25 September 2011

The Haqqani Network, the ISI, and Marriages of Convenience

During the previous week, outgoing Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Admiral Michael Mullen made some provocative statements about Pakistani complicity in the activities of the Haqqani Network.

To quote:

The Obama administration for the first time Thursday openly asserted that Pakistan was indirectly responsible for specific attacks against U.S. troops and installations in Afghanistan, calling a leading Afghan insurgent group “a veritable arm” of the Pakistani intelligence service.

Last week’s attack on the U.S. Embassy in Kabul and a Sept. 10 truck bombing that killed five Afghans and wounded 77 NATO troops were “planned and conducted” by the Pakistan-based Haqqani network “with ISI support,” said Adm. Mike Mullen, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. The ISI is the Pakistani military’s Inter-Services Intelligence agency.

“The government of Pakistan and most especially the Pakistani army and ISI” have chosen “to use violent extremism as an instrument of policy” to maintain leverage over Afghanistan’s future, Mullen testified during a hearing of the Senate Armed Services Committee. Defense Secretary Leon E. Panetta also testified.

While there has been plenty of discussion of the links between the Haqqani Network and the Pakistani ISI, something that has been missed in the discussion are some of the historic tensions that made maintaining a relationship with a group like the Haqqani Network attractive to the ISI.  Like so many things that have influenced this region, it has ties back to the Great Game, but this post will only really focus on the more recent history, that is to say events after the conclusion of World War II.

22 September 2011

Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad Addresses the United Nations

Iranian President and anti-necktie crusader Mahmoud Ahmadinejad addressed the United Nations today.  Since Libya's former President Muammar Gaddafi is trying to find a new apartment to rent in the "Anywhere But Here" location of Craigslist, President Ahmadinejad decided to step up his game.

"Don't Ask, Don't Tell" is Dead...and Apparently it's a Bad Thing

So, after 18 years, American's now have the right to defend their country regardless of their sexual preferences.  I went into work that Tuesday and, despite the prophecies of doom coming from the religious fundamentalists in this country, my Battalion's footprint wasn't engulfed in flames.  Of course, that isn't stopping the panic mongers of the religious right from the likes of the Family Research Council, a well know hate-group, from going ballistic.

Foaming at the mouth after the jump.