Sunday, May 17, 2009

Graham Fuller: For Islamization before he was against it

Phil Giraldi recommends a post by Graham Fuller at the Huffington Post as "must reading" on AfPak. Fuller's lede is:
"For all the talk of "smart power," President Obama is pressing down the same path of failure in Pakistan marked out by George Bush. The realities suggest need for drastic revision of U.S. strategic thinking."
Fuller says:
"Only the withdrawal of American and NATO boots on the ground will begin to allow the process of near-frantic emotions to subside within Pakistan, and for the region to start to cool down. Pakistan is experienced in governance and is well able to deal with its own Islamists and tribalists under normal circumstances; until recently, Pakistani Islamists had one of the lowest rates of electoral success in the Muslim world.

But U.S. policies have now driven local nationalism, xenophobia and Islamism to combined fever pitch. As Washington demands that Pakistan redeem failed American policies in Afghanistan, Islamabad can no longer manage its domestic crisis.

The Pakistani army is more than capable of maintaining state power against tribal militias and to defend its own nukes. Only a convulsive nationalist revolutionary spirit could change that -- something most Pakistanis do not want. But Washington can still succeed in destabilizing Pakistan if it perpetuates its present hard-line strategies. A new chapter of military rule -- not what Pakistan needs -- will be the likely result, and even then Islamabad's basic policies will not change, except at the cosmetic level.

In the end, only moderate Islamists themselves can prevail over the radicals whose main source of legitimacy comes from inciting popular resistance against the external invader. Sadly, U.S. forces and Islamist radicals are now approaching a state of co-dependency."
Like Giraldi, I agree with what Fuller says. Fuller is a former CIA station chief in Kabul - and is obviously familiar with the terrain.

Fuller is also in Sibel's Rogues Gallery, and so I question his motivations (this appears to be his first post at HuffPo.) For Fuller to decry that radical Islamists and the US government are becoming co-dependent is sickening.

Why did Fuller write this article?

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