantime, such an evolution has potentially significant ramifications for the U.S. The U.S. can ill-afford to fall behind the curve of developments in Pakistan.

    In the past, I suggested that the U.S. should avoid pushing then President Musharraf from power (http://www.debatepolitics.com/archiv...-response.html). Instead, I preferred that the U.S. work behind-the-scenes with President Musharraf to help Pakistan build effective democratic institutions so that when elections were held, Pakistan would possess the capacity to sustain its democratic governance.

    I also noted that unfortunately, the U.S. has sometimes lacked a strategic approach to foreign policy. Its foreign policy has occasionally been reactive rather than proactive.

    IMO, the bias for being reactive contributed to the United States pressuring President Musharraf to abandon power. Now, with Pakistan accelerating its shift from marginal and inconsistent cooperation to increasing lack of cooperation, if not episodic hostility to the U.S. government and U.S. interests, it is becoming more evident that the U.S. likely made a strategic error in accelerating President Musharraf’s departure. That the U.S. did it with the best intentions of democratic reform in the naive belief that elections would immediately lead to democracy does not alleviate it of the burdens that are now accumulating. To be sure, President Musharraf was not entirely cooperative, but his military regime was more reliable than the one now in place. His recent anti-U.S. rhetoric e.g., calling the operation against Osama Bin Laden an "act of war," is very likely the result of lingering bitterness from the U.S. role that led to his political demise and exile from Pakistan.

    The U.S. cannot turn back the clock and it cannot undo the situation. However, it can take measures to manage the situation so as to mitigate the potential fallout should Pakistan either collapse into a failed state or develop into a fully hostile entity, although neither outcome is assured just yet (a continuing slow decay of Pakistan's regime and a muddling through in terms of its policy is probably the most likely scenario in the near-term).

    Toward that end, the immediate questions concern:

    • Will the U.S. military have the strategic foresight to identify and begin to phase-in alternative supply routes that reduce dependence on Pakistan and reduce that country’s ability to exploit the ill-advised single route approach over which it can exact disproportionate leverage?

    • Will the U.S. military develop a plan to secure or destroy Pakistan's nuclear weapons and/or deter the proliferation of such weapons, should such a nightmare situation become necessary?

    • Will the U.S. government have the strategic foresight to deepen bilateral relations with India and to intensify relationship building with Afghanistan’s neighboring states (excluding Iran and Pakistan) so as to offset the costs of the worsening relationship with Pakistan (should that trajectory continue) and, if necessary, establish and sustain a regional balance of power that neither Iran nor Pakistan could exploit?

    • Will the U.S. government have the strategic foresight to link continued assistance to Pakistan to concrete conduct and cooperation and, absent that conduct, will it have the courage to draw down the assistance, even as an increasingly uncooperative Pakistan contributes a diminishing minimum of cooperation to try to hang onto the foreign aid?

    Ideally, the bilateral relationship can still be mended. However, that may well be a difficult challenge, especially if Pakistan continues to slide toward failed state status whereby an ever weaker regime runs larger risks in a bid to survive. In any case, the U.S. should have a coherent strategy in place should the relationship continue to deteriorate or even collapse. Otherwise, its ability to secure its goals and safeguard its regional interests could be compromised.
    An interesting post but a very one-sided assessment of the situation. You seem to suggest that the most pressing immediate questions relate solely to the US response to developments in Pakistan. I understand that those and the repercussions for US interests might be the principle points of concern to you, but there are many more issues of greater importance than the immediate future of Pakistani-US military and intelligence cooperation.

    Firstly, twice you invoke the spectre of Pakistan's 'slide towards failed state status'. Please define what you mean by 'failed state status,' and how you will know when that eventuality comes to pass.

    Secondly, Musharraf's departure from power owed very, very little to US influence. The radical and rapid shift of public opinion against Musharraf through the course of 2007 (Lal Masjid, the suspension of C J Chaudary, the return of Bhutto and Sharif and the assassination of Bhutto) all played a part in piling pressure on him and demonstrating that the only way for him to continue would be via ever-increasing amounts of repressive tactics. Authoritarian he may have been, but outright dictatorial, he was not.

    Thirdly, in military terms you seem to identify the seizure of the Pakistani nuclear arsenal as something that merely requires a plan. The attempted seizure of Pakistani missile bases would be an irrevocable declaration of war and would be seen as that not only by Pakistan, but also by Pakistan's closest ally, China. I sincerely doubt that the current US administration would go down that street.

    Fourthly, you question whether the US has the 'strategic foresight' to exclude Pakistan and Iran from relationship-building efforts, but to include India (and presumably the wickedly brutal regimes of Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan) despite India's continuing flouting of UN resolutions over Kashmir. The Kashmiri issue is potentially one of the most intractable and dangerous disputes in the world, certainly the one with the greatest possibility of 'going nuclear', given the two countries' nuclear arsenals. Placing the US clearly in the Indian camp and declaring de facto war on Pakistan does nothing to calm regional tensions, nor would it further US interests in the region one iota. It would merely open up a new front for the US fight on, and I'm pretty sure there's little appetite for that except amongst the hardest-line neo-cons.

    Fifithly, the withdrawal of US aid to Pakistan would hit their military hard, but you misunderstand the mentality at work if you believe that future aid to the country can be used as a tool, a bribe to ensure cooperation. I suspect it would have precisely the opposite effect and push Pakistan further and further away from western influence. As former US ambassador Anne Patterson said, "despite billions of dollars in American assistance, no amount of money is likely to make the army – or the ISI – change direction."

    The central Pakistani state has always been weak, even under military dictatorships. Do you believe that the tribal areas have only become beyond the control of the central government since 2007? That weak central authority and the highly diffuse loci of power has been the realpolitik of life in Pakistan ever since 1947. Either you work with it, or you get out and yes, develop a different regional partner for supporting the Afghan project. I'd just suggest that India would be a very poor choice, and one guaranteed to destabilize the region even further than it already is.

    Here's a little extra reading that sums up much of the problem:
    Whose side is Pakistan's ISI really on?
    Last edited by Andalublue; 05-28-11 at 11:29 AM.
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