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Frenemies in Pakistan

Author: Max Boot, Jeane J. Kirkpatrick Senior Fellow for National Security Studies
October 10, 2011
Weekly Standard

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The fact remains that the Quetta Shura and the Haqqani Network operate from Pakistan with impunity. Extremist organizations serving as proxies of the government of Pakistan are attacking Afghan troops and civilians as well as U.S. soldiers. For example, we believe the Haqqani Network—which has long enjoyed the support and protection of the Pakistani government and is, in many ways, a strategic arm of Pakistan's Inter-Services Intelligence Agency—is responsible for the September 13th attacks against the U.S. embassy in Kabul. There is ample evidence confirming that the Haqqanis were behind the June 28th attack against the Inter-Continental Hotel in Kabul and the September 10th truck bomb attack that killed five Afghans and injured another 96 individuals, 77 of whom were U.S. soldiers.

—Admiral Michael Mullen,
Senate Armed Services Committee, September 22, 2011

With those carefully chosen words, the outgoing chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff blew away the increasingly shaky pretense that Pakistan is our ally, not our enemy. The statement carried all the more weight because Admiral Mullen, more than any other senior official in Washington, has been so heavily invested in cultivating relations with Pakistan. He has visited Islamabad 27 times since 2008 and worked hard to establish bonds of trust with General Ashfaq Kayani, his Pakistani counterpart. As he told the Wall Street Journal: "I have been Pakistan's best friend. What does it say when I am at that point?"

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