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Patrick Poole

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July 4, 2012 - 4:22 pm

As a demonstration of how short a memory the Obama administration has when it comes to their “smart diplomacy”, just take yesterday’s apology by Secretary of State Clinton to Pakistan for a air strike along the Afghan/Pakistani border last November that killed members of the Pakistani military.

According to one NATO commander, the attack was self-defense after Pakistani troops opened fire on ISAF forces conducting operations across the border for which current Joint Chiefs Chairman Dempsey refused to apologize for. The Pakistanis had been warned “much earlier” the incident that ISAF would be conducting operations in the area and one Pakistani official admitted that the Pakistani troops had fired mortars and bursts of automatic weapons fire in the direction of the ISAF troops.

In a statement published by the State Department following her apology, Clinton said:

In today’s phone call, Foreign Minister Khar and I talked about the importance of taking coordinated action against terrorists who threaten Pakistan, the United States, and the region; of supporting Afghanistan’s security, stability, and efforts towards reconciliation; and of continuing to work together to advance the many other shared interests we have, from increasing trade and investment to strengthening our people-to-people ties. Our countries should have a relationship that is enduring, strategic, and carefully defined, and that enhances the security and prosperity of both our nations and the region.

The irony in Clinton’s talk about “coordinated action” with Pakistan is that this is not the only “coordinated action” that the Pakistanis are engaged in.

Last September then-Joint Chiefs Chairman Adm. Mike Mullen went to Capitol Hill and said that Pakistan was engaged in “coordinated action” with terrorist groups that were attacking US troops and other US interests in Afghanistan.

According to one report:

Appearing on Capitol Hill today, Defense Secretary Leon Panetta and Joint Chiefs Chairman Adm. Michael Mullen maintained their hard-line stance that Pakistan has to do more to rein in the Haqqani Network that uses safe havens on the Pakistani side of the border to launch attacks against U.S. forces in Afghanistan.

Mullen even went so far as to say that Pakistan is “exporting violence” and that Pakistan’s intelligence agency provided the Haqqanis with support for their recent terror attacks in Kabul.

Mullen went further than defense officials who’ve said that the Haqqani Network was responsible for the recent terror attacks in Kabul prior to former Afghan President Burhanuddin Rabbani’s assassination, although the bomber’s affiliation has yet to be determined.

The Haqqanis are “veritable arm of Pakistan’s Inter-Services Intelligence Agency [ISI],” he said in opening remarks before the Senate Armed Services Committee, adding that it had provided the Haqqanis with support to conduct the Kabul attacks[...]

Mullen said Pakistan’s government has chosen to “use violent extremism as an instrument of policy,” which jeopardizes its relationship with the United States and its role as a player in the region.

Speaking of its support for the Haqqani Network, Mullen said, “they may believe that by using these proxies they are hedging their bets, or redressing what they feel is an imbalance of regional power. But, in reality, they have already lost that bet.”

He added that by “exporting violence, they have eroded their internal security and their position in the region. They have undermined their international credibility and threatened their economic well-being.”

Just some context for the Obama administration’s “smart diplomacy”. Churchill called it “appeasement”. Reagan called it “surrender”.

Patrick Poole is a national security and terrorism correspondent for PJMedia. Follow me on Twitter.
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