What is state failure? See my conceptualisation of state failure on the right flank below.

Friday, August 22, 2008

Schizo: Reloaded

In my post about four different takes on Pakistan's ISI two days ago, titled Schizo, I included diverse sources such as... let's see... a Canadian journalist who has regularly visited ISI since 1986, an NY Times article based on informally passed on information from stakeholder Indian and U.S. officials, an analysis by a former CIA operative and an interview with the Afghan NDS chief Amrullah Saleh. Time to give someone with an ISI past the chance to speak, isn't it?
Well, here's Hamid Gul, nowadays a political analyst, formerly a chief of ISI at the end of the 1980s. He says, to Syed Saleem Shahzad:
" "The army will play the same role it played from 1996 to 1998," Gul said, without elaborating. What he meant was that the military will maintain an independent and strong policy on Afghanistan in which the political government has no role or its role is restricted to giving political support to the military's operational policies."
Meanwhile, this independent and strong policy is working in a rather weird sort of way. The Frontier Corps go in to Bajaur to clear it, then they are betrayed, ambushed, massacred, forced to retreat. The air force enters the battlespace, turns the tide, then the next day an air force bus is blown up. The operations in Bajaur still manage to kill a significant number of militants, including major figures, even an al-Qaida operative - then this happens. The gates of a high-security facility attacked successfully, with nuclear weapons kept "at a screwdriver level" stored inside.

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