October 19, 2017

How to deal with Pokistan

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https://www.usip.org/events/how-deal-pakistan

This link is to a conference on Pakistan that really fleshes out just how delusional American diplomats are about Pakistan and the region. It’s worth a look because two veteran diplomats, Robin Raphel and Zalmay Khalilzad really demonstrate the continuing hallucination that is foisted at STATE for the region. That Raphel, a disgraced former diplomat, is there at all says it all.

The clouds of words that emanate from them illustrate just how deceptive they have been and still are. For his part, Khalilzad claims that he does not really know what Pakistan wants in the region.

A veteran of the region with some 30 years of experience in only this area, one has to wonder if there has ever been a more stunning admission of incompetence. What Pakistan wants has been quite clear for decades, complete dominance of Afghanistan ranging out from their mutual border west.

They have been building schools in the Afghan border provinces that teach Urdu for years. Pakistan’s deep commitment to the Taliban is an extension of their foreign policy which is a well known fact to everybody other than Mr. Khalilzad.

Raphel has also had a history of being the last person on earth to know what everyone else in foreign policy already knows. Going back to 1985, she testified before the US Congress that the Pakistanis were not supporting the Taliban. She said this when the CIA was keeping tabs on the supply effort by the ISI and writing reports which she had to have seen at the time.

Similar ignorance has been expressed by virtually all American spies and diplomats for the last 20 years and they have grudgingly accepted reality about their region in tiny bites spanning the last 15 years or that other measure of time, the death of over 2000 American service people.

In this conference/debate, there really is little difference between the camps allegedly arguing. On the one hand, there is a position for the US to adopt that essentially punishes Pakistan with a spectrum of negative actions ranging from economic to military. On the other hand, there is a point of view that insists that a continued diplomatic path is still the best way to go with Pakistan.

Virtually all of the people in the conference seem to take both sides but still manage to come up with some kind of argument theater. None take responsibility  for the greatest American foreign policy debacle in history and no one ever mentions Iran.

They talk about Russia and China and Afghanistan however. No one ever mentions pipeline. Yet Raphel was a passionate lobbyist for the TAPI pipeline that was the catalyst for the growth of a previously obscure militia, the Taliban. Such is the state of mind among our career foreign policy “experts”.

Only Laurel Miller, former US special representative for Afghanistan and Pakistan, mentions the logistics issue in a brief and breezy comment.

It’s stunning. For her part, Raphel mentions “progress” over the last 15 years in Afghanistan and no one in the room or on the stage says a peep. Over the decades, jezail has seen this time and again. Diplomats lie and lie and always, it’s a sin of omission that no one ever calls them out for. More clouds of words signifying nothing.

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