Monday, March 8, 2010

Petraeus: US helped ISI create extremists

In case, anyone needed a further confirmation, here is General Petraeus admitting that the US helped ISI create the menace of extremism and violence that we are facing in Pakistan today. Unfortunately, both players are still attached to this strategic tool, with their respective interests converging and conflicting in different situations. See my previous comments here, here, and here.

US helped ISI create extremists: Petraeus
The News, March 07, 2010


“Our money, Saudi money, others joined together, helped the ISI, indeed, form these elements which then went in and threw the Soviets out of Afghanistan with our weaponry. And then we left and they were holding the bag,” he said, acknowledging that it was the US which helped ISI to form these extremist elements. General Petraeus, however, acknowledged that the interests of Pakistan and the US differ in Afghanistan. He said Pakistan and the US has the same interest in Afghanistan in not allowing al-Qaeda to re-establish safe havens. “But it also has an interest that is somewhat different than ours, and that is their strategic depth and always has been for a country that’s very narrow and has its historic enemy to its east. So again, we just have to appreciate this.

“This is not unique, of course, just to Afghanistan and Pakistan and throughout the world. We have interests, they have interests. What we want to do is find the conversion interest, understand where they are divergent and try to make progress together,” Petraeus said.

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