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Pakistan's ISI has a 'relationship' with the Haqqani Network: Admiral Mullen



During a visit designed (at least on the surface) to improve the crumbling US-Pakistan relationship, Admiral Michael Mullen, the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, broached a sore subject in Islamabad (and more importantly, Rawalpindi, the real seat of power): Pakistan's support for the al Qaeda-linked Haqqani Network. [Note the original quote and format below was from Dawn, but the link is no longer valid, see here for a version:

"It's fairly well known that the ISI has a longstanding relationship with the Haqqani network," he said in an interview with Pakistan's daily Dawn newspaper.

"Haqqani is supporting, funding, training fighters that are killing Americans and killing coalition partners. And I have a sacred obligation to do all I can to make sure that doesn't happen."

"So that's at the core - it's not the only thing -- but that's at the core that I think is the most difficult part of the relationship," Mullen said.

Now, Admiral Mullen chose his words carefully, claiming Pakistan maintains a "relationship" with the Haqqani Network; he stopped short of saying Pakistan actively supports the Haqqanis.

Pakistani officials of course denied supporting the Haqqani Network, and claim they haven't taken on the Haqqani Network due to the focus on the Movement of the Taliban in Pakistan. This of course is untrue, and Admiral Mullen of course knows that. Despite his "sacred obligation" to stop US soldiers dying at the hands of Pakistan-backed terror groups, Admiral Mullen cannot bring himself to call Pakistan to account for its actions. And as a result, more US soldiers will die as the dysfunctional "alliance" between the two nations is nursed along.



READER COMMENTS: "Pakistan's ISI has a 'relationship' with the Haqqani Network: Admiral Mullen"

Posted by Charu at April 20, 2011 12:48 PM ET:

Well said, Bill! Mullen dances around the truth while our soldiers die because of the decisions made by the very people Mullen glad-hands with.

I read a recent article by the Brit, Anton Lieven, where he essentially said that the US should swallow losing in Afghanistan in order to protect its nuclear-armed "ally" Pakistan from disintegrating. Given Lieven's servicing of the Pakistani military in exchange for access to write his book, he is very likely parroting the world-according-to-Kayani. Kayani and the Pakistani military will receive a very unpleasant surprise in the years to come because they have repeatedly shown to badly misjudge the dire consequences stemming from their too-clever-by-half actions. Their state-within-a-state may find itself without a state to lord it over.

Posted by Rosario at April 20, 2011 1:31 PM ET:

One can sure Admiral Mullen has his reasons for attempting to maintain US-Pakistani cooperation, for what little there is of it. Should another terrorist attack on the West with origins in Pakistan occur, the military and civilian leadership must know consequences for Pakistan will be severe, and there is no parsing those words.

Posted by Mike at April 20, 2011 2:06 PM ET:

Pakistan has been supporting Islamic terrorist organizations like the Haqqani Network, Lashkar-e-Taiba, and Taliban for many years, especially after 9/11.

Thousands of American soldiers have died at the hands of Pakistani supported and trained groups. It is amazing that it took our leaders this long to focus on the essential issue in AfPak.

RESULTS
10 years; trillion $ on war; 1000's of dead American soldiers, billions $ in aid to Pakistan:
Bin Laden alive and well in Pakistan
Taliban alive and well in Pakistan
Mullah Omar alive and well in Pakistan
Haqqani alive and well in Pakistan
Al Queda alive and well in Pakistan
Lashkar-e-Taiba alive and well in Pakistan
Musharraf alive and well in Pakistan's Capital city (London - where Pakistani leaders are selected).

What a sad joke: Pakistan as an ally in the War against Islamic Terrorism.
It'a not funny if your son died at the hands of these murderers from Pakistan.
Simple math: 1 trillion/ 100 million US taxpayers = $10,000 per taxpayer (on average). For what?

Posted by Bungo at April 20, 2011 2:25 PM ET:

Rosario said: "Should another terrorist attack on the West with origins in Pakistan occur, the military and civilian leadership must know consequences for Pakistan will be severe"

That, indeed, is the Rubicon. Sure, it's a very wierd relationship BUT we ARE killing the enemy at, what, a 100 to 1 ratio? Who said Keep your friends close and your enemies closer?

Posted by bard207 at April 20, 2011 3:47 PM ET:

Rosario,

-----------------------------------------------------------
One can sure Admiral Mullen has his reasons for attempting to maintain US-Pakistani cooperation, for what little there is of it. Should another terrorist attack on the West with origins in Pakistan occur, the military and civilian leadership must know consequences for Pakistan will be severe, and there is no parsing those words.
-----------------------------------------------------------

If there is another Mumbai 26/11, the U.S. will tell India to just let it go and not do anything against Pakistan (again)?

Mumbai Attacks


Posted by omar at April 20, 2011 7:35 PM ET:

Convincing the Pakistani army to change its strategic orientation 10 years ago would have been much easier. One hopes its not too late now.
The irony is that the army would have changed course if they were told exactly what was expected in strategic terms. They are actually not bad at taking directions. Jihadism is not a deeply held conviction for most of the generals, its just their insane zero-sum game with India and their lack of imagination that makes them helpless in the face of their few (but more far-sighted and determined) JIhadi colleagues. ,
IT seems that it was assumed that the worldview would change by itself once they had three cups of tea with Mullen bahadur....if this was not so tragic for the people of Pakistan, Afghanistan and India, it would be funny.

Posted by ArneFufkin at April 20, 2011 8:30 PM ET:

To be fair, it really isn't Admiral Mullen's place to call Pakistan to account for any ISI-Taliban complicity.

Gates and Mullen - as have commanders such as Petraeus, Mattis, Conway, Rodriguez, Campbell etc. - regularly speak at length about a military to military co-ordination between ISAF and Pakistan that is growing and increasingly effective.

I'm afraid the onus for calling Pakistan poitical and internal security elements to account for their duplicity regarding the Taliban resides at the highest levels of the American civilian government - and that effort is noticeably absent.

Posted by Bill Roggio at April 20, 2011 9:51 PM ET:

Arne,

Then he shouldn't discuss his "sacred honor" then fall short. Silence is always an option. This is something our Generals and Admirals should practice.

Posted by omar at April 20, 2011 10:26 PM ET:

In this case, the military brass has traditionally taken the lead in "engaging" with the Pakistani army and "understanding" their position. The civilian leadership in Pakistan has absolutely no input in this matter and if the US has something to say about this,they really have to say it to their army counterparts...so I dont think it is fair to let Admiral Mullen off the hook and blame the American civilian leadership for this....that narrative assumes that the American military leadership has always been somewhat "hawkish" and the feckless civilians don't get it. That may fit a certain conservative bias, but in this case the pentagon has been the bigger "enabler"; and it is civilians who first figured out that "investment" in the Pak army may not be the best course in Pakistan (the pentagon's gullibility in this matter may have come from some vague memory of other armies that were useful agents for the US when their civilians were considered "unreliable", as in Latin America, or from the natural identification of military officers with people who dress and act like them) ...

Posted by Mr T at April 21, 2011 11:24 AM ET:

Of course we don't know what they say to each other behind closed doors. I am hopeful we tell them the truth and don't just give in to them. Thye have some cards to play but so do we.

The public part we see doesn't support the notion they are telling them to knock it off or bad stuff will happen for them.

Posted by kit at April 21, 2011 10:03 PM ET:

@Mike,

I feel your pain.

Posted by indus at April 22, 2011 1:28 PM ET:

Its a matter of time (when, not if) before this dysfunctional "alliance" comes unraveled. May take 1 year, may 20. We have little in common - neither end goals, nor strategies, nor values guiding our actions.

Some of this unraveling has begun and is apparent in CIA and ISI going head to head; or Adm. Mullen at last venting his frustration in public. And now Pakistan closing the drone launch pad (unless we did so voluntarily! why would we?) in Balochistan. http://www.longwarjournal.org/cgi-bin/haQSxZqe-weTgQ2wg-c0mm3nt2s.cgi

It is highly likely that this will pick up pace when Adm. Mullen, who has been exceedingly supportive of Gen. Kayani, departs this summer. We will still need Pakistan for the supply route, but other than that, we would likely be on our own, with Pakistanis doing everything under the surface to negate our efforts in Afghanistan.

Posted by James at April 23, 2011 4:43 PM ET:

@Bard207

If there is another Mumbai 26/11, the U.S. will tell India to just let it go and not do anything against Pakistan (again)?

Read more: http://www.longwarjournal.org/threat-matrix/archives/2011/04/pakistans_isi_has_a_relationsh.php#comments#ixzz1KNsPpZ3E

God forbid, if anything were to happen to India like Mumbai (or worse), I hope that India POUNCES on them for it and proves to all of humanity once and for all who the slithery/slimy cockroaches are behind it.

As far as the "powers that [for now] be" (in DC) are concerned, if they don't have a clue what they're doing, they can just go and mind their own darn business and stay out of it.