Monday, March 9, 2009

ISI Cleaning Crew

Since Land of the Pure's recent Swat Valley fete of Taliban, AQ cats and fanboys proved beyond a shadow of a doubt that Pakistan - for whatever reasons - cannot seem to impose the essential writ of state in certain portions (like up to 25%!) of non sovereign turf it's time to face facts.

Carnegie Endowment for Internat'l Peace - one of Great Satan's premier think tanks has unleashed Dr Frédéric Grare's provocative recipe for cutting straight to it - Pakistan's shadowy ISI - the Inter Security Intell agency.

ISI has bloody bona fides in mayhem, instability, assassination and intolerant murderous chicaney. Also ISI is thought to be chock full of terrorist agents and overt sympathizers with Great Satan's blood sworn enemies.

"Reforming the Intelligence Agencies in Pakistan’s Transitional Democracy" shares all the gossip and naughty hottie details detailing such a move. Essenially - The "AfPak" theatre of unconventional war is about as stable as it's going to get unless certain creeps are not marginalized, woo'd over, or magically made to disappear.

While it may prove harder to clean up and out ISI than convincing girls not to text while driving, there prob isn't much choice left.

"Pakistan’s new and fragile government must reform the country’s intelligence agencies to counter their influence on civil society and politics. The army remains the dominant actor in Pakistan’s political life, despite some improvements in civil-military relations in recent years. (GsGf editorial note - despite losing every war - including all the ones they've started - which IS all of them)

Previous abuses of power by both Pakistani regimes and the intelligence agencies—particularly Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI)—make reforms imperative before Pakistan can continue its democratic transition.

Through interviews with Pakistani officials and case studies in Indonesia and Chile, Grare argues that with patience, resolve, and assistance from the international community, Pakistan’s government can successfully reassert civilian control over the intelligence community. "

Available complete in PDF, Dr G shares some of the plots and connivances to re make ISI totally over:

Work through the Pakistani government, not the intelligence services. The current double standard of demanding that the government end support for regional extremists within its agencies, yet still maintaining working relations with those agencies, undermines the government and vindicates intelligence actors.

Pursue alternate supply routes to Afghanistan to diminish the importance of Pakistan and its agencies to the NATO mission. The international community should seek routes through China and Iran to reduce Islamabad’s leverage over Western countries fighting in Afghanistan. The newly opened Russia route isn’t a stable solution, given ongoing tensions over NATO.

Condition aid to the Pakistani military on improved control of the intelligence agencies and counterterrorism cooperation. Pakistani intelligence agencies are losing their base of support and are increasingly targeted by terrorists. Previous resistance to cooperate in counterterrorism is likely diminishing, and the international community should capitalize on the opportunity. "

Land of the Pure also faces some serious meds:

Restore the Supreme Court and prosecute ISI violations of legality. Reestablishing judicial preeminence is critical to intelligence reform and democratization, so amnesty for past violations should not be used as a political bargaining tool.

Reinforce the separation between civilian and military intelligence agencies. The integration of former ISI agents into other civilian bodies—particularly the Intelligence Bureau (IB)—should be limited or stopped. Cross-recruitment prevents organizations from becoming independent

Strengthen the police force. A better-trained and equipped police can take over some of the counterterrorism work currently used by the intelligence agencies to legitimize their control.

Build public support, but manage expectations. Public support is essential to advance reforms, but raising public expectations beyond reasonable objectives could enflame social tensions. Public intolerance of intelligence agencies abuses is often the best guarantee against a return to corruption after reforms have taken place. "

Dr G's conclusion is quite conclusive:

"Pakistan’s civilian government would be wrong to ignore the need to decisively establish its supremacy over the intelligence community.

Reducing the role of the military in intelligence should be a priority not only because it will help the government consolidate itself domestically but also because the perception abroad of Pakistan’s emerging democracy and consequent foreign support will be shaped by its capacity to impose its authority on the intelligence agencies’ activities on issues ranging from domestic terrorism to foreign policy.”

Tough to imagine that Land of the Pure's internal enemies of a semi secular democracy would sweetly submit to such stiff prodding without some very tough love.

May be time for Great Satan to become way more than crazy and unpredictable. Indeed, it may be time to add mean and scary to the list.

Pic - "ISI Cleaning Crew"


Ralph said...

Very interesting. For me the key to Pakistan is shutting down or reforming the Saudi funded Madrasahs that have proliferated since the 1980's and are producing fundamentalist killers by the thousands. The ISI cannot be pushed to hard or they will have their friends assassinate or overthrow any politician or government that tries. Here are some other ideas: Step one, assassinate AQ Khan to send a message about nuclear proliferation. Step two, no army officers currently serving or retired can serve in the ISI, Step three, make US aid conditional on reform while cozying up to India, Step 4, give the Central Asian Stan's any money they want for bases and tell the Russians to BUGGER OFF. Iran and China are not going to let us send supplies to Afghanistan. If the Russians get pissy make Ukrainian membership in NATO a top priority with a US Naval Base in the Crimea. Just some ideas for GSGF. I am going to go mess up the house so the ladies have to work overtime :)

heidianne jackson said...

great post, courtney. i agree with your analysis...