June 30, 2012

Tragedy after the tragedy

Hindustan Times
June 29, 2012

First Published: 22:37 IST(29/6/2012)
Last Updated: 22:45 IST(29/6/2012)
The Bhopal gas tragedy case is still meandering on, far from any sort of closure. A court in the US on Friday ruled that neither Union Carbide Corporation (UCC), which owned Union Carbide India Limited (UCIL) during the mishap, nor its former chairman, Warren Anderson, was liable for 

pollution-related claims by those living around the ill-fated plant. It ruled that the responsibility of cleaning up the area lies with the Madhya Pradesh government. In 1989, UCC paid $470m compensation to the survivors through the Union government, and Dow Chemicals, which bought UCC in 1999, insists that the 1989 settlement resolved all claims against the company. At present, no compensation case relating to the disaster is pending in the Indian courts.

Official estimates say that 40 tonnes of methyl isocyanate that had leaked from UCC's factory killed at least 15,000 people within days in December 1984. But the incident turned out to be more than a tragedy for those affected and their families: the way the cases dragged on for years, mismanagement in delivering financial and medical help to the victims and their families, the slow-moving justice system and the Indian government's shifting stand on the case make for a drama that's worthy of the turns and twists in a Hindi film. Last year, new revelations suggested that UCC mooted the idea of a "negotiated settlement" within weeks of the gas leak and it also decided on "the quantum of compensation to be paid to victims as part of the settlement. In exchange, it sought exemption from any liability." The least the Union government could have done was a proper medical evaluation of the effects of the incident on the victims. Though it asked the Indian Council of Medical Research to conduct an intensive study, it barred the institute from publishing its results for nine years. Why? There are no answers. A Right to Information query revealed that the ban was lifted in 1995 but by then the damage was done. Bhopal gas victim activists say that the research work could have helped develop a treatment protocol for the victims besides getting more compensation.

Considering that so many years have passed and not much has moved on Mr Anderson's extradition and liability issues, it is probably time to readjust the focus of the movement, put more pressure on the government to clean up the area and make efforts to improve the medical facilities available to the victims. The demand for Mr Anderson's extradition will probably keep the issue alive to the world at large, but it's time to do a reality check as to whether this will actually be possible or not. The indications are all negative, which means the victims will continue to live in the twilight zone they have inhabited since that fateful night 28 years ago. 

India Says Pakistan Involved in 2008 Mumbai Attacks

Posted Friday, June 29th, 2012 at 1:30 pm
India has again said that the 2008 Mumbai attacks could not have been carried out without "state support," accusing longtime rival Pakistan of helping to coordinate the siege on India's financial hub.
Indian authorities arrested Indian-born Sayed Zabiuddin, who goes by Abu Hamza and Abu Jindal, on June 21 on suspicion of helping plan the attacks that killed 166 people in Mumbai. Zabiuddin is reportedly a member of the Pakistan-based militant group, Lashkar-e-Taiba, which is blamed for the attacks.
Home Minister P. Chidambaram told reporters in New Delhi Friday that during his interrogation, Zabiuddin confessed that he trained the attackers from a "control room" in Pakistan.
Chidambaram said he thinks "such a control room could not have been established without some kind of state support." He also said Indian authorities believe the founder of Lashkar-e-Taiba, Hafiz Saeed, was present in the room at the time.
The United States has offered a $10 million reward for information leading to the conviction of Saeed, who often addresses public anti-U.S. rallies in Pakistan.
Pakistan's Interior Minister Rehman Malik this week dismissed any Pakistani connection to the Mumbai attacks as Indian "propaganda" and encouraged New Delhi to share any information about Zabiuddin so Islamabad can take action. Malik emphasized that Zabiuddin was Indian-born and that the minister had warned Chidambaram in the past that home-grown extremism was spreading in India.
Indian authorities say Zabiuddin was based in Pakistan at the time of the attacks and issued instructions by telephone to the 10 gunmen who conducted the assault on luxury hotels, a Jewish center, and a busy train station in Mumbai in November of 2008.
Nine of the attackers were killed. A Mumbai court sentenced the lone surviving gunman to death for crimes including murder, waging war against India and terrorism.
India has resumed the peace process with Pakistan after suspending the dialogue following the attacks.
The nuclear-armed countries have fought three wars since their independence from Britain in 1947.
Indian analyst Batra Singh told VOA on Friday that he does not believe India's recent allegations of Pakistani involvement in the Mumbai attacks will significantly affect the progress made in normalizing ties. He noted, "it will not affect the relations between the two countries. Kargal [war] was more serious than this one, but even then the two countries showed restraint. However the important thing is to find out who was involved at the state level in the Mumbai attack."
Also Friday, Home Minister Chidambaram denied that an Indian man who was released this week after serving three decades in a Pakistani jail was a spy working for New Delhi.
Surjeet Singh was united with his family in India's Punjab state on Thursday. A Pakistani court convicted Singh of espionage after his arrest in the 1980's.

June 29, 2012

Hand over ‘state actors’ involved in Mumbai attacks, says Chidambaram

Sandeep Joshi

Union Home Minister P. Chidambaram along with Home Secretary R. K. Singh addressing the media on the Ministry's report card for June, in New Delhi on Friday. Photo: V. Sudershan

Pakistan provided "safe haven" to Zabiuddin Ansari
Even as Indian investigators continue to grill Syed Zabiuddin Ansari to join missing pieces of the 26/11 conspiracy, Home Minister P. Chidambaram on Friday asked Pakistan to cooperate and hand over "state actors" and other terrorists involved in the Mumbai terror attack case.


"The terrorists who planned and carried out attacks in Mumbai were trained in several places [in Pakistan], infrastructure was provided to them [to carry out attacks], a control room was set up…the logical inference we have to make is that all this could not have happened without state support. Pakistan should admit this," Mr. Chidambaram told journalists here.

"Safe haven"

Pointing out that Pakistan provided a "safe haven" to Zabiuddin Ansari, the Home Minister said he agreed with Pakistan Senior Adviser on Interior Rehman Malik's statement that the "key operative" behind the Mumbai attacks was radicalised in India.


"I admit that. Equally, Pakistan should admit that Zabiuddin Ansari did go to Pakistan; that he was part of the group which trained and prepared [Ajmal] Kasab and nine others; that he was in the control room and one of the masterminds and handlers of the attackers. Just as we admit the facts Pakistan too should admit the facts," he said.


Asking Pakistan to hand over voice samples of the "others" who were present in the Karachi-based control room, the Minister said among those present there were Jamaat-ud-Dawa chief Hafiz Saeed, who India believed was the mastermind behind 26/11.


Referring to the support provided to Zabiuddin Ansari in Pakistan, Home Secretary R.K. Singh said Pakistan should also admit that it gave him a passport and two identity cards. He was living in Saudi Arabia as a Pakistani, Mr. Singh added.


Mr. Chidambaram said Zabiuddin Ansari's interrogation revealed that he was assigned the key responsibility of selecting 10 terrorists, including Ajmal Kasab, to carry out the attacks. He provided them intensive training and trained them in customs followed by Mumbaikars, besides playing an important role in the control room. "It is only when his interrogation is completed we will come to know who gave what support," Mr. Chidambaram said without giving any further details.

How Zabiuddin was apprehended

Mr. Chidambaram said once Indian agencies came to know that one of the wanted persons in the Mumbai terror attack case had left Pakistan, we tracked him to Saudi Arabia. "But establishing his identity took us some time. Once we succeeded in doing that, we persuaded 'everyone concerned' and apprehended him...Final conclusion is that we tracked him, we identified him and we apprehended him," he said without elaborating further.


Denying that there was any rift with the State police in seeking custody of Zabiuddin Ansari, Mr. Chidambaram said he was a suspect/accused in at least three other cases — the Ahmedabad Railway station blast case of February, 2006; the Aurangabad arms haul case of May 2006 and the German bakery blast case in Pune.


"Currently, the Delhi police and other investigation agencies are jointly interrogating Zabiuddin Ansari. In due course, he will be made available to the Anti-Terrorism Squad (ATS) Mumbai and the Maharashtra police…I have told Maharashtra Chief Minister about this. He will also be interrogated by the Gujarat Police in the Ahmedabad blast case," he clarified.

David Coleman Headley

Mr. Chidambaram further said India would discuss with the U.S. authorities the issue of extraditing Lashkar-e-Taiba operative David Headley, who had recced the Mumbai terror attack targets on behalf of LeT.


Expressing the hope that Headley would get "long sentence" in the U.S. after being convicted in 26/11 case, Mr. Chidambaram said Indian agencies had already interrogated Headley in the U.S. "I think the further question is whether we will get further access to Headley, whether he would be extradited to India...These are matters to be discussed with the U.S. authorities," he added. Headley initially worked with one of the U.S. government agencies before defecting to Pakistan and becoming an LeT operative.



The investigation into the Malegaon blast of 2008 is getting murkier and murkier.

2. From the available reports of the investigation made so far, two things are clear. Firstly, the blast was not carried out by any jihadi organisation. It was carried out by some Hindus who wanted to teach a lesson to the Muslim community for the involvement of some Muslims in acts of terrorism in different parts of India. Secondly, the suspected Hindus belonged to a Hindu organisation called Abhinav Bharat.

3.One aspect that  has remained unclear and is becoming murkier and murkier is the role of Lt.Col.PrasadPurohit, described in sections of the media as a serving officer of the Military Intelligence.It is not clear whether he  was serving at the time of his arrest in the Directorate-General of Military Intelligence (DGMI), which comes under the Chief of the Army Staff (COAS) or in the Defence Intelligence Agency (DIA), which comes under the chief of the Integrated Defence Staff.

4.Lt.Col.Purohit was arrested  by the anti-Terrorism Squad of the Mumbai Policeas a fellow-conspirator and accomplice of the arrested Hindus of the Abhinav Bharat.One was under the impression that the National Investigation Agency (NIA), which has reportedly taken over the investigation on the orders of the Ministry of Home Affairs of the Government of India, has been enquiring into the suspected role of Lt.Col.Purohit as a fellow-conspirator and accomplice of the suspects from the Abhinav Bharat. There hasreportedly  been a separate in-house enquiry by the Army not into the facts of the blast, but into the facts of the role of Purohit in the blast.

5. According to a report disseminated by the NDTV on June 29,2012, Purohit has denied before the in-house enquiry that he was a fellow-conspirator or accomplice. He has reportedly claimed that, in his capacity as a military intelligence officer, he was trying to penetrate the Abhinav Bharat to collect intelligence about its activities with the knowledge of his bosses in the military intelligence whom he had kept informed.

6. The NDTV has also carried on its web site a detailed report on this subject written by its correspondent ShriNitinGokhale.A copy of his report as carried by the NDTV web site is annexed.

7. ShriGokhale has stated as follows in his report:

"Many (during the in-house probe) said that he (Purohit) was actually an infiltrator and not a conspirator, who had been assigned to collect evidence and details of right-wing terror groups.

"From the very beginning, Lt Col Purohit has claimed that he had kept his bosses informed of his activities which included attending meetings of the Abhinav Bharat.

"But if the officer was operating on behalf of the military, the Army has to figure out why his tip-offs on rising right-wing extremism in areas like Nashik, Malegaon were not shared with other agencies."

8. If what ShriGokhale has reported is correct, it becomes evident that the military intelligence ---whether it is the DGMI or the DIA--- has been collecting intelligence about the activities of Indian citizens belonging to certain organisations in Indian territory not affected by insurgency of any kind by penetrating their organisations.

9. The military intelligence is authorised to collect tactical intelligence through human and technical means in areas where the Army has a counter-insurgency role as in Jammu & Kashmir and the North-East. In areas where it has no counter-insurgency role, it is not permissible for the military intelligence to collect intelligence through any means---particularly through the penetration of Indian organisations run by Indian citizens.

10. Only the Intelligence Bureau of the Government of India and the intelligence wings of the State Police are authorised to run such operations . Even the Research and Analysis Wing (R&AW) is not empowered to do so.I do not know whether such powers have been given to the NIA under its charter.

11. It appears to me that the military intelligence has so far avoided coming to the defence of Purohit in the case under investigation previously by the Mumbai Police and now by the NIA due to worries that if it did so, it could amount to its admitting its illegal actions in mounting intelligence operations against Indian citizens by penetrating Indian organisations.

12. We face very serious internal security threats due to insurgency and terrorism and Pakistan's role in them. One of the reasons for our not being able to deal with them effectively is inadequate intelligence. There is a need for strengthening  our intelligence capabilities.

13. At the same time, certain legal limits to intelligence collection have to be laid down. If everybody starts collecting intelligence inside the country we will become no different from authoritarian countries. 

14.If what Purohit claims is correct, it is evident that the military intelligence has been unauthorisedly running clandestine penetration operations against Indian citizens in Indian territory. This matter needs to be enquired into in detail and such rogue operations, if proved to be correct, need to be stopped.The Government should clearly reiterate the charters of different intelligence agencies and make it clear that strong action would be taken against agencies that undertake unauthorised operations against Indian citizens. ( 30-6-12)

( The writer is Additional Secretary (retd), Cabinet Secretariat, Govt of India, New Delhi, and, presently, Director, Institute For Topical Studies, Chennai, and Associate, Chennai Centre For China Studies. E-Mail: seventyone2@gmail.com . Twitter: @SORBONNE75 )


New Delhi: The Indian Army appears to be caught in the cross-hairs of a big new controversy - in 2008, it may have acted too quickly in accepting that a serving military intelligence officer, Lt Col Prasad Purohit, was linked to a right-wing terror group. 

In 2008, a bomb exploded on a Friday evening near a mosque in the town of Malegaon, killing six people. One month later, the Anti-Terror Squad (ATS) in Maharashtra said a group of Hindu right-wing radicals was to blame. Lt Col Purohit, who was posted in Pachmarhi in Madhya Pradesh, and was undergoing an Arabic Language course, was accused and arrested.  
The Army, without conducting an immediate court of inquiry, handed him over to the ATS. Later, it did order a court of inquiry but did not allow Lt Col Purohit to cross-examine witnesses.
Two years later, under orders from the Armed Forces Tribunal, the Army restarted the court of Inquiry.
Now, more than 50 army personnel have testified that the Army may have wrongly handed over Lt Col Purohit to the Anti-Terror Squad without conducting its own investigation. Lt Col Purohit, who has been in a jail in Taloja in Mumbai, was allowed to cross-examine witnesses in Mumbai.
Many said that he was actually an infiltrator and not a conspirator, who had been assigned to collect evidence and details of right-wing terror groups.
From the very beginning, Lt Col Purohit has claimed that he had kept his bosses informed of his activities which included attending meetings of the Abhinav Bharat.
But if the officer was operating on behalf of the military, the Army has to figure out why his tip-offs on rising right-wing extremism in areas like Nashik, Malegaon were not shared with other agencies.
There's also the issue of why the Army or civil agencies like the ATS did not hold its own investigation.
Lt Col Purohit has also accused a colonel in Military Intelligence of colluding with civilian intelligence agencies to detain him without any arrest warrant and torture him. The Colonel, Purohit says, wanted to score brownie points and earn award etc.
The Army, however, says the Colonel in question was officially deputed to liaise with civil agencies.



The State-controlled Xinhua news agency of China has disseminated the following report at 2-30 PM Indian Standard Time on June 29,2012:

"Flight GS7554, which took off at 12:25 from Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region's Hotan Airport to Urumqi, was hijacked ten minutes after its departure, according to news from the public security department of Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region.Six scoundrels were controlled by flight crew and passengers.During the fight with scoundrels, some passengers and flight crew received minor injuries. The plane returned to Hotan Airport immediately after the hijack. The case is under investigation."

2.TheAgence France Presse (AFP) has quoted a spokesperson of the Xinjiang Government as alleging that the six persons who made the unsuccessful hijack attempt were Uighurs. She added: "For the moment, we don't know the purpose of the hijack. It's still under investigation. At least seven crew members and passengers were injured in the incident."

3. The hijack attempt seems to have been made despite tightened security alerts in the Xinjiang province and particularly in the Capital Urumqi and in Hotan as a precaution against possible incidents on the occasion of the third anniversary of the July 5,2009, violent riots between Han Chinese and Uighurs that led to the death of an estimated 200 persons belonging to both the communities.

4. As part of the security alert, the authorities of the Public Security Bureau have been undertaking searches of houses of Uighurs for hidden anti-Government leaflets and weapons. They have also set up road barricades to search motor vehicles and to make identity checks. Despite this, the six Uighurs appear to have made their way to the airport and got into the aircraft.

5. It is not clear whether they carried any weapons or tried to overcome the crew physically without any weapons

6. There have recently reports of fresh anger in Xinjiang following action taken by the authorities to stop what the authorities describe as illegal Koran classes without the prior permission of the authorities. Twelve Muslim children were injured in Hotan when the police raided a premises where illegal Koran classes were allegedly being held.
7. While the Uighurs have been reduced to a minority by Han colonisation in the capital city of Urumqi, in the smaller towns the Uighurs are still in a majority. In Hotan, they  constitute about 97 per cent of the population.  (29-6-12)

( The writer is Additional Secretary (retd), Cabinet Secretariat, Govt of India, New Delhi, and, presently, Director, Institute For Topical Studies, Chennai, and Associate, Chennai Centre For China Studies. E-Mail: seventyone2@gmail.com . Twitter: @SORBONNE75 )

BMW crash case: Supporters plan another candlelight vigil on July 7

Aditya Dev, TNN | Jun 29, 2012, 02.32AM IST

GURGAON: Seeking justice for BMW accident victim Kshama Chopra Shetye, the Facebook group — Justice for Kshama and Shailesh Shetye — has planned another candlelight vigil on July 7. Earlier, the same group had organized candlelight vigils in Gurgaon on May 17 and in Goa on May 19. 

Through a recent Facebook post, the group has sought answers on several "unanswered" aspects into the case — status of investigation, result of the DNA test and what authorities are doing about the driver not submitting his driving licence. 

The post states, "It's over 50 days now and we have before us several unanswered questions... We are also looking to connect with victims of similar cases who continue to fight for justice. We hope this (vigil) will help us achieve the two causes — justice for the victims and greater awareness and stronger laws which will act as deterrents against rash driving." 

The group further stated, "We also hope this incident will be an eye opener for the authorities for enactment of stricter laws against rash driving. More importantly, we also hope that people drive responsibly, realizing the extent of irreparable damage that can be done, it reads. Since the launch of Facebook group two months back, over 33,000 members have joined it showing their support. 

While the next hearing is fixed for the August 1, the charge sheet is currently under preparation. Hence, we are planning another vigil where we want to put forth these vital questions before the authorities and ensure that the investigation is carried out in a totally fair, transparent and prompt manner, wrote Boris Gonsalves, the author of the post.
This accident also took away Indigo car driver Sanjay Gulati, the sole earning member of his family and he is survived by wife and school going son.

QUOTE OF THE DAY: -- Robert D. Kaplan

 The media love people stories; they love to humanize everything about a foreign country. Therefore, you have the obsession with individual Chinese dissidents to the exclusion of other critical developments in China... The media deal with drama -- sudden developments, not with gradual transitions such as China's acquisition of a formidable navy and civilian maritime force. We become preoccupied with the minutiae of every twist and turn in Egypt, Syria and Libya, even as we become blind to a larger and equally profound development elsewhere. 

-- Robert D. Kaplan

India's F-INSAS update: Survivability

Contributor:  Defence IQ Press
Posted:  06/26/2012  12:00:00 AM EDT  |  0   
As we await the outcome of the first phase of India's Futuristic Soldier As a System (F-INSAS) programme, in the first of a series of articles Defence IQ casts an eye over the new features set to revolutionize Indian infantry. First up: Survivability.

This is the 'don't be penetrated' layer of the survivability onion. Other areas of the F-INSAS programme incorporate the 'don't be targeted' and 'don't be hit' sections, but when these two barriers are broken down the survivability aspect of a soldier's kit becomes his first line of defence.
As with all survivability solutions, be they for man-worn equipment or military vehicles, the challenge in ensuring the maximum level of protection is achieved without compromising on weight and cost. Perhaps this trade-off is no more apparent than for the 'body armour and individual equipment' component of India's F-INSAS soldier modernisation programme.
Under F-INSAS, the Indian government is seeking a tactical vest that will protect the legs, groin, neck and collar from ballistic projectiles. The exact level of protection required has not been specified but following most Indian requirements to date the vest will likely be at least covered under NIJ Level IIIA, which will protect the soldier from a 0.44 magnum round. The helmet will only need to be resistant to 9mm rounds, so the cost:weight:performance ratio here will be far less problematic than for the vest.

According to John Hegle, Senior Tech Director for the Assured Mobility Branch of the U.S. Army's Manoeuvre Support Centre of Excellence, the optimal soldier assault load is equal to 30% of their body weight and the optimal marching load is 45%. With over half of U.S. Army soldiers suffering from long-term musculoskeletal injuries due to overloading, with a significant portion of that weight laying in the body armour, the Indian government must develop innovative survivability solutions that retain high ballistic performance at a significantly lower areal density than those currently on the market.
However, when you consider all the other capabilities the soldier of the future will need to have on his person – such as having solar panels to charge electrical equipment, the ability to resist the impact of a CBRN attack and storage for oxygen supplies – providing an adequate armour solution at an acceptable weight becomes difficult.
Armouring Up

The F-INSAS programme is calling for a ceramic armour solution but increasingly the industry is having to develop new materials to combat the weight problem. Ceramic is around half the mass of steel, but what the military really needs now is something that's at least half that again.

Although still many years in the lab, there are a number of R&D projects taking place that are seeking to achieve this weight saving. For example, scientists in America are currently looking into the mechanical properties of the mantis shrimps 'fist', which can destroy exoskeletons and resist over 50,000 high impact blows during the shrimp's lifespan. It is thought the complex structure of the shrimp's fist could reveal vital clues to improving the impact resistance of manmade materials, including ballistic fabrics for body armour. David Kisailus, assistant professor at the University of California's Riverside's Bourns College of Engineering, said that his aim with the research is to reduce the weight of body armour to a third of its current weight.

It is possible that the ballistic material used for the vest would ideally not only protect the soldier from bullets and shrapnel, but also disperse the impact of a gunshot or blast and then harness and transfer that energy for its own internal energy system. A number of these 'smart' materials, or e-textiles, are currently in development with militaries around the world including the British and U.S. Armies.

But with clothing it is not just ballistic integrity that needs to be considered for the soldier of the future, it is energy output, communications systems and CBRN protection too. In terms of the latter, the consideration of chemical warfare, though uncommon and not frequently prioritised by international defence ministries, is felt by some, including British Lt Gen (Rtd) Sir John Kiszely, to be at most risk of becoming the "hidden threat" given the increasing development of the IED and terrorism.

According to reports the jacket must also be "waterproof yet breathable" and is likely to incorporate mosquito repellent fabric considering the regional environment. In a world of mines, mortars and bullets, it is important to remember that the mosquito continues to kill hundreds of thousands per year.

As such, integrated medical sensors are being integrated into the soldier's clothing to deal with all possible health hazards. These in-built real-time monitors will consist of a diagnostic suite enabled to measure vital signs such as heart rate, blood pressure, body temperature, stress levels and even physical impact, essentially allowing medics and doctors to know immediately where injuries are located and what needs to be done to stabilise the troop. There is also a notion of lacing the fabric on uniforms with blood-clotting fibres, which in could in theory be tied in with the "onboard" sensors.
The medical sensor suite is likely to rank as one of the most costly features of the F-INSAS package and may require capability re-tailoring to meet the needs of both budget and practicality.

Some reports from the earliest released RFIs on the subject pointed to ARDE exploration of counter-IED boots, which would enhance the chances of lower limb protection in the event of a soldier stepping on a landmine. How effective such technology can be in live theatre remains either a mystery or guarded secret, but it is known that the most damaging of non-lethal IED injuries (i.e. those requiring amputation) result from impact to the heel. F-INSAS boots may answer this by adding heightened absorption material to the sole, but whether this lends itself too much to an increase of weight, or indeed interferes with the aforementioned boot-based power cell, may cause decision makers to opt instead for a mobility approach over one of bulky protection.

Insurgency and the Protracted War

June 28, 2012 | 0901 GMT

By Scott Stewart

In recent weeks, insurgent forces in several countries have been forced to withdraw from territories they once held. Somalia's al Shabaab, which was pushed out of Mogadishu in October 2011, was ejected from Afmadow on May 30. The group now runs the risk of losing its hold once again on the port city of Kismayo, an important logistical and financial hub for al Shabaab. 

In Syria, the Free Syrian Army and other rebel groups were forced out of the city of Idlib and Homs' Baba Amr district in March. They also withdrew from Al-Haffah on June 13.   

Meanwhile in Yemen, al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) has been forced to retreat from towns it took control of last year in southern Abyan province, including Jaar, Shaqra and Zinjibar. The organization controlled the area it seized from the government through its Ansar al-Sharia front organization. AQAP was able to capitalize on the infighting that began in Yemen in 2011 and successfully diverted the government's focus away from AQAP and other militant groups. But in February, the election of new Yemeni President Abd Rabboh Mansour Hadi allowed the rift created by the infighting to be slowly healed. As a result, a combination of Yemeni soldiers and local tribesmen, backed by U.S. intelligence and fire support, have been able to push back AQAP and Ansar al-Sharia in recent weeks.

Losing these cities will immediately and significantly affect AQAP's ability to reach its goal of establishing an emirate based on Sharia law in southern Yemen. However, the loss of this territory will not mean an end to the group, just as losses of territory by militants in Somalia and Syria do not mean those insurgent groups have been defeated definitively. The reason for this rests in the very nature of insurgent warfare. To insurgent groups, the loss of territory is a setback, but is only one episode in what they intend to be a very long war.

Ebbs and Flows

One of the basic tenets of modern Western warfare, as articulated by theorists such as Carl von Clausewitz, is the desire to destroy the enemy in quick, decisive battles that break the enemy's ability -- and will -- to fight. In contrast, one of the basic doctrines of insurgent warfare, as articulated by theorists such as Mao Zedong and Vo Nguyen Giap, is to decline decisive battle when the odds are not favorable and to live to fight another day. The insurgent wants to prolong the battle and create a drawn-out, grinding war that will gradually wear down the stronger enemy while insurgent forces build up enough strength to fight a conventional war and defeat their opponents. Western military leaders, then, seek to quickly resolve a war, while insurgents seek to prolong it by any means -- even if this means ceding control of territory until they can amass the strength to take it back.  

In the modern jihadist context, this strategy was seen clearly in Afghanistan. The Taliban, when faced with overwhelming U.S. airpower in 2001, declined combat and permitted Northern Alliance ground forces to take control of Afghanistan's cities, rather than stand and fight until they were destroyed. The Taliban then launched a classic rural-based insurgency from the mountains using Pakistan as a haven for logistics and training. Iraqi government forces also took this approach when confronted by U.S. forces during the 2003 invasion.

Similarly, following the December 2006 Ethiopian invasion of Somalia, Islamist militants from the Supreme Islamic Courts Council -- many of whom would later go on to form al Shabaab -- declined to fight decisive battles and instead took to harassing the Ethiopian army's extended supply lines. This forced the Ethiopians to pull back from key cities they had captured, like Kismayo, and allowed the militants to regain control of large portions of southern Somalia. It is not unusual, then, for insurgent forces to take territory, only to surrender it and reclaim it again later.

For insurgents, the operational concept is that if the enemy attacks in force, they retreat; if the enemy stays in place, they conduct harassing attacks; if the enemy tires, the insurgents press the attack; and if the enemy retreats, the insurgents pursue. The idea is to apply prolonged pressure, both physical and psychological, and to create a mounting number of casualties over time. At the same time, the insurgent organization works to strengthen its own organizational support base and military capability. The basic doctrine of counterinsurgency is to deny insurgents the ability to establish and strengthen their support base and improve their capability.

The support base is a critical element for any insurgency. By gaining the sympathy of the population -- the human terrain -- the insurgents can rely on the population not only for material support, recruits and shelter, but also for intelligence. It blurs the human terrain, making it more difficult to distinguish insurgents from the population. This is why the political element of the insurgent effort was stressed so heavily in the theories of men like Mao and Giap, who viewed their actions in terms of the people's war.  They also believed that a population's long-standing grievances give the people the ability to endure suffering and heavy losses. The people therefore have a stronger will to fight than the privileged government combatant or the foreign imperialist invader. Having favorable human terrain also permits insurgents to apply pressure to the enemy by using unconventional warfare in rear areas with operations like sniper attacks, improvised explosive device attacks, assassinations and kidnappings. 

Controlling Territory

It requires far more resources and effort to control and govern populated cities and towns than it does to conduct an insurgent campaign from the jungles or mountains. Maintaining control of a city requires many people to provide security while meeting the population's need for food, water, electricity and medical care. Such demands would use up many of the resources an insurgent organization would require to fight a protracted war of attrition, so it is not unusual for insurgents to abandon cities and foist the responsibility of caring for their populations upon the government. The goal in this approach is to force the government to expend its resources in order to meet the needs of the population, including security.

The insurgents can then come back to the cities with a small force to conduct harassing attacks on security forces or those cooperating with security forces, thus causing the government to invest even more resources in protecting the cities and reducing the number of forces available to pursue and fight insurgents in the countryside. Simply put, conducting insurgent attacks or terrorist attacks against the government's power center takes far less resources and manpower than it does to secure a town or city. Because of this, withdrawing from a city or town allows a militant group to actually increase the resources it has available to conduct attacks. But though there are benefits to harassing attacks, insurgents must be careful to avoid too many civilian casualties, because a high civilian death count can turn the population against the group, as happened with the umbrella militant organization Islamic State of Iraq in 2007.

Although there have been numerous urban guerilla movements -- and indeed, there is an entirely separate doctrine for urban guerilla organizations -- most insurgencies are based in rugged, ungoverned spaces. In such areas, fighters can seek refuge, build bases and train. Such ungoverned spaces have played an important role in the current insurgencies in Afghanistan, Somalia, Yemen and Mali. Another important consideration in many insurgent refuge spaces is the insurgents' ability to use an international border to keep the government from attacking them. This use of the borders was famously evidenced by the Viet Cong's use of Cambodia and Laos.  More recently, this tactic has been utilized in the Taliban's use of Pakistan, the Iraqis' use of Syria and Iran, the Tuaregs' use of Libya and other Sahel countries, and the Syrian rebels' use of Turkey and Lebanon.

State sponsors can also provide significant help to insurgents. This was seen in the Soviet and Chinese help given to the Viet Cong and Viet Minh; and in more modern examples like the Iranian support for Iraqi insurgents, the Eritrean support for al Shabaab or the U.S., Turkish and Arab support for Syrian insurgents.

The real key in counterinsurgency is drying up the insurgents' base of support. Once that happens, the insurgents lose their ability to use the population as camouflage and as a source of recruits and material support, and the intelligence advantage is tipped toward the government. It is also helpful when the terrain available for insurgents to operate in is limited because it can allow counterinsurgents to systematically maneuver their armed forces in a way that forces the insurgents into open conflict. The Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam, for example, waged an insurgency against the Sri Lankan government from 1983 to 2009. The Sri Lankan government defeated the insurgents after India and then China provided material, money and advisers to government forces. That Sri Lanka is an island also served to constrict the Tigers' movements and forced them to try to hold territory, which ultimately led to their failure. Another successful suppression of insurgency occurred in Malaya from 1948 to 1960, when the British army used forced migration to separate the insurgents from their population and economic base. This eventually forced the Malayan Races Liberation Army to fight in order to attain necessary resources that are usually provided by the local population. This alienated the insurgents from the population and eventually led to British success.

Undercutting an insurgent group's support is normally quite difficult, especially when the group has access to large areas of rugged terrain. In Yemen, AQAP has been able to pull back from the towns it controlled to the harsh and desolate hinterlands where it was born. In the wild, tribally controlled areas of Yemen, the combination of hostile physical and human terrain will make it difficult to find and kill insurgents. There have been jihadists in Yemen since the late 1980s. They have long found shelter with the conservative tribes from which many of the jihadists originally hailed and to which they returned after fighting in places like Afghanistan. Many of the foreign jihadists in Yemen and Pakistan have married into influential tribes to increase their local support.

Syria's demographic situation and its long history as an Alawite-dominated police state have cultivated a great deal of hostility against the regime. It will be very difficult for the government to undercut foreign or domestic support for the insurgents. As with Syria's past insurgencies, Damascus will have to threaten and coerce the Sunni population into submission to maintain its grip on power. 

Somalia is a confusing jumble of competing clans that have withstood attempts to govern them since the early 1990s. Even if al Shabaab becomes severely damaged as an organization, clan-based Islamist militancy of one form or another will persist in the region for the foreseeable future.

The insurgent strategy of fighting a long, protracted war means that insurgents' recent withdrawals from cities and towns in Yemen, Syria and Somalia do not necessarily mean that the wars in those regions will end anytime soon. 

Read more: Insurgency and the Protracted War | Stratfor 

June 28, 2012

Pakistan Crisis Could Benefit Obama Administration: A Coup in Slow-Mo?

by Ramtanu Maitra


June 23—For a country all too familiar with military takeovers under one pretext or another, it was enough to set alarm bells ringing: Television anchorman Farrukh Pitafi reflected the exasperation of many when he tweeted: "Bhai, takeover kar lo" ("You might as well take over").

On June 19, an already stumbling Pakistan was thrown into another crisis when its home-grown missile, the Supreme Court, evidently in alliance with the once-all-powerful military, struck Prime Minister Yousaf Raza Gilani. The Court demanded and obtained his immediate dismissal on a contempt of court charge. After a couple of days of horse-trading by the diverse and highly confused political forces that constitute the government, Pakistan's National Assembly elected former Water and Power Minister Raja Pervez Ashraf as the new Prime Minister on June 22. As of today, the new Cabinet has yet to be announced.

The latest crisis centers around the charge of contempt of court against Gilani. However, seemingly the real target of the Court, and, in essence, of the military, is President Asif Ali Zardari. If that is indeed what the Pakistani military is shooting for, the incoming prime minister is not standing on secure ground. It is likely that he will be forced by the judicial/military combination to make the choice: "Give us the head of Zardari on a platter, or else, you will be history."

It is also a certainty that the Zardari government, whose relationship with the United States is presently at its worst ever, will get no help from Washington. In fact, Washington, whose bonhomie with the Pakistani military is now a thing of the past, would like to see Zardari go, for its own geostrategic reasons. It will not embrace Pakistan's military rule with open arms, unlike in days of yore; instead, a military takeover will be considered as the best of a bad bargain. Moreover, Washington believes that it holds the trump card on Pakistan's much-weakened, and presently hostile, military. That trump card is the military hardware that Washington supplies and Rawalpindi (military headquarters) pines for to remain "professional" and powerful.

In return, the Obama Administration, which has swallowed hook, line, and sinker the British policy to keep the regional countries suspicious of each other, would not like to see Pakistan develop interdependent relations with Russia, India, or Iran—three important nations in the region. Such a role for Pakistan would be "geostrategically" unacceptable to the Obama Administration.

And, in fact, because of the tense relations between Washington and Islamabad over the last few years, President Zardari's government has been moving in that direction. A Pakistani military takeover, or a takeover which would put the World Bank-IMF-trained technocrats in power under the military's shadow, would nip that initiative in the bud. That, no doubt, would please Washington, London, and Riyadh.

Military-Judiciary Nexus

The dirty power play that has become the hallmark of Pakistan's establishment was in full display during the 48 hours that lapsed between Gilani's dismissal and Ashraf's election. On June 21, President Zardari and his coalition partners had selected as Prime Minister, Makhdoom Shahabuddin, who had served as Minister of Finance during the Pakistan People's Party (PPP) government from 1993 to 1996, under the assassinated Pakistani Premier Benazir Bhutto; he is now Minister for Textiles. Things changed dramatically within 24 hours when the Anti-Narcotics Force (ANF), headed by Maj.-Gen. Shakeel Hussain, and a federal executive bureau of the Government of Pakistan, issued warrants for Shahabuddin's arrest on the day he filed his nomination paper for the prime minstership. Again, the brass knuckles of the military were out in the open to convey the knuckle-owner's message.

Gilani's dismissal was no surprise since the Supreme Court, under Chief Justice Iftikhar Ahmed Chaudhry, had earlier convicted the premier of contempt of court. On June 19, a three-judge panel, headed by Chaudhry, disqualified Gilani as prime minister and as a member of the lower house based on the earlier conviction. Although some experts said the judge's dismissal of Gilani was legally contentious, the PPP responded meekly, and party secretary general Qamar Zaman Kaira urged supporters to show "patience and restraint," indicating that the government did not want a head-on clash with the Supreme Court.

What exactly transpired behind the scenes is unclear, and the jury is out on who told the Chief Justice to pull the trigger at this juncture. What is available for the consumption of the Pakistani people is that Chaudhry and Zardari had been at loggerheads since 2009, when Zardari opposed Chaudhry's reinstatement as Chief Justice. They have engaged in proxy combat through the courts ever since; indeed, Gilani's dismissal stemmed directly from his refusal to heed court orders to pursue a corruption inquiry against the President.

Briefly, the contempt of court charge emanates from a case filed in 1998 against Benazir Bhutto and her husband, Asif Ali Zardari, now President of Pakistan. In 1998, Nawaz Sharif, whose political career is owed fully to the Pakistani military, was re-elected as prime minister; he initiated the case in Switzerland which accused Benazir and Zardari of embezzlement of $60 million in kickbacks and the deposit of the funds in Swiss bank accounts. In August 2003, both Benazir and Zardari were found guilty of the scam. However, the penalties—a $100,000 fine, and the order that they return some $2 million to the government—were suspended on appeal.

In 2009, soon after his reinstatement, Chief Justice Chaudhry ordered the Swiss case reopened. In 2011, the Supreme Court ordered Prime Minister Gilani to send a letter to Swiss authorities to reopen the graft case against the head of state. However, Gilani did not comply with Court's orders because he was of the view that Zardari enjoyed immunity as head of state.

Get Gilani, To Get Zardari

It is evident that Gilani crossed swords with Chaudhry over the issue that brought him down, but years before that he became a target of the Pakistani military. In February 2001, when Pakistan was under the military rule of Gen. Pervez Musharraf, who later became Washington's most prized "ally" in its vague "war on terror," Gilani was arrested by the military police functioning under the military-controlled National Accountability Bureau (NAB)—an anti-corruption agency set up by the military government in 1999. The charge was that he had, along with other politicians, misused his authority while he was Speaker of the National Assembly in 1993-97. He was convicted by an anti-corruption court headed by an active-duty military officer appointed by General Musharraf, and spent nearly six years in prison.

Although Musharraf left the country, and remains in-self-imposed exile in Britain, Gilani remained a target of Pakistan's military brass. When Gilani became Pakistan's prime minister in March 2008, after the PPP took power in the post-Musharraf era, the development did not please Rawalpindi. Gilani continued to challenge the unconstitutional power that the Pakistani military had exercised over the years and which it now took for granted. As prime minister, Gilani accused Army Chief of Staff Gen. Ashfaq Parvez Kayani, and the then-head of Pakistan's principal intelligence agency, ISI, Lt. Gen. Ahmad Shuja Pasha, of acting unconstitutionally when they expressed their disapproval of the government.

The rift became more evident last January when Gilani sacked Defense Secretary Gen. Khalid Naeem Lodhi (ret.), a confidant of Kayani. Gilani accused Lodhi, who acted as the liaison between the military and the government, of "gross misconduct and illegal action" and of "creating misunderstanding between the state institutions."

Following his dismissal on June 19 from the prime ministerial post, on June 23, Gilani moved his residence to the sixth floor of the President House where he has been allotted three rooms for himself and his family. Sources told the Express Tribune, a Pakistani news daily associated with the International Herald Tribune, that security reasons are behind this decision.

Since the target of both the Pakistani military and of Washington is President Zardari, it would be foolish to believe that removal of Gilani from the prime ministership will satisfy the antagonists. The prime objective at this point for the military is to prevent the Zardari government from completing its five-year term and to hold elections next February.

It has already been reported that the newly appointed Prime Minister Ashraf has himself a number of counts against him. In an op-ed with the Indian news daily, The Hindu, Anita Joshua pointed out that it is amply clear that the PPP is determined not to write to the Swiss authorities to reopen graft cases against President Zardari. "Among the first tasks awaiting the new man in would be the Supreme Court order asking that the letter be sent. Or go the Gilani way."

Why the Coup Is on a Slow Track

There was a time, not far back, when the military would order the 111th brigade, or the Triple-1 brigade, to roll the tanks into Islamabad from Rawalpindi whenever it had serious differences with the civilian government. In those days, beyond securing tacit support from the U.S.-U.K.-Saudi clients of Pakistan's military, the people also would welcome the military removal of ineffective, corruption-laced civilian governments.

But those halcyon days of the Pakistani military are history. Although it serves the Saudis without a whimper, its image in Pakistan is that of an outfit out to satisfy the much-hated United States and other Western nations. Its "go-along, get-along" policy to support the U.S. and NATO in the so-called "war on terror" had led the military to killing thousands of Pakistanis and rendering many other thousands homeless.

These killings, carried out by the Pakistani military over the last five years, in particular, did not satisfy Washington or Brussels, which wanted even more killings. In addition, Rawalpindi quietly allowed the Americans to base their drones at the Shamsi airbase in Balochistan, to target whomever Washington chose to target.

This did not go down well in Pakistan, where the Islamic jihadis have grown massively, and Pakistani military ranks are now infested with the British-controlled Hizb ut-Tahrir caliphate-seekers. Those Shamsi-based drones have killed many Pakistanis, and the people have become angry realizing that their "protectors" were a part of this deadly game.

Even today, the protectors of Pakistan's sovereignty can do little more than express indignation from time to time as the Obama Administration continues to shout from the rooftops that the drone-fired missile attacks will not only continue, but will increase until such time as the terrorists, such as the Haqqani group, which allegedly operates from Pakistan and is protected by its security apparatus, are altogether eliminated. Washington says clearly that taking such measures is necessary to enhance security for the American people.

Under the circumstances, when the majority of the Pakistani people cannot decide whether they hate their military or the U.S./NATO troops more, it is well nigh impossible for the military to organize the fifers and drummers, and the Triple-1 brigade, to get the tanks rolled into Islamabad and take President Zardari prisoner. Nonetheless, the military, sulking after a series of humiliations at home and abroad, is not only watching from the sidelines, but using the civilian institutions to cut each other up, and hand the morsels over to Rawalpindi.

Chief Justice Chaudhry's ongoing role against the civilian government on behalf of the military is not unprecedented; it has been a characteristic of Pakistan's judiciary. In the past, the Supreme Court has hanged one elected prime minister—Zulfikar Ali Bhutto on trumped-up charges by a military ruler—and sentenced another—Nawaz Sharif—to life imprisonment. "It has also mastered the art of selective justice. The same supreme court that has been sitting on an ISI corruption case for 15 years, the same judiciary that can't look a retired general in the eye or force a serving colonel to appear in court, feels it perfectly constitutional to send a unanimously elected prime minister home," wrote Mohammed Hanif, in the guardian. co.uk June 22.

So, once again talk about a coup is heard in Pakistan. "In Islamabad's drawing rooms, it is being speculated that a government of technocrats backed by the army will soon be installed through a soft coup. . . . Another theory is that the judiciary-executive tussle will result in the announcement of early elections and when the assemblies are dismissed, names in the aforementioned list will be adjusted in the caretaker cabinet, which in time, will be granted two to three years of  extension," according to Farrukh Khan Pitafi, writing in the Express Tribune June 23.

What Will the Obama Administration Do?

To answer the above question in one word: Nothing. In fact, it is likely that Washington was kept abreast of developments vis-à-vis the Supreme Court's decision by its allies in Pakistan. Washington's technical team, negotiating for 45 days with the Pakistani authorities for the reopening of the supply lines that had been used to bring a significant portion of the basic necessities for the 150,000 foreign troops engaged, now for almost 11 years, in the "war on terror," was pulled out on June 11. No real explanation was given for the pull-out. All that was said is that the team would be back, whenever.

No doubt, Washington will wait and watch expectantly. U.S.-Pakistan relations hit a nadir during Zardari's Presidency and Gilani's prime ministership. Washington may choose to claim that the duo was responsible for this downturn, but in reality, it was the duplicitous transactional relations—tit for tat—that Washington has maintained over the last six decades with Rawalpindi, and not Islamabad, that have led to this situation. It is evident to the Obama Administration that when the military gets hold of the reins of Pakistan's fragmented power structure, things will not be any better. But there are reasons to believe the Obama Administration would still like to see the back of the Zardari government. And, this is why.

Traditionally, Pakistan has been aligned with the United States, and India with Russia. But the mistrust developed between the U.S. and Pakistan during the last few years, notably under the Obama Administration, is bringing about a shift, with great strategic implications for the region, should it continue and be consolidated.

It has become evident that Pakistan is making an effort to improve relations with both Russia and India, both of which have responded positively. Improved Russia-Pakistan relations would not only benefit Russia and Central Asia, but would provide Pakistan with an opportunity to break out of the instability in which it is presently entrapped.

It is significant that in the midst of such instability, Pakistan's Foreign Minister Hina Rabbani Khar visited Moscow recently and concluded a number of agreements there. It also indicates an understanding in Moscow of the importance of playing a pro-active role in stabilizing Pakistan, and in the process, Afghanistan and Central Asia as well. Moreover, President Putin has expressed his desire to visit Pakistan. When that visit occurs, it would be the first such visit by a Russian President to Pakistan.

It is of equal relevance to note in this context that the deterioration of U.S.-Pakistani military relations has given a boost to Pakistan-India relations, a development that is important for regional stability. One of the highlights was the April 8-9 "unofficial" visit by President Zardari to India, and his one-on-one meeting with Premier Manmohan Singh. Reports indicate that during their talks, Zardari argued that an improvement in economic ties between the two countries should not be held hostage to the various irritants, and cited the Sino-India template to drive home his argument.

The two have promised to throw open their economies to each other by the end of the year, and have already liberalized some commercial ties. A new border depot for trade was inaugurated recently. India's Commerce Minister Anand Sharma, who visited Pakistan recently, said that investment "can form the basis for building political trust."

In recent months, Pakistan has drastically reduced the number of Indian products barred from the country, and said it will eliminate the bans completely by the end of the year. Islamabad also said it planned to grant India most-favored-nation trade status, which would reduce tariffs on Indian imports. New Delhi gave that status to Pakistan in 1996. New Delhi said in May it would lift the ban on Pakistani investments inside India, held a Pakistani trade fair in the capital, and is talking about exporting electricity and petroleum to the energy-starved country. Both countries' central banks are exploring opening branches across the border.

At the same time, during Foreign Minister Khar's visit, Russia indicated its keenness to take over the 1,640-km TAPI (Turkmenistan, Afghanistan, Pakistan, and India) gas pipeline project. The project, estimated to cost $7.5 billion, had been hanging fire for years because of the geopolitical tussle between the United States, another interested party, and Russia.

Russian investors have also expressed interest in the Thar coal project. This is quite an ambitious project for Pakistan, and will involve developing a large energy complex, to produce 6,000 MW of coal-based power, and will bring about gasification and production of liquid fuel from coal. Moscow has also shown interest in the Pakistan-Iran gas pipeline project, and has indicated to Islamabad that it wants Gazprom, the world's largest gas company, to have a role in the project. Pakistan has conveyed that it would welcome such Russian participation. Foreign Minister Khar was told by her Russian counterpart that Moscow is also interested in participation in Pakistan's railroads, agriculture, and metallurgy. The two countries have also been discussing the possibility of developing rail links from Pakistan to Iran and other areas in Central Asia. Russia had shown some interest in Pakistan's desire to develop rail links to Central Asia from Gwadar Port, located on the Makran coast in southwest Baluchistan, close to the Strait of Hormuz.

These developments are of great importance to Pakistan, an economically depressed nation. It would also benefit the region as a whole were this 175-millionperson nation, caught in a vortex of instability, and virtually isolated for decades, to become integrated with its neighbors.

In Washington, however, these developments are eyed with suspicion and unease. It is not unlikely that the Obama Administration, unconcerned about the welfare of Pakistan's people, will welcome those in Pakistan who will adopt unconstitutional means whenever necessary to maintain the status quo.

June 27, 2012

Carnegie announces new South Asia scholars


WASHINGTON—Carnegie Endowment for International Peace today announced the hiring of three leading South Asia experts: Frederic Grare, Sarah Chayes, and Milan Vaishnav. This marks a major expansion of Carnegie's already significant research on India, Pakistan, and Afghanistan and supports the planned opening of a Carnegie center in New Delhi.

Founded in 1910, Carnegie is America's oldest international affairs think tank. Carnegie is in the process of building the world's first truly global think tank with research centers in Washington, Moscow, Beijing, Beirut, and Brussels. 

Making the announcement, Carnegie Endowment President Jessica Mathews said: 

"South Asia—with its vast population and growing economic clout—is poised to play a major role on the world stage throughout the decades to come. After careful study and reflection, Carnegie is enormously excited to be opening a center in New Delhi in the near future that will deliver ground-level insights from this vibrant and critical region. As we prepare to expand into India, we are extremely fortunate to welcome three scholars of this caliber. Together with Ashley Tellis and George Perkovich, they give Carnegie one of the strongest South Asia programs of any think tank in America." 

All three scholars will be based out of Washington, D.C.

About the Experts
Frederic Grare will serve as a senior associate and director of Carnegie's South Asia Program. A leading expert and writer on the region, his research focuses on South Asia security issues. He also works on the tension between stability and democratization in Pakistan, including civil-military relations, the challenge of sectarian conflict, and Islamic political mobilization.

Sarah Chayes joins Carnegie as a senior associate in the South Asia Program. A former reporter, she covered the fall of the Taliban for National Public Radio, then left journalism to remain in Kandahar in order to contribute to the reconstruction of the country. In 2010, Chayes became special adviser to the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Admiral Mike Mullen, contributing to strategic policy on Afghanistan, Pakistan, and the Arab Spring.

Milan Vaishnav joins Carnegie as an associate in the South Asia Program. He is currently a postdoctoral research fellow at the Center for Global Development, where he helps direct an initiative on U.S. development strategy in Pakistan. His research focuses on the political economy of India, examining issues such as corruption, ethnic politics, governance and state capacity, election finance, and distributive politics.



The third India-US strategic dialogue finished this month in Washington, DC generating a multi-dimensional array of bilateral cooperation agreements, favorable atmospherics and genuine mutual understanding. Described in the heady days of of former Prime Minister Atal Behari Vajpayee, as the natural allies, the relationship has had its checkered course. The optics of bilateral relationship have never been so good!

Historically, India's episodic romance with the USA started even before it got her truncated independence from the British imperialism in 1947. Indian freedom fighters started the Gadhar movement based in the USA during colonial times. The members of India's constituent assembly did incorporate some features of the US constitution while framing the Indian constitution while adopting a quasi-federal set-up. Despite adopting a Westminster style of parliamentary democracy, the framers of Indian constitution, opted for an indirectly elected President chosen by an electoral college, more akin to the US presidential elections.

Traditionally, a proponent of non-alignment, India had close ties with the former Soviet Union and now with Russia. India's ties with the US soured during the Cold War era owing to the US strategic myopia and intransigence when John Foster Dulles described non-alignment as "immoral". US lost an opportunity to engage India in the fifties and sixties by invoking the cold-war calculus. India as a nation cherishes her strategic autonomy and independence. The consternation in the US strategic community about India not awarding US companies the $12 billion MMRFA contract was understandable. Indo-US civil nuclear energy deal is still having trouble getting started simply because India still remembers the Bhopal gas tragedy. India, under any government will not be a junior partner in any strategic or military alliance with any super-power, be it the now defunct Soviet Union, Russia, US or China. An "argumentative India" can never accept and identify with "You are either with us or against us" mentality. India has never shied away from bluntly speaking the inconvenient truths to the Government of the US on so many occasions and that rankles the US state department officials! There are no zero-sum games in international geopolitical discourse. Balancing China is the main reason for US strategic pivot to the Asia. Despite having serous concerns about China's hegemonic ambitions and actions in Asia, India will not gang against China by allying with the US.

The future of India-US relationship is good, indeed, excellent as long as we do not have high hopes for the moon. We, the two nations and two peoples, are extremely fascinated by each other's popular culture. Indian students are the largest contingent in the US universities, so are the Indian doctors in US healthcare industry. The number of American students in Indian universities is steadily increasing while Indian owned high tech companies invest monies and produce jobs in the local US economy. People to people contacts are an important driving force behind the bilateral relationship while business to business contacts (CEO forum) are increasing. Variously dubbed as natural allies, frineds or strategic partners, the two nations are forging a long road to mutual understanding, international peace and prosperity.

We do share some strategic goals but not all. Our tactical relationship will continue to have ups and downs. Despite sharing democratic and pluralistic values, our strategic goals are at variance with each others owing to different geographies. Whether it is the issue of Af-Pak or Iran, whether it is NPT or CTBT, whether it is FMCT or MTCR, we do not see eye to eye with each other. The US has concerns about Iran's proliferation activities, India for decades was dismayed to see US, benevolently ignoring Pakistan's clandestine nuclear program abetted by China and funded by Saudi Arabia, while the US itself continued to shower dollars on Pakistan's military-intelligence-terrorism establishment without batting an eyelid. While India has border issues with China, India votes along with China and other BASIC group of countries on the issue of climate change and global warming. While President Obama virtually conceded G2 partner status to China in the beginning of his administration India was gravely alarmed. India, now, shares US concerns about China's neo-colonial stance to deny access to sea lanes in the South China Sea. Let us have a mature strategic relationship with mutual understanding without throwing "hissy fits" whenever India chooses to vote against US position in the UN general assembly or any other international forum. In the words of former Prime Minister Indira Gandhi, India has to be pro-India and not pro-US, not pro-Russia and not pro-China!

Here one remembers the famous pop number by Stevie Wonder from his 1985 album "In Square Circle". India and the US are destined to be part-time lovers. Nothing more, nothing less. The sooner both countries realize it, the better it would be for the geopolitics.

Dr. Adityanjee is  the President of the Council for Strategic Affairs, New Delhi, India and can be contacted at the following Email: Adityancsa@gmail.com



The Lashkar-e-Toiba (LET), which had refrained from any major terrorist attack in India , including Jammu & Kashmir, after the 26/11 terrorist strikes in Mumbai, has been let loose again by the Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) and the post-26/11 curbs on its ground operations have been removed.

2. These curbs were imposed under international pressure after a number of foreign nationals, including US and Israeli citizens, were killed by it during its strikes in Mumbai. Following their deaths, the relatives of the Americans and Israelis killed had initiated legal action against the ISI and the LET in US courts for their role in the murder of their relatives. It is this legal action that led to the US announcement of a huge reward for evidence that could lead to the arrest and prosecution of Hazfiz Mohammad Sayeed, the Amir of the LET.

3. These curbs and the legal action initiated in US courts hadled  to the LET suspending its operations outside the Pakistani territory. India and the other countries, except Afghanistan, were free of any major activity of the LET since 26/11.There was no evidence to indicate any direct involvement of the ISI and the LET in the terrorist strikes that had taken place in the Indian territory outside J&K since 26/11.

4. While refraining from any ground actions outside Pakistan, the LET appears to have resumed its recruitment, fund collection and motivational activities for nearly a year. This has become evident from reports regarding the activities of Zabiuddin Ansari aka Abu Jundal aka Abu  Jindalakla Abu Hamza, a Muslim of Indian origin from Maharashtra, in Saudi Arabia.

5. He was one of the six co-conspirators of the LET and had helped the LET leadership in organising and executing the 26/11 strikes. He was supposed to have been in jail in Pakistan since February 2009 facing prosecution before an Anti-Terrorism court for his involvement in the 26/11strikes.His arrest in Saudi Arabia and transfer to India last week by the Saudi authorities indicate that he had managed to go to Saudi Arabia a year ago and had resumed his activities there as the LET representative in Saudi Arabia for making recruitment from amongst Pakistanis and Indian Muslims living there. He used to do this job even before 26/11 and had resumed it last year after coming out of Pakistan.

6. The resumption of his activities from Saudi territory speak of the likelihood of plans for a fresh terrorist strike by the LET. In view of the steep deterioration in Pakistan's relations with the US, pressures from Washington DC no longer have the desired effect on the ISI, which continues to help the LET as well as the Afghan Taliban and the Haqqani Network despite repeated US admonitions to curb their activities.

7. The undoubted dilution of the US influence over the ISI and the relaxation of the curbs imposed by the ISI on the anti-India activities of the LET, as evidenced from the resumption of the activities of Ansari in Saudi Arabia, indicate fresh dangers of the possibility of a major terrorist strike by the LET against India with the blessings of the ISI.

8. The confusing reports from Islamabad regarding the snafu over a pardon reportedly issued by President Asif Ali Zardari to Sarabjit Singh, an Indian national awaiting the execution of a death sentence for 20 years, also indicate the kind of pressure which the LET is able to exercise on the civilian leadership. SarabjitSingh  had been sentenced to death by a Pakistani court on a charge of being an R&AW agent, but he had been repeatedly appealing against the sentence.

9.On June 26,2012, spokesmen of the President's office had indicated that the President had decided to commute his death sentence to one of life imprisonment which could pave the way for his pardon and return to his family in India. His reported decision was widely welcomed as a humanitarian gesture in India and was hailed during prime-time TV debates.

10. It has been reported by "the Hindu" correspondent in Islamabad that the reported  decision of Zardari to pardon Sarabjit Singh was  strongly criticised by the Jamaat-e-Islami (JEI) and the Jamaat-ud-Dawa (JUD), the political wing of the LET, as a shameful act at a time when AjmalKasab, the lone LET survivor of the26/11 strikes, was under a death sentence in Mumbai.

11. Zardari seems to have blinked under the criticism of these organisations and possibly also from the Army and the ISI.His spokesmen have sought to give the impression that no pardon had been issued by Zardari to Sarabjit and that the media had confused a release order issued by the Govt in respect of Surjit Singh, another Indian languishing in Pakistani jail, as indicating an impending release of Sarabjit Singh.

12. The contention of the Presidential spokesman that the  confusion was created by the media in India and Pakistan has not carried conviction with many analysts in both the countries. The snafu indicates  a possible  weakening of the position of Zardari and his decreasing ability to withstand pressure from the Army, the ISI and the LET in matters relating to India.

13. The LET's ability to dictate terms to the Government has been demonstrated once again. Encouraged by its re-enhanced influence  and the backing of the Army and the ISI, it is to be expected that the LET will redouble its efforts for another terrorist strike in India.

14.The decision of the Saudi authorities to transfer Ansari to Indian custody unmindful of the unhappiness of Pakistan will be seen in Pakistan as a blow to its much-flaunted relationship with Saudi Arabia. Zardari is likely to be blamed by the Army and the LET for the failure to dissuade Saudi Arabia from transferring Ansari to Indian custody. It will come as a surprise and shock to  the fundamentalist organisations in Pakistan and Indian Muslim organisations such as the Students Islamic Movement of India and the Indian Mujahideen which had in the past maintained close interactions with sympathetic elements in Saudi Arabia.

15. The ISI and the LET will be determined to demonstrate that the action of Saudi Arabia will not weaken their anti-India motivation by orchestrating a fresh terrorist strike against India.

16.The interrogation of Ansari by the Indian authorities should focus on ascertaining the present thinking and the future plans of the ISI and the LET. The other members of the Indian Muslim community, who were in contact with the LET, the ISI and David Headley, of the Chicago cell of the LET, should be quickly identified with Ansari's help and arrested. Questioning him regarding what role he played  in connection with the 26/11 strikes can be taken up later on.

17. Our counter-terrorism mindset continues to be influenced by the "Fix ISI" reflex. It should instead be influenced by the "Counter And Neutralise ISI" mindset. ( 27-6-12)

( The writer is Additional Secretary (retd), Cabinet Secretariat, Govt of India, New Delhi, and, presently, Director, Institute For Topical Studies, Chennai, and Associate, Chennai Centre For China Studies. E-Mail: seventyone2@gmail.com . Twitter: @SORBONNE75 )

June 26, 2012

What to do about Pakistan? - Christine Fair. Make Pak part of IOC.

Christine, think again. There is a remarkable opportunity. Form an Indian Ocean Community - a United States of Indian Ocean. That will fix the Pakistan problem created by USA creating a Paki ally, thanks to communism phobia, turning a Nelson's eye to the vivisection of India by a colonial regime -- yes, the same coloniser that colonised USA. Read Will Durant on the impoverishment of India. Read also https://sites.google.com/site/indianoceancommunity1/ 

What to Do About Pakistan

With an "ally" in a state of perpetual dysfunction, it's time for Washington to reconsider its options: containment or benign neglect.

By C Christine Fair,
Foreign Policy, June 21, 2012

The last year and a half has been a rocky road for U.S.-Pakistan relations -- and once again, domestic and foreign policy developments seem ever more perilous. The year 2011 opened with the cold-blooded assassination of the governor of Punjab, Salman Taseer, by a fanatic who denounced him as a blasphemer. Americans watched aghast as Pakistan's elite failed to defend Taseer, while many Pakistanis praised the assassin. Shortly thereafter, U.S.-Pakistan relations convulsed when two ISI ruffians confronted a CIA contractor, Raymond Davis. Davis shot the men dead.

No sooner had the two "allies" managed to weather that crisis than the United States conducted a unilateral raid to kill Osama bin Laden, who was ensconced in the cantonment town of Abbottabad, near Pakistan's acclaimed military academy. Before relations could thaw, an accidental raid on Pakistani troops at the Salala checkpost in November killed 24. The United States steadfastly refused to apologize publicly. Pakistan retaliated by shutting down all ground supply routes into Afghanistan. And this is where we find ourselves today.

As Americans confront an increasingly contracting set of options to engage Pakistan, Islamabad has offered yet another twist to the ongoing policy dilemma in Washington. Just this week, Pakistan's erratic and ever-activist Supreme Court ruled that Yousaf Raza Gilani is no longer qualified to remain prime minister. Then on Thursday, another court issued an arrest warrant for Makhdoom Shahabuddin, who was President Asif Ali Zardari's first choice to replace the ousted Gilani. And just for good measure, the court also issued a warrant for Gilani's son. If Pakistan's civilian government wasn't fully dysfunctional, rest assured: it now is. Unfortunately, ensuring the stability of this civilian government has been a policy goal of the United States since the return to democracy in February 2008.

By any measure, Pakistan has squandered the last decade. The events of 9/11 afforded the country a rare opportunity to regain its international standing after having teetered for years on the brink of pariah state status. Pakistan had become renowned for spreading nuclear technology to such states as Iran and North Korea; reckless adventurism in India; insistence on supporting jihadist groups as a principal tool of statecraft; and steadfast refusal to adopt policies that might invest in its people rather than entrench the military's deep state. Had Pakistan chosen to jettison its jihad habit, sought assistance in rehabilitating tens of thousands of militants and their supporters in Pakistan, and found some amicable resolution to its longstanding dispute with India, it would still enjoy the support of the West, as well as their collective checkbooks, today.

Those years have gone. Pakistan is in crisis. Its courts act on whim rather than jurisprudence. Its political parties are vast pools of corrupt patronage networks that aggregate elite interests while disregarding the interests of Pakistan's struggling masses. Neither elected politicians nor military rulers have had the political courage to right the nation's fiscal woes by enforcing income tax or imposing industrial and agricultural taxes on the ruling elites and their networks of influence. While the army has retrenched from a direct role in politics, it has done so likely because it has no other option: Pakistan's military suffered a mighty humiliation after the bin Laden raid, which left many citizens wondering whether their country is a failed state, a rogue state, or both.

Not surprisingly, the United States is frustrated. Many in the Washington have told me that "we are 'this close' to bombing them," yet the Pakistanis continue to somnambulate in the dream of their country's own importance. U.S. Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta may have jolted some out of their slumber with his recent comments in Delhi and Kabul. Not only did he say in clarion words that Washington is exhausted with Pakistan's various ruses, but he also addressed forthrightly the simple fact that Pakistan has taken billions of U.S. dollars to assist the war on terrorism while continuing to support the very elements killing our troops. In case Pakistan missed the reference, Panetta made clear that "anybody who attacks U.S. soldiers is our enemy. We are not going to take it."

Ironically, 11 years later Pakistan seems a whole lot more dangerous than it was on Sept. 10, 2001. Elements of Pakistan's erstwhile jihadi proxies (notably Jaish-e-Mohammed and Harkat-ul-Jihad-e-Islami, among others) have refocused their efforts to sustain a bloody war on Pakistan itself. These groups have long targeted Pakistan's Ahmadiyya, Shia, Christian, and Hindu minorities. In recent years, they have turned their guns, grenades, and suicide vests against the majority of Pakistanis: Sufis who worship at shrines.

Not only have many Pakistanis blamed "outside" elements for these crimes, but many have also even rallied about these killers. Most notably, the killer of Salman Taseer was garlanded by supporters. The judge who sentenced Taseer's killer -- who proudly confessed his guilt -- had to flee the country after receiving death threats. Such disturbing mobilization should give pause to those who champion the causes of the "silent moderate majority" in Pakistan.

Equally disconcerting, Pakistan has long refused international access to its chief nuclear black marketer, Abdul Qadeer Khan. Worse, the state and its citizenry have paraded him about the country like a super hero the nation desperately wants. Pakistan has a Nobel laureate (Abdus Salam, Physics, 1979), but he is not embraced because he is a member of the much-loathed minority Ahmadiyya community. Pakistan understands full well that it is these nuclear fears that ensure that the United States will not easily walk away from Pakistan. In recent years, Pakistan has focused its resources on fissile material production and the assembly of tactical nuclear weapons -- including nuclear artillery. Pakistan sees its nuclear program as its insurance against a catastrophic showdown with the United States.

Despite Washington's increasing demands that Pakistan disassemble its terrorism infrastructure, Islamabad has consistently chosen the most unproductive paths. Rather than shutting down the various Islamist terror groups operating from Pakistan's soil with varying degrees of explicit and implicit state support, it has pushed jihadi leaders such as Lashkar-e-Taiba to the forefront of the recent political gathering of rogues, the Difa-e-Pakistan Council (DPC or "Defense of Pakistan Council"). The DPC is festooned with jihadi leaders, as well as former military and intelligence personas known as jihadi apologists. The DPC, of course, is then used by the military and intelligence agencies as a foil to efforts by the political parties to renormalize relations with the United States and seek political and economic rapprochement with India.

Those in Washington who steadfastly believed that, with enough patience and assistance, Pakistan could slowly be transformed into a responsible partner for some modicum of stability in South Asia have been chagrined by a sorry trail of persistent perfidy.

Even those who believe that the intelligence, military, and/or political leadership had no knowledge of bin Laden's sprawling den in Abbottabad near Pakistan's Military Academy, cannot help but be dismayed by the choices the country has made since his death in May 2011. While Pakistan's arrest of the physician Dr. Shakil Afridi, who helped identity and eliminate bin Laden for the time-tested crime of espionage, what is abhorrent is that he is the only one who has been arrested.

Even if one accepts (for the purpose of argument) that Afridi committed espionage, what explains the lack of any investigation, much less prosecution, of the landlord of bin Laden's compound? Why has there been no investigation into who actually facilitated his sanctuary in Pakistan and his extensive travels with his terror entourage? Who are the various physicians that attended to the deliveries of his numerous children, birthed by his numerous wives with him in the compound? Pakistan has made it crystal clear that it has no interest in identifying -- much less punishing -- those who aided and abetted bin Laden.

Recently, the Pakistani Taliban have ceased polio vaccinations until the U.S. drone program is called off. Of course, the reality is that many of Pakistan's ostensible clergy have long denounced such vaccinations as a Western plot to reduce Muslim fecundity. Thus, it is not clear what the marginal impact of this recent chicanery will be on Pakistan's polio crisis. Pakistan is one of the few countries on the planet with endemic polio infections.

At long last, it seems, various agencies of the United States government have come to the conclusion that Pakistan cannot be changed. Islamabad's behavior in the region will remain staunchly pegged to its antipathy toward New Delhi. It will pursue policies that threaten the integrity of the Pakistani state for no other reason but the chimerical objective of resisting the obvious rise of India, while clinging to the delusion that it is India's peer competitor -- despite obvious and ever-growing disparities.

Finally, Americans are asking what Pakistanis have long concluded: How can the United States and Pakistan have any kind of positive relationship when our strategic interests not only diverge but violently clash?

* * *

For once there's consensus in Washington. Currently, the U.S. Department of Defense, Central Intelligence Agency, vast swathes of the State Department, both houses of the Congress, and the White House have all joined in chorus to decry Pakistan's duplicity. While acknowledging Pakistan's dangerous policies and their implications, and holding Pakistan to account for the same, the United States needs to resist the most basal urges simply to "cut off" Pakistan. Such a move would ultimately be counterproductive.

The United States should continue to engage Pakistan where possible. The United States has no doubt learned that there is little it can do to bolster domestic stability in Pakistan. As the most recent governance crisis unfolds, there are few in Washington who harbor any belief that the United States can still help transform Pakistan. There is an increasing acknowledgement that the United States must engage the Pakistan that is rather than the Pakistan that is desired.

This means that embassies and consulates should continue to function without retrenchment. Pakistan cannot be left alone to become an Iran or North Korea -- which remain opaque to U.S. diplomatic, military, and intelligence agencies. Military exchanges should continue, as should security training missions, as long as there is Pakistani demand for the same. The United States should continue some degree of human development with modest rather than transformative goals. The United States should deepen educational ties, especially with younger cohorts of Pakistanis who face a dismal future in economically shambolic Pakistan.

However, future strategic assistance, such as the sale of F-16 fighter jets, would be misguided. After all, the founding logic of "strategic military sales" is beguiled by the simple fact that our strategic aims clash. Rather than pursuing some fantasy of a "strategic relations," these forms of assistance should be transactional and contingent on actual -- rather than hoped for -- performance. The United States should be willing to provide weapons systems and training that enhance Pakistan's capabilities to contend with its internal security crises rather than those that encourage it to resist the inevitable military dominance of India.

While the United States -- amid political outrage at Pakistan's ongoing perfidy and deepening fiscal austerity -- should continue to engage Pakistan where possible, there are larger issues Washington must confront now. If it cannot persuade Pakistan to abandon the most noxious policies of jihad and nuclear proliferation, then it must quickly embrace the realities of managing those problems in the most effective manner possible.

There are at least two approaches that should be considered -- neither of which negates the fundamental need to remain engaged at whatever level is possible and sustainable. And neither is fundamentally at odds with the other.

The first notion that is gaining momentum is the notion of containment. Proponents of some version of containment debate the contents and lineaments of this policy. If containing the country is not possible, containing the threat may be more feasible. This includes increasing pressure on Pakistani intelligence, military, and other personalities for which there is intelligence showing they enable nuclear proliferation or terrorism. It is important to sanction specific persons rather than agencies generally. Such pressure could include visa denial (which the Pakistanis routinely do to their foes and critics), working with international entities to restrict finances outside of the country, or working with Interpol to have them arrested when they leave Pakistan.

A second -- and indeed complimentary -- strategic option is for the United States to withdraw itself as an arbiter in the region and hold Pakistan fully responsible for acts of omission and commission tied to its twinned policy of nuclear proliferation and jihad. This may be best described as "benign neglect."

A policy of benign neglect could undermine the two pillars of Pakistan's nuclear jihad strategy. First, by increasing fissile materials and expanding tactical nuclear weapon production, Pakistan aims to increase the possible cost to India for any punitive action. Second, it seeks to pull in the United States to restrain India from action. These two facets taken together reduce any cost that Pakistan has paid for its nuclear jihad strategy. The United States should clearly tell Islamabad -- publicly and privately -- that it has no intention of playing this mediating role in the future. In any event, the U.S. record in solving the Indo-Pakistan dispute is abysmal at best and humiliating at worst. Making clear that Washington will no longer even attempt to try to play this role will dramatically force Pakistan to rethink the cost-benefit calculus of using militant groups such as Lashkar-e-Taiba as instruments of foreign policy.

The United States should also consider the value of a simple statement of the obvious: For all intents and purposes, the contested Line of Control that divides Indian- and Pakistan-administered portions of Kashmir is the border. In doing so, Washington would make clear to Pakistan that Kashmir is an internal affair to be resolved by New Delhi and Srinagar. This position should be reflected in U.S. maps and other official documents, which would deprive the Pakistanis of the ability to credibly claim to have any equities in the "Kashmir issue." While there are genuine governance problems in Indian-administered Kashmir, none of these problems functionally concern Pakistan. Pakistan's militant groups and the countermeasures they have induced have plunged the province into an industrial recession that will take decades to recover from. Meanwhile, Kashmiris have paid the price for Pakistan's policies -- while those Pakistanis who oversaw the campaign of jihad enjoy a life of comfort and ease at home.

As a part of the benign neglect approach, the United States also should be willing to consider letting Pakistan fail economically by not coercing the International Monetary Fund to bail out the country unless it meets its own commitments to fiscal reforms. While many Pakistanis will no doubt see this as an unfair punitive measure, it is a near certitude that Islamabad will never make the necessary reforms to expand its tax revenues as long as it can use its inherent instability to extort ongoing assistance from bilateral and multilateral donors and agencies. This is the essence of moral hazard.

Finally, the United States should work to undermine Pakistan's continued effort to use its expanding nuclear program to extract assistance from the international community. Since 9/11, Pakistan has increased fissile material production and expanded its arsenal of tactical nuclear weapons. Meanwhile, Pakistan's vast jihadi landscape further conjures the image of Islamist barbarians banging at the nuclear gate. The United States has spent considerable effort and resources to manage this problem to the best extent possible.

These efforts may well be counterproductive. First, with respect to undesirable proliferation, Pakistan and the United States share incentives. After all, if the jihadis can penetrate the program, so can Indian, U.S., or even Israeli intelligence agencies. Thus, there is a natural incentive for Pakistan to seek and obtain assistance. Still, the United States should actively seek to neutralize Pakistan's susceptibility to allowing nuclear weapons to fall into the hands of dangerous non-state actors. It can do so by devising a declaratory policy that requires Pakistan to behave as the sovereign state it claims to be. Namely, if Pakistani assets are used in a state or non-sponsored incident, Islamabad will be held responsible. Can Islamabad's security managers fault the United States for insisting that it bear the consequences of such much-lauded sovereignty?

While some may view these offerings as unreasonable, reckless, dangerous, and irresponsible, it is equally fair to ask whether Washington's decades of policies toward Pakistan have been unreasonable, dangerous, and irresponsible? Moreover, what good have they accomplished? While many policymakers and analysts are willing to bank everything on the gamble that Pakistan is too dangerous to fail, we should be willing to consider what failure would mean and the inherent costs and benefits of this happening. After all, when the Soviet Union fell, none of the worst fears materialized. And Pakistan is hardly the Soviet Union.

C. Christine Fair is assistant professor in the Peace and Security Studies Program at Georgetown University's Edmund A. Walsh School of Foreign Service.