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India-Pakistan: Ugly Secrets And Hidden Dangers
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September 19, 2011: The U.S. is eager to shut down the Haqqani network, an Afghan Islamic terror group that has operated out of Pakistan for decades. Haqqani has carried out some spectacular attacks in Kabul, Afghanistan, lately, and both the Afghans and the Americans want Pakistan to attack Haqqani network bases in North Waziristan. But the Pakistan generals have refused, for over a year, to clear North Waziristan of terrorists. The Pakistani military will not admit it, but attacking North Waziristan would turn some powerful terror groups (like Haqqani) into enemies, and these groups would begin attacking Pakistani targets (including military and ISI leaders.) There’s also the possibility that some of these terrorist groups would go public with details of how the Pakistani military and intelligence agency (ISI) had supported terror groups for over two decades. It’s all about ugly secrets and hidden dangers.

Pakistan complains that it has suffered greatly in the last decade, as a result of helping the United States fight Islamic terror. But Pakistan will not admit that it has been a supporter of Islamic terror groups since the 1970s, and continues to work with many terrorist groups. Despite that, most Islamic terrorists turned against Pakistan in the last decade, because Pakistan allied itself with the United States after September 11, 2001. But Islamic radicals were becoming more hostile to the Pakistani government even before September 11, 2001. That was because of the corruption and bad government in Pakistan, which is something Islamic terror groups are quite openly opposed to. The Pakistani government thought that by supporting the Islamic terrorists, it would be immune to attack. This proved incorrect, and now the Pakistanis have the worst of both worlds.

Pakistanis are increasingly unhappy with the rule, and expense, of their military. Since Pakistan was founded nearly 70 years ago, the country has had rule by elected officials only 36 percent of the time. Otherwise, it was direct rule by the military, or an elected parliament that had military supervision (and a military veto). A growing number of Pakistanis, especially journalists, are openly calling for curbs on the power of the Pakistani military and intelligence agency (ISI). The military is very wealthy, mostly as a result of corruption. The military not only steals a lot of the national wealth, but considers itself above the law. Attempts to impose civilian control on the military bring threats of civil war, or another decade of military dictatorship. The way things are going now, Pakistan might have both of these terrors before any meaningful reform of the military establishment takes place.

Many in the military agree with the critics, and call from within for reform. There are some signs that this is happening. The army is cutting back on its support for Islamic radicalism. Such groups can no longer openly preach in the military and seek military personnel for Islamic radical organizations. Many military personnel have belonged to very conservative, even radical, Islamic groups. And the generals have finally admitted that these guys are often the ones who take part in terror attacks within the military, or assist those that do. Nevertheless, Islamic radicalism is still strong within the military.

In Karachi, Pakistan, the local commander of anti-terror operations was attacked by a roadside bomb. Eight people died, but the anti-terror commander was uninjured. The Pakistani Taliban had threatened the anti-terror commander previously. Karachi continues to suffer from sectarian, religious and ethnic violence that, so far this year, has left over 1,100 dead. Repeated attempts by the police to curb the violence have failed, although that effort continues.

For the second year in a row, monsoon rains have caused major flooding in Pakistan. While last year’s floods displaced 18 million people, this year’s floods have only displaced seven million so far (although the worst is believed over.) Flood relief efforts tie up a lot of military resources for several months.

Maoist violence in India is now considered a bigger problem than Islamic terrorism or tribal separatists (in the northeast). The government has sent 71 battalions of special police to eastern Indian states suffering the most from the Maoists. But police commanders are asking for more money to deal with the economic needs of the people in rural areas hit hardest by the Maoist rebels. The police in those areas are having a difficult time protecting development officials from Maoist death squads.

September 18, 2011: A large earthquake hit northeast India, along the Chinese border. Two Indian soldiers were killed when their bunker collapsed.

September 17, 2011: In eastern India (Jharkhand) police arrested six Maoists, who were holding a meeting in a rural village.

In the Pakistani tribal territories, dozens of Taliban attacked a checkpoint near the Khyber Pass. The fighting left five tribal militiamen and ten Taliban dead.

September 16, 2011: The UN placed sanctions on two more al Qaeda leaders, known to be operating in Pakistan. The sanctions make it more difficult for the two to travel or move money internationally.

The U.S. claimed that a recent (in the last few days) UAV missile attack in the Pakistani tribal territories had killed the number three leader in al Qaeda (Suadi national Abu Hafs al Shahri).

September 15, 2011: Islamic terrorists, using a suicide bomber, attacked the funeral of a pro-government tribal leader in the Pakistani tribal territories, killing at least 40 people. The Pakistani Taliban uses such attacks to try and intimidate tribes into being neutral in the war against anti-government Islamic terror groups.

September 14, 2011: The Pakistani Army is sending more troops to the tribal territories (Chitral and Upper Dir) to try and stop raids by Pakistani Islamic terror group gunmen based in Afghanistan. The Afghan government says it cannot locate these bases, and it may be that the Islamic radical fighters are simply living with kin, or pro-terrorist families, and gathering together only for raids into Pakistan. Over the last year, Pakistani army action in the tribal territories has driven Taliban and other Islamic terror group members out of most districts, forcing Taliban survivors to head for North Waziristan, or into Afghanistan.

Taliban gunmen in the Pakistani tribal territories (Bannu city) ambushed and killed two ISI (intelligence) officers.

In Kashmir, Indian police seized a large terrorist weapons cache (including 10 assault rifles, six pistols, thousands of rounds of ammo plus RPGs, radios and much other gear). Since there are only about 300 Islamic terrorists left in Kashmir, the loss of these many weapons is a major blow.

September 13, 2011: In the Pakistani tribal territories, the Taliban took credit for the murder of a local politician who refused to support the Taliban. Elsewhere in the tribal territories, Taliban gunmen opened fire on a school bus, killing four children and the driver. This was another Taliban attack to intimidate a pro-government tribe. These intimidation attacks sometimes work, but there are so many anti-Taliban tribal militias in action right now, that the Taliban terror attacks are more likely to backfire. This is especially true when children are killed.

In Kashmir, Indian troops ambushed some Islamic terrorists, and found they had killed a wanted terrorist leader; Abdullah Yuni. A Pakistani, Yuni worked for terror group Laskhar-e-Taiba.

September 11, 2011: Osama bin Laden’s compound in Abbottabad, Pakistan, has been put under tight guard, with few people allowed into it. The government fears that al Qaeda might do something to the compound, or something valuable might still be hidden there. The Pakistanis are also fearful of al Qaeda kidnapping government officials, to force the government to let bin Laden’s wives and children leave the country. Pakistan has still not allowed the U.S. to interrogate the wives.

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trenchsol       9/19/2011 8:42:09 AM
It is interesting to see how many, if not all, insurgent organizations try to recreate the events which took place during Tet offensive in Vietnam, in late 60's of past century. Recent attack in Kabul bears resemblance to events that took place in Saigon at the beginning of Tet offensive. A government building and US embassy were attacked in the capital.
 
But, negative turn in  US public opinion that Tet provoked has, perhaps, never been studied properly, and any subsequent attempt  failed to provoke similar reaction. Latest Kabul attack was just another news headline for majority of the people in USA and elsewhere. Analogies that take events out of historic context, obviously, produce nothing but failures and waste of resources.
 
Insurgents seem to think: "If it worked half century ago, it MUST work now ...". But, that is simply not the case. The times are different today.
 
DG
 
 
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WarNerd       9/19/2011 7:01:04 PM
Insurgents seem to think: "If it worked half century ago, it MUST work now ...". But, that is simply not the case. The times are different today.
That strategy always works, if you can keep it up long enough. However, the US has gotten a lot better at tracking down the critical personnel that allow it to keep going -- the leaders, trainers, and specialists.

And it may very well be work in Afghanistan as the current administration does its 2-steps-forward-one-step back soft shoe routine on pulling the troops out before the Taliban and al-Qaeda are broken.
 
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trenchsol       9/19/2011 11:47:50 PM



Insurgents seem to think: "If it worked half century ago, it MUST work now ...". But, that is simply not the case. The times are different today.


That strategy always works, if you can keep it up long enough. However, the US has gotten a lot better at tracking down the critical personnel that allow it to keep going -- the leaders, trainers, and specialists.



And it may very well be work in Afghanistan as the current administration does its 2-steps-forward-one-step back soft shoe routine on pulling the troops out before the Taliban and al-Qaeda are broken.
You might be right. But, I think that times have changed in a way that people just got used to the fact that war is being fought somewhere. They do not react to it any more.
 
Afghan government sees the resolution in negotiating with Taliban about participation in political process. It looks like they are not serious about "breaking" Taliban. Allied troops can't fight the war alone, and it means they are there, de facto, only to reinforce governments position in the negotiations. Taliban, on the other hand, do not seem to negotiate in good will. They just hope that Karzai will put more and more pressure on allied countries to limit their engagement, in order to keep negotiations going. I don't know what can be done about it. Too bad that Abdullah Abdullah was not elected for president instead of Karzai. Perhaps things could have been, at least, a little better.
 
DG
 
 
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