Thursday, September 28, 2006

British MoD-linked report: "The War in Iraq...has acted as a recruiting sergeant for extremists from across the Muslim world."

BBC's New Night had the follow, [key excerpts]:
Key quotes from a leaked Ministry of Defence think-tank paper which alleges that Pakistan's intelligence service, the ISI, has indirectly helped the Taleban and al-Qaeda and should be dismantled. The research paper was written by a senior officer at the MoD-run Defence Academy. The Ministry of Defence have responded that the views contained in it do not reflect the views of the MOD or the government.
The wars in Afghanistan and particularly Iraq have not gone well and are progressing slowly towards an as yet unspecified and uncertain result.

The War in Iraq...has acted as a recruiting sergeant for extremists from across the Muslim world.

The Al Qaeda ideology has taken root within the Muslim world and Muslim populations within western countries. Iraq has served to radicalise an already disillusioned youth and Al Qaeda has given them the will, intent, purpose and ideology to act.

British Armed Forces are effectively held hostage in Iraq - following the failure of the deal being attempted by COS (Chief of Staff) to extricate UK Armed Forces from Iraq on the basis of 'doing Afghanistan' - and we are now fighting (and arguably losing or potentially losing) on two fronts.

The West will not be able to find peaceful exit strategies from Iraq and Afghanistan - creating greater animosity...and a return to violence and radicalisation on their leaving. The enemy it has identified (terrorism) is the wrong target. As an idea it cannot be defeated.


The Army's dual role in combating terrorism and at the same time promoting the MMA and so indirectly supporting the Taliban (through the ISI) is coming under closer and closer international scrutiny.

Pakistan is not currently stable but on the edge of chaos.

[The West has] turned a blind eye towards existing instability and the indirect protection of Al Qaeda and promotion of terrorism.

Indirectly Pakistan (through the ISI) has been supporting terrorism and extremism - whether in London on 7/7 or in Afghanistan or Iraq.

The US/UK cannot begin to turn the tide until they identify the real enemies from attacking ideas tactically - and seek to put in place a more just vision. This will require Pakistan to move away from Army rule and for the ISI to be dismantled and more significantly something to be put in its place.

Musharraf knows that time is running out for some point the US is likely to withdraw funding (and possibly even protection) of him - estimated at $70-80M a month.

Without US funding his position will become increasingly tenuous.
This leak is creating quite the uproar across the pond, as Tony Blair is to meet with Pervez Musharraf.

The Ministry of Defence has released the following:
The academic research notes quoted in no way represent the views of either the MoD or the Government. To represent it as such is deeply irresponsible and the author is furious that his notes have been wilfully misrepresented in this manner. Indeed, he suspects that they have been released to the BBC precisely in the hope that they would cause damage to our relations with Pakistan.

Pakistan is a key ally in our efforts to combat international terrorism and her security forces have made considerable sacrifices in tackling al-Qaeda and the Taleban. We are working closely with Pakistan to tackle the root causes of terrorism and extremism.
News accounts in England highlight the potential tensions.

BBC News:
A leaked paper criticising Pakistan's intelligence service does not reflect his government's view, Tony Blair is expected to tell the country's leader.
A researcher at the Ministry of Defence claimed that Pakistan's intelligence service, ISI, had indirectly helped the Taleban and al-Qaeda.

President Pervez Musharraf responded angrily and Mr Blair is to try to allay his concerns in talks at Chequers.

Gen Musharraf said Pakistan was doing an "excellent job" tracking militants.
This from the BBC concerning a truce:
Militant attacks in Afghanistan, near the Pakistan border, have tripled in some areas, the US military has said.
The rise in activity comes despite a peace agreement meant to end violence by pro-Taleban militants in Pakistan's North Waziristan border area.

But correspondents say the deal has increased friction with Afghanistan.

Meanwhile, Nato has announced that it will extend its mission in Afghanistan to cover the whole country, taking command of thousands of US troops.

The move will be implemented in the next few weeks, a Nato spokesman said.


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