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Sunday, June 13

British report exposes Pakistani regime's support for Taliban terrorism (UPDATED 2 X)

10:50 AM EDT UPDATE
A huge thanks to reader Akash for finding the link to the "London School of Economics" paper mentioned in the following Reuters report and the London Sunday Times report. Many people, including this blogger, had been trying without success to find the link when the story first broke.

The paper, by Matt Waldman of the Carr Center for Human Rights Policy
Kennedy School of Government, Harvard University, is titled THE SUN IN THE SKY: THE RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN PAKISTAN’S ISI AND AFGHAN INSURGENTS.

Akash found the link at al Jazeera. The paper is in PDF format. I'm trying to understand how the LSE got involved in the paper but right now I'm just happy to have the link. Thanks, again, Akash!

3:35 PM EDT UPDATE
Huh. I still can't find anything beyond the early news reports on the Waldman paper (Reuters, Times Online) that connects it to the London School of Economics. All I can see so far is that it's from the Kennedy School of Government at Harvard, which is notoriously a U.S. government propaganda outlet. Well, maybe the LSE connection will emerge in the next few hours or days.

However, after I finally got to read Waldman's paper I noticed that his conclusion repeats the canard that if only the Indian Kashmir problem could be solved, this would go a long way to tamping down the Pakistan regime's murderous rampages. In other words, he's saying that India bears a big responsibility for the Pakistani regime's murder and mayhem against NATO troops in Afghanistan.

Readers may recall the New York Times reporting in 2008 that the CIA station chief in Kabul accused his counterpart in Islamabad of Going Native; i.e., sympathizing far too much with the Pakistani regime's view of things.

Even Hamid Karzai's brother noted recently that the CIA had a strange habit of trusting no one but America's enemies; he was speaking of Pakistan.

So -- and pardon my thinking aloud -- I'm wondering whether Waldman's stressing of the Kashmir issue indicates that certain factions in the CIA and/or at State are still hell bent on placating Pakistan's military/ISI.

But that's just me and my deeply suspicious nature, which developed after decades of watching my dear government in action.

For the record, Kashmir is not a factor, much less a significant one, in the ISI-instigated murder of NATO troops in Afghanistan -- and it is outright murder, not warfare, because the U.S. military and the CIA extended way too much trust to Pakistan's military and ISI.
**************************************
From Reuters:
Report slams Pakistan for meddling in Afghanistan

by Jonathon Burch
Sat Jun 12, 2010 10:20pm EDT

(Kabul) Pakistani military intelligence not only funds and trains Taliban fighters in Afghanistan but is officially represented on the movement's leadership council, giving in significant influence over operations, a report said.

The report, published by the London School of Economics, a leading British institution, on Sunday, said research strongly suggested support for the Taliban was the "official policy" of Pakistan's Inter-Services Intelligence agency (ISI).

Although links between the ISI and Islamist militants have been widely suspected for a long time, the report's findings, which it said were corroborated by two senior Western security officials, could raise more concerns in the West over Pakistan's commitment to help end the war in Afghanistan.

The report also said Pakistani President Asif Ali Zardari was reported to have visited senior Taliban prisoners in Pakistan earlier this year, where he is believed to have promised their release and help for militant operations, suggesting support for the Taliban "is approved at the highest level of Pakistan's civilian government."

A Pakistani diplomatic source described that report as "naive," and also said any talks with the Taliban were up to the Afghan government.

Pakistan appears to be playing a double-game of astonishing magnitude," said the report, based on interviews with Taliban commanders and former senior Taliban ministers as well as Western and Afghan security officials.

"DUPLICITY"

In March 2009, Admiral Mike Mullen, chairman of the U.S. Joint Chiefs of Staff, and General David Petraeus, head of U.S. Central Command, said they had indications elements in the ISI supported the Taliban and al Qaeda and said the agency must end such activities.

Nevertheless, senior Western officials have been reluctant to talk publicly on the subject for fear of damaging possible cooperation from Pakistan, a nuclear-armed state Washington has propped up with billions of dollars in military and economic aid.

"The Pakistan government's apparent duplicity -- and awareness of it among the American public and political establishment -- could have enormous geo-political implications," said the report's author, Matt Waldman, a fellow at Harvard University.

"Without a change in Pakistani behavior it will be difficult if not impossible for international forces and the Afghan government to make progress against the insurgency," Waldman said in the report.

The report comes at the end of one of the bloodiest weeks for foreign troops in Afghanistan -- more than 21 have been killed this week -- and at a time when the insurgency is at its most violent.

More than 1,800 foreign troops, including some 1,100 Americans, have died in Afghanistan since U.S.-backed Afghan forces overthrew the Taliban in late 2001. The war has already cost the United States around $300 billion and now costs more than $70 billion a year, the report said, citing 2009 U.S. Congressional research figures.

VIOLENT REGIONS

The report said interviews with Taliban commanders in some of the most violent regions in Afghanistan "suggest that Pakistan continues to give extensive support to the insurgency in terms of funding, munitions and supplies."

"These accounts were corroborated by former Taliban ministers, a Western analyst and a senior U.N. official based in Kabul, who said the Taliban largely depend on funding from the ISI and groups in Gulf countries," the report said.

Almost all of the Taliban commanders interviewed in the report also believed the ISI was represented on the Quetta Shura, the Taliban's supreme leadership council based in Pakistan.

"Interviews strongly suggest that the ISI has representatives on the (Quetta) Shura, either as participants or observers, and the agency is thus involved at the highest level of the movement," the report said.

The report also stated that Pakistani President Zardari, along with a senior ISI official, allegedly visited some 50 senior Taliban prisoners at a secret location in Pakistan where he told them they had been arrested only because he was under pressure from the United States.

"(This) suggests that the policy is approved at the highest level of Pakistan's civilian government," the report said.

Afghanistan has also been highly critical of Pakistan's ISI involvement in the conflict in Afghanistan. Last week, the former director of Afghanistan's intelligence service, Amrullah Saleh, resigned saying he had become an obstacle to President Hamid Karzai's plans to negotiate with the insurgents.

In an exclusive interview with Reuters at his home a day after he resigned, Saleh said the ISI was "part of the landscape of destruction in this country."

"It will be a waste of time to provide evidence of ISI involvement. They are a part of it. The Pakistani army of which ISI is a part, they know where the Taliban leaders are -- in their safe houses," he told Reuters.

(Editing by David Fox and Alex Richardson)
I'm trying to scare up the link to the London School of Economics report, which I can't find at their website. The link provided by the Times Online in their article on the LSE only loops back to the Times.

This entry is linked to with comments at Riehl World View, The Jawa Report, and Zenpundit.

Regarding Rusty's quoting from Long War Journal's Bill Roggio, the issue isn't why "a bear shits in the woods" but that the bear shit on the highway twice in one weekend. Twice this weekend, news that was really an old story (ISI's involvement in Taliban terrorism in Afghanistan and Afghanistan's vast mineral wealth) suddenly burst into the mainstream media. See my post today about the latter story.

Speaking of The Jawa Report, Rusty and the other counter-jihadis at his blog have done it again with their investigation of Ohio Homeland Security official Omar Alomari, which brought Alomari's activities to the attention of U.S. authorities. My joke is that this endless war would have an end if Rusty ran homeland security but it's not entirely a joke.

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Comments:
I can't find the report anywhere. Perhaps it hasn't been published or is propaganda from The Times & intelligence nerds. In any case, the conflict between Pakistan's interests and those of India and the West are well known.
Sloppy journalism to quote a reprt without authors.
Tim C
 
Here is the report: It took me over 6 hours to find it!

THE SUN IN THE SKY:
THE RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN PAKISTAN’S ISI AND AFGHAN INSURGENTS

http://english.aljazeera.net/mritems/Documents/2010/6/13/20106138531279734lse-isi-taliban.pdf
 
Akash, I added an update to the post with many thanks for your hard work.

Tim, I share your feelings. I was upset that none of the news organizations that carried the story provided the link to the LSE paper.
 
2010I'm not surprised at all that the report has been hard to find. However, we geriatrics remember only too well that the LSE was and always has been a seething mass of left-wingers of all varieties and Soviet KGB agents and that's only the staff. "By their deeds shall ye know them."
 
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