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Afghanistan- US- Pak Relations-The Year Past and the Year Ahead -2012

Afghanistan- US- Pak Relations-The Year Past and the Year Ahead -2012

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Published by Khybari
This is a study by Council of Foreign Relations on the US-Pakistan relations -Past and future.
This is a study by Council of Foreign Relations on the US-Pakistan relations -Past and future.

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Published by: Khybari on May 08, 2012
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U.S.-Pakistan Relations: The Year Past,The Year Ahead
Speakers: Steve Coll, President and CEO, New America Foundation, Robert Grenier,Chairman, ERG Partners andDaniel Markey, Senior Fellow for India, Pakistan and SouthAsia, Council on Foreign RelationsPresider: Tom Gjelten, Correspondent, NPR February 2, 2012Council on Foreign RelationsTOM GJELTEN: So the topic again tonight is U.S.-Pakistan relations. And we really dohave an all-star panel. Let me just begin with, to my far right, Steve Coll. I'm sure you allknow him, president of the New America Foundation and staff writer for the New Yorker magazine, before that, a distinguished foreign correspondent, the author of two -- not one,two Pulitzer Prize-winning books. And the one that is of most relevance tonight is of course "Ghost Wars: The Secret History of the CIA, Afghanistan and bin Laden from theSoviet Invasion to September 10th, 2001."In the middle, Bob Grenier, currently chairman of ERG Partners. But for our purposestonight, he'll be speaking on the basis of his 27 years of experience in the intelligencecommunity. A veteran of the CIA, Bob most recently served as director of the CIA'sCounterterrorism Center. Prior to that, he was Iraq mission manager, and prior to that, theagency's station chief in Islamabad from 1999 to 2002, in other words, spanning the 9/11attacks in that post.And on my immediate right, Dan Markey, senior fellow for India, Pakistan and South Asiahere at the council. And here he specializes in security and governance issues in SouthAsia. He's currently writing a book -- good luck with that, Dan -- on the future of the U.S.-Pakistan relationship. Prior to that, he was -- he handled the South Asia portfolio in the policy planning staff at the State Department. And of course, he was project director of thecouncil- sponsored Independent Task Force on U.S. strategy in Pakistan and Afghanistan,and some of the recommendations of that task force of course will be the subject of our discussion tonight.So tonight we are focusing on one of the most complex and problematic situations in theworld today: the multifaceted and multilateral relationship between Pakistan, the UnitedStates, Afghanistan and the Taliban. I would say that this is a critical moment in U.S.-Pakistan relations, but we have said that so many times before that it's become a cliche. Sorather than make that rather lame observation, let me just roll off a few of the items thatreally set the stage for this discussion tonight.Going back just to last May and of course the raid that resulted in the killing of Osama binLaden -- and we've since learned that a Pakistani doctor who provided some of the keyintelligence that made that raid possible has been arrested and is facing possible treason
charges, just one indication of the rage that that raid engendered in Pakistan among thosewho feel that their sovereignty was violated; and of course the United States, in September,the chairman of the Joint Chiefs, Admiral Mullen, very publicly accusing Pakistan'sintelligence service of supporting the Haqqani terrorist network, which has been the mainenemy of U.S. forces in Afghanistan, and then subsequent to that, just two months later, theU.S. air and helicopter strikes that resulted in the death of 24 Pakistani troops along the border when they were caught in the middle of that and, of course, the Pakistanis again, intheir rage at that violation of their sovereignty, in their view, ordered an end to U.S. supplyand resupply operations through Pakistan for operations in Afghanistan; and then, of course, finally and most recently, the controversy over the memo allegedly written byPakistan's ambassador to the United States, Husain Haqqani, in which he is said to haveasked for U.S. support to guard against a possible military coup in Afghanistan (sic) on the part of the Pakistani army and of course that then provoked one of the most serious civil-military conflicts in Pakistan in many years.So that's not even to mention the broader context in which all these things are occurring --the prospect of a U.S. withdrawal from Afghanistan in less than two years, and the preparations that are under way for that including the possible arrangement of negotiationswith the Taliban in Qatar -- so those are the -- that's sort of the parameters of the situationthat we're going to be talking about tonight.Dan, I want to start with you just to give us like a 30-second summary of where you seeU.S.-Pakistan relations right at this moment. Where do things stand in terms of, let's say,the aid, the cutoff of aid, the refusal by Pakistan to accept aid, the supply line issue? Sortof, in a -- in a nutshell, where do things stand right now?DANIEL MARKEY: Well, in a nutshell, we are currently at a place which is certainlyworse in the bilateral relationship than we've had since 9/11, there's no doubt. So, yes,we've seen many crises over the past few years.I was just thinking today is my fifth anniversary here at the council and, as soon as Ishowed up, things went haywire. No connection, of course --MR. : (Inaudible) -- your area.MARKEY: Yeah, no connection. But we've seen crisis after crisis. But, over the past 18months, it's been a step-wise series of events, each one knocking us down from where wewere to a point which is as low as we've seen since 9/11. Now, in terms of our supply routes into Afghanistan and so on, I think some of these aresort of transitory issues. It sounds like at least some of that will be reopened in the -- in thenext few weeks. But there's a broader question here and it's a question that's been certainlyon Pakistani minds over the past two years and, in some ways, much longer than that,which is how we intend to resolve this end game in Afghanistan.And I think, in many ways, that's the context that they see us in the region. That's how they
 perceive us. And the question in their mind is, how are we going to leave things? Are wegoing to leave Afghanistan the sort of mess that they -- that we felt we left it at the end of the Soviet occupation? Are we going to make it even worse for them, in a sense, by doingthings that might say privilege an Indian involvement in Afghanistan? And will the waythat we leave it leave us with a really broken relationship between Washington andIslamabad?I think that's the framework. When you boil it down, they're -- each one of these incidentsthat we've seen over the past year in some ways relates to that and the deep uncertainty onthe part of the Pakistanis about what our intentions are as we prepare for this departure thatyou mentioned in Afghanistan.GJELTEN: Well, and that would be coming up in a couple of years and that's where theUnited States is positioned right now.You know, something that all three of you have observed is in reference to Pakistan'ssupport for the Taliban or for the Haqqani network -- all three of you have been able to --have focused on sort of the rationality of that position.And Bob, I wanted -- I was struck by something that you write in sort of the classicanalysis of an intelligence professional, talking about Pakistan's support for the Taliban:"Given their perception of their national interests and the lack of effective alternativemethods to pursue them, one can readily see why the Pakistanis behave as they do. I maydisapprove as an American, but as a political realist, I cannot fault them." Do you want toelaborate on that a little bit?ROBERT GRENIER: That's the problem with writing. Somebody's likely to read it at some point. (Laughter.)Yeah, you know, the -- one of the real problems, I think, that we all have in dealing withPakistan is it's very difficult to get past one's emotions.The Pakistanis are maddening as so-called allies. They -- often, what they do, even when it's in their interests, is, frankly, rather ignoble. Even when we understand it, we certainly can't approve of it. And so I think it's atremendous burden, I think, for policymakers in dealing with those issues in the first place.And then, trying to sell them to a political public is almost impossible.But, yeah, I think that for just the reasons that Dan has just mentioned, at this point, theU.S. has not decided for itself, I think, first of all -- nor, clearly, in conjunction with theAfghan government -- what our posture is going to look like in Afghanistan; how are wegoing to perceive our interests in the future and how are we going to try to realize them.And under those circumstances, it becomes very, very difficult for the Pakistanis toimagine what that's going to look like. And I'm sure that U.S. policymakers are telling themto some degree what that's going to look like, but we have very, very little credibility. Andit seems to me that unless and until we make very clear what will be the limits, if you will,of Pakistani aspirations in Afghanistan, we're not going to be able to get to anything

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