Pakistan is a country which responds best when it is under a veiled military rule. The parties in Pakistan which are viewed in theory as democratic parties are parties whose primary members have paid their price for the position held. They may be the party in power at the moment but in many ways it is more of a puppet government for in the background the Army is the force with the influence and the clout.
Yet even within Pakistan’s mighty army there are internal conflicts. The most powerful men in Pakistan’s Army are the twelve corps commanders who control the country, its security, stability and resources. The corps commanders are hardened men who have all faced the sternest of challenges. The basic training a Pakistan army official goes through makes many other armed services around the world appear to have ‘charm schools’ as a training ground.
The majority of officials in Pakistan’s army will spend time in Siachen, Kargill and among other highest peaks in the world each year when Pakistan and India play their annual roulette against each other. No other armies in the world gain that kind of experience battling the extreme elements as well as the enemy.
But speaking of its enemies, Pakistan can be more Arab than the Arab in an ‘eye for an eye.’ Within the Pakistan Army is a brotherhood that only an inner core will ever have the opportunity to enter. That inner core decides the strategies and decision of Pakistan, even whether to have harbored Usama bin Laden. Since bin Laden’s death, the inner core is seeking its retribution against those who sided with the U.S.government to aid and abet the raid on the Usama bin Laden compound.
In most places human intelligent sources are given every opportunity and precise plans with contingencies for the protection and security of their lives. Yet the Pakistan army with its far reaching tentacles like an octopus was able to dig and uncover the identities and roles of some of the human sources. The army felt betrayed and wanted its vengeance on multiple fronts. The army had been ‘found out’ for harboring and supporting bin Laden. That is a lot of egg on the face that won’t go away easily. The Pakistan army prides itself on its control and secrecy yet there was a breach leading to the middle of the night American raid. The army knows that the fine dance it had been playing with the U.S. Government is over and a different tune not to its liking will take its place.
Does Pakistan still require the United States? How important is it for the United States to maintain strong relations with Pakistan? Where does Saudi Arabia fall in the equation? Among Pakistan’s close allies and partners are China and Saudi Arabia. The relationship between the United States and these countries is also undergoing change.
The United States will need to rebuild its intelligent network in Pakistan to keep apprised of plans, intentions, strategies, and the security of Pakistan’s nuclear program. The Federally Adminstrated Tribal Areas (FATA) will continue to be a haven and breeding ground of terrorism and anti-west rhetoric. There are numerous transit points between the FATA, Northern Areas and Afghanistan for Taliban, Al-Qaeda and other rogue operatives to flourish. Baluchistan remains a pinnacle hotbed. Yes; there are many reasons for the United States to have its eyes and ears to the ground of Pakistan. Pakistan has become the bigger magnet than perhaps Saudi Arabia or Yemen for the Arab fighters to continue to gather and plan.
This may be the pivotal time for intelligence techniques and methods to be dramatically revised and molded from traditional Western practices to the embodiment of Arab methods. While networks may plant their nest in Pakistan there targets and goals are usually farther afield. In addition to plotting against the West there are also those who roost in Pakistan and continue to plan a downfall against Saudi Arabia and its ruling family.
In closing, the relationship between Pakistan and the United States has taken a hard blow. It is a critical time for the US Defense Department and Intelligence services to evaluation their programs, modus operandi and aid which has been given to Pakistan since 1989. Pakistan will take what is offered but as history has shown repeatedly is that the other hand remains a closed unyielding fist.