PAKISTAN SPY AGENCY "SUPPORTED KABUL EMBASSY ATTACK" - Mike Mullen
The most senior US military officer has accused Pakistan's Inter-Services Intelligence Agency of supporting the Haqqani group in last week's attack on the US Kabul embassy.
"The most senior US military officer has accused Pakistan's spy agency of supporting the Haqqani group in last week's attack on the US Kabul embassy.
"The Haqqani network . . . acts as a veritable arm of Pakistan's Inter-Services Intelligence Agency," Adm Mike Mullen told a Senate panel.
WHAT DOES IT ALL MEAN?
A reader asks: "What is the game plan here, Sean? How long can we support a government that is our enemy? If Mullen is convinced, then so should we."
First of all let me point out that it is not the government of Pakistan that is our enemy, per se - it is Pakistan's Inter-Services Intelligence Agency that we are in a defacto war against.
Just like we are in a defacto war against al Qaeda, and the Taliban.
FIRST POST-MODERN WAR
I was going to title this post 'America's First Post-Modern-War' but that gives credence to the Blame-America-First-for-9-11 crowd, the "Bush-Lied-Thousands-Died" crew and the entire tinfoil hat-wearing Moonbeam Brigade. This is the World's first Post-Modern War. Never mind the fact that we haven't been in a declared war since the end of World War II, and likewise we haven't engaged in a war the purpose of which was to destroy the enemy's capital city, to 'capture the flag' if you will. Let's explore this theme:
Our enemies in this war are global, they hold no capital cities - beyond some worthless real estate in Somalia they hold NO cities and it's debatable whether they hold one even there. Our enemies have no uniform, no flags, no tanks, no artillery, no airplanes, and no fleet of warships. They once had an air force for a very short period of time - the morning of 9/11 - and they kamikazied them all in.
If our enemies ever assembled on a single battlefield we could crush them at once - which of course is the point why they operate the way they do. We - the Free World - have achieved such overwhelming military superiority that no enemy on Earth can prevail against us on a conventional battlefield, not even the Chinese; never mind the Iranians and the North Koreans.
And yet conflict is a part of the human condition, it is a constant, and global conflict - like Nature itself - abhors a vacuum. The label "Post-Modern War" describes a state of conflict not only with guerrilla forces - the terrorists - but a war in which enemy and allied nations themselves are in the process of disintegration into failed nation-states.
The Taliban have no country. Instead they occupy villages in the Afghan countryside and maintain a foothold in the Pakistani Northwest; a ruggedly inaccessible region known collectively as Waziristan, these tribal areas form a hinge between Pakistan and Afghanistan.
Al Qaeda has no country, no flag even. They dare not surface for a political rally - even their supreme leader, hiding out in Pakistan's forbidding Tribal Territories, was not safe from our over-arching presence on the global battlefield.
The sponsorship of the Taliban and al-Qaeda by Pakistan's Inter-Services Intelligence Agency represents a dangerous step toward Pakistan's disintegration into a failed nation-state. In the World of Yesterday, this may have represented no more than an extension of the existing Federally Administered Tribal Areas - all the way to the Indian border.
Unfortunately, in the world of Today, Pakistan is a member of the Nuclear Club, and as such we cannot afford to have her fail as a state. Instead, we must struggle with the reality that we are at war with an institution that is an entity in and of itself: the Inter-Services Intelligence Agency, while at the same time the state-sponsor of this organization is a vital ally in that war.
Confusing? Welcome to the Post-Modernist War; guerrilla warfare on a global scale.
MAO TSE TUNG and Von CLAUSWITZ
And when you think about it, what's happening is not really a new concept - it's what we call in the trade "UW "; Unconventional Warfare - taking part on a global scale.
Mao conceptualized and practiced modern guerrilla warfare. Mao said that the guerrilla is a fish, and the sea that it swims in is the surrounding population. When the guerrilla loses the support of the people, he perishes. A stark example of this was the fall of Che Guevara in Bolivia. A more recent example was the failure of al Qaeda to prevail in Iraq.
Che Guevara met death and defeat when he went against the principles of guerrilla warfare.
In Sam Peckinpah's brilliant 1977 fim "Cross of Iron" German troops on the Eastern Front in WWII discuss Clausewitz and Friedrich von Bernhardi, a Prussian general and military historian. A militarist, von Bernhardi advocated a policy of ruthless aggression and complete disregard of treaties and regarded war as a "divine business". Clausewitz, of course, coined the phrase that War is nothing more than the continuation of State Policy, or Diplomacy, by other means. He actually did not say "State policy" - he simply said Politik.
The bottom line is that Conflict manifests itself in many forms, that it is a constant of the Human Condition, and that War itself will morph and change to fit the battlefield conditions. Modern guerrilla warfare has demonstrated that smaller, more flexible groups of dedicated warriors could defeat larger standing armies - although not always. What I describe loosely as Post Modern Warfare un-constrains the themes and principles of Mao and von Clauswitz from conventional battlefields and even urban guerrilla battlefields and brings organizations and even governmental institutions into the play of the problem.
Me? My business is Chaos, and business is looking like it will be good, for a long time to come . . .
SEAN LINNANE SENDS
Today's Bird HERE