Terrorist Islamic Republic of Pakistan (TSP): Sep 22, 2011

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Re: Terrorist Islamic Republic of Pakistan (TSP): Sep 22, 20

Postby Agnimitra » 28 Sep 2011 19:28

As Pakistanis defiantly hoot and jeer at US impotence, the fact is sinking into the average American's mind too. In this article, Gareth Porter points out that US rhetorical aggresion is so they don't look wimpy in front of a domestic audience. She says the US can't do squat about Pakistan's terrorist policy. She shows how US officials have even been backtracking on their accusations lately, using word jugglery. And finally she links Paki policy to its feelings about India.

US knows pressure on Pakistan won't work
WASHINGTON - The United States threat last week that "all options" are on the table if the Pakistani military doesn't cut its ties with the Haqqani network of anti-US insurgents created the appearance of a crisis involving potential US military escalation in Pakistan.

But there is much less substance to the administration's threatening rhetoric than was apparent. In fact, it was primarily an exercise in domestic political damage control, although compounded by an emotional response to recent major attacks by the Haqqani group on US-North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) targets, according to two sources familiar with the policymaking process on Afghanistan and Pakistan.

One source close to that process doubted that there was any planning for military action against Pakistan in the immediate future. "I'm sure we're going to be talking to the Pakistanis a lot about this," the source told Inter Press Service (IPS).

Despite the tough talk about not tolerating any more high-profile attacks on US troops, the sources suggested, there is no expectation that anything the United States can do would change Pakistani policy toward the Haqqani group.


[...]

Looming over the discussions about how to react to the latest attacks is the firm conclusion reached by the Barack Obama administration in last December's AfPak policy review that it was futile to try to put pressure on Pakistan over the issue of ties with the Haqqani group.

The Obama administration had tried repeatedly in 2009 and 2010 to put pressure on Pakistani army chief Ashfaq Kiani to attack the Haqqani network in the North Waziristan tribal area, but without any result. Finally, in the December policy review, it was agreed that attacking Pakistan publicly for its ties with the Haqqani network and its refusal to attack those forces in North Waziristan not only would not achieve the desired result but was counter-productive and should stop, according to sources familiar with that review.

But a rising tide of Haqqani group attacks on US and NATO targets in 2011 has made the Obama administration's AfPak policy much more vulnerable to domestic political criticism than ever before.

The New York Times reported on September 24 that the number of attacks by the Haqqani group was five times greater and the number of roadside bombs had increased by 20% in 2011 than during the same period of 2010, according to a senior US military official.

Even more damaging to the administration's war policy, however, was the impression created by the attack by the Haqqani network on the US Embassy and the US-NATO headquarters in the most heavily-guarded section of Kabul on September 13, and a truck bomb attack on a NATO base three days earlier that wounded 77 US troops.

Top US national security officials had no choice but to cast blame on Pakistan for those attacks and to suggest that the administration was now taking a much tougher line toward Islamabad, despite the knowledge that it was not likely to shake the Pakistani policy, according to the two knowledgeable sources.

"We're in a situation where the administration could not do nothing," said one of the sources.


[...]

In testimony before the Senate Armed Services Committee on September 22, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Admiral Michael Mullen made the unusual admission that the Haqqani network's attacks in Afghanistan had become "more brazen, more aggressive, more lethal" than ever before, but explained it as a function of ties between the group and Pakistan's ISI.

He portrayed the Haqqani group as "a veritable arm of the ISI" and suggested that there was "credible evidence" that the ISI was behind the truck bomb attack on the NATO base on September 10 as well as the attack on the embassy and the International Security Assistance Force headquarters a few days later. He used oddly contorted language in characterizing that evidence, saying that "the information has become more available that those attacks have been supported or even encouraged by the ISI".

That same line, which only suggested ISI "encouragement" as a possibility, was then peddled to Reuters and CNN, among other news outlets. CNN Pentagon correspondent Barbara Starr quoted a "US military official" on September 23 as claiming ISI "knowledge or support" in regard to Haqqani network attacks - another formula revealing the absence of hard intelligence of ISI complicity.

And Mark Hosenball and Susan Cornwell of Reuters reported on September 22 US officials had conceded that information suggesting that ISI had encouraged Haqqani attacks on US forces was "uncorroborated".

[...]

Even those who had held out hope in the past that pressure on Pakistan could lead to change in its relationship with the Haqqani group have now given up on that possibility. The New York Times reported on Saturday that officials who once believed Washington could manipulate the Pakistani military to end its support for the Haqqani group "through cajoling and large cash payments" were now convinced that Pakistan would not change its policy as long as it feels threatened by Indian power. {There you go, lay it at India's doorstep. Delhi should do more to ease Paki fears. :roll: }

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Re: Terrorist Islamic Republic of Pakistan (TSP): Sep 22, 20

Postby Manny » 28 Sep 2011 19:39

NY Times is a leftist trash. Why should they be any different from desi leftist trash.

I thought they were filing for chapter 11. What happened?

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Re: Terrorist Islamic Republic of Pakistan (TSP): Sep 22, 20

Postby prahaar » 28 Sep 2011 19:44

People should realize the Zaid-Hamid nature of the people who end up putting all problems to India's door step. "as long as it feels threatened by Indian power" - means, as long as India exists, in other words until India does not become the size of Sri Lanka, Pakistani Jihad will not stop.

I am now waiting for US national-interest-compulsion bogies to be raised and explain how US is not as Anti-India as Zaid Hamid. I would rate Zaid Hamid as less injurious to India than Unkil actions. Lal Topi only barks, Unkil actions have actually hurt India.

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Re: Terrorist Islamic Republic of Pakistan (TSP): Sep 22, 20

Postby paramu » 28 Sep 2011 20:25

As usual
US wants India but they really NEED Pakistan
This is zero sum game hidden in US foreign policy for the last 40 years.

http://shadow.foreignpolicy.com/us%20pa ... ooperation
Doubling down with India. The India-U.S. relationship has strategic potential, but we're a long way from having the government-to-government relationship that could sustain the kind of pressure involved in countering Pakistan with India in Afghanistan, especially since that agenda is already crowded with our aspirations for India to work with us, the Australians, Japanese and others to "manage" China from the Indian Ocean to the Pacific. The difficulties encountered implementing the nuclear agreement suggest we may be nearly as far in time from a reliable India-U.S. partnership as we are from a strong civilian government in Pakistan.


Acknowledge our complicity. In "taking a hard look at our own history in the region," Dan cautions that our own policy choices in the 1990s and beyond contributed to the problems we are now facing. There's much to that, but it will be moot in the storm of anti-Pakistani sentiment sweeping Congress after Admiral Mullen's testimony. It's the president's job to do what is in our country's interests when Congress overreacts, and to make the case for the funds necessary to conduct important policies even when they are running into the wind of Congressional opposition. If the president doesn't step up and make the case that we have no better option, Congress is likely to remove the one option of the administration's current policy.

A final thought. Americans often forget how much sympathy there is internationally for countries that feel pressured or abandoned by the Unites States. When we have a problem, we focus American effort on countries we had been comfortably ignoring until that time -- like Pakistan before and after 9/11. Isolating Pakistan once again would reinforce the impression of the U.S. as an unreliable ally to countries we are courting to manage the rise of China and other problems.
Last edited by paramu on 28 Sep 2011 20:39, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Terrorist Islamic Republic of Pakistan (TSP): Sep 22, 20

Postby shiv » 28 Sep 2011 20:32

Altair wrote:I have raised this concept before and I wish to raise it again. Pakistanis never defect. Historically,In almost all the cultures and civilizations there have been defections which resulted in the collapse of the system. I was told and I agree that Pakistani elite, the Military and Intelligence community enjoy royalty status like no other culture or civilization in History. If the US and India tightens the screw tight enough to make few important people defect, it would start a trend. It will make a difference in saving a few hundred lives,perhaps thousands. Life was very royal and easy for the Generals and Colonels in Pakistan. It must change.
JMT


Altair. Pakistanis are defecting all the time. The "defectors" are the poorer people who are trying to get away to the gulf states or Africa. We have a tendency IMO to forget that the average Pakistanis is a poor shalwar kameez clad agricultual worker or laborer with a burkha clad wife and 6 kids. 85% to 90% of Pakis are those. Perhaps 8-12% are "middle class". The rest are wealthy.

The reason there is a huge difference between Indian democracy and Paki oligarchy is that no matter how flawed the sirthy "aam aadmi" of India gets a voice and gets seen in the media - even if it is the dead body of a farmer who has committed suicide. You see teh average Paki only during catastrophes. Otherwise Pakistan is represented by the rich. They are so rich and powerful hey have no incentive to defect - especially as they are supported by teh West and often have dual citizenship.

The wealthy and happy don't defect from India either. It is the politically motivated - like "Dalit groups" or "Khalistan supporters" who look for refuge abroad.

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Re: Terrorist Islamic Republic of Pakistan (TSP): Sep 22, 20

Postby shiv » 28 Sep 2011 20:50



That is an extraordinarily worthless article.

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Re: Terrorist Islamic Republic of Pakistan (TSP): Sep 22, 20

Postby Altair » 28 Sep 2011 21:07

shiv wrote:Altair. Pakistanis are defecting all the time. The "defectors" are the poorer people who are trying to get away to the gulf states or Africa. We have a tendency IMO to forget that the average Pakistanis is a poor shalwar kameez clad agricultual worker or laborer with a burkha clad wife and 6 kids. 85% to 90% of Pakis are those. Perhaps 8-12% are "middle class". The rest are wealthy.

The wealthy and happy don't defect from India either. It is the politically motivated - like "Dalit groups" or "Khalistan supporters" who look for refuge abroad.


Shiv
I am actually looking for one honest to soul man who gets the pinch of self-conscious to do the right thing and expose these murderers. I have had the unfortunate exposure to some of the crimes committed by Pakistanis to Balochis. Burning in hot tar, stabbing them and dumping them in salt water, cutting of sexual organs most of them when the victim is alive. They did that to Muslims and their own countrymen.Not that it surprises me but I would not dare to imagine what they would do to Kafirs of India.
Is there not one person whose self-conscious pricks to come out with evidence to the International Press? Not one single ranked officer in the entire Pakistani Armed forces who does not care about his future but to punish these animals and save some of them?
Altair

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Re: Terrorist Islamic Republic of Pakistan (TSP): Sep 22, 20

Postby arun » 28 Sep 2011 21:11

Mob attack on US Embassy in Islamabad which resulted in American deaths a little over a fortnight after the US Embassy in Tehran was attacked and diplomats taken hostage in 1979, remembered.

A murderous hatred for the US has certainly existed for some considerable time in the Islamic Republic of Pakistan:

1979 Pakistani attack on embassy left life-long scars Local woman survived terror of mob attack

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Re: Terrorist Islamic Republic of Pakistan (TSP): Sep 22, 20

Postby shiv » 28 Sep 2011 21:18

Altair wrote:Shiv
I am actually looking for one honest to soul man who gets the pinch of self-conscious to do the right thing and expose these murderers. I have had the unfortunate exposure to some of the crimes committed by Pakistanis to Balochis. Burning in hot tar, stabbing them and dumping them in salt water, cutting of sexual organs most of them when the victim is alive. They did that to Muslims and their own countrymen.Not that it surprises me but I would not dare to imagine what they would do to Kafirs of India.
Is there not one person whose self-conscious pricks to come out with evidence to the International Press? Not one single ranked officer in the entire Pakistani Armed forces who does not care about his future but to punish these animals and save some of them?
Altair


Interesting point. Didn't strike me.

But actually there are a few honest people. They don't get much mileage though. We have seen dozens of honest articles - including some by Ayesha Sidiqa Agha, Pervez Hoodbhoy and TV interviews of Najam Sethi where he often says it like it is. I have reviewed a book by Air Commodore Sajad Haider who is blunt and honest. The people are there. The exposes are there, and it is all out there.

One of the biggest problems as I see it is related to the fact that Pakistan is closely allied with the USA which in turn has the most widely read and seen media apparatus in the world. The USA is protecting Pakistan. The crooks of Pakistan are the very people who implement US strategy. It's like how the US supports the Saudi monarchy and their debauchery.

The "international press" is only as useful as its reach and what is allowed to go through. What happens in Pakistan is well known, but the people responsible for that are never held to account. We have a culture of rah rahing the US - but the utter impotence the US has shown with regard to Xerox Khan and the way cases like Muktaran Mai have been highlighted but forgotten indicates that there is no real intent to expose Pakistan. The criminal ruling class of Pakistan are too useful for the USA and probably hide some really dark secrets.

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Re: Terrorist Islamic Republic of Pakistan (TSP): Sep 22, 20

Postby Altair » 28 Sep 2011 22:03

shiv wrote:
But actually there are a few honest people. They don't get much mileage though. We have seen dozens of honest articles - including some by Ayesha Sidiqa Agha, Pervez Hoodbhoy and TV interviews of Najam Sethi where he often says it like it is. I have reviewed a book by Air Commodore Sajad Haider who is blunt and honest. The people are there. The exposes are there, and it is all out there.


Exactly. We only get to hear stories from people who do not carry much weight. Any one with even a faintest conscious knows what he must do, He must expose them. It is like the dog which did not bark. Why is there not a single instance like this when such atrocities have been going on for years.
IF there is not a single instance of a good to heart,his faith and country ever coming out to expose his superiors or peers then we have definitely not addressed this angle before.What are we missing here? Or is it that such people came to expose but were turned down or worse returned back?
Even in other Muslim countries we have had whistle blowers and defectors from authoritative positions.
No single organization can actually have 6 sigma efficient employee satisfaction. It is just impossible.

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Re: Terrorist Islamic Republic of Pakistan (TSP): Sep 22, 20

Postby BijuShet » 28 Sep 2011 22:04

From Tribune new story (posting in full).
BNP leader Abdul Salam killed in Khuzdar
Published: September 28, 2011
Two armed men, riding a motorbike, opened indiscriminate firing on Salam’s vehicle and injured him and his daughter. PHOTO: EXPRESS

KHUZDAR: Balochistan National Party (BNP) leader Abdul Salam was gunned down by unidentified people in Khuzdar, Express 24/7 reported on Wednesday.

Two armed men riding a motorbike opened indiscriminate fire on Salam’s vehicle and injured him and his daughter.

Both the victims were taken to the hospital, where Salam succumbed to his injuries. His daughter is in critical condition.

Police have registered a case and have started investigation.

Salam was a prominent lawyer of Khuzdar. The Balochistan Bar Association has strongly condemned the killing and has announced complete boycott of court tomorrow, as a protest against the killing.

Numerous leaders of the BNP have been killed in targeted attacks as the situation in Balochistan remains volatile. In July this year, BNP leader Jumma Khan Raisani was gunned down in Khuzdar.

President of the Supreme Court Bar Association (SCBA) Asma Jehangir said Balochistan’s situation has been deteriorating since the day security forces were given authority to make decisions for the province.

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Re: Terrorist Islamic Republic of Pakistan (TSP): Sep 22, 20

Postby RamaY » 28 Sep 2011 22:17

^ All these TSPA/ISI inspired/planned/supported attacks on key leadership in Af-Pak area is very worrying. It may not appear much for the concerned powers such as USA, India, Russia etc., but with their inaction they are allowing TSPA to dominate the political and military space in the region.

To keep other options for this regions open it is necessary that top leadership of TSPA-kabila guards are given same treatment, the only way to motivate them to stop attacking the opposing leadership.

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Re: Terrorist Islamic Republic of Pakistan (TSP): Sep 22, 20

Postby subodh » 28 Sep 2011 22:35

Altair wrote:No single organization can actually have 6 sigma efficient employee satisfaction. It is just impossible.



Maybe the paki army is unlike the typical organisation to which one applies such metrics.

they are far clsoer to an organised crime family, not the romantacised version of mario puzo, but more like the mexican zeta type people.

no one defects from the zeta, and there is always a steady stream of folk being brutally slaughtered both inside and outside the organisation to make sure it stays that way. the riches and loot that accrues to those who stay inside and alive is immense, and it exponetially grows as one goes up the chain of command. violence and conflict are constant, and when they ebb because local law enforcement is overwhlemed or exhausted, the zeta start killing civilians, other gangs, or literally anyone - to reignite conflict.

by the way, the zeta was started by a core group of ex-mex army sf guys.

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Re: Terrorist Islamic Republic of Pakistan (TSP): Sep 22, 20

Postby Prem » 28 Sep 2011 22:56

http://pn.com.pk/details_en.php?nid=20275
Partnership with Pakistan difficult to revive: Mullen

Washington D.C. Adm. Mullen said in an interview with The Wall Street Journal that partnership approach he long championed had fallen short as it would be difficult to revive.’ I’m losing people, and I m just not going to stand for that.He informed the US Congress last week Pakistan s military intelligence service were collaborating with a militant group that the US blames for attacks on Americans, including the shelling of the U.S. Embassy in Kabul on Sept. 13.


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Re: Terrorist Islamic Republic of Pakistan (TSP): Sep 22, 20

Postby Prem » 28 Sep 2011 23:00


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Re: Terrorist Islamic Republic of Pakistan (TSP): Sep 22, 20

Postby Dilbu » 28 Sep 2011 23:08

BijuShet wrote:From Tribune new story (posting in full).
BNP leader Abdul Salam killed in Khuzdar

TSP realises the strategic importance of Balochistan and and will now look to step up their activities to eliminate maximum number of Baloch leaders who have the potential to be of assistance to any one trying to gain a foothold in the region.

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Re: Terrorist Islamic Republic of Pakistan (TSP): Sep 22, 20

Postby JE Menon » 28 Sep 2011 23:11

>>Mullen said in an interview with The Wall Street Journal that partnership approach he long championed had fallen short as it would be difficult to revive.’ I’m losing people, and I m just not going to stand for that.

But he did, and so did his predecessors for a decade. And there's more to come because his successor too will have to stand for it. The American leadership, military and political, will continue lying about Pakistan to the American public for the foreseeable future. It is a gross "misunderstimation" of the objectives of the Pakistani military establishment, and an overestimation of their own power to influence that establishment. Despite the Mullen statements, I don't see either of the above two realities changing any time soon.

If not, and I doubt this, we should see some action soon. I'll be happy to be proven wrong.

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Re: Terrorist Islamic Republic of Pakistan (TSP): Sep 22, 20

Postby Prem » 28 Sep 2011 23:24

911 could not stop Cow-Lin hugging Musharraf and calling him a friend then small pin pricks in Af-Pak wont stop holding hands together, whispering
Suun Paki Jihaadi Saathi
Na wet kar tu Apni Khaki
Billions ke millenge free Hathiar
Chahe Kitne Soldiers AF-Paq mei Maar.

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Re: Terrorist Islamic Republic of Pakistan (TSP): Sep 22, 20

Postby Agnimitra » 28 Sep 2011 23:29

JE Menon wrote:If not, and I doubt this, we should see some action soon. I'll be happy to be proven wrong.

But you won't be proven wrong. The brazen attacks on US targets in Af-Pak in recent times is a swaggering, jeering jihadi kick in their arses. They are being made to leave in humiliation. The US is at a loss to take any concrete retaliatory action in a place like Af-Pak or Somalia, which are covered in a miasma of qabila intrigues and mafia religious networks. Any US actions on the ground are lost in the maze of continuous low-intensity warfare, or are mere spikes in action - too little to even save any H&D. A more visible, organized and drastic US response could backfire and harm their own interests in the region as they drawdown -- since it will jeopardize the positions of those robber barrons in the region who are in contract with Unkil. The US will only try to maintain their own links with these contractors as they withdraw from the region. These kicks are to be expected from those who are not US contractors. Right now the US is reduced to even imploring China to influence TSP warlords.

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Re: Terrorist Islamic Republic of Pakistan (TSP): Sep 22, 20

Postby Pranay » 28 Sep 2011 23:51

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-south-asia-15099943

Pakistan and India say they have agreed to double their trade within three years in an attempt to boost relations.

Their trade relationship was damaged by attacks in the city of Mumbai in 2008 which killed 165 people and which India blamed on Pakistan-based militants.

Speaking after talks with his Pakistani counterpart in Delhi, the Indian commerce minister said both sides were committed to promoting trade ties.

The two sides agreed to ease trade barriers and promote business travel.

It is the first time for 35 years that a Pakistani commerce minister has led a business delegation to India.

"Both ministers noted with satisfaction that India and Pakistan are entering a new phase of full normalisation of bilateral trade relations," a statement released by the two sides after the meeting said.

Indian Trade Minister Anand Sharma said that Delhi would also support a scheme proposed by the European Union to boost textile exports from areas of Pakistan ravaged by floods with duty waivers.

Correspondents say that the move was trumpeted by Delhi and Islamabad as a sign of improving relations.

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Re: Terrorist Islamic Republic of Pakistan (TSP): Sep 22, 20

Postby Vivasvat » 29 Sep 2011 00:01

Off topic, but intriguing in light of the recent utterences:
Paul Krugman: U.S. Economy Needs 'The Financial Equivalent Of War'
Excerpts:
"What actually brought the Great Depression to an end was the enormous public spending program otherwise known as World War II."

World War II boosted government spending to 42 percent of total U.S. output

He said that the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, though expensive, have not stimulated the economy because in comparison to the country's total output, "this is not big spending.

The cost of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan peaked at just 1.2 percent of GDP, while the Vietnam war was nearly twice as expensive, at 2.3 percent of U.S output

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Re: Terrorist Islamic Republic of Pakistan (TSP): Sep 22, 20

Postby ramana » 29 Sep 2011 00:12

At that time there were funds to spend on war economy. Now its all with the bankers. So another BS article by a spent conomist.

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Re: Terrorist Islamic Republic of Pakistan (TSP): Sep 22, 20

Postby Agnimitra » 29 Sep 2011 00:27

^^^ IMHO these are all "farticles", because gas is all the US can do right now -- show that it CAN be a bad boy and hit back hard and that it is even convenient to do so, but that it chooses not to. But the US needs to withdraw and recuperate, while containing the situation in Af-Pak. Perhaps that is the wisest move after all. The sociological dynamics of Af-Pak are in such a state that no purposeful engagement there is possible save to quarantine it. Containment by maintaining some proxies in the area, so that the compulsive violence and competition is internecine.

Providing Af-Pak with an overarching external enemy to pillory is a connection that will actually sustain them at the current level of dynamic force (or higher) rather than catalyze the dwindling spiral. Downward spiral will continue only if Af-Pak is left to itself and internalizes all its ideological projections. There will be a spike in jihadi rage and action that will need to be contained by solid, impassive deterrence from neighbors (mostly covert ops), and ideological stonewalling. Then the rage will give way to apathy and even further down. Apathy is where it ends.

So in the meantime, the US, China, India and Iran can try to (a) keep them hemmed in without allowing them to pick a fight and regroup, (b) not allow them to freely expand operations, and (c) occasionally throw them a bone to re-enforce scavenger self-image. Then Time will hunt Pakistaniyat down into a state of apathy or death.
In this view, on-boarding Iran will be vital.
Last edited by Agnimitra on 29 Sep 2011 00:56, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Terrorist Islamic Republic of Pakistan (TSP): Sep 22, 20

Postby eklavya » 29 Sep 2011 00:55

The "veritable arm of the ISI" speech is just an attempt by Admiral Mike Mullen to rescue his own tarnished legacy and image after four years of being "Pakistan's best friend".

Q: What has changed now for Mullen to start speaking the truth?
A: Nothing, but his own approaching retirement on 30 Sep.

Mullen doesn't want to go down in history as the best friend of the biggest scum of the earth, so now this belated attempt to dry-clean his image.

28 trips he made to Pakistan in 4 years; and Kayani and Pasha made a fool out of him. This is just an attempt to say "I am not a fool". Mullen needs to tell the world what he thinks he was achieving over the last 4 years by being the terrorist's best friend.

If the US strategy towards Pakistan changes when the new Chairman of the Joint Chiefs takes over, along with Panetta in the Pentagon and Petraeus in the CIA, then it is to their and Obama's credit. Mullen is just trying to take some advance credit and undo the embarrassment of being made a chutiya by Kayani and Pasha over 4 years.

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Re: Terrorist Islamic Republic of Pakistan (TSP): Sep 22, 20

Postby A_Gupta » 29 Sep 2011 01:02

Vivasvat wrote:Off topic, but intriguing in light of the recent utterences:
Paul Krugman: U.S. Economy Needs 'The Financial Equivalent Of War'


Because the establishment and the rightwing economists dislike Krugman immensely, they tend to misquote him or quote him out of context to make him seem wacky. Since Krugman can be quoted in the original very easily, all such HuffPo articles should be ignored.

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Re: Terrorist Islamic Republic of Pakistan (TSP): Sep 22, 20

Postby Ananya » 29 Sep 2011 01:08

Massachusetts Man Arrested in Alleged Plot to Destroy Pentagon, U.S. Capitol

BOSTON – A 26-year-old Massachusetts man has been arrested and accused of plotting to destroy the Pentagon and U.S. Capitol with large remote-controlled aircraft filled with explosives.
Rezwan Ferdaus of Ashland was arrested Wednesday in Framingham when undercover federal agents delivered materials he'd requested for his alleged plan, including grenades, six machine guns and what Ferdaus believed was C-4 explosive.
Ferdaus, a U.S. citizen and Northeastern University graduate, was scheduled to make an initial appearance in federal court in Worcester on Wednesday afternoon.
A message for comment was left for his attorney, Catherine Byrne.
According to the federal affidavit, Ferdaus began planning "jihad" against the U.S. in early 2010. He allegedly believed he would have a large psychological impact by killing Americans, who he described as "enemies of Allah."


Read more: http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2011/09 ... z1ZHRAXKo8

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Re: Terrorist Islamic Republic of Pakistan (TSP): Sep 22, 20

Postby Rangudu » 29 Sep 2011 02:20

Name sounds more Iranian/Persian than TSPian...

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Re: Terrorist Islamic Republic of Pakistan (TSP): Sep 22, 20

Postby saip » 29 Sep 2011 02:27

Yeah, probably born in the USA too. But not to worry. The paki connection will surface as it always does. Perhaps he went to Pakiland for weapons training.

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Re: Terrorist Islamic Republic of Pakistan (TSP): Sep 22, 20

Postby A_Gupta » 29 Sep 2011 02:27

The US administration had the to-be-retiring-soon official make all the noise about Pakistan so that they could back-pedal if necessary, with forcing a working official to eat his own words. Sundry politicians like Senator Lindsay Graham may have unwelcomely poked their noses in and uttered fighting words, but they can always say "the administration is not tough enough".

Sure enough, they're back-pedalling.

What really has happened by Pakistan "standing up" to the US in this war of words is that Kayani, etc., reputation among the Islamists must be much repaired. US policy after Mullen == US policy before Mullen; Pakistani policy after Mullen == Pakistani policy before Mullen. Nothing has changed. Any change in American public opinion with respect to Pakistan will be attacked by the Administration and the think-tanks as "Islamophobia". Any deterioration in Pakistani public opinion about the US will be cited as a need to give more aid to Pakistan to "win hearts and minds".

All sound and fury, signifying nothing (for India, SDREs, etc.)

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Re: Terrorist Islamic Republic of Pakistan (TSP): Sep 22, 20

Postby Rangudu » 29 Sep 2011 03:13

Looks like it's the White House that is trying to soft-pedal the ISI-Haqqani link. Mullen says to NPR (tomorrow morning):

ISI has "more than contacts" with the Haqqanis "so intently focused on killing Americans that I felt it necessary to speak up

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Re: Terrorist Islamic Republic of Pakistan (TSP): Sep 22, 20

Postby Ramin » 29 Sep 2011 03:14

White House will not second admiral on Pakistan | World | DAWN.COM

WASHINGTON: The White House is refusing to endorse controversial criticism of Pakistan leveled by the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Adm. Mike Mullen.

White House press secretary Jay Carney was asked about Mullen’s claim in congressional testimony last week that the Haqqani insurgent network ”acts as a veritable arm” of Pakistan’s Inter-Services Intelligence agency.

The comment has upset Pakistan and stirred concern among some US officials at a time when the US must work with Pakistan.

Carney said that Mullen’s statement is ”not language I would use.”



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Re: Terrorist Islamic Republic of Pakistan (TSP): Sep 22, 20

Postby A_Gupta » 29 Sep 2011 03:17

The right-wing thinktank Heritage urges stern action with respect to Pakistan:
http://blog.heritage.org/2011/09/28/mor ... -pakistan/

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Re: Terrorist Islamic Republic of Pakistan (TSP): Sep 22, 20

Postby Cosmo_R » 29 Sep 2011 03:26

Rangudu wrote:Looks like it's the White House that is trying to soft-pedal the ISI-Haqqani link. Mullen says to NPR (tomorrow morning):

ISI has "more than contacts" with the Haqqanis "so intently focused on killing Americans that I felt it necessary to speak up


It's a classic good cop bad cop routine. Mullen is retiring so get him to burn bridges with public statements. Then follow up with the good cop routine from the WH and finally position James Mattis who will be the next interlocutor replacing Mullen to do this:

"The internal criticism by the officials, who spoke on the condition of anonymity because they did not want to challenge Mullen openly, "

"Mullen’s language “overstates the case,” said a senior Pentagon official with access to classified intelligence files on Pakistan, because there is scant evidence of direction or control. If anything, the official said, the intelligence indicates that Pakistan treads a delicate if duplicitous line, providing support to insurgent groups including the Haqqani network but avoiding actions that would provoke a U.S. response."

The 'Senior Pentagon Official' is James Mattis Head of CENTCOM who was in Pakistan last week and who now will put the screws saying: "I'm your last best friend" :)

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Re: Terrorist Islamic Republic of Pakistan (TSP): Sep 22, 20

Postby Cosmo_R » 29 Sep 2011 03:30

Rangudu wrote:Name sounds more Iranian/Persian than TSPian...


Doesn't look TFTA Eyeranian

http://www.facebook.com/people/Rezwan-F ... 1559501698

Apparently pretty common BD name

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Re: Terrorist Islamic Republic of Pakistan (TSP): Sep 22, 20

Postby ramana » 29 Sep 2011 03:36

Cosmo_R wrote:
Rangudu wrote:Looks like it's the White House that is trying to soft-pedal the ISI-Haqqani link. Mullen says to NPR (tomorrow morning):

ISI has "more than contacts" with the Haqqanis "so intently focused on killing Americans that I felt it necessary to speak up


It's a classic good cop bad cop routine. Mullen is retiring so get him to burn bridges with public statements. Then follow up with the good cop routine from the WH and finally position James Mattis who will be the next interlocutor replacing Mullen to do this:

"The internal criticism by the officials, who spoke on the condition of anonymity because they did not want to challenge Mullen openly, "

"Mullen’s language “overstates the case,” said a senior Pentagon official with access to classified intelligence files on Pakistan, because there is scant evidence of direction or control. If anything, the official said, the intelligence indicates that Pakistan treads a delicate if duplicitous line, providing support to insurgent groups including the Haqqani network but avoiding actions that would provoke a U.S. response."

The 'Senior Pentagon Official' is James Mattis Head of CENTCOM who was in Pakistan last week and who now will put the screws saying: "I'm your last best friend" :)


So what actual action by TSP would provoke a US response? Isnt supporting insurgent groups who attack US troops in Afghanistan a hostile act deserving of US reponse?

Or US has become like India!

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Re: Terrorist Islamic Republic of Pakistan (TSP): Sep 22, 20

Postby ramana » 29 Sep 2011 03:38

Rangudu, I think if the TSPA goes after Hackany* group there will be desertions in TSPA and we will see a Syria type situation of well trained and armed units fighting the TSPA.

*Copyright Shiv.

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Re: Terrorist Islamic Republic of Pakistan (TSP): Sep 22, 20

Postby Cosmo_R » 29 Sep 2011 03:40

Ferdaus had ordered and acquired a remote-controlled aircraft, an F-86 Sabre, for use in his planned attacks.

http://www.politico.com/news/stories/0911/64657.html

"According to an affadavit, Ferdaus told the agents of his desire to attack the U.S., “I just can’t stop; there is no other choice for me.”

This Islamic stuff tops the moonies in programming wot? What kool-aid do they drink on Fridays?

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Re: Terrorist Islamic Republic of Pakistan (TSP): Sep 22, 20

Postby hnair » 29 Sep 2011 04:20

ramana wrote:
Cosmo_R wrote:
"Mullen’s language “overstates the case,” said a senior Pentagon official with access to classified intelligence files on Pakistan, because there is scant evidence of direction or control. If anything, the official said, the intelligence indicates that Pakistan treads a delicate if duplicitous line, providing support to insurgent groups including the Haqqani network but avoiding actions that would provoke a U.S. response."

The 'Senior Pentagon Official' is James Mattis Head of CENTCOM who was in Pakistan last week and who now will put the screws saying: "I'm your last best friend" :)


So what actual action by TSP would provoke a US response? Isnt supporting insurgent groups who attack US troops in Afghanistan a hostile act deserving of US reponse?

Or US has become like India!


The US had no problem in starting to bomb Afghanistan a few weeks after 911 before getting anything beyond "scant evidence". Apparently Mullah Omar did not know how to "tread a delicate if duplicitous line, providing support to insurgent groups including the Al Qaeda network but avoiding actions that would provoke a U.S. response"

The only action that will provoke a US response is if Pakis say no to bribes. The strong US response will be to send a few Senators to grovel with the pakis to accept an extra 500 million and throw baleful glances at New Delhi. :roll:

That "Last best friend" is like Al Qaeda#3. Soon as a "LBF" retires (like Mullen-bahadur), another takes his place. This is worse than dossier action.....

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Re: Terrorist Islamic Republic of Pakistan (TSP): Sep 22, 20

Postby kasthuri » 29 Sep 2011 05:21

Transcript: Interview With Adm. Mike Mullen

Full transcript of Morning Edition host Steve Inskeep's interview with Adm. Mike Mullen, the outgoing chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff.

Steve Inskeep: I want to begin by asking about what everyone has been talking about the last several days. Why now? Why did you make that statement now?

Adm. Mike Mullen: Well, the -– certainly, the Haqqani network that everybody's talking about has been one that we've been concerned about for a long, long time. And it was really sort of the sequencing of recent events from the InterContinental Hotel to the bombing of one of our bases the other day to the embassy, and that the strategic linkage that the ISI has had for a significant period of time, and, really, through the ISI, the Pakistani military, and, in that regard, the, you know, general support from the Pak government. And it is that linkage that I felt for a long time has to be broken.

And I don't expect it to -– they can't turn it off overnight. I'm not asserting that the Pak mil or the ISI has complete control over the Haqqanis. But the Haqqanis run that safe haven. They're also a home to al-Qaida in that safe haven.

Inskeep: On the Pakistan side of the border?

Mullen: On the Pakistani side of the border.

And I am losing American soldiers. The Haqqanis are killing American soldiers. And from that perspective, I think it's got to be addressed, which is the reason I spoke to it.

Inskeep: The Pakistani foreign minister said to us earlier this week, of course there are links that our intelligence agency would have with these guys. Your intelligence agency has links with militants. But you used the word "proxies." You said groups like the Haqqanis were acting as proxies of the Pakistani government. What do you mean in this specific context of these raids that you're talking about?

Mullen: I mean that the ISI specifically has enough support for the Haqqanis in terms of financial support, logistic support -– and actually, sort of free passage in the safe haven -– and those links are part of what enable the Haqqanis to carry out their mission. And the Haqqanis are focused on doing as much damage in Afghanistan as they possibly can, having the American and coalition troops leave and, at a — at a higher level, being able to essentially take over that battle space in ... Paktia and Khost. And that's the -– you know, that's the highway to Kabul. So that's one of the reasons that it's -– you know, it's a -– it's such a critical area to focus on.

And I just think those links have to be -– have to be broken. And if they're broken and they can't -– I don't believe they can be broken overnight, but if they're broken, I think that fundamentally changes the viability of that safe haven and the overall strategy.

Inskeep: Are the Haqqanis in your view acting out of the will -– acting out the will of the Pakistani government at the direction of the Pakistani government?

Mullen: I've talked about them supporting it. When Gen. Kayani and I have talked about this in the past, he's not a big fan of the Haqqani network. It's a very lethal, very virulent insurgent terrorist group that you just can't – you just can't walk up to and eliminate. So it isn't anything that could be done anywhere close to overnight. We talked about how to do it in the past, and that's really up -– from my perspective, that's really up to the Pakistanis to figure out.

Inskeep: Let's explain for people that Gen. Kayani is the chairman of the –- is the chief of army staff in Pakistan.

Mullen: Correct. He's the most powerful military man in Pakistan.

Inskeep: The closest counterpart to you.

Mullen: Correct.

Inskeep: You've had many, many meetings with him over the last several years. You're said to have a good relationship.

Mullen: I do.

Inskeep: You've just said he doesn't like the Haqqanis, and yet Pakistan's Inter-Services Intelligence, which is under him, in your view, is supporting them. Is ISI out of his control?

Mullen: When I -– no. I don't believe that. In fact, I believe it's within his control. And if I could just -– you asked about proxies. When I went to Pakistan in 2008, one of the things that I spoke to the political and military leadership about was this whole issue of supporting insurgent groups or proxies. And another one that, quite frankly, historically, has been support has been LeT –- and LeT, basically, originally created to focus on the challenges in Kashmir, yet -– which is in the -– on the eastern side of Pakistan.

Inskeep: This is Lashkar-e-Taiba we're talking about here.

Mullen: Lashkar-e-Taiba. And they are now actually spreading west. But it's another -– it's part of the strategy, from my perspective, that is there to enhance the security of the country. That's how it is thought about there. I –

Inskeep: You're saying the Pakistanis think of these groups as weapons that they can use at some point.

Mullen: Clearly to ensure that their security is going to be improved.

And you spoke earlier, Steve, about what Foreign Minister [Hina] Khar said, which is, certainly contacts are understood. But this is more than contacts. And we've spoken to that -– I've spoken to that many, many times, not just with Gen. Kayani, but with lots of other people. And it is the intensity, the severity, and, quite frankly, for me as a senior military officer in America, the fact that it is so intently focused right now on killing Americans that I felt it necessary to speak up.

Inskeep: Given that, in the last few days, there seem to have been a few officials walking away from your statement, do you want to re-word anything that you said last week?

Mullen: Not a word.

Inskeep: You phrased it the way you want it to be phrased.

Mullen: I phrased it the way I wanted it to be phrased.

Inskeep: And given the strong reaction in Pakistan, not just from the military but among civilians where people briefly seem to be talking as if they thought they were going to war with the United States, is that the reaction that you wanted?

Mullen: One of the challenges of the -– of this relationship is that, first of all, we need it to be sustained. And I met with Gen. Kayani a week -– about 10 days ago, and we both agree on that. It's a very difficult relationship. It's had its ups and downs. We're in a very tough period right now, literally this year, going back to the Raymond Davis issue, obviously the bin Laden raid, certainly -– and certainly this issue now, the embassy attack in Kabul, etc.

But I think we -– and we've been able to work our way through even these most difficult issues I think in part because we've had a relationship that has included an awful lot of engagement and an ability to talk to each other and discuss the issues.

It's always not going to go well. But there have been parts of it that have gone well and are going well right now. I mean, the coordination across the border between Afghanistan and Pakistan, between our forces and the Pakistani military, has never been better. We are -– the ISI and our intelligence agencies — are sharing information and rounding up some significant players with respect to terrorists, for example. So there is a -– there is a sharing and a -– and a -– and a desire to work together that I think we have to continue to focus on and try to sustain for the future.

Inskeep: Because when I heard your testimony, you mentioned engagement. When I heard about your testimony last week, I almost felt like you were telling people that all your efforts at engagement with this country had failed, that they hadn't worked out.

Mullen: Well, I made a conscious decision very early in this tour that it was important to engage, in particular, Gen. Kayani –- back to his being the most important military officer in Pakistan, and I, as the senior military officer in America -– and the desire to have a relationship, which isn't unusual, quite frankly, for me and lots of other countries, and so –- and recognizing, there's a -– there's a rich and, in ways, spotted history between our countries, and particularly between our militaries. I mean, when you listen to them, which I try to do, try to understand their problems, how they view the world, what their interests are, where they overlap, and you look back throughout their history, they would tell you, we abandoned them -– or we didn't support them in '65, we didn't support them in '71; we left in 1989. And so there's a huge trust deficit. And it's probably bigger than I realized.

And so back to your point about the demonstrations, etc., we're not very popular with the Pakistani people, and we -– America is not. And I think that -– those demonstrations that you speak to are a reflection of that. And the trust deficit is huge. I'm just one that believes we need to continue to work on it and, if we don't, the longer-term dangers of not having a relationship and not trying to close this gap far outweigh what we're going through right now.

Inskeep: What options are available beyond continuing to engage, continue to talk? Is there anything else you can do to –

Mullen: Well –

Inskeep: -– to move things in the direction you want them to go?

Mullen: From the United States' perspective, there's a broad range of strategic parts of this relationship. It's not just all about military or about al-Qaida or about the Haqqanis. There's an important economic relationship, an important financial relationship, important development relationship and obviously a security relationship.

It's also a regional issue; it's not just about Pakistan or just about Afghanistan. I think there are regional responsibilities that we all have to try to stabilize that part of the world so that it -– so that it can start to move in the other direction. And right now, admittedly, the relationship's in a very tough spot, but we've recovered from tough spots before, and I'm confident we can do that.

Inskeep: Would you want your successor or successors to do something differently than has been tried over the last several years?

Mullen: Well, I think my successor is going to have to make up his own mind what he's going to do and how he's going to do it.

Certainly we have engaged the Pak mil –- the Pakistani military from the ISAF point of view. I mean, Gen. McChrystal did it, Gen. Petraeus did it, Gen. Allen is doing it. From the CENTCOM point of view, Gen. Mattis has done that -– in fact he was there as recently as a few days ago; and certainly from the chairman's perspective.

The military is a very important organization in that country, but it shouldn't be the only organization that we engage. Engagements with the civilian leaders, engagements with the economic leaders, engagements in the region -– I've said for a long time: I think unlocking Kashmir, which is a very difficult issue on the Pak-Indian border, is one that opens it all up, and I think -– I believe we have to continue to try to, all of us, figure out a way to work that as well.

Inskeep: Does Gen. Kayani want to make peace with India –- a durable peace with India?

Mullen: In many discussions I've had with him, he would much rather have a stable, peaceful environment on both his borders than the one he has right now.

Inskeep: Because the military is seen as an obstacle there, as you know very well?

Mullen: Well, that's certainly a view. You asked me about what he -– what he feels, what he believes and what he –- what we talk about. I think that's the longer-term view, is peace and stability on those two borders, which is –- which is what would present opportunities to have a growing economy, forward investment, you know, a stable country moving in the right direction.

Inskeep: Let's remind people that you also testified last week about Afghanistan.

Mullen: Yeah.

Inskeep: And you said something that I want to learn a little bit more about. You said that the military part of the mission, to the extent it can be separated from all the other parts of the strategy, the military part of the equation is working well. But then you spoke with concern about the other parts of the strategy –-

Mullen: Yeah.

Inskeep: -– about the politics in Afghanistan, Pakistan and everything else. Aren't the other parts of the strategy the ones that will finally determine what happens in Afghanistan?

Mullen: Absolutely. I think there's –- that, in terms of overall risk, while certainly the military side of this, there certainly is risk associated with the next couple of years.

We've made tremendous improvements. If you look at where we were a couple years ago in Helmand and Kandahar and where we are right now for the security -– from a security perspective, we're in a much better place –- not perfect, still have challenges. But all that does -– and I've said this many times -– the military side of this is just a necessary side of it. It's not sufficient. There's got to be decent governance at the local level –- in the local villages, local districts, in the provinces; there's got to be –- there's got to be resources that flow to those provinces and people; and we've got to get to a point where the Afghan people trust their own government.

And that speaks to governance, it speaks to corruption, and corruption is still a huge challenge. There's -– certainly the goal is not to eliminate all corruption, but the Afghan people have to feel as though they're working for a government that's working for them, and too many of them right now don't feel that way.

The other piece is -– high-risk piece is -– are the safe havens in Pakistan that have to be eliminated. And without significant movement in all –- in those other areas that I've mentioned, then the military by itself just isn't going to be enough.

Inskeep: If I remember correctly, you said it was unlikely, on the path that we're on, that Afghanistan would have a legitimate and less corrupt government before the year 2015, which is a meaningful thing to say since the goal is to have troops out, by and large, by 2014.

Mullen: Well, the goal of -– I mean, the goal right now -– and I'm actually pretty optimistic about this –- is to have the Afghans in the lead –-

Inskeep: (Inaudible.)

Mullen:– by the end of 2014 –

Inskeep: I'm sorry; yeah.

Mullen: -– in terms of their own security. And if you look at where we were two years ago, in terms of their development, numbers, skills, quality, retention, attrition both in their soldiers, their army and their police force, we're in a much different place.

We've put structure in place there. We've got schools the -– they -– we've – their literacy rate, which was a huge concern, has improved significantly, while at the same -– and while at the same time, they're out in the field now, after this training, a -– the vast majority of operations are joint operations. So we're –- the coalition forces and the Afghan forces, they are leading some. Their special forces are better.

So we've made an awful lot of improvements and, over the course of the next two or three years, while we take out the 33,000 over the course of the next year, they're going to put in a lot more forces than that. So I actually, from that standpoint, I'm more optimistic than I am pessimistic.

Inskeep: Is there likely to be a legitimate and reasonably stable and less corrupt government in 2014 when you want Afghans in the lead in Afghanistan than there is now?

Mullen: What I -– (cough) -– excuse me -– what I would hope for, at that point in time, is that we're clear -– that we've taken significant steps in that direction and clearly there's a trend. What I worry about is if there isn't, that even with the security conditions dramatically improved, we will not have a government that's in touch with its people and that the people trust. And, in the end, that's not going to work.

Inskeep: Given that you have made considerable progress against militants who directly threaten the United States, starting with Osama bin Laden -–

Mullen: Yeah. Yeah.

Inskeep: -– but continuing right on, is the fight still worth the cost?

Mullen: From my -– that's a -– that's not a, from my perspective, a question for me to answer. Certainly, I mean, the president's made a decision: This is what we're going to do. And that's a question that needs to be answered by the American people.

From the standpoint of being able to execute it, looking at the progress, getting to a point where we don't leave them hanging, as we always have done in the past, and only by virtue of planting that seed, you know, grow something down the road, 10 or 15 or 20 years later, that's worse than when we left it, I think it's a very important mission to undertake, incredibly complex. And certainly clear outcomes, while I can -– while I can understand them intellectually, seeing them at this point is very difficult.

Inskeep: Seeing the outcomes is difficult?

Mullen: Yeah, because of the -– because of where we are. I would liken this to the time, when I came in as chairman, which was at the height of the surge in Iraq. It was very -– I mean, we have these goals, but it's very difficult to see a clear path for sure to getting there –- and yet, look where we are. So I'm confident the strategy's right, we got the right people, the changes that have been made are correct. It's now – it's in the execution.

Inskeep: On both sides of that border?

Mullen: Absolutely.

Inskeep: Let me ask about another issue, admiral. Of course, near the end of your tenure, "don't ask, don't tell" ended inside the military. It's just been a few days, but has anything surprised you about the change that has wrought in the military?

Mullen: Actually, so far, no. I mean, we're eight days into the change, so it hasn't been very long.

But I have enormous confidence in our people, our leadership, our standards, our discipline, and I want to give great credit to the service chiefs and the service senior enlisted advisers who work this training in all their leadership, down to the trenches, in every single service over the last seven or eight months and came back with, you know, the unanimous recommendation that they were ready to go. The training was very effective and, I mean, we were not out there trying to change everybody's view. But we do understand what's acceptable behavior, we do understand what the standards are, and we are a disciplined organization.

And so we are into execution; we're into the second week and, so far, I've got no negative feedback. There haven't been any incidents. In fact, the -– you know, after the initial significant publicity associated with that change, it's been pretty quiet. And I believe that it's -– while it's a major change, the message I get from the troops in the field and the deck plates on ships is we got a lot of other things on our plate, a lot of other things more important. We need to move on.

Inskeep: What parts of that change are still unanswered in your mind?

Mullen: The question I get is about benefits. And there are some benefits, clearly, that are -– that accrue to the change which has already taken place, and there are other benefits which are brought up which are directly tied to DOMA, which is the Defense of Marriage Act, which is a law in the country -– and we follow the law. And until -– if and when that changes –- I mean, we'll follow whatever law is out there. Right now -– so there are benefits that DOMA has tied up by virtue of what -– the details that it specifically lays out and so until that changes, there's not going to be any change to the benefits.

Inskeep: You felt that it was a moral issue to treat gay soldiers in the military the same as others.

Mullen: I felt it was an integrity issue. I felt it was an issue that was driven, you know, inside an organization that values integrity, which has been bedrock to me since I was a midshipman in the '60s, and I could never reconcile the fact that integrity is one of our values and yet I would ask thousands to show up to work every day and in some cases die for their country and then have to lie about who they were.

So it wasn't –- for me, it wasn't overly complex –- a very difficult issue, I understand that, about an issue that, one, I think now is behind us and, two, is a very positive change in terms of –- in terms of our people. To me, we are all about our people. And this to me was -– had nothing to do with sexual orientation from the perspective it's –- I mean, our -– the views or our regulations or the laws about our people should have nothing to do with sexual orientation. It should have everything to do with who they are and their ability to serve and make a difference. And that's where we are.

Inskeep: Could that issue of integrity also be brought to bear on these related questions or questions that flow from the decision having to do with gay marriage, having to do with spousal benefits -– treating people equally?

Mullen: From my perspective, the major issue with respect to integrity had to do with the need to cover up your life with -– lie about who you were, lie about your personal relationships, constantly –- as a way of life. And to me, that's fundamentally different from whether benefit A, B or C should be given to certain individuals.

Inskeep: Is there some personal story that you heard during your many years in the service that made you feel so strongly about this issue?

Mullen: No, I mean, I've –- one of the reasons that I'm still in the military –- or I stayed in the military -– is because I think the military has been a place where certainly people could improve, advance, and were treated fairly. So in fact, engaging them, understanding that, caring about them has been part of my life since 1968 when I was commissioned. If there were personal stories that helped me with this, it were those individuals who actually left the military and talked about their lives in the military along the lines of what I said in terms of having to lie about who they were every single day.

Inskeep: Couple of other questions, admiral, and I'll let you go. I know your time is short and I could ask for a long time about budget matters.

Mullen: Don't do (that ?).

Inskeep: I'm just going to ask a -– (laughter) -– but let me -– let me ask this: You have already helped direct the military into a position where you're prepared to reduce the increase in spending over the next decade –- considerable savings, hundreds of billions of dollars in savings. The military, after you leave it, will face the possibility –- the prospect of hundreds of billions of dollars more as soon as this supercommitee, for example, comes to a decision or does not. Can the military take it?

Mullen: If the decision -– I think we have to pay our fair share. I've been pretty clear about saying that I think that the No. 1 threat to our national security is our debt. And we've got to get our arms around that and head it in another -– head it in the right direction –- that we have to pay our fair share of this.

But this is not the '70s; this isn't the '90s. This is a -– this is a time where there are still many threats out there in a very uncertain world. And if I were just to go back a few months -– if I go back to the Arab Spring and the changes associated with that, to the continued turmoil in the Middle East –- if I look at Iran and North Korea, if I look at a growing China, if I look at counterterrorism, cyberspace, and I look –- and I've got a force that is very stretched and stressed after 10 years of war. We just have to be careful.

If we get to $1.2 trillion or which -– or some number like that — that we've got to remove over the next 10 years, we're going to be a lot smaller, we're going to have to do a lot less, and particularly if this sequester part of the log essentially occurs –

Inskeep: If the supercommittee doesn't reach a decision.

Mullen: The supercommitee -– yeah, does not do what it's supposed to do and a sequester goes into effect, the way that gets executed, it affects almost every single account. So it -– from my point of view, it has a very, very strong chance of breaking us. And in the world we're living in right now, I think that would really be dangerous.

Inskeep: Breaking you -– what does that mean?

Mullen: It means eroding training and readiness. It means not being able to modernize, it –- because of the way it hits every single account. So it will break programs and it has great potential to dramatically hollow out the force and do it very, very rapidly. So I'm arguing for -– certainly we're tasked right now with finding over $450 billion in savings over the next 10 years. I think we can do that. There's risk associated with that. It's very hard but it's manageable. I think if we double that, we'd be in trouble.

Inskeep: The last thing I'm going to ask you, admiral, here we are, almost on your last day on this job. Have you had even a moment in recent days to think about your first days in the Navy? And what do you remember, if anything?

Mullen: Well, what I remember is what actually -– what drives me today is the great people that I was around, the young -– back then, it was young men who were 18, 19, 20 years old, off to war in Vietnam that I didn't really understand, in a place I didn't really know –- enormously complex -– but focused on what I was trying to get done. And in 1969 when I went there, it was an unpopular war at a very unpopular time in our country for lots of reasons, not just the war.

So that in -– that formed a lot of the framework for me as these wars have occurred –-

Inskeep: What were you trying to get done? What was your job?

Mullen: Back then?

Inskeep: Yeah, sure.

Mullen: I was -– more than anything else, I was the anti-submarine warfare officer, but on the gun line in Vietnam I was a watch officer, essentially -– typically on for four hours and off for eight hours endlessly. We had five-inch manual guns that -– well, we fired so many runs -– rounds out of those guns that they literally would melt –- these five-inch steel guns -– they would turn bright red as if you were looking at a coal in a barbeque.

And it was just -– it was just relentless time after time after time, supporting soldiers and Marines ashore, in my case, up around the DMZ for weeks at a time. So it was intense. It was -– it was dangerous. And at the same time, it was an execution of what the president was telling us to do, and from that standpoint that's what we did, and we did it as well as we could.

Inskeep: Adm. Mullen, thanks very much.

Mullen: Thanks, Steve.

Inskeep: I could ask you 50 more questions but I'll stop. Did I miss anything important you want to get at or -– get anything particularly wrong?

Mullen: Yeah, there's one story -– there's one story that's really opening up right now that you didn't ask me about.

Inskeep: What's that?

Mullen: I can't tell you. (Chuckles.) No, I'm kidding. (Laughter.)



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