We need the right response to terrorism from Yemen


by guest
1st November, 2010 at 12:45 pm    

by Naadir Jeewa

David Randall and Andrew Johnson in the Independent open their feature article “the axis of terror got bigger yesterday.” Well, not quite. Yemen has been a potential source of terrorist attacks on the West for a large portion of the last decade. The rest of the article is quite good in explaining the dire conditions within Yemen fuelling conflict, but there’s a problem with this:

…there comes to prominence one Yemeni who – in the eyes of America and some leading security specialists – is on a par with Osama bin Laden: Anwar al-Awlaki. Linked to three of the 9/11 bombers, the Fort Hood shootings, last Christmas’s failed "underpants" bomber and the Times Square bombing, he has been described by a US representative as "No 1 terrorist", and yesterday by Sajjan M Gohel, director for international security for the London-based Asia-Pacific Foundation, as "the most dangerous ideologue in the world".

Umm…no. Anwar al-Awlaki is not a senior figure in AQAP. By focusing strategy on charismatic jihadi PR figures like al-Awlaki, we miss the strategic leaders who perform the nuts & bolts job of actually perpetrating terror, who we really should be focusing on, such as Nasir al-Wihayshi & Qasim al-Raymi, former disciples of Osama Bin Laden.

After the Soviet-Afghan War, Yemeni mujahedeen made a tacit deal with the extremely weak regime of President Saleh’s, allowing them freedom of movement as long as they didn’t challenge the regime. However, in February 2006, 23 Al Qaeda suspects, largely rounded up by Saudi Arabia, plus al-Wihayshi and Qasim al-Raymi escaped from prison. Several months later, Yemen experienced car bombings and attacks on oil installations. Ever since, terrorist attacks have been on the rise.

The official response is to single out Al-Awlaki for targeted killing by drone strikes. Legal issues notwithstanding, drone strikes have been a major driver of recruitment by causing civilian casualties, and this is easily woven into a narrative that conflates internal Yemeni conflict with the United States.

I’m not entirely sure what the best way forward is. Perhaps it’s some sort of counterinsurgency campaign – but this will take resources the Yemeni forces don’t have. Some attempt to resolve President Saleh’s on-off civil war with the Houthis would help, which is currently a distraction from defeating Al Qaeda. And some economic growth to offset a rapidly growing population, declining receipts from the sale of oil, and a drug problem with large segments of the population addicted to Qat, the cultivation of which is fuelling water-based conflict.

By and large, the story of counterterrorism operations in Yemen will be a local one, dealing with local actors, most of whom, the press will never bother reporting on.

Note: For some decent coverage on Yemen, may I recommend Greg Johnsen, here in a guest post at Foreign Policy.


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  1. sunny hundal

    Blogged: : We need the right response to terrorism from Yemen http://bit.ly/95dbJG


  2. Jane Phillips

    RT @sunny_hundal: Blogged: : We need the right response to terrorism from Yemen http://bit.ly/95dbJG


  3. Tim Whale

    RT @sunny_hundal: Blogged: : We need the right response to terrorism from Yemen http://bit.ly/95dbJG


  4. sunny hundal

    @andyburge we published this http://www.pickledpolitics.com/archives/10618


  5. C L O S E R » Blog Archive » Closing the week 45 – Featuring Performing Islam

    [...] Pickled Politics » We need the right response to terrorism from Yemen David Randall and Andrew Johnson in the Independent open their feature article “the axis of terror got bigger yesterday.” Well, not quite. Yemen has been a potential source of terrorist attacks on the West for a large portion of the last decade. The rest of the article is quite good in explaining the dire conditions within Yemen fuelling conflict, but there’s a problem with this: [...]




  1. TORY — on 1st November, 2010 at 1:11 pm  

    Strange.

    The title: ‘We need the right response’

    The content: We should do absolutely nothing.

  2. Bored in Kavanagasau — on 1st November, 2010 at 1:55 pm  

    Air-dropping contraception would be a start.

  3. MaidMarian — on 1st November, 2010 at 3:00 pm  

    ‘Several months later, Yemen experienced car bombings and attacks on oil installations. Ever since, terrorist attacks have been on the rise.’

    Not in my name it didn’t.

  4. platinum786 — on 1st November, 2010 at 4:50 pm  

    Has anyone looked at the cost of war? It really is quite expensive, a cost nations like Yemen struggle to afford. Yemen doesn’t need soundbites, it doesn’t need rhetoric and threats, it doesn’t need bombing of it’s citizens, it needs support.

    Saudi Arabia has supported Yemen in it’s war with the houthi rebels, KSA helped secure the border and border areas where Houthi’s were staging attacks from. Considering many of the terrorists are Saudi’s, perhaps KSA can be convinced to help out Yemen with intelligence and other support.

    Yemen needs money. To control Al Queda it will need to be present in it’s tribal and rural regions, to do so it will need to mobilise it’s army, that will cost money, Yemen needs support in the cost of the security effort.

    Yemen could do with the right type of military equipment to fight a war against terrorists. It needs technology for it’s police and security services, stuff to intercept calls and emails, CCTV, training on it’s uses, forensic investigators and equipment to do forensic investigations.

    Night vision goggles and other nifty gadgets US spec ops use, as well as a load of field experience US and British forces have, if transferred to an anti terror force could help Yemen capture Al queda leaders.

    Stuff like leasing them UAV’s or helicopters would give them an eye in the sky and a rapid response capability.

    None of this will happen of course. Yemen is not a terrorist hotbed where the basic fabric of society is threatened by terrorists, it’s only slowly headed that way. The world will just threaten them, perhaps weaken the state, whilst Al Queda grows stronger, then if Yemen is used as a launch pad to kill Westerners (all the Yemeni victims of Al queda etc don’t matter), then someone might take it upon themselves to bomb and kills thousands of Yemeni’s, as it’s worked so well in Afghanistan.

  5. Shamit — on 1st November, 2010 at 5:55 pm  

    Platinum 786 is spot on.

    Platinum 786 – I agree with you completely.

    But you know when the Yemeni special forces use too much force with US/British weapons and training doctrines – you can be assured the Guardian and Wiki Leaks would be there to highlight how helping Yemen caused global terrorism.

    After all it is always our fault -

    ******************************
    Naadir – interesting post.

    Could I ask a couple of questions:

    1) Fine – if you do not want drone attacks; what should be the solution?

    2) If you do not like drones – what about special forces operating in Pakistan/Afghanistan border? Would that be okay with you? Or should we go for appeasement and conceeding territory to Taliban in Pakistan.

    3) How far do we go with that strategy? Right upto giving them control of nuclear weapons in Pakistan or when they have actually launched the first weapon into India.

    4) What happens if the governments take the advice of Platinum 786 and then yemeni special forces (god forbid) torture a couple of Al Qaeda members? I am sure it would be our fault right.

  6. Naadir Jeewa — on 1st November, 2010 at 6:31 pm  

    @1 – Yemen’s slowly burning into hell, not exploding into one. Frankly, a couple of nearly exploding toner cartridges isn’t enough to convince me of serious military action.

    @3 – Realised Sunny’s retitling makes those sentences read wrongly. I was talking about terrorist attacks within Yemen.

    @5 – Shamit, I’ll have a go here:
    1) – This is a classic case of the need for counterinsurgency operations, as platinum786 gets right. But they need to be done by the Yemeni forces. Which means money and equipment, and a political solution to the on-off civil war & the Houthi rebellion that will enable them to concentrate on going after terrorists.

    2) Survey data from AfPak show that ISAF forces aren’t particularly disliked. I have less issue with SF round there.

    3) That’s a over-egging the threat by the range of a Minuteman. Mikey Hemlok has a useful summary of that particular threat.

    4) It’s a tough case. Though, I’m sure the Indonesian approach I’ve mentioned before would yield better results than prisoners becoming more radicalised and then breaking out of jail.

  7. Refresh — on 1st November, 2010 at 6:39 pm  

    I wonder how much of Yemen’s travails are rooted in Gulf War 1. If I remember correctly, hundreds of thousands of Yemeni migrant workers were expelled from the Gulf states (particularly Saudi Arabia) for voicing their support for Iraq. Thus further impoverishing one of the most underdeveloped countries in the region, which had only just gone through reunification.

    We may not have had these problems, had they too benefitted from the so-called ‘peace dividend’ accrued from the Soviet defeat in Afghanistan – given some of them were also ‘persuaded’ into taking up arms in that relentless war, albeit through obscure religious interpretions.

    Punishing ordinary people for a government’s political stance clearly does not help in the longer term. And direct attacks on civilians by way of drones and missiles is even less helpful in the short.

    Commonsense should be central to any response. But then politics is rarely driven by it.

  8. Dalbir — on 1st November, 2010 at 7:55 pm  

    We need the right response to terrorism from Yemen.

    Yes and we can start by stopping the west sticking its big hooter in Muslim lands with all sorts of insidious economic and cultural agendas.

    Just try paying the fucking Arabs for their oil and stop acting like a global nanny and getting them worked up and into ‘jihad mode’.

    Else expect more terrorism in retaliation. Carry on trying to punch above your weight and see if you don’t end up taking body blows real soon.

    No doubt you’ll then get the typical response of scapegoating immigrants for failure from the indigenous should that happen.

    I hope Brit over-ambition doesn’t shoot all of us here in the foot so to speak.

  9. joe90 — on 1st November, 2010 at 10:23 pm  

    this yemen printer cartridge attack has bullshit written all over it.

    British Airways chairman Martin Broughton was quoted as criticising UK airports for “kow-towing” to the wishes of US security forces.

    The next day we have printer cartridges with explosives allegedly on US bound airplanes, right so we supposed to accept that is just pure coincidence????

  10. damon — on 1st November, 2010 at 10:24 pm  

    Is Yemen such a big threat? In as much as can anything the west does make that much difference in the short to medium term? It will still be a poor tribal society that western tourists can’t safely visit in ten years time I’m guessing. So what’s the worst that they can do?
    Send some bombs in the mail? – attack some embassies inside Yemen? Manage to move Al-Qaeda trained people to a European country?
    The last one is probably the most serious.

  11. Dalbir — on 1st November, 2010 at 10:56 pm  

    You have to kill the oxygen that is used to bolster and prop up terrorism.

    Certain people need to get their heads out of their arse and own up to helping the Al Qaida cause through self interested foreign policies.

    No, Britain shouldn’t be gallivanting around the globe like noble Jedi knights righting wrongs.

    If AL Qaeda are going to send their knobs on a mission, lets try and make sure they have no justification to send them here. This is not capitulating to them before some Anglo-extremist (or their puppet) jumps in with that. Recognise when you have enough of your own problems to deal with to be indulging in pseudo-Victorian self-conceited notions.

    Time to wash your hands of the old ways people.

  12. Sunny — on 2nd November, 2010 at 2:33 am  

    The title: ‘We need the right response’

    The content: We should do absolutely nothing.

    I know, let’s bomb them! Really worked well last time.

  13. platinum786 — on 2nd November, 2010 at 9:33 am  

    Shamit, regarding drones on Pakistani territory.

    You cannot please all the people all the time, what you have to try to do, is get as close to that whilst doing the right thing.

    Mainstream Pakistani media is broadcasting into Pakistani homes every day that the government is run by traitors who are selling out the state, allowing foreign aggression in Pakistan. This is supported by the fact Blackwater is present in Pakistani cities. Why they are there is anyone’s guess, but the media is insinuating they are there supporting terrorists, carrying out false flag operations to arm twist Pakistan into continued support for the war of terror.The truth of it, nobody can prove, but right now, this is what every Pakistani, is told every day by the free media. It’s like hearing it on CNN or Sky News, or BBC or Al Jazeera, all mainstream channels.

    Bear that mindset in mind, and then consider what US drone attacks on Pakistani territory appear like? Especially considering the vast majority of them are killing innocent people. Pakistan is being pushed every day to go more along the Iran route, the only thing stopping that, is we don’t have an ayatollah figure, even the religious parties are politically involved, they’re seen as part of the problem rather than the solution.

    US drone attacks nationwide are seen as a violation of Pakistani sovereignty. They ARE a violation of Pakistani sovereignty. If the US was providing the drones, even on lease to the Pakistani armed forces and they were using them in collaboration with local sources rather than CIA “intelligence” there would be more results and less collateral damage.

    Politically however, there is no push for this. Who cares what the person on the street thinks, especially when they aren’t able to yet take to the street and overthrow government. Every single government official has his/her snout in the trough.

  14. douglas clark — on 2nd November, 2010 at 10:15 am  

    Naadir Jeewa,

    Thanks for the post.

    However @ 6.

    I have no idea whether something the size of a toner cartridge would be able to bring down an airliner. The one in my hand right now looks inconsequential, however, do you know it’s impossible? I’d assume that something the size of a hand grenade probably could, and I am no explosives expert. If these were real bombs, or worse biological agents, then we, you and I, have to be protected against them.

    Another 9/11 type incident – like the one averted over the Atlantic – would have horrifying consequences for everyones’ individual freedom, especially muslims. ‘Cause that is how the state would react, y’know – badly.

    It is on ‘shakier than this’ evidence that the US and we went to war with Iraq.

    No?

    Still can’t understand why, if we were really upset about 9/11, we didn’t invade Saudi Arabia post Afghanistan. Iraq still seems like a diversion to me.

  15. Shamit — on 2nd November, 2010 at 10:59 am  

    Platinum –

    Once again you are spot on mate.

    I agree with you and one more issue I think is the complete lack of socio-economic mobility fuels the anger of the masses – as a parent, if I cannot feed my children properly and I know they would be fed well at the dodgy madrassah down the road. I would choose that option.

    Good analysis –

    what do you think about Musharraf returning to
    politics in Pakistan?

  16. platinum786 — on 2nd November, 2010 at 11:44 am  

    Another jackal to run with the pack. When you really think about it, most political leaders in Pakistan would do anything to survive a little bit longer. For all the economic growth during his terms, it was very much riding the credit wave, none of the long term things which needed to be done where done. Any leader in Pakistan who is unwilling to address the massive energy shortage and the feudal system in rural areas, is a failure. On top of that they all compound our misery with corruption.

  17. Vikrant — on 2nd November, 2010 at 12:21 pm  

    US drone attacks nationwide are seen as a violation of Pakistani sovereignty. They ARE a violation of Pakistani sovereignty. If the US was providing the drones, even on lease to the Pakistani armed forces and they were using them in collaboration with local sources rather than CIA “intelligence” there would be more results and less collateral damage.

    Thats just being disingenuous platinum! I suppose all those Ahemadis, Shias and fellers in Karachi are dying cos of the drone attacks. Only reason we’ve stepped up the drone attacks is because Pakistan’s military jihadist complex’s double game is painfully plain for everyone to see. The real key lies in Pakistan realising that it can’t continue to use its state apparatus to foster and cultivate these “non state actors” to further its foreign policy goals!

    As for Pakistani sovereignty, why fret over drone attacks in a land where your writ doesn’t run anyway? Arent they ruled by good/bad/whatever flavoured Taliban anyways?

  18. The Other Guy — on 3rd November, 2010 at 5:25 am  

    the drone attacks really are not helping on the war on terror

    all they do is anger more people. America needs to be careful these drone attacks whether in Yemen or in Pakistan will only aid in the radicalization of the youth. you are playing into the hands of the enemy.

    think about it pakistan a country with a sizable population a large portion of whom are under the age of 25 most who are not very education in any field (including religion) now you take this country and you attack its population using predator drones it seems like you are doing everything but handing them a gun to fight ( a job no doubt left for the imam at a madrassa who also got hit by the drone or by a suicide bombing)

    so now in order to kill a few hundred terrorists you have given reason to a few hundred thousand to rise up and fight

    now im no expert in policy or politics but i see big problem here about to get a whole lot bigger

    now back to this yemen bombing plot/thingymajig conspiracy theories aside why are they actually after anwar al awlaki?

    i mean this guy who has allegedly influenced the 9/11 hijackers famously said that the fact that the US Government is responsible for over a million deaths of muslims in countries like iraq does not justify the death of a single US citizen in washington DC and New York and equally the death of 6 thousand American citizens by terrorists does not justify the death of one Muslim civilian in afghanistan

    http://www.pbs.org/newshour/updates/religion/july-dec09/alawlaki_11-11.html

    im not conspiracy nut saying he didnt send the fort hood shooter or the other things im just saying before you actually blow this guys house to dust you should at the very least hear what what he has to say in his defense.

    maybe im just a sucker for justice and equality

  19. Golam Murtaza — on 3rd November, 2010 at 8:34 am  

    It’s interesting to compare the way Yemen has gone since the 1950s with it’s next-door neighbour Oman. Unless I’ve missed something you don’t seem to hear about Omani al-Qaeda types much.

  20. Naadir Jeewa — on 3rd November, 2010 at 2:27 pm  

    @19 – Speculating, but I’d say being able to manage your oil reserves allows an absolutist monarch to stay in charge by suppressing possible rebellion via the security apparatus, or buying consent. Also, Oman is less ethnically fractious than Yemen, and at least has a monarch from the majority ethnicity. Considering peak oil may already be here, those monarchs may soon be in trouble without significant political & economic reform.

    Also, here’s a good briefing from Quilliam on AQAP.

    @18 – Not a conspiracy guy, but are. No, Awlaki has definitely matured into something loathesome. But he’s not so dangerous that it’s worth endangering fundamental civil liberties – i.e. placing no limits at all on the president’s ability to declare one’s citizenship as null and void. As Quilliam note:

    “The US-born cleric Anwar al-Awlaki is only one part of a much bigger picture of radicalism in Yemen. Excessive focus on this one individual and portraying him as ‘the next bin Laden’ will unnecessarily divert resources, distort effective policy-making and also potentially increase his influence (particularly among young Muslims in the UK
    and the US).

    I’d rather everyone just shut up about him. Everyone remember the Screen Burn clip on the media coverage of mass murderers? That.

    @17 – We do know that drone strikes increase the risk of terrorist attack. Especially when drone strikes come without sufficient HUMINT (link to effective proponent of drone strikes), and end up killing civilians – or worse, because your clandestine agency bought faulty stolen targetting software.
    Faisal Shahzad explicitly mentioned the drone attacks as the reason as to why he chose to attack the US.

  21. Naadir Jeewa — on 3rd November, 2010 at 6:18 pm  

    @14 – Douglas, I think analysts are saying yes it could.
    Wiki says that RPGs use a mere 230g of PETN, and you could probably pack a kilo in a laser printer cartridge.
    Stranger though, is the detonation mechanism. I’m still trying to understand the logic of using cellphone-based activation when you’ve got no coverage and there’s a risk of the battery running out.

    Spencer Ackerman asks similar questions at: http://www.wired.com/dangerroom/2010/11/could-a-cell-phone-call-from-yemen-blow-up-a-plane

  22. damon — on 3rd November, 2010 at 7:37 pm  

    It’s just simple weapons like hand guns and assault rifles and a few hand grenades that I would fear most.
    If enough of them could be smuggled into Europe and stashed away safely all over the place in small quantities – like the IRA did for decades, then all you need is a few volunteers to carry out small actions. Take a few potshots at airplanes and commuter trains every now and again, throw a few hand grenades at the police, and you might force the kind of security like Northern Ireland had to put in place, all over Britain…. or like Canary Wharf already has.

    One guy with one hand gun can do a lot – like here in 1992.
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hesham_Mohamed_Hadayet

    The simpler the plan, the less likelihood of getting caught beforehand.

  23. The Other Guy — on 4th November, 2010 at 4:47 am  

    @21

    would you consider my plan of world dominations by the use of flying monkey bats simple enough?

  24. damon — on 4th November, 2010 at 9:47 am  

    MI5 chief warns of terror threat from Britons trained in Somalia.
    Jonathan Evans says ‘significant number’ of UK residents are now training in al-Shabaab camps.

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/politics/2010/sep/17/mi5-chief-somalia-terro-threat

    When these guys come back, a few guns and grenades in their hands in the morning rush hour could cause quite a situation. If they did it right and only used ap a small number of their human assets at a time, then it could go on and on.
    A couple of shots fired at a train at Clapham Junction railway station in the morning rush hour and the whole place would shut down. Do the same thing the next day somewhere else and they will have achieved their aims, as it would be all over the news.

  25. joe90 — on 4th November, 2010 at 10:29 am  

    post# 17

    I doubt you would be so supportive of drone or airplane attacks on northern ireland if that technology was available at the time of the troubles.

    This attitude its ok to bomb africans or asians with planes/drones is fine because their allegedly terrorists, but to do it near to home you guy’s go into silent mode!

    The drone attacks do not work they just recruit more fighters for the taliban, proof if needed is America, 9 years later is now talking to the taliban for a way out!

  26. Refresh — on 4th November, 2010 at 11:49 am  

    Vikrant,

    I hope you do understand that you would also be advocating the Indian state taking up drones to take out the Naxalites and one or two other rebellions across India, don’t you?

    Or would you only advocate it for, say, Kashmir?

    Imagine if they had had the technology at the time of Indhira Ghandi’s assasination? Perhaps some do.

    It repulses me that you think that citizens of particular nations or hues (in faith or colour) are of a lesser value.

  27. Vikrant — on 4th November, 2010 at 5:06 pm  

    If you read my comments refresh, I’m actually not advocating drone attacks on anyone. All i’m saying is that it is simply intellectually dishonest to point to drone attacks as the cause of all of Pakistans problems. The answer we both know, is really the buffoons who run the military in Rawalpindi.

    It repulses me that you think that citizens of particular nations or hues (in faith or colour) are of a lesser value.

    You really don’t know me. So no need to assume things old man!

  28. john — on 4th November, 2010 at 7:26 pm  

    Vikrant

    “Thats just being disingenuous platinum! I suppose all those Ahemadis, Shias and fellers in Karachi are dying cos of the drone attacks. Only reason we’ve stepped up the drone attacks is because Pakistan’s military jihadist complex’s double game is painfully plain for everyone to see. The real key lies in Pakistan realising that it can’t continue to use its state apparatus to foster and cultivate these “non state actors” to further its foreign policy goals!

    As for Pakistani sovereignty, why fret over drone attacks in a land where your writ doesn’t run anyway? Arent they ruled by good/bad/whatever flavoured Taliban anyways?”

    Ah yes an Indian nationalist.. the ideal person to refer to on how to deal fairly with Pakistan

  29. Vikrant — on 5th November, 2010 at 7:54 am  

    Ah yes an Indian nationalist.. the ideal person to refer to on how to deal fairly with Pakistan

    I carry two passports, none of which i can assure you are Indian. Deal fairly with Pakistan? Pakistani establishment deserves all it gets for its meretriciousness!

  30. Refresh — on 5th November, 2010 at 8:54 am  

    Vikrant, I made no assumptions. I responded directly to your comment.

    You should read your comment again, and then perhaps you will see why I said what I did. Perhaps you think you were being glib. Nevertheless that is how I read it.

    As for the Pakistani military – you should note that they have been a very close partners of the US since the 1950′s (others would say that they have made Pakistan a client state). I will say again, if it wasn’t for the likes of Gen. Zia al-Haq Pakistan would not have taken in millions of refugees from Afghanistan (and subsequently trained them to go back in to fight for the West’s cause, in Madrassas), not wasted resources and goodwill in that same cause when they should have been building Pakistan’s infrastructure.

    It is not wise to forget facts so soon. I repeat, whilst there was a supposed ‘peace dividend’ for the West; the downside and the true price is being paid in destabilised states of Asia.

    So back to you telling anyone not to fret over drone attacks, in areas where the State has no real control (and therefore no opportunity to defend its citizens), even as a comparison is truly repulsive.

    I would have felt a little warmer about your comment, had you stressed the tragedy of a state not being able to defend its citizens, if necessary under international law. And then perhaps move onto why in the case of Pakistan in particular, it does not do so.

  31. Vikrant — on 6th November, 2010 at 2:33 am  

    As for the Pakistani military – you should note that they have been a very close partners of the US since the 1950?s (others would say that they have made Pakistan a client state). I will say again, if it wasn’t for the likes of Gen. Zia al-Haq Pakistan would not have taken in millions of refugees from Afghanistan (and subsequently trained them to go back in to fight for the West’s cause, in Madrassas), not wasted resources and goodwill in that same cause when they should have been building Pakistan’s infrastructure.

    Refresh, perhaps I sounded unsympathetic to all those innocents who die in the drone attacks. The point I was making was that if Pakistan doesn’t take care of Taliban, we will. Granted that it was a callous remark, the larger point I was making is, blaming America for Pakistan’s problems is being lazy at the best. No one forced Pakistan to do anything, the fact is Pakistani military has had no moral scruples in inflicting miseries on its own citizens and neighbours. I guess for Pakistan’s sake, it’s own civil society needs to break Rawalpindi’s grip over state of affairs in Pakistan.

  32. joe90 — on 6th November, 2010 at 11:17 am  

    post #30

    “The point I was making was that if Pakistan doesn’t take care of Taliban, we will.”

    Who is we? i don’t think that includes you or me because were not soldiers, talking big behind keyboard is easy but people are dying both british soldiers and civilians in afghanistan and pakistan for what?

    If you did’nt already catch on to the fact nato has lost this war already to pin the blame on pakistan is ridiculous this is america’s war they chose it no one invited them. The only argument now is how nato and its allies can spin this and leave without it looking like a complete farce!

  33. Refresh — on 6th November, 2010 at 8:45 pm  

    If not callous then surely callow.

    You’ve managed to skip the substance of my comment. I remain a longstanding critic of the Pakistan military – it should have never signed up to the US venture in Afghanistan the first time round. I am absolutely convinced that a democratic Pakistan under a civilian government would not have volunteered – unless it was through a Blair-type manoeuvre. Only it wouldn’t have been the 45min alert, but more a godless regime occupying a muslim country seeking access to the Indian Ocean through Pakistan. All of it nonsense of course.

    Surely you can agree with that.

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