June 30, 2010

Pakistan's Haqqani Game

The Institute for the Study of War has a new report about the likelihood of success at "reconciling" the Taliban's Haqqani network. Given that Siraj Haqqani sits on at least one al Qaeda shura, it's not clear to me why any one would even consider talking with him.

But then again, this is Pakistan we're talking about here.

Here's the link to the report. I have a synopsis of it below which was sent out with the presser.

* "Pakistan’s reliance on the Haqqanis for influence in Afghanistan means that a Pakistani offensive against the group is unlikely to materialize. Furthermore, Siraj Haqqani cannot reconcile with the Afghan government and cede to coalition demands that the network break with Al Qaeda while at the same time maintaining his credibility as a hard-line jihadist."

* “Elements within the Pakistani establishment have maintained support for the Haqqanis to varying degrees since the late 1970s, first as an anti-Soviet resistance movement, later as a means to combat the anti-Pashtun Northern Alliance who seized power in Kabul, and today, as a proxy force capable of representing Pakistani interests in the country. Pakistan’s current offer to help in negotiations with the Haqqanis is likely an attempt to lessen U.S. pressure for Pakistani military action in the Haqqanis’ command and control hub in North Waziristan than it is a sincere desire to rein in the Haqqanis. Both Karzai and elements within Pakistan maintain direct contact with Haqqani leadership and have for years—meanwhile, the security situation on both sides of the border has steadily deteriorated.”

* “The Haqqani network, with the help of Al Qaeda and others, is arguably the most capable and deadly insurgent group operating in Afghanistan today. The Haqqani network maintains considerable military strength and territorial control in Afghanistan’s Southeast. It also enjoys relative sanctuary in North Waziristan, and the network is capable of executing spectacular suicide attacks in Kabul at will.”

* “The Haqqanis and Al Qaeda maintain a symbiotic relationship to the extent that each side is equally unlikely to break the bond that has been forged over the past several decades. Striking a deal with the Haqqanis will not only relieve pressure on the Pakistanis to dismantle the terror hub in North Waziristan, but will embolden Al Qaeda and like-minded terrorist organizations, providing them with a veil of legitimacy under the continued protection of the Haqqanis.”

By Rusty Shackleford, Ph.D. at 07:19 PM | Comments |