by NPR Staff
The CIA’s determination to roll back communism during the Cold War inadvertently allowed radical Islamists to gain a foothold in Europe, according to a new book by Pulitzer Prize-winning author Ian Johnson.
A Mosque in Munich: Nazis, the CIA and the Rise of the Muslim Brotherhood in the West details the Nazis’ attempts to create a fifth column within the Soviet empire by becoming allies with Muslim minorities living in the Soviet Union.
“The Soviet Union had oppressed Islam, closed many mosques and mistreated many minorities in the Soviet Union, including Muslims,” Johnson tells host Guy Raz. “After the Germans ended up with literally millions of Red Army POWs in the war, they began to realize that many of these were potential soldiers to fight the Soviet Union.”
The Economist Print Edition, March 18, 2010
A HIGH-LEVEL delegation of Pakistanis is due to sweep into Washington for the restart on March 24th of a “strategic dialogue” with America. The Pakistanis have muscled their way to the table for what looks like a planning session for the endgame in Afghanistan. The recent arrest of the Taliban’s deputy leader, Mullah Abdul Ghani Baradar, and a clutch of his high-ranking comrades, has won them a seat.
The Pakistani team, led by the foreign minister, will include both the army chief and the head of the army’s spy agency, the Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI). America has upgraded its own representation at the talks, last held in mid-2008, from deputy-secretary to secretary-of-state level. The dialogue is supposed to cover the gamut of bilateral issues, including help for Pakistan’s fragile economy, and even, on its ambitious wish-list, civil nuclear technology.
Filed under Afghanistan, Al Qaeda, Army, Democracy, FATA, Great game, India, Islamabad, North-West Frontier Province, Obama, Pakistan, Taliban, Terrorism, USA, War On Terror
Filed under Afghanistan, Al Qaeda, Army, FATA, Great game, Islamabad, Obama, Pakistan, Peshawar, state, strategy, Taliban, Terrorism, USA, war, War On Terror
January 25, 2010 will be remembered as the day when much of the planet buzzed about diplomatic talks with Afghanistan’s Taliban movement. The chatter comes in the context of a number of conferences that will be held over the course of the next week that focus on dealing with Afghanistan’s jihadist insurgency. The countries being represented at the meetings — including the United States, the Central Asian states, Europe, Russia, Turkey, Saudi Arabia, Iran, Pakistan, India and China — have a stake in what happens in Afghanistan.
Filed under Afghanistan, Al Qaeda, Army, FATA, Great game, India, Iran, Islam, Islamabad, North-West Frontier Province, Pakistan, quetta, Religion, strategy, Taliban, Terrorism, USA, War On Terror
By Robert M Gates, US Secretary of Defence
Exclusive to The News, Pakistan
Published on January 21, 2010
We are including the link to an important op-ed by US Secretary of Defense Mr. Robert M. Gates. Mr. Gates repeats the message given by Hillary Clinton, that reaches out to the Pakistani population deeply suspicious of the US motives in the present war against extremism. The message looks to repair the trust deficit that has developed over time between Pakistan and the United States, and is a welcome step for the uneven relationship between the two countries who fight the common enemy in this present war. For the full article, please follow the link at the end of the post (Editor)
Nearly 25 years ago, in 1986, I arrived in Islamabad for my first visit to Pakistan to meet with this country’s military leaders and see firsthand the training of the Afghan resistance along the border. At the time, our two countries were working together in unprecedented ways to combat a common foe. As part of this effort, our militaries went to school together; our intelligence services shared insights; and our leaders consulted each other on strategic issues. The long-standing friendship was based on a great sense of mutual commitment, purpose, and benefit.
I was still in government in the early 1990s, when the Soviet Union left the region and the US largely abandoned Afghanistan and cut off defense ties with Pakistan – a grave mistake driven by some well-intentioned but short-sighted US legislative and policy decisions.
Thankfully, times have changed. Even so, much is still made in the media of a “trust deficit” between our nations. As I meet with Pakistan’s civilian and military leaders during my visit, I will emphasize that the United States wishes to relinquish the grievances of the past – grievances held by both sides – and instead focus on the promise of the future. I will repeat President Obama’s message that the United States is fully committed to a stable, long-term, strategic partnership with a democratic Pakistan – an enduring relationship based on shared interests and mutual respect that will continue to expand and deepen in the future on many levels, from security cooperation to economic development.
Filed under Afghanistan, Al Qaeda, Army, Democracy, FATA, Great game, History, Islamabad, North-West Frontier Province, Pakistan, Terrorism, USA, War On Terror
By Kamran Shafi
From Daily Dawn, Published 19th January, 2010
And how does it help us? We are engaged in the Great Game in Afghanistan, we are told, because ‘strategic depth’ is vital for Pakistan due to the fact that our country is very narrow at its middle and could well be cut into half by an Indian attack in force.
Strategic depth, we are further informed, will give respite to our armed forces which could withdraw into Afghanistan to then regroup and mount counter-attacks on Indian forces in Pakistan. I ask you!
I ask you for several reasons. Let us presume that the Indians are foolish enough to get distracted from educating their people, some of whom go to some of the best centres of learning in the world. Let us assume that they are idiotic enough to opt for war instead of industrialising themselves and meeting their economic growth targets which are among the highest in the world.
Let us imagine that they are cretinous enough to go to war with a nuclear-armed Pakistan and effectively put an immediate and complete end to their multi-million dollar tourism industry. Let us suppose that they lose all sense, all reason, and actually attack Pakistan and cut our country into half.
Filed under Afghanistan, Al Qaeda, Army, baluchistan, Great game, India, Islamabad, North-West Frontier Province, Pakistan, Punjab, quetta, state, Taliban, War On Terror
By Yasser Latif Hamdani
There are some fundamental truths that both Pakistanis and Americans need to understand about our mutual relationship especially in Afghanistan :
1. Pakistan and US are natural allies. I know the fashionable in India and the US like to talk of a “natural alliance” between their two countries but both India and the US must realize that theirs can be at best a mercantile relationship. Natural alliances are not necessarily based on hollow idealism and grandiose but ridiculous propositions like the “arcs of democracy”. If this was true, Pakistan and Russia would be natural allies but they are not. Natural alliances are based on convergence of geo-strategic objectives and in the case of Pakistan the long term interests of Pakistan and US will always coincide in this region. Continue reading