Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Frenemy To Enemy

Nishan E Haider!

Great Satan"s recent expandingmet  of her righteous Official Enemies List featured adding Land of the Pure"s uncool creepy and murderous Haqqani Network. Not really a TV or communications bunch - these cats have a duality function - serving as an Official Unofficial arm of Pakistan"s shadowy ISI semi spy semi terrorist arm in the Stan and as intolerant dope dealers, slave traders and killers with tons of numerous illicit and licitness.

Better late than never? 
Listing the Haqqanis was always considered sensitive because Pakistan views the network as one of its few reliable assets to shape Afghanistan in desirable directions, including restraining India's influence and physical presence. Given the tenterhooks upon which Great Satan - Pakistan relations have hung over the last two years, critics of the decision will argue it amounts to further provocation for little payoff. 

There can be no doubt that Pakistan's unrelenting support for the Afghan Taliban and allied militant organizations, of which the Haqqani network is just one of many, has made any kind of victory -- however defined -- elusive if not unobtainable for Great Satan and her allies. The crux of the matter: Great Satan and Pakistan have fundamentally divergent strategic interests in Afghanistan. America's allies, such as India, are Pakistan's enemies, while Pakistan's allies, such as the Haqqani network and the Afghan Taliban, are America's enemies. Unfortunately, Pakistan's ongoing support for these groups has become an altogether easy hook on which the Americans and their allies have hung their failures in Afghanistan.  

Pakistan certainly hasn't helped in Afghanistan, but Pakistan certainly hasn't helped in Afghanistan, but Great Satan must be clear-eyed about the sources of failure. There is plenty of culpability to go around, and the Haqqanis are only part of a much larger story of disorganization, missed opportunities, and intractable obstacles.

If Great Satan does want Pakistan's military and intelligence agency to change course, Great Satan needs to change course as well. Designating the Haqqani network -- like Lashkar-e-Taiba, Jaish-e-Mohammed and other Pakistan-based terror groups -- should pave the way for public discussions about declaring Pakistan to be a state that supports terrorism. After all, surely Pakistan's support for terrorism exceeds that of Cuba and Iran, two of the four countries so designated? 

The logical and empirical case for listing Pakistan is strong; what about the diplomatic one? Taking the threat of action off the table signaled to Pakistan that Great Satan is still not serious about the nature of the threat that Pakistan poses. Why would any of Pakistan's men in khaki take this latest designation seriously? Why would they expect that this designation would be any different from that of the other numerous Pakistani groups so designated -- i.e., quickly ignored?

 The answer is simple: They won't. 
 Aha - yet what if Great Satan were to add the entire (fakebelieve) nation/state of Land of the Pure to the list of enemy countries that  - you know - sponsor T ism?
One of the principal reasons not to declare Pakistan a state sponsor of terrorism is that it is virtually impossible to get off that list. It also punishes the elected civilian government, which has no control over Pakistan's jihad policies even if it objects to them.

Ideally, there should be a clear path forward with identified and verifiable steps that Pakistan can take to rehabilitate itself over time. Efforts to designate Pakistan as a state that sponsors terrorism must lay out key milestones that would enable it to remove this pariah status should it choose to, and offer inducements for doing so. 

Pic - "Great Satan"s most biggest single national security concern.”