day 3: Pakistan, Blackwater, and
by New York Times:
In the cable, dated May 27, 2009, the ambassador, Anne W. Patterson, reported that the Pakistani government was yet again dragging its feet on an agreement reached two years earlier to have the United States remove the material.
Written from the American Embassy in Islamabad, the cables reveal American maneuvering as diplomats try to support an unpopular elected government that is more sympathetic to American aims than is the real power in Pakistan, the army and intelligence agency so crucial to the fight against militants. The cables show just how weak the civilian government is.
Last fall, the Pakistani Army secretly allowed 12 American Special Operations soldiers to deploy with Pakistani troops in the violent tribal areas near the Afghan border.
In a rare tone of dissent with Washington, Ms. Patterson (seasoned diplomat) said Pakistan would only dig in deeper if America continued to improve ties with India, which she said “feeds Pakistani establishment paranoia and pushes them closer to both Afghan and Kashmir focused terrorist groups.”
The ambassador’s comments help explain why Mr. Obama and his aides have expressed confidence in Pakistan’s nuclear security when asked in public. But at the beginning of the administration’s review of its Afghanistan and Pakistan strategy, a highly classified intelligence report delivered to Mr. Obama said that while Pakistan’s weapons were well secured, there was deep, continuing concern about “insider access,” meaning elements in the military or intelligence services.
In fact, Ms. Patterson, in a Feb. 4, 2009, cable, wrote that “our major concern is not having an Islamic militant steal an entire weapon but rather the chance someone working in GOP [government of Pakistan] facilities could gradually smuggle enough material out to eventually make a weapon.”
Even while American officials were trying to persuade Pakistani officials to give up nuclear material, they were quietly seeking to block Pakistan from trying to buy material that would help it produce tritium, the crucial ingredient needed to increase the power of nuclear weapons.
The cables also reveal that the American Embassy had received credible reports of extrajudicial killings of prisoners by the Pakistani Army more than a year before the Obama administration publicly acknowledged the problem and before a video that is said to show such killings surfaced on the Internet.
The killings are another source of tension, complicated by American pressure on Pakistan to be more aggressive in confronting militants on its own soil.
by New York Times:
In early 2008, when rumors floated that Pakistanwas about to release from house arrest Abdul Qadeer Khan, the man who created the world’s largest black market in nuclear technology, the Bush administration stayed silent.
Richard A. Boucher, the top State Department official for South Asia, wrote on April 10, 2008, that the embassy in Islamabad should “express Washington’s strong opposition to the release of Dr. Khan and urge the Government of Pakistan to continue holding him under house arrest.” Releasing him, he wrote, would “undermine” what Pakistan had done to fight proliferation.
The world, he said, was dealing “with the reality that the uranium enrichment technology and nuclear weapons designs that were sold to Libya are now available to other states and non-state actors.”
Dr. Khan was released 10 months later. Pakistan has barred him from being interviewed by international inspectors or the United States, including about his allegation that others in the Pakistani government knew of his work.
by New York Times:
In late 2008, Blackwater Worldwide, already under fire because of accusations of abuses by its security guards in Iraq and Afghanistan, reconfigured a 183-foot oceanographic research vessel into a pirate-hunting ship for hire and then began looking for business from shipping companies seeking protection from Somali pirates. The company’s chief executive officer, Erik Prince, was planning a trip to Djibouti for a promotional event in March 2009, and Blackwater was hoping that the American Embassy there would help out, according to a secret State Department cable.
Blackwater Maritime Security Services found no treasure in the pirate-chasing business, never attracting any clients. And the Obama administration chose not to sever the American government’s relationship with the North Carolina-based firm, which has collected more than $1 billion in security contracts in Iraq and Afghanistan since 2001. Blackwater renamed itself Xe Services, and earlier this year the company won a $100 million contract from the Central Intelligence Agency to protect the spy agency’s bases in Afghanistan.
by New York Times:
The American ambassador shared an anecdote with Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton: when the mayor of Paris had the Eiffel Tower lighted in Turkey’s national colors for a visit by Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan in April 2009, aides to Mr. Sarkozy, a staunch opponent of Turkey’s entry to the European Union, rerouted the presidential plane so he would not see it.
Five years of correspondence between Paris and Washington chronicle a spectacular post-Iraq turnabout between one of the West’s most complicated diplomatic couples. Mr. Sarkozy, who took office in May 2007, was described even last year as “the most pro-American French president since World War II” and a “force multiplier” for American foreign policy interests.
But the cables also convey a nuanced assessment of the French leader as a somewhat erratic figure with authoritarian tendencies and a penchant for deciding policy on the fly. By January 2010, American diplomats wrote of a high-maintenance ally sometimes too impatient to consult with crucial partners before carrying out initiatives, one who favors summit meetings and direct contacts over traditional diplomacy.
In December 2009, Mr. Rivkin told Mrs. Clinton: “Sarkozy’s own advisers likewise demonstrate little independence and appear to have little effect on curbing the hyperactive president, even when he is at his most mercurial.” He added: “After two years in office, many seasoned key Élysée staff are leaving for prestigious onward assignments as a reward for their hard work, raising questions as to whether new faces will be any more willing to point out when the emperor is less than fully dressed.”
This snapshot is broadly corroborated in interviews with French officials who had dealings with Mr. Sarkozy in recent years. Describing the president’s entourage as loyal but intimidated underlings guarding access to their boss, one senior official, insisting on anonymity, said that Mr. Sarkozy’s management style heightened the risks of the centralized French presidential system.
Pakistan is corrupt. It was always corrupt. And it’s not going to stop being corrupt unless new leaders are elected. That being said, U.S has a right to be scared of nuclear elements are in a facility that’s accessible for corrupted elected officials. Pakistan is not an ally of the U.S. It is an ally to itself (as one can see from the release of the suspected black market arms dealer).
Blackwater is corrupt. Blackwater is a private company. And, Blackwater is still making billions from the government.
The French are not corrupt. They are an ally of the U.S but the French advisors don’t know how to advise.