Monday, May 02, 2011

Bin Laden dead! ABC News has video of the compound.

OK. The reports are that Osama bin Laden is dead, killed by a Navy Seal Team operating with the CIA as the result of years of Intelligence gathering and analysis.

Several points seem very important.
  • This is a large compound, reputedly the largest building in the neighborhood.
  • The compound is located abut 1000 feet from the Pakistani Military Academy and roughly 150 kilometers (about 90 miles) north and west of the Pakistani capital, Islamabad.
  • The Pakistani military is considered a state within a state in Pakistan. The degree to which the military follows orders from the civilian government is very questionable. Very important things to consider:
    • The Pakistani military controls the Pakistani nuclear weapons.
    • The Pakistani Interservices Intelligence organization (ISI) is essentially a military organization.
    • I am no expert in Pakistan. Take the following as speculation.
      • As a nation Pakistan was created when the British drew the borders as they withdrew from India. The name, Pakistan, is made up and the area was actually a variety of tribes whose primary similarity was that they all shared Islam. The result is a nation-state that is unified primarily by religion (Islam) and by fear of invasion from its neighbors (India, China and Afghanistan.)
      • The Pakistani military would appear to be the central national institution of Pakistan rather than the civilian government.
      • This year Pakistan has complained about the American use of armed drones to attack Taliban members who were operating across the border from Pakistan. This is somehow connected to the fact that the American CIA Chief of Station was forced to leave Pakistan early this year. It is also connected to the arrest of the CIA contractor Ray Davis.

From ABC News via Talking Points Memo:


While the death of bin Laden is great news, everything surrounding this event raises questions. The relationship between the United States and Pakistan is extremely uncertain. But since the Mumbai Terrorist attack was planned inside and launched from Pakistan there should be no doubt that Pakistan as a nation is a questionable ally to America, to India and to Afghanistan.

Anyone reading this should keep in mind that I am NOT an expert on Pakistan. I have no information that I have not obtained from the news media and from personal study on how nation-states are unified. I offer my speculations primarily as questions to be further explored.

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