Pakistan and the United States

Muslim Matters

Pakistan and the United States

By Geoffrey Cook, TMO

I. Preamble

Berkeley–As riots run all over the Islamic world – including Pakistan — this article becomes more poignant.   The American Secretary of State has emphasized the United States government had no part in the production of the highly offensive Islamophic film shown over YouTube.  In fact, the government has asked its parent company, Google, to take it down, which it has refused to do, that only shows how bad and irresponsible a corporate citizen that company has become.   The conglomerate has blocked it in Egypt and Tunisia on their own response to the civil unrest there, and in India and Indonesia when informed that the video violated their laws, and those countries were prepared to prosecute them in their courts which could potentially ban Google from their lucrative markets.  It does not violate U.S. laws due to the First Amendment to the Constitution (freedom of expression), and, for some unexplained reason, is not judged to be within the “fighting words” limitation.  The local authorities in Southern California are looking into a technical violation of a breaking of probation for uploading the video which would send the individual responsible to prison for a short time.   Ultimately, the culprit is American Capitalism as it is currently interpreted within the Republic.

II. Neil Joeck and the U.S.’ Perspective on the U.S.-Pakistani Relationship

Neil Joeck, whom your scribe has personally known for several years, is a Senior Fellow at the Center for Global Security Research (CGSR) at the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL) and a Visiting Scholar at the Institute for International Studies (IIS) at the University of California here at Berkeley.

Dr. Joeck has worked on India and Pakistan as a political analyst and group leader at LLNL .  Taking leave from that National Lab in Livermore California in 2001, he served as a member of the Policy Planning Staff at the Department of State in Washington until 2003.  From 2004 to 2005, he was the Director for counter-proliferation Strategy at the National Security Council, and from 2009 to 2011 he was the National Intelligence Officer for South Asia in the Office of the Director for National Intelligence. 

In other words, he is an insider in the U.S. intelligence and policy regime in the War Against Terror (GWOT) in South Asia which includes Afghanistan and Pakistan.

The United States’ vision for the future of Pakistan is that of a democratic and prosperous Islamic nation although at the present there is some concern over their nuclear capability.  Pakistan is one of the foci of the “terror nexus” which, also, includes India, Pakistan Afghanistan and the United States of America.

There is a fear in the three other capitals that Islamabad will collapse from within even though, historically, the District of Columbia and Rawalpindi have been in alliance throughout the Cold War.  Yet Pakistan has deemed as distressing ancillary U.S. policies.

For instance, the Global War on Terror is not entirely in the Islamic Republic’s interests.  They are fretful about their own safety and security.  Any accident within the uneasy alliance on this GWOT could flare up the traditional tensions between India and Pakistan. This has put a barrier to a fulfilling relationship between America and Pakistan.

Their nuclear stockpile is not fully weaponized; and, therefore, is safe in peacetime.  Yet, there is always possibility of a religious fundamentalist “coup.”  Therefore, the American military is training their Command and Control in nuclear security.  The COAS (Commander of the Armed Services) has overseen the development of a 10,000 person nuclear security force.  Because of this, the proliferation of their nuclear ability is not a reasonable supposition in Dr. Joeck’s opinion at this time.

Terrorists cannot be contained by a nuclear strike.  Yet, on the State level during the Prime Ministership of Benazir Bhutto nuclear technology may have been transferred (for missile expertise with North Korea).  Neil Joek affirms that all transfer of technologies should be under (international) supervision.  There is always a danger for a nuclear war in the Indo-Pak Theater.  Pakistan made the decision on developing the bomb after the experience of losing East Pakistan (now the Muslim-majority nation of Bangladesh).

A War between India and Pakistan could break out over a terrorist incident (and we have seen that almost happening twice.)  India is prepared for engagement with Pakistan, and Pakistan is ready for a reply.  “Once bombs fly, they will be hard to stop;” thus, the U.S., of course, urges restraint. 

“Al’ Qaeda is by no means is defunct” (even after the death of Osama bin-Laden and other high commanders.)  There is still considerable support for them within Pakistan’s Northwest Frontier Provinces (NWP) although the actors themselves are mainly Arab mercenaries. 

Some of the remnants of Al ’Qaeda have attacked India while the allied Taliban is at war with the post 9-11 Afghani State.  A decade ago the U.S. was not in favor of the Afghani anti-Taliban Northern Alliance pushing the Taliban totally out of Afghanistan’s future political structure.  The States’ desire was to glue a coalition of some sort together.

The Af-Pak border is most porous.  The Haqqani network works in tandem with the Taliban and Al ’Qaeda on the Durand Line (i.e., frontier), but, curiously, Neil claims they are under the control of the Pakistani ISI (Inter-Services Intelligence agency) even though the Haqqani family fights against the interests of the Government at the Center. 

The U.S. response to the GWOT has been Homeland Security.  Its purpose is to intercept any Weapons Of Mass Destruction (WMDs), and those who plan to use them within the Metropole (i.e., Imperial Homeland), and it is a chief institution of counter-terrorism since September 11th 2001.

Through all the frictions, the United States and Pakistan remain the closest of allies.  The most exacerbating of those abrasions has been Rawalpindi’s refusal to help Kabul to control their Taliban by totally eradicating them from their bases in the NWP.  D.C. (the District of Columbia) sees this as ingratitude in the wake of the U.S.A.’s support to Islamabad against terrorism that aims to destabilize the Pakistani State.  More so now, since talks with those radical Afghanistani “Students” have fallen apart.

This paper is the first installment on this important interchange with a top U.S. diplomatic intelligence analyst on the Islamic Republic of Pakistan.  As can be seen, he acknowledges the deep long-lasting friendship between two incongruous allies for the interests of each converge and diverge.

In future installments we shall examine how this works in real time.   


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