Destinations : Delusions

Below are some excerpts from recent reads of mine. If something interests you, click on the link and read the whole article

1. Planet Pakistan

An American visitor in Pakistan can’t help thinking at times that he has arrived in a parallel universe. Asked about the presence of Al Qaeda on their country’s soil, Pakistanis deny that there is any evidence of it. They lionize A. Q. Khan, who created the country’s nuclear weapons program and sold essential nuclear technology and knowledge to Iran, North Korea, and Libya, and they are incensed by American worries about the security of their country’s nuclear assets. Suicide bombings and political assassinations are near-daily occurrences, yet many Pakistanis are astonishingly complacent about the murderous groups behind them. They rail instead against the government that is powerless to prevent these attacks and an America that would like nothing better than to see an end to ­them.

2. The Nation : Black Water in Pakistan

On Thursday, Defense Secretary Robert Gates confirmed that Blackwater is operating in Pakistan. In an interview on Express TV, Gates, who was visiting Islamabad, said, “They [Blackwater and another private security firm, DynCorp] are operating as individual companies here in Pakistan,” according to a DoD transcript of the interview. “There are rules concerning the contracting companies. If they’re contracting with us or with the State Department here in Pakistan, then there are very clear rules set forth by the State Department and by ourselves.”

3. I am surprised that this is how US Armed Forces Journal thinks. Going Soft. Too bad it was published sometime ago otherwise its a good candidate for mindfuck of the day.

Demographics is a strategic advantage of indigenous forces. The total fertility rate, the average number of children that are born to a woman during her reproductive lifetime in the Taliban’s sanctuary of Pakistan’s North West Frontier Provinces (NWFP), is 5.1. Accordingly, the NWFP population of 17.8 million will double within 11 to 14 years. This birth rate, this regenerative capacity, trumps any casualty rate the U.S. can inflict on the Taliban in Afghanistan. We cannot exhaust the Taliban’s reservoirs through defensive war. Unless and until we change our strategy, the Taliban will field increasing numbers of fighters in Afghanistan over time. The fight is for control of the population, the Taliban’s reservoir, not terrain, not tactical engagements and not body count.

4. Last but not least, a very decent article written by Maniza Naqvi on 3 Quarks Daily entitled Trappers and Trapped website.

Is the US not able to let go? Is the US programmed to be trapped in Afghanistan? Is the US trapped in Afghanistan while many players in the region state and non-state look on patiently and contentedly all the while providing supplies and supply lines for its war? In its war in Afghanistan this non regional and chief warrior, the US military’s, cost per gallon of fuel is US$400 and cost per US military soldier is US$1,000,000. Somebody is bleeding and being clubbed and someone is getting rich.

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General Pervaiz Musharraf and other Pakistani Generals are similarly understood when we, read Jeremy Scahill’s article in the Nation about Xe (Blackwater) and its CEO Erik Prince and his Pakistani partner Liaqat Ali Baig and his company Kestral.  Now who is this Mr. Liaqat Ali Baig? What is his company’s connection to the Pakistan Army? If we dig deeper we find that almost all defense deals in Pakistan are done through Kestral Trading which is allegedly a proxy owned by Pervaiz Musharraf’s son Bilal Musharraf who lives in the Unites States.  Kestral CEO Mr. Liaqat Ali Baig is a front for Bilal Musharraf’s “ father in law”, Brig. (retired) Aftab Siddiqui. It’s all in the family.

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