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CIA Director warns Pakistan of US action if safe havens are not destroyed

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News Analysis |

Mike Pompeo, the Director of the CIA, has made it clear that the United States will do everything it can do to destroy the alleged safe havens for terrorists in Pakistan if no action is taken.

The US Defense Secretary, Jim Mattis, is set to arrive in Pakistan on Monday to convince the government to continue their support of the US’s new strategy against terrorism in Afghanistan. The new strategy involves defeating the Taliban in the battlefield and the US has asked Pakistan to help them achieve this goal.

Last month, the US congress passed the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) 2018, that allotted $700 billion for defense purposes. From that enormous figure, $700 million in the form of the Coalition Support Fund (CSF) was given to Pakistan as reimbursements for its support of the US’s war efforts in Afghanistan. $350 million of that is going to be given to Pakistan only after Jim Mattis approves of the fact that the Pakistani government is taking strict action against the Haqqani network.

The war on terror has killed thousands of civilians in the region and has led to the death of thousands of American soldiers without much being achieved in terms of peace.

The head of the CIA and the Defense Secretary seem to have different ways of approaching the issue of Pakistan dealing with terrorism. Mattis, when asked about whether he would clash with Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi or Army Chief Qamar Javed Bajwa during his trip to Pakistan, said that this was not a part of his style. He stated “I believe that we [can] work together on finding common ground and then we work together”.

Read more: A new arrangement between the US and Pakistan on drone operations?

The Director of the CIA on the other hand made a statement that was not as diplomatic. On Saturday he revealed that Secretary Mattis was going to Pakistan to “make clear the president’s intent” and that he “will deliver the message that we would love you to do that. And that the safe haven inside of Pakistan has worked to the determent of our capacity to do what we needed to do in Afghanistan”.

He made it very clear what would happen if Pakistan refuses to help the Trump administration take down these ‘safe havens’ that the country is accused of having by stating, “In the absence of Pakistan achieving that, we are going to do everything we can do to make sure that that safe haven no longer exists”.

Pompeo’s views are in line with his predecessors’ in the Obama administration who also continued to verbally assault Pakistan for harboring terrorists in safe havens.

The head of the CIA and the Defense Secretary seem to have different ways of approaching the issue of Pakistan dealing with terrorism.

These starkly contrasting statements make it seem like the US is taking a ‘good cop’ ‘bad cop’ approach towards Pakistan in order to pressurize the country into agreeing with them. Mattis appeases and makes diplomatic statements and Pompeo continues to say what the US government will actually do. The aggressive statements made by the CIA Director seem to be covering up for the US’s failures to actually get rid of the Haqqani network despite spending hundreds of billions of taxpayer’s dollars in combating terrorism. The war on terror has killed thousands of civilians in the region and has led to the death of thousands of American soldiers without much being achieved in terms of peace.

Read more: The CIA’s new anti-Taliban strategy might help Daesh

The US has continuously attacked successive Pakistani governments for protecting terrorists and creating safe havens. However, Pakistan has been one of the only countries in the world that has successfully combatted terrorism by conducting counterinsurgency operations.

Mike Pompeo, the Director of the CIA, has made it clear that the United States will do everything it can do to destroy the alleged safe havens for terrorists in Pakistan if no action is taken.

The amount of terrorist attacks have dropped dramatically since 2014 after the National Action Plan was introduced. From 3,000 terrorist related deaths in 2012 and 2013, the number of Pakistanis killed in terrorist attacks went down to 600 a year in 2016.

Perhaps if the US focused more on actually fighting terrorism and not on exploiting and extracting resources from the regions they are in, they would be more successful in their war on terror as well.


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