That old business of trusting Musharraf
According to Stratfor’s George Friedman and Kamran Bokhari, there is a crisis over US-Pakistan relations. They report that poor coordination among various American agencies on the ground in Pakistan coupled with the duplicitous support from Musharraf’s regime is leaving attempts to capture Osama bin Laden ‘stagnant’.
Stratfor’s analysis is very much on the ball.
Clearly, cooperation from the country’s intelligence and security apparatus — a major cog in the machine built to hunt down al Qaeda in Pakistan — is not happening. There are four reasons for this:
1. The insistence by top leadership that U.S. forces cannot operate any more prominently on Pakistani soil than they already are.
2. Calculated moves by influential figures at the middle and lower levels of Pakistan’s intelligence and security apparatus to thwart offensives against the militants.
3. The Pakistani military’s desire to hide its past links with the militants and its current ties to certain Islamist groups — which it views as assets of the state to be used in pursuit of Islamabad’s geopolitical goals.
4. Recognition within Islamabad that Pakistan’s importance as a U.S. ally likely will dissolve if bin Laden is captured or killed. [Stratfor | requires subscription]
While the authors conclude by asking the right question, their proposed answer is effectively a cop-out.
Islamabad’s response to the pressure is predicated on one unanswered question: Is Musharraf lying to the United States, or is he being lied to by his own people? In other words, is he in control of the obstructionism, or is he a victim of it? We believe the reality is somewhere in the middle. Nevertheless, the outlook is troubling. [Stratfor | emphasis added]
There is no middle path. Even if Musharraf is partially in control of the obstructionism, he is lying to the United States.