Homeland Security Watch

News and analysis of critical issues in homeland security

June 14, 2010

Dirty Dancing: Pakistan’s Intelligence Service and the Taliban

Filed under: Strategy,Terrorist Threats & Attacks — by Philip J. Palin on June 14, 2010

A report released over the weekend by a Harvard researcher at the London School of Economics is receiving significant attention across the pond and in the subcontinent, but — so far — not so much in the States.  Just in case you missed it, here are a few links.

Pakistani agents “funding and training” Afghan Taliban (BBC)

Pakistan’s puppet masters guide Taliban killers (Times Online-UK)

Pakistan’s ISI military intelligence accused of directly funding Taliban (Times Online-UK)

Pakistan denies ISI supporting Taliban in Afghanistan (Pakistan Observer)

Pakistani President never met with Taliban (The Guardian)

The actual report (this was much more difficult to find than I expected, I don’t think the LSE web staff was working on Sunday):

The Sun in the Sky: The relationship between Pakistan’s ISI and Afghan insurgents by Matt Waldman.

This week I expect key White House decisions on the crisis in the Gulf of Mexico.  These decisions are likely to shape the policy and strategy context for domestic response to emergencies in a manner not seen since 9/11. (Yes, even more than Katrina.)   But the international dimension of homeland security will also continue to exert its influence.

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Comment by William R. Cumming

June 14, 2010 @ 9:11 am

Should this surprise anyone? If so why?

Comment by Dan O'Connor

June 14, 2010 @ 10:48 am

Not necessarily a surprise, but certainly not “neat”. Proxies, 3rd world actors, and burgeoning governments will all have “stuff” that might appear as a surprise. As relationships shift, develop, and wane, we’ll come to find out that this is not the exception, but perhaps the new rule for us to learn (re-learn) about the region.

Comment by Arnold Bogis

June 14, 2010 @ 1:20 pm

“This week I expect key White House decisions on the crisis in the Gulf of Mexico. These decisions are likely to shape the policy and strategy context for domestic response to emergencies in a manner not seen since 9/11.”

First Bill and now you dropping hints on some pretty big shifts in national preparedness/response policy. Anyone care to provide any hints?

Comment by Philip J. Palin

June 14, 2010 @ 1:29 pm

I am not surprised by the connections, but I am disheartened by the level of official Pakistani support set out by this report. What I hoped we were seeing in Pakistan — especially since the “bad” Taliban’s over-reach in Swat — was an increasing sense within the Pakistani military that the Taliban, “good” or bad, also threatened them. I did not expect all contacts to end by any means, but the continued positive engagement of the Taliban by the highest levels of the Pakistani government and military, credibly documented here, is a very helpful reality check for me.

Comment by Philip J. Palin

June 14, 2010 @ 1:41 pm

Arnold, I have lots of signals pointing every which way. Just as in advance of a terrorist attack the “chatter” suddenly increases in volume. I expect some of the most important decisions will be made in the way the President edits his Oval Office address. What we never hear may be as important as what he finally says. But in my judgment the White House has recognized the threat represented by incidents, emergencies, crises, disasters, and potential catastrophes… and absolutely intends to respond aggressively and, it hopes, creatively.

My office is a mountain cabin. Two weeks ago some honeybees took up residence in the roof of the porch under which I walk into my office. It is remarkable to hear and watch them work. I know how pressured bees have been and I wish them the very best. I will not get in their way. I am proud to be very loosely associated with them. But I am also just a bit uncertain and nervous about what they may decide to do.

Too indirect or clear enough?

Comment by William R. Cumming

June 15, 2010 @ 11:12 am

The National Planning Guidance issued under President Bush was defective in its emphasis and with no discussion of regulated [was the spill by regulated industry?]industries critical to US economic and military performance being disrupted.

And a whole new issue–Defense by BP and others may rest on International not US law.

Hey the President is a lawyer and the niceties of trial after conviction may explain some of his delayed entrance on scene. The problem I have is that appears legal aspects of the BP case have delayed response! Holder’s DOJ not on top of events? Stay tuned.

And by the way a terrific report out on possible failures from intentional attack on US energy grid. Sent copies to Phil and Chris for perusal.

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