Sunday, January 7, 2018

Husain Haqqani's Influence in Trump White House

Do you know that Pakistan's ex Ambassador Husain Haqqani co-authored a paper in 2016 with current US National Security staffer Lisa Curtis calling for tough US policy against Pakistan?


Is it true that Trump's highly insulting and threatening New Year tweet against Pakistan reflects Husain Haqqani's old narrative in his 2013 book "Magnificent Delusions"?

Does Haqqani not argue in essence that Pakistanis are extraordinarily clever in deceiving the United States and its highly sophisticated policymakers who have been taken for a ride by Pakistanis for over 6 decades?

Why is Haqqani so determined to get a superpower to hurt the country where he was born, raised and educated? Is he not a modern day Benedict Arnold? Mir Jaffar? Mir Sadiq? Where's his loyalty? Where's his gratitude?

Azad Labon Ke Sath (ALKS) host Faraz Darvesh discusses these questions with Misbah Azam and Riaz Haq (www.riazhaq.com)

https://youtu.be/lJuIlcHC6MI




Related Links:

Haq's Musings

Is Trump Taking Advice From Husain Haqqani?

Pakistan, China "Experts": Husain Haqqani, Minxin Pei and Gordon Chang

Profit Motives of Authors Bashing Pakistan

Tarek Fatah vs Riaz Haq on India, Pakistan and Muslims

Indian Sponsored Terror in Pakistan

700,000 Indian Soldiers Vs 10 Million Kashmiris

Gen Petraeus Debunks Allegations of Duplicity Against Pakistan

Blackberry Transcripts Sealed Haqqani's Fate in Memogate

Debunking Gall-Haqqani-Paul Narrative About Pakistan

Debunking Mr. Haqqani's Op Ed "Pakistan's Elusive Quest for Parity"

Doval Doctrine

10 comments:

Ras S. said...

More like leftover Zalmay Khalilzad…

Ahmad F. said...

He also wrote several for the Bush White House and had unrestricted access to the Pentagon ever since he came to the US. His first paper was on Islam and Democracy.

Anonymous said...

Here's Tariq Ali, a Pakistani left-wing intellectual who graduated from Oxford, where he studied philosophy, politics, and economics, and was President of the Oxford Union. on Husain Haqqani:


One of Zardari and his late wife’s trusted bagmen in Washington, Husain Haqqani, whose links to the US intelligence agencies since the 1970s made him a useful intermediary and whom Zardari appointed as Pakistan’s ambassador to Washington, has been forced to resign. Haqqani, often referred to as the US ambassador to Pakistan, appears to have been caught red-handed: he allegedly asked Mansoor Ijaz, a multi-millionaire close to the US defense establishment, to carry a message to Admiral Mike Mullen pleading for help against the Pakistani military and offering in return to disband the Haqqani network and the ISI and carry out all US instructions.

Mullen denied that he had received any message. A military underling contradicted him. Mullen changed his story and said a message had been received and ignored. When the ISI discovered this ‘act of treachery’, Haqqani, instead of saying that he was acting under orders from Zardari, denied the entire story. Unfortunately for him, the ISI boss, General Pasha, had met up with Ijaz and been given the Blackberry with the messages and instructions. Haqqani had no option but to resign. Demands for his trial and hanging (the two often go together when the military is involved) are proliferating. Zardari is standing by his man. The military wants his head. And now Nato has entered the fray. This story is not yet over.

http://nation.time.com/2011/11/29/what-is-next-for-pakistan/

AJ said...

Why is it that we, the believers of the Deen - seem to develop this genetic weakness? All through history, where several among our leaders, come down with this infliction and behave like "Nang e Adam, Nang e din, Nang e watan". Is it that the peoples on their way down in history are prone to being inflicted with this ailment? Or this infliction comes first and brings down the house with it? Or am I making a big deal out of it and this happens to all humans.

Riaz Haq said...

AJ: "Or am I making a big deal out of it and this happens to all humans."

Thanks for correcting the shair. It is indeed nang e adam, not nang e millat. Love and betrayal are as old as humanity itself. Judas betrayed Jesus. Arnold Benedict betrayed George Washington. Mir Jafar betrayed Siraj ud Daula. Mir Sadiq betrayed Tipu Sultan. Each gave in to greed as Husain Haqqani is doing now.

Riaz Haq said...

Wolff Book: How Trump ‘Lost It’ In Afghanistan, While India, Pakistan Don’t Figure At All

https://thewire.in/211599/trump-meltdown-afghanistan-us-priority-south-asia-not-india-pakistan/

Fire and Fury makes no mention of the two largest countries in South Asia but has a vivid account of how the US president “lost it” when confronted with a plan to send more troops to Afghanistan.

The reason for Bannon’s exultation was Trump exploding in anger and threatening to fire all US generals after they couldn’t give him any alternative to the troop increase proposal.

The generals were punting and waffling and desperately trying to save face – they were, according to Bannon, talking pure “gobbledygook” in the situation room. “Trump was standing up to them,” said a happy Bannon. “Hammering them. He left a bowel movement in the middle of their Afghan plans. Again and again, he came back to the same point: we’re stuck and losing and nobody here has a plan to do much better than that.”

Before this meeting, the US military had expected to give a green signal to their proposal after weeks of negotiation – and therefore, the apparent meltdown came out of the blue.

According to Wolff, Trump “angrily railed” for two hours “against the mess he had been handed in Afghanistan”.

He threatened to fire almost every general in the chain of command. He couldn’t fathom, he said, how it had taken so many months of study to come up with this nothing-much-different plan. He disparaged the advice that came from generals and praised the advice from enlisted men.


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Deputy national security advisor Dina Powell suggested that the “moderate, best-case, easiest-to-sell course” was to send around “send four, five, six, or (tops) seven thousand troops”.

Powell even helped design a PowerPoint deck that McMaster began using with the president: pictures of Kabul in the 1970s when it still looked something like a modern city. It could be like this again, the president was told, if we are resolute.

Bannon had also master-minded a mediacampaignagainst McMaster, which had led to a counter campaign by Kushner and Powell. According to Vox, between July 21 and Aug 22, Breitbart News carried 60 mostly negative articles on McMaster.

It was the establishment and never-Trumpers against the America-first Trumpkins. In many respects, Bannon was outgunned and outnumbered, yet he still thought he had it nailed. And when he won, not only would another grievously drafted chapter in the war in Afghanistan be avoided, but ‘Jarvanka’, and Powell, their factotum, would be further consigned to irrelevance and powerlessness.

The National Security Council proposed three options – withdrawal, outsourcing to private contractors and the CIA as suggested byBlackwater founder Erik Prince, and a limited surge.

Withdrawal was apparently taken off the story as it “still left Donald Trump with having lost a war, an insupportable position for the president”.

The second option, which was propped up by Bannon, was opposed by the CIA, wrote Wolff.

The agency had spent 16 years successfully avoiding Afghanistan, and everyone knew that careers were not advanced in Afghanistan, they died in Afghanistan. So please keep us out of it.

This left the only the third option, which was the reason for the confidence among the military brass that Trump would sign off on it.

But on July 19, at a meeting of the national security team in the situation room at the White House, Trump “lost it”.

Retelling a known story?

It took another month to make Trump to agree on the troop increase, which was unveiled as the Afghanistan and South Asia strategy on August 21 – with a side of tough love for Pakistan. Three days earlier, Bannon had officially left the White House. Around 3800 US troops were sent to Afghanistan, with the total number exceeding 15,000.

The July 19 meeting – and the in-fighting in the White House over the troop surge – gives credence to some of the complaints from mainstream US reporters that much of the information in Wolff’s book was already in the public domain.

Riaz Haq said...

"Without Pakistani cooperation, our army in Afghanistan risks becoming a beached whale." -Former US ambassador to #Pakistan Richard Olson on the potential costs of Trump's tougher policy.

How Not to Engage With Pakistan
By RICHARD G. OLSONJAN. 9, 2018


Pakistan has greater leverage over us than many imagine.

The keys to understanding Pakistan’s policy and the limitations of American options lie in geography and history. Pakistan essentially amounts to a relatively indefensible sliver astride the Indus River, with flat plains in the east and mountain redoubts populated by hostile tribes in the west. This fragile geography would not matter if not for Pakistan’s long history of enmity toward its far larger neighbor, India.

Since its founding in 1947, Pakistan has defined itself as a national security state in opposition to the Indian behemoth to its east. Pakistanis have long dreaded the prospect of Indian tanks from the adjoining plains of Indian Punjab rolling unimpeded into Lahore and beyond. We may not agree with how Pakistan assesses the threat from India, but in my experience, almost all Pakistanis perceive India as an existential threat.

Because of its real and perceived geographic precariousness, Pakistan has naturally gravitated toward asymmetric military solutions — specifically, the use of proxies. The Pakistani Army and, especially, its spy agency, the Inter-Services Intelligence, have clandestinely supported all manner of anti-India and anti-Afghan groups.

During the 1980s, the United States found it convenient to support some of these proxies against the Soviets in Afghanistan. That policy ended in 1989 as the Soviet war in Afghanistan wound down. Under the 1990 Pressler Amendment, we punished Pakistan for development of nuclear weapons by cutting off security assistance.

But Pakistan, having these groups on its territory and a large Pashtun population of its own, never had an easy option of breaking with Afghan militants. And it has continued to allow the Taliban, including the Haqqani network — a group the United States supported during the Reagan era — to operate from its territory and at critical moments has provided quiet support.

The geography that defines Pakistan’s security worries has also been a bane for the United States. For the past 16 years our military efforts in landlocked Afghanistan have been dependent on transit through and especially overflight of Pakistani territory. Absent an implausible similar arrangement with Iran, other options are not good. Supply through the Central Asian states to the north is theoretically possible, but would rely on Russian good will. Enough said. Without Pakistani cooperation, our army in Afghanistan risks becoming a beached whale.

The American solution has been a robust package of assistance to Pakistan, beginning with the Bush administration in 2001. The United States sought to reimburse Pakistan for the costs of supporting our war in Afghanistan. In the eyes of the Pakistanis, this became payment for their war against domestic terrorism, which has cost Pakistan 50,000 lives and untold billions, and was widely perceived as a bad deal.

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The harsh truth is that American leverage over Rawalpindi and Islamabad has been declining. And as United States aid levels have diminished — reflecting bipartisan unhappiness with Pakistani policy — aid from the Chinese has increased. China has invested around $62 billion in Pakistani infrastructure under the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor, an element of the “One Belt, One Road” initiative. Its magnitude and its transformation of parts of Pakistan dwarf anything the United States has ever undertaken.

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...the path of the tweet and highly public aid cuts is not a method that will engender success. The United States can address Afghanistan only with a political initiative.

Riaz Haq said...

#Trump's insulting language against #Pakistan and "get tough" was opposed by @StateDept (Tillerson) and #PENTAGON (Mattis) but Gen McMaster and Lisa Curtis prevailed in getting #Trump to adopt a policy in a paper she co-wrote in 2016 with Husain Haqqani

The C.I.A.’s Maddening Relationship with Pakistan

By Nicholas Schmidle3:56 P.M.


https://www.newyorker.com/news/news-desk/the-cias-maddening-relationship-with-pakistan

Trump’s national-security adviser, H. R. McMaster, has endorsed a harder line against Pakistan as part of a plan to reinvigorate the war against the Taliban in Afghanistan. Last year, McMaster saw a report by Lisa Curtis, a research fellow at the Heritage Foundation, and Husain Haqqani, the former Pakistani Ambassador to the U.S. (and of no relation to the Haqqani network in North Waziristan), titled “A New U.S. Approach to Pakistan.” In it, Curtis and Haqqani argue that the Trump Administration should “stop chasing the mirage” that Pakistan might change its approach to confronting certain terrorist groups without the threat of withholding aid. “Pakistan is not an American ally,” they write.
McMaster asked Curtis—an experienced Pakistan analyst who had worked at the C.I.A. and the State Department—to join the national-security council as the senior director for South and Central Asia. The paper she co-wrote with Haqqani has become the “blueprint” for Trump’s Pakistan policy, according to a source familiar with the Administration’s deliberations. After last week’s suspension of aid, the question is, what next? In their paper, Curtis and Haqqani propose that the U.S. might threaten to designate Pakistan a “state sponsor of terrorism,” which could cause a near-total rupture in relations between the two countries and, perhaps, even the sanctioning of current and former Pakistani officials.
Pentagon and State Department officials have resisted the new hard-line approach, citing the risk that Pakistan could cut off the land and air routes that the U.S. uses to supply American forces in Afghanistan. State Department officials were also reportedly blindsided by Trump’s tweets last week. (Defense Secretary Mattis has repeatedly discouraged other Administration officials from issuing ultimatums. A senior defense official told me, of Mattis, “He’s still making his case.”) The senior Administration official disputed claims that the Defense and State Departments were not part of developing the new approach, and the characterization of Curtis and Haqqani’s paper as the “blueprint” for the policy change. “There is a robust interagency process,” the official told me. “There are many people involved in the policy process. There is a deliberative process.”
More importantly, the official said, last week’s announcement reflected the Trump Administration’s “broader strategy” in Afghanistan: a political settlement between the Afghan government and the Taliban. But, the official added, “We believe that so long as the Taliban and the Haqqani network feel they have a safe haven in Pakistan, they will be less motivated to come to the negotiating table.”
One of the former intelligence officials said that he sympathized with Trump’s stern position. But expecting the I.S.I. to dump the Haqqanis and the Taliban struck him as being as naïve and Pollyannaish as blaming America’s failures in Afghanistan on Pakistan. “Even if Pakistan becomes the most benign country in the world, Afghanistan is not going to be Switzerland,” he said.

Riaz Haq said...

THE EXPRESS TRIBUNE > OPINION
‘Constructive cooperation’
By M Ziauddin Published: January 13, 2018

https://tribune.com.pk/story/1607164/6-constructive-cooperation/

Without disagreeing with the main argument by President Trump for suspending security assistance to Pakistan, The New York Times editorial on January 6th had come up with a sane suggestion that the president “…marshal other diplomatic tools, to see if more constructive cooperation with Pakistan is possible.” Stressing the point further, the editorial made an even saner and timely proposal that the president “harness his new friendship with the leaders of Saudi Arabia and United Arab Emirates to shut down Haqqani and other Taliban fund-raising efforts in the Persian Gulf.”

The argument that the bulk of funding that the Haqqanis and other Taliban factions have been receiving all these years is coming from Saudi Arabia and the UAE has never been in doubt. The regional currency market operators have been processing these transactions like normal business for ages without batting an eye.

During Pakistan’s ‘lost decade’ of the 1990s the real rulers of the day had used these funds to finance their military operations as well as their efforts at governance. These flows have continued even after 9/11 but this time these funds have been going straight to the Afghan Taliban, including Haqqanis fleeing to safe sanctuaries in Pakistan in the aftermath of second Afghan war which is now in its 17th year.

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So, if the US wants to see a quick end to the Haqqanis and other Taliban factions using Pakistani soil to launch their murderous operations inside Afghanistan, it will have to persuade Saudi Arabia and the UAE to effectively move against these fund raisers in their respective countries and forcibly turn off the clandestine tap that is sustaining the firepower of Haqqanis.

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And those in the US who believe Pakistan has effectively bribed the international community with the spectre that any instability could result in terrorists getting their hands on Pakistani nuclear technology, fissile materials, or a weapon are totally off the mark as well. It is not Pakistan but these misguided US political pundits who have cultivated a global fear that Pakistan is too dangerous to fail.

Indeed, even a complete stoppage of the US aid most of which has come in the form of grant or at concessional rates would not hurt the country’s economy seriously because the US has been siphoning back 99 cents from each of its aid dollar in the shape of consultancy fees, shipping charges and transfer pricing resorted to while importing goods and services from the US as per conditions hidden in the fine print of the aid agreements. So, the Chinese loans if not any more beneficial for Pakistan than the US grants, would not be any less beneficial as well.

Of course, Pakistan would be seriously hurt if the multilateral aid agencies under the influence of the US were to stop offering the country a helping hand in times of economic crises which we experience on a regular basis.

Riaz Haq said...

The C.I.A.’s Maddening Relationship with Pakistan

By Nicholas Schmidle3:56 P.M.


https://www.newyorker.com/news/news-desk/the-cias-maddening-relationship-with-pakistan

“Here’s the truth,” a former senior U.S. intelligence official told me. Pakistan has been “in many ways” America’s best counterterrorism partner, the official said. “Nobody had taken more bad guys off the battlefield than the Pakistanis.”

And, in general, Pakistani coöperation with America’s counterterrorism campaign has been strong: their government permitted the C.I.A. to fly armed drones over Pakistan’s remote tribal areas, where many militants hid. Initially, the agency even based its drones on Pakistani soil, working off a list jointly drawn up with its I.S.I. counterparts. As those on the “target deck” were killed, new names—most of them foreign Al Qaeda leaders—were added.