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  • Morning Bell: Time for Action on Pakistan

    The Obama Administration is quickly trying to contain the damage in another potential foreign policy debacle, this time with nuclear-armed Pakistan. Last week, Admiral Mike Mullen, chairman of the U.S. Joint Chiefs of Staff, dropped a bombshell that rocked U.S.-Pakistani relations.

    In testimony before Congress, Mullen declared that the military intelligence service of this supposed U.S. partner is directing the Haqqani network, a militant group responsible for attacks on Americans, including the 20-hour assault on the U.S. embassy in Kabul, Afghanistan, that left 27 dead.

    The revelation causes immediate concern for the United States, and The Heritage Foundation believes it must result in punitive policy toward Pakistan if Islamabad continues its pattern of defiance. Yet Administration officials, quoted anonymously in a front-page Washington Post story this morning, hit out at the messenger, Admiral Mullen. One told the paper that Admiral Mullen “overstates the case.” This Pentagon official admitted that, yes, the Pakistanis have been “guiding Haqqani and using them for their purposes,” but somehow this does not involve killing Americans.

    This parsing directly contradicts the very clear words of Admiral Mullen, who told Congress:

    Extremist organizations serving as proxies of the government of Pakistan are attacking Afghan troops and civilians as well as U.S. soldiers. The actions by the Pakistani government to support them–actively and passively–represent a growing problem that is undermining U.S. interests and may violate international norms, potentially warranting sanction.

    Why an Administration facing the voters’ mandate in a year’s time would want to sweep troubles with Pakistan under the rug is an open question. What is clear, however, is that the Obama Administration has contributed to this problem. By announcing a calendar for withdrawal from Afghanistan, the Administration has let everyone in the region know that, win or lose, we will leave.

    News reports support Admiral Mullen, not the anonymous sources of The Washington Post. They reveal that cell phones found on the attackers were linked to Pakistani intelligence officials. This underlines the troubling reality that Pakistan–to date a U.S. partner in its war against terrorism–is acting directly against U.S. interests. Should Pakistan not change course, Heritage’s Lisa Curtis writes, the United States should react strongly:

    Unless Pakistan agrees to take recourse against those ISI officials involved in the September 13 attack and to work more closely with the U.S. in confronting the Haqqani network, the U.S. will have to recalibrate its policy toward Pakistan, despite the potential negative repercussions for other U.S. interests in the region.

    For its part, Pakistan’s reactions to Mullen’s testimony have been mixed. Pakistani Foreign Minister Hina Rabbani Khar last week warned that continuing those allegations could cause the U.S. to “lose an ally.” Yesterday she spoke from the floor of the United Nations General Assembly in defense of her country’s record of fighting terrorism while calling for unity with international partners in fighting their common enemy. Meanwhile, Pakistan’s Prime Minister Yusuf Raza Gilani said the “negative messaging…is disturbing my people.”

    While Khar’s positive shift in rhetoric was welcome, more important are the actions that Pakistan must take going forward. U.S.-Pakistani relations have been strained since the May 2 raid in which U.S. forces killed Osama bin Laden, who was hiding a mere stone’s throw from Pakistan’s military academy. In light of suspicions that Pakistan helped protect bin Laden, and the country’s resistance to cutting ties with Afghan insurgents, Congress has grown skeptical of the Obama Administration’s call for maintaining diplomatic relations and aid programs to Pakistan, Curtis explains. The latest news only adds fuel to the fire.

    Curtis says that if Pakistan continues its defiant attitude and refuses to take action against the perpetrators of the attacks on the U.S. embassy, the U.S. should take punitive actions, including suspending all assistance programs to Pakistan, recalling the American ambassador, readjusting the U.S. force structure in Afghanistan and prioritize finding alternative routes to cope with a disruption or even cutoff in supply routes through Pakistan, immediately listing the Haqqani network as a Foreign Terrorist Organization, stepping up drone strikes on Haqqani targets in Pakistan’s tribal areas, reversing U.S. withdrawal plans from Afghanistan, and consulting with European allies on ways to move Pakistan away from the dangerous path it is pursuing.

    More than two years ago, President Barack Obama cautioned that in the remote areas of the mountainous Pakistani frontier, al-Qaeda was regrouping, training terrorists, communicating with followers, plotting attacks, and sending fighters to support the insurgency in Afghanistan. He called it “the most dangerous place in the world” and tied global terrorist attacks to al-Qaeda’s leadership in the region. Yet today, a threat has emerged from the government of Pakistan–its complicity in the murder of U.S. citizens serving in Afghanistan. Meanwhile, President Obama remains silent.

    In an interview in today’s Wall Street Journal, Admiral Mullen–who is known as Pakistan’s closest friend in Washington–explained that he has taken a harder line because of the threats to American forces. “I am losing people, and I am just not going to stand for that,” he said. “I have been Pakistan’s best friend. What does it say when I am at that point? What does it say about where we are?” President Obama, too, should take a harder line, refuse to stand for Pakistan’s actions and inaction, react strongly to this direct attack on U.S. interests, and insist on a new course.

    Quick Hits:

    Click here to read today’s Morning Bell in Spanish.

    Posted in Security [slideshow_deploy]

    45 Responses to Morning Bell: Time for Action on Pakistan

    1. Dennis Eck says:

      Pakistan has double crossed the US over and over. They are not a true friend, but they like the billions we provide in aid. More and more terrorists seem to be hold up in Pakistan these days and the government does not seem willing to do anything about it.

      • Tom Rankin says:

        Are your true friends purchased?

        Do the people of Pakistan support their government?

        Are we there for us or for corporate interest?

        What is the corporate interest in Pakistan?

        If we stopped kicking Hornet nests, would the Hornets stop stinging?

        I know most of the answers to these questions. Do You?

      • Khan says:

        and so has the US. Many more times. What's the point? Do we have money to fight another war? USSR split up because they ran out of money. We are not fighting Libya, Iraq or Yemen. This is a proper country with 180 million people and modern million man army. Just pack up and leave the region. Stop giving aid to Pakistan and deal with them like any other country in a transactional way. Trade not aid.

      • Raj Andrew says:

        I don't think you guys understand the mentalaty of Pashtoon. You can not control this area. Nor British not Alexander stay there. ISI is not helping for sure. America is occupant in Afghanistan. How do you feel if New York controlled by the other country. What is the responsibilites of American. Kill occupant. Just read the history and then reach the conclusion.

    2. miahmdparash says:

      Hello

      It's a nice article it will help my research.

      Thanks

    3. Robert, TX says:

      Another case for impeachment – so we can have someone credible right the ship. And another reason Congress should be ATTACKING Obama on every front (Obamacare, Education, Energy) and every flank (excessive taxation, eliminating wasteful spending, eliminating welfare). But Heritage's stated purpose is to educate and advise Congress – and no one in Congress is listening – certainly NOT the republican "leadership" (a horrible misuse of the word leadership). So, Heritage, what are you going to do to become relevant?

    4. toledofan says:

      It's sad that we have a Commander in Chief who is unwilling to do what it takes either politically or through the use of the military to defend our troops. Our entire foriegn policy is a joke and we are considered a laughing stock. Everyone knows we won't be agressive so what's the point. Pakistan and the way it's being handled is a mistake, but, Obama won't engage and things will just get worse.

    5. Art Cotton says:

      Dump Pakistan. Use the USAID for that country for our own people whose money it belongs to in the first place. Dump the political and unelected Clowns who support a relationship with Pakistan.

      • Robert, TX says:

        Dump Pakistan? Yes. Take the aid from Pakistan and other countries and reduce our borrowing from $1.5 trillion to only $1.4 trillion. We do NOT have the money to pay "our own people" any more – except in the form of lower taxation.

    6. Lloyd Scallan says:

      Does no one not see the pattern? Anyone that disagrees with anything the Obama administration does or does not do, Obama turns loose the attack dogs. Can we not recognize this administration has turned into a dictatorship and Obama a dictator. Obama is sending a message of intimidation to all those that would oppose any of his decisions or policies that they can expect their personal lives and families will be dismantled. If he does it to the chairman of the U.S. Joint Chiefs of Staff, what chance do lesser citizens or politicians have against this onslaught.

    7. Glynnda says:

      For crying out loud…..just quit sending them money and they will drop the terrorists like hot potatoes.
      We need to do as a nation, just what Herman Cain recommends regarding foreign policy:
      1. Declare loudly who our friends are
      2. Declare loudly who our enemies are
      3. Declare loudly that we will stand shoulder to shoulder with our friends
      4. Send no more money to those we have declared our enemies.

      …..Follow those steps and just watch how fast terrorists are booted out of all of these nations that harbor terrorism…..

      Glynnda

    8. KING says:

      Another War Lost ……. Elections are Coming
      Obama needs a Scape Goat …….. Put it on Pakistan … They couldn't see all that in 10 years, Suddenly they see everything now .. lol
      Classic American Tactic

    9. Pogue Nahhone says:

      Is it really a surprise that the Obama Administration is trying to throw Admiral Mullen under the bus?
      Acknowledging muslim terrorism is not high on the list of priorities for this administration.

    10. Shannon says:

      I think we need to ask WWRD (What Would Reagan Do)?

      I think we all know the answer… drones anyone?

    11. Wayne Grievo says:

      Stop subsidising our "enemies". They only understand power! Iran sending a navel fleet to the atlantic, Pakistan taking our money and killing our troops. Has this National Socialist administration sold us down the river? The best defense is a threat of an awesome offense. Let's not wait until it is to late. Get this creep out of the White House and show Iran and Pakistan (or any other nation who threatens us) what power is. Bomb the #%$# 24 HOURS per day until it is over. The world will forget as soon as the news reports stop….

    12. edwah zephaniah says:

      There are two many quacks to mistake these acts for anything but a duck; the plausible rhetoric to smokescreen the acts found out, is what I'm concerned with. Which will Obama dance with (to win whose vote) the duck or the plausible rhetoric; sincerely, edwah z j

    13. Jeanne Stotler says:

      Pakistan is not our ally, they harbor those who have no greater desire than to kill americans, then lie about it. They also want to destroy Isreal who is our aLLY, and support Iran who isn't. Pakistan is like the snake you see coiled in the corner, you don't see a rattler but you don't see it's head so you don't put your hand down and get bitten until you know if it's poisonous or not, Pakistan is poisonous, don't put your hand out..

    14. Carol M Kite says:

      Numerous times, Pakisan has proved to be no friend of America's but we still support them with billions of dollars yearly. When does the administration wake up and penalize them for their lack of loyalty, all pretense?

    15. Whicket Williams says:

      over regulation has killed freedom and destroyed the Economy When are you guys at this newsletter going to get with the struggle, and save america? I never read anything about it here. Today they are regulating shower heads. Next they will be in your underwear!

    16. AD-RtR/OS! says:

      The obvious solution is to "Phoenix" any and all suspected/known ISI agents within Afghanistan and along the AfPak Frontier.

    17. Robert H. Davidson says:

      Human nature is protective of ones position. America needs to set clear boundries that may not be breeched both militarily and diplomaticly. Why that has not already been done leaves America weak and indecisive making America a weak partner. No wonder Pakistan is working within their own borders to help their own government maintain control over a lawless regions. I think Pakistan is much like Watts in 1965 we had no control over the area as it burned to the ground. Only after the destruction could we find peace and common structure. Pakistan and Watts are very similar save not for time. American influence is certainly lacking!

    18. Frank says:

      I never thought I would ever say this (because I was a big supporter of the "war on terror" & going after Al Qaeda where ever they could be found) but I now think Ron Paul was correct: declare war or go home. If Congress can't articulate a coherent policy against Al Qaeda to declare war on, then bring the troops home!! We are making enemies around the world by trying to force democracy on others, building bases & sending troops on other nations territories. How would you like it if Russia built bases in California & sent ships, planes & troops to California to help us stop illegal immigration? Well, Pakistan is not happy with what were are doing over there! Want to declare war on Pakistan?

      We also simply cannot afford these wars, even if we wanted to fight them. We can no longer afford to be the world's policeman.

      I bet if we recall our troops, close foreign bases & guard our borders better, we would be much safer and nobody would want to attack us.

    19. GODSRevolution! says:

      Solution: PULL the PLUG on every single taxpayer dollar going there. Simple. WE are borrowing 43 cents of every dollar we spend…this money is included. SOOOO…we are actually borrowing and paying interest on money given to our enemies by our government. 2012 people…WAKE UP and put ALL democrats and republicans who stand for this crap out of office. MANY should be in hand-cuffs when they leave!!!

    20. Mike, NC says:

      "President Obama, too, should take a harder line, refuse to stand for Pakistan’s actions and inaction, react strongly to this direct attack on U.S. interests, and insist on a new course".

      Don't count on it…not from an Obama who, coming from where he is comming from being raised and programmed with a Marxist Anti-American agenda and view, has, and continues to show and prove that, starting almost from the day he got into the Presidency, he will repeatedly apologize for and otherwise speak and act in ways which detract from and are detrimental to the United States of America, and freedom in the world.

      So expecting Obama to really, actually, and effectively, not only in words but also in action, "take a harder line, refuse to stand for Pakistan's action and inaction, react strongly to this attack on U.S. interests, and insist on a new course" is rather like expecting a zebra to change his stripes…which of course asks for disappointment to put it lightly.

    21. Seriously_LOL says:

      Yeah bomb Pakistan, Iran , Stop the aid.. Do what ever the US wants but its spiralling down if it continues on this path. Losing the war in Afghanistan, an economy that is going down the drain. If bombing helps try it out to, but beware because China/Russia/Brazil are already creeping up on your arses.
      Look at where USA was 10 years ago, and now you guys cannot even attack congo-bongo, let alone two large countries. Your influence in the world is reduced and your moral position on Israel when the whole world is supporting state hood is just so obvious. How can you expect the world to believe the intelligence of a country that swore that Iraq had WMD's? Seriously?
      Perhaps its time for the American public to wake up, stop the senseless war in Afghanistan and oh please stop the aid money, its only supporting the corrupt puppeteers put in place by the Americans. We don't want them or you, just get out of our region and let everyone be in peace including yourselves.

      • MacWell says:

        Yeah genius, throw Israel under the bus, that'll solve all the problems in the world, right?
        The ONLY thing these barbarians understand is force. We need to bomb them back to the stone age, where they seem more at home, and I mean all of them, Pakistan, Iran, and any other stan that happens to think that America is the devil, and the Jews don't deserve to live. If any of you liberals think that those countries are swell, then go move your families there.

    22. victorbarney says:

      I only have one thing to say: Our more verbaly endowd women voted for a promised "fundamental transformation of our government" into marxism, anti-christ by definition! I ask you, what chance did Adam really have? Just saying…

    23. abdul says:

      A wasteful article. Offcourse Mullen is not responsible for US administrations policy to bring India in Pakistans backyard and then ask them to shutup. Pak will not let it happen does't matter what threats US pose on it as it could not get bigger.
      US policy to handover Afghanistan to India was wrong and has cost several US/Afghan and Pakistani lives.

    24. Nick Sandwick says:

      This is crap! If they’re involved in killing Americans, then this requires a direct response and pay back. I’m tired of playing diplomatic games and using other policy tools to try to influence other nations. I don’t care whether it’s Iran or Pakistan. If you kill any Americans, in particular, American warriors you need an ass-kicking. Anything else is weakness and I think we’ve displayed enough of that to our enemies or allies. A direct response with force is required.

    25. Nick Sandwick says:

      These people understand strength and bad behavior requires punishment, or do we need to keep repeating history. If we hit enemies/psuedo allies they might think twice about messing with the US–remember 9/11. Our enemies should fear us and our allies should know they can trust us. Instead, our foreign policy projects weakness. It’s as if the ruling class thinks there is a certain level of attrition that is acceptable for Americans. Maybe if they were in the direct line of fire they might think differently.

    26. KEN says:

      DON'T START ANOTHER WAR UNLESS WE PLAN TO WIN IT. FROM KOREA ON THE U.S. HAS LOOKED PITIFUL. IT HAS BEEN A TOTAL WASTE OF MEN , WOMEN AND MONEY.

    27. Dwana Townsend says:

      We only have two choices. Get out of there or FIGHT with all our might. Now more than before our troops are in grave danger. They are fighting with one hand tied behind their backs already, then our current Commander in Chief doesn’t listen to his General’s advise and makes announcements that further enbolden the enemy.

    28. RennyG says:

      All of these comments are very good. One thing that everyone is missing or don't understand, is this guy is "busy" trying to get re-elected! He is managing his time according to priorities!! This situation is not one of his priorities!!

    29. Blair Franconia, NH says:

      Pakistan isn't our friend. Pakistan isn't our enemy. Pakistan's our frenemy.

    30. carol,az says:

      Thanks Nick & Ken:
      I do agree with both of you but combat isn't fought from the military fronts, it's fought in a large part from D.C.
      My fellow Americans who have been asked to protect and serve must be protected first.
      Found the 20,000 thousand SCUD missiles reported missing in Libya before they 're used on us..
      Beyond that; we have NO relationship with PK, but America can't get that part correct.
      For century operated as a tribal culture, are as rouge and distrustful as all tribal cultures in todays world. They don't want a stable Gov't and after the checks stop from the USA, all conversation stops.
      We still can't understand back home what in sand hell we did wrong.
      We don't undeerstand back home that not everybody wants Democracy and also wants to be just like us.
      They don't, they won't and never will. Bring the troops home.

    31. Wes Evans says:

      There is nothing new in Adm. Mullen's statement the US military, USCENTCOM particular has been aware that Pakistan's intelligence service has members that are sympathetic to the taliban and other muslim extremist organizations. How ever we must live with Pakistan. It is a necessary evil to be endured as best we can for the alternative is much worse. The world is a complicated and dangerous place but it is where we live. Lt Col USMCR Ret.

    32. Gene says:

      Yes, Pakistan is a terrorist cesspool of Islamist insanity, a corrupt, ungovernable conglomeration of competing factions and it has been since its inception. It is an ally of no one and no government can control it. However, until such time as the US decides that it is no longer necessary to maintain a military presence in Afghanistan, we must continue to pay and appease, to some degree, whatever government is in power there. There is no other practical way to supply a force of the size we have in Afghanistan, other than through Pakistani airspace or by rail from Karachi to the Afghan border, after which everything must be trucked (no railroad in Afghanistan). For the moment, buying the toleration of Pakistan's government is a military necessity.

    33. mrcalifornia65 says:

      Here is the situation: We can use Pakistan as an ally. Because of what they have done, killing Afghan and American people in Afghanistan, we should first ask that they bring to justice (execute) their security people who participated in the attacks; assuming they do nothing, we send envoys to India to discuss expanding cooperation; at the same time, we find and execute some of the leaders of the Pakistani security people responsible for the attacks. An eye for an eye, if that is what we need to do. Pakistan is only responding to the weak leadership in Washington. Would they do the same, if George Bush were President? Of course not!

    34. homer says:

      Enemy is in Pakistan so why attack Afghanistan? What Obama should do is to strengthen Afghanistan’s arm forces and give help Baluchistan to become independent and an allies of U.S.A. Then we will have sea port with the help of Baluchistan people to supply to Afghanistan.
      Pakistan is an ally of the Chinese and the American to think otherwise is foolish.

    35. gil h. a. santos says:

      It took a looooonnnnng decade before the U.S. woke up to Pakistan's treachery. Remember how Pakistan behaved while it was a member of the defunct Southeast Asia Treaty Organization, the NATO counterpart in Southeast Asia to contain the Russo-China Communist tandem intrusions in South East Asia in the 1950s? Pakistan's relations with the Soviet Union and China were one of the chief reasons SEATO had to close down in the early 60s. We can never trust Pakistan in all these years past. Block off all aids to Pakistan. Think back how the US condoned an almost US billion-dollar Pakistan loan? Wake up, American and see who your true friends are. Cheers Gil Santos

    36. raccman says:

      What part of: "The Obama Administration is STUPID & INEPT" don't you understand ? Our country is going down the tube – thanks to this Anti-American Socialist in our White House ! OBAMA; OUR TRUE ENEMY FROM WITHIN !

    37. Cecilia Ruhnke says:

      Cecilia Ruhnke Obama needs to get all the data then talk. We want to keep Pakistan allied to the U.S.
      We must do all possible to work together. Obama is a good talker. The rest of us must pray hard.

    38. 2Dokie says:

      Since we are so grossly outnumbered and out-bred(by their own admission)The US should adopt a rational policy.and stop playing their game.The muslims have maimed and mutilated thousands of our young …we should extract a 10 to 1 ratio of retribution, or inflict damage to the point of their submission. It worked on the Japanese. They will never love us, but they can be convinced to respect us and leave us alone.And they should be forced to leave Christians alone in their societies. We certainly do the same.

    39. Thor H. Asgardson says:

      Pakistan has never been our friend and to suppose it so, is sheer naivete.
      Pakistan will fall into alignment after that nation sees Iran crushed by the United States of America. It is time to break the back of jihadistan, with an attack on Iran, to bring that covert war against us out into the open.
      Iran is making plans to deploy battleships off our coast, in a cheeky display, meant to sting our sensibilities. Shall we suffer the insult?
      “If we desire to avoid insult, we must be able to repel it; if we desire to secure peace, one of the most powerful instruments of our rising prosperity, it must be known that we are at all times ready for war.”
      George Washington

    40. charlie says:

      Our enemies know "the community organizer" will do nothing but fumble like a blind giant handing out money to those that double cross us.

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