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Letters responding to Secrets and spies: can espionage ever be justified? | Financial Times
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letters_to_the_editor  espionage  SecDef  security_&_intelligence  politicians  tools  confirmation_bias  Pakistan  François_Mitterrand 
june 2018 by jerryking
The folly of the drones - The Globe and Mail
Contributed to The Globe and Mail
Published Monday, Apr. 27 2015
drones  counterterrorism  Pakistan  security_&_intelligence  Yemen  Afghanistan  fallacies_follies 
april 2015 by jerryking
Muslim matrons of jihad
Margaret Wente

Asra Nomani is a Western journalist with family ties in Pakistan. She recently took a leave from The Wall Street Journal to spend some time there. In Islamabad, she found a diffe...
Margaret_Wente  women  Pakistan  moderates  Islam 
march 2013 by jerryking
Hillary Clinton’s Diplomatic Legacy
February 11, 2013 | The New Yorker | by George Packer.

The criticism that there is no encompassing “Obama doctrine” misses the point. Geopolitics today is too complex, messy, and various to be bent to America’s will by an overarching doctrine like containment, or a massive initiative like the Marshall Plan, or a single breakthrough like Nixon’s trip to China. A doctrine was what put the country in a deep hole; climbing out required restraint, flexibility, and opportunism. A first-term Secretary of State with one grand strategic vision wouldn’t have matched the demands of the moment, which called for a fox, not a hedgehog....The standard debates in American foreign policy—realism vs. idealism, heavy footprint vs. light footprint—don’t get to the heart of the problem with Obama’s foreign policy. It’s not that diplomatic engagement is the wrong approach; it’s just that the President’s first four years have given us the idea of diplomacy more than the thing itself. In a forthcoming book, “The Dispensable Nation: American Foreign Policy in Retreat,” Vali Nasr, a former adviser under Hillary Clinton and the late Richard Holbrooke, argues that, from North Africa to Afghanistan and Pakistan, the White House has relied too much on the military and the C.I.A. (mainly in the form of drones) to guide policy: “These agencies’ solutions were not, and could never be, a substitute for the type of patient, long-range, credible diplomacy that garners the respect of our allies and their support when we need it.” In Nasr’s view, a White House that feared being called soft and wanted to keep intractable foreign entanglements out of the news turned to Clinton only after things had fallen apart, as in Pakistan at the end of 2011, when she moved to repair a relationship that had degenerated into outright antagonism.

Obama and Clinton wanted to “pivot” away from the Middle East, toward the Pacific, but a bloody hand keeps reaching out to pull America back.
George_Packer  George_Marshall  U.S.foreign_policy  legacies  diplomacy  Middle_East  Mideast_Peace  Obama  Hillary_Clinton  geopolitics  Pakistan  complexity  messiness  restraint  flexibility  opportunism  U.S._State_Department  grand_strategy  Vali_Nasr  CIA  drones  Marshall_Plan  foxes  hedgehogs  long-range  books 
february 2013 by jerryking
The madness followed me home -
15 Sep 2001 | The Globe and Mail F.2.| by John Stackhouse.

The boys left and returned with a tray bearing bottles of warm Pepsi, which the professors of fanaticism opened and shared with us. They said they had allowed us this rare visit on one condition: We had to swear we were not American.

Sultan hated the place. "We will go to America with the gun," he warned as we sipped our Pepsi.

He described bin Laden not as a man but an "institution," and he claimed that in the 1980s, he left the Pakistani air force to fight in Afghanistan with the infamous Saudi millionaire turned jihad warrior. Americans had trained them in the weaponry they used to repel the Russians, he said, but now he hated them as well as the old Communists. (Pepsi, he explained, wasn't American -- it was made in Pakistan.)

Sultan also said he planned to go to the United States. Rereading my notes this week, I was forced to pause. "First, we will ask them [Americans] to take up Islam," he said. "If they don't, then we will use the gun."

I guess I should have asked him whether he planned to use his piloting skills as well; after all, we discussed the 1993 bombing of the World Trade Center and Sultan was eager to say how much he despised New York and all its opulence. It was, he said, a city run by Jews.

"The Jews are the real terrorists," added Saeed, his superior. I glanced at Suzanne, under her bed sheet, and wondered whether they had any inkling she's Jewish.

But sitting on the floor of a school in rural Punjab, Manhattan's renaissance just seemed so far away that it wasn't worth probing. This gang had far better targets close by, I thought. Hindus in India, Shia Muslims down the road, the Scotch-swillers in Lahore.

After Sultan's vitriol against Jews, Saeed made a point of saying how terrorism was, in his mind, a very bad word. Terrorism involves the killing of innocent people, while jihad is about helping the poor and oppressed -- although sometimes those who get in the way have to be killed. Those were crazy times in Pakistan. The United States had just rained missiles on Afghanistan, and a few had fallen short, crashing on Pakistani soil.
John_Stackhouse  ProQuest  Pakistan  madrassas  Wahhabism 
july 2012 by jerryking
A terrifying brush with a new kind of hate
29 Oct 2001 | The Globe and Mail A.3.|by Stephanie Nolen.

Never before have I encountered the kind of naked hate I did from these men....this wasn't just about the West: This was about me as a woman, working on my own. Other white, female reporters in Islamabad talk of having stones thrown at them, of being molested and struck by devout men at the protests....
...So what do the men at the protest see when they look at me?

I put the question to a series of Pakistani men and women, well-off and less so, religious and secular. They reminded me that fundamentalists represent perhaps 5 per cent of Pakistan's population, and expressed horror at the men's behaviour. But they couldn't explain it.

Then I asked Farzana Bari, who heads the Center for Women's Studies at Qaid-i-Avam University in Islamabad. She sighed and pushed her dark hair off her face.

"Out of the entire Western civilization, the Western woman is THE threat for a conservative Muslim man. They will hate you more than men, because you are what will happen if Western civilization wins. They think, this is what our women will be like."

She noted that women who are struggling for their rights in Muslim countries are labelled Western as the ultimate pejorative. "The first thing that someone who is trying to project himself as a pious Muslim man does is to put his women into purdah ," she said, referring to the sequestering of women.

The Taliban banned women from all public roles within days of seizing power in 1996, despite both economic imperatives and cultural traditions that worked against it. They do so, she said, because restricting women's access to public space is something men can do easily -- unlike other ways of Islamizing society, such as instituting an interest-free economy to honour the Islamic prohibition against usury. That fails wherever it is tried.

"For things like that, men have to change," Prof. Bari said.
ProQuest  Stephanie_Nolen  Pakistan  Wahhabism  misogyny  economic_imperatives 
july 2012 by jerryking
Against Rationalization
September 20, 2001 | The Nation | Christopher Hitchens
Christopher_Hitchens  9/11  Pakistan 
july 2012 by jerryking
Sadanand Dhume: Is Pakistan Too Big to Fail? -
SEPTEMBER 27, 2011 | WSJ | By SADANAND DHUME. The Pakistanis see themselves as invulnerable in their U.S. relationship because their country houses 180 million Muslims, the world's fastest-growing nuclear arsenal, a plethora of jihadist groups in proximity to those weapons, an "all-weather" friendship with China, and a choke-hold on supplies to NATO forces in Afghanistan? By this logic, the U.S., scarred by its experiences in Iraq and Afghanistan, can do little more than mouth disapproval and threaten to cut off aid.
Pakistan  duplicity  impunity  ISI  Afghanistan  too_big_to_fail 
september 2011 by jerryking
How Pakistan Lost Its Top U.S. Friend -

How Pakistan Lost Its Top U.S. Friend
Outgoing U.S. Joint Chiefs Chairman Explains Shift From Confidence in Islamabad to Tougher Tone.
Pakistan  ISI  Afghanistan  duplicity  Michael_Mullen  chief_of_staff 
september 2011 by jerryking
The Mission to Get Osama Bin Laden
August 8, 2011 |The New Yorker | by Nicholas Schmidle.
OBL  covert_operations  seals  CIA  Pakistan 
august 2011 by jerryking
Bin Laden Raid in Pakistan Shows New Trust Between CIA, U.S. Special Forces -
Spy, Military Ties Aided bin Laden Raid
CIA  U.S._Special_Forces  Pakistan  OBL  security_&_intelligence 
may 2011 by jerryking / Asia-Pacific / Pakistan - Pakistan turns to China for naval base
May 22 2011| FT | By Farhan Bokhari in Islamabad and Kathrin
Hille in Beijing. Pakistan has asked China to build a naval base at its
south-western port of Gwadar and expects the Chinese navy to maintain a
regular presence there, a plan likely to alarm both India and the
US....A senior Pakistani official said: “The naval base is something we
hope will allow Chinese vessels to regularly visit in [the] future and
also use the place for repair and maintenance of their fleet in the
[Indian Ocean region].”...“The construction of a naval base in Gwadar
would provide its own ships and possibly submarines with ‘permanent’
basing rights, along with the possibility of regular patrols and
exercises in the Arabian Sea to protect the growing number of
Chinese-flagged oil tankers traversing the region to meet its increasing
energy demands from the Gulf region.”
Indo_Pacific  PLA  Pakistan  China  China_rising  maritime 
may 2011 by jerryking
Stephens: From Chomsky to bin Laden -
MAY 10, 2011

From Chomsky to bin Laden
The professor dons the militant's cap: It fits.

Like this columnist
Noam_Chomsky  Bret_Stephens  OBL  Pakistan  anti-Americanism 
may 2011 by jerryking
Pakistani Intelligence: Friend or Foe?
Published: May 11, 2011 at 5:16 PM ET Kathy Gannon is AP special
regional correspondent for Pakistan and Afghanistan. AP staff writer
Sebastian Abbot contributed to this report.
ISI  Pakistan  security_&_intelligence 
may 2011 by jerryking
CIA spied on bin Laden from safe house -
Thursday, May , The Washington Post By Greg Miller,
Pakistan  OBL  CIA 
may 2011 by jerryking
In Pakistan, no more secrets -
May, 4, 2011 | The Washington Post | By Vali Nasr.

The CIA shattered Pakistan’s intelligence establishment’s confidence with its
ability to hunt and kill bin Laden right under the nose of the ISI. Yet
the ISI’s real worry is that the next item on the CIA’s agenda could be
one of the two Taliban leaders the U.S. holds most directly responsible
for the insurgency in Afghanistan, and who are believed to be hiding in
Pakistan: Mullah Omar or Sirajuddin Haqqani, head of his eponymous
terrorist network. And if the CIA found bin Laden, then it could
probably find everything it wants to know about Pakistan’s nuclear

It has become clear that since 2009 the CIA has built an infrastructure
of intelligence gathering and operational capability that opened up
Pakistan’s underworld of jihadists, spooks and terrorists. There are no
more secrets. Worse yet, the United States can act at will to kill,
capture or destroy in Pakistan — even in an army town.
Afghanistan  CIA  covert_operations  duplicity  instrumentation_monitoring  ISI  OBL  Pakistan  secrets  security_&_intelligence  Taliban  Vali_Nasr 
may 2011 by jerryking
Signs Point to Pakistan Link to bin Laden -
Pakistan  ISI  duplicity  OBL 
may 2011 by jerryking
Pakistan’s perilous double game - The Globe and Mail
From Thursday's Globe and Mail
Published Wednesday, May. 04, 2011
Pakistan  duplicity  ISI  editorials 
may 2011 by jerryking
Bookshelf: The U.S. and Pakistan, Best of Frenemies -
The U.S. and Pakistan, Best of Frenemies. Washington is too
short-termist, Islamabad too distrustful. Ganguly reviews Deadly
Embrace: Pakistan, America and the Future of Global Jihad

By Bruce Riedel

Brookings Institution Press,
180 pages, $24.95
OBL  Pakistan  book_reviews  Jihad  duplicity 
may 2011 by jerryking
Pakistan must shake its debilitating culture of fatalism - The Globe and Mail
IRSHAD MANJI | Columnist profile | E-mail
From Friday's Globe and Mail
Published Friday, Jan. 21, 2011
Irshad_Manji  Pakistan  fatalism 
april 2011 by jerryking
Exposed CIA Station Chief Exits Pakistan -
DECEMBER 18, 2010 | WSJ | By ADAM ENTOUS. CIA Station Chief, His Cover Blown, Departs Pakistan
Pakistan  security_&_intelligence  CIA  drones  ISI 
december 2010 by jerryking
Op-Ed Contributor - Drowning Today, Parched Tomorrow
August 15, 2010 | - | By STEVEN SOLOMON. HARD
as it may be to believe when you see the images of the monsoon floods
that are now devastating Pakistan, the country is actually on the verge
of a critical shortage of fresh water. And water scarcity is not only a
worry for Pakistan’s population — it is a threat to America’s national
security as well.

Given the rapid melting of the Himalayan glaciers that feed the Indus
River — a possible contributor to the current floods — and growing
tensions with upriver archenemy India about use of the river’s
tributaries, it’s unlikely that Pakistani food production will long keep
pace with the growing population.
water  scarcity  Pakistan  India  U.S.foreign_policy 
august 2010 by jerryking
Technology Is Central To CIA's Strategic Plan -
APRIL 26, 2010 | Wall Street Journal | By SIOBHAN GORMAN.
The CIA announced a five-year strategic plan that would invest heavily
in new technologies to combat non-traditional threats like cyber attacks
from overseas and gain better intelligence on rogue states like Iran.
... Mr. Panetta released his five-year plan in remarks to agency
employees. "We govern either by leadership or by crisis," he said.
"That's why we're taking a hard look at future challenges, and what we
want our agency to look like five years from now."
threats  adaptability  instability  unpredictability  rogue_actors  security_&_intelligence  CIA  strategic_planning  cyber_warfare  asymmetrical  Iran  Africa  Pakistan  innovation  Pentagon  forward_looking  leadership  strategic_thinking  decentralization  non-traditional  technology  Leon_Panetta 
may 2010 by jerryking
Let's refocus: Kashmir, not Kabul
Feb. 20, 2010 | The Globe & Mail | by Doug Saunders.
Throughout most of the Afghan war, Pakistan's military had argued that,
while it was worth using its soldiers to expel the Pakistan-based
Taliban from places such as the Swat valley and North Waziristan, they
weren't interested in going after the Afghan Taliban leaders
headquartered along the border in Pakistan...The Indian threat is a
constant and popular trope in Pakistani politics. It is used by every
elected leader to gain victory, and by every military dictator to
justify seizing power. It's a national obsession.
Doug_Saunders  Pakistan  India  conspiracies 
february 2010 by jerryking
Op-Ed Columnist - The Afghan Imperative -
September 24, 2009 | New York Times | By DAVID BROOKS. "The
Taliban is a transnational Pashtun movement active in both Afghanistan
and Pakistan. It is part of a complex insurgency trying to topple the
Pakistani regime. Pakistan has a fragile government with an estimated
50 or more nuclear weapons. A Taliban conquest in Afghanistan would
endanger the Pakistani regime at best, create a regional crisis for
certain and lead to a nuclear-armed Al Qaeda at worst."
Afghanistan  al-Qaeda  counterinsurgency  David_Brooks  endangered  fragility  Pakistan  Taliban 
september 2009 by jerryking
Pakistan's Existential Challenge -
MAY 12, 2009 | Wall Street Journal | by BRET STEPHENS

The trouble for a country defined mostly by what it is not. About Iran,
Henry Kissinger once asked whether the Islamic Republic was a country or
a cause. About Pakistan, the question is whether it's a country or
merely a space.
Pakistan  Bret_Stephens  existential  challenges  threats  Henry_Kissinger 
may 2009 by jerryking
Slide toward anarchy
February 28, 2009 G&M column by AHMED RASHID
Islamabad's deal with the Taliban may be a turning point in a failing regional battle against extremism
extremism  geopolitics  Pakistan  Islamic  fundamentalism  Taliban  anarchy  turning_points 
february 2009 by jerryking
Obama Faces Tests From Abroad -
Feb. 10, 2009 GERALD F. SEIB lays out a series of challenges
(i.e. :* Iran launching its first satellite into orbit, # Pakistan
freeing A.Q. Khan, # The government of Kyrgyzstan, ordering the closure
of a crucial American air base in its country), that Obama needs to
Obama  foreign_policy  Iran  Pakistan  Kyrgyzstan  challenges  U.S.  Gerald_Seib 
february 2009 by jerryking

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