General, Mullen Left Some Challenges That Could be Your opportunities

By Hamid Waheed

General Martin E. Dempsey, USA (born March 14, 1952) has taken over from Admiral Mullen as the 18th Chairman of the Joint Chiefs Staff of  US. He was commissioned  as an Armor officer upon graduation from the United States Military Academy in 1974. Dempsey’s arrival marks the crucial timings in the history of not only America but also the entire world. America faces huge challenges in its exit policy from Afghanistan. The collation partners of War on Terror Pakistan and US suffer from a all time low level of relationship. The media hype and some allegations from his predecessor Mullen on Pakistan’s support for Haqqanis  make his entry challenging to tackle the crisis situation. All his basics including his department with in army which plans maneuvers keeping the entire canvas in mind indicates that he has the ability to convert the challenges into opportunities. 

The  testimony of  , Admiral Mike Mullen and the media pick and choose policy left a difficult playing ground for Dempsey but did anyone noticed what Media missed, when Mullen  testified before Congress that the Pakistani Army is actively supporting the Haqqani network and other anti-U.S. terrorist groups.  Interestingly all his friendly gestures for the collation partner were put on back burner and this was cashed to the most by not only outsiders but also by hard line  group within American CIA, Pentagon and Whitehouse. In the testimony  he stressed on  the need to stay engaged with Pakistan, he acknowledged the  Mass  killings caused by extremist groups, weak government institutions, massive unemployment, a failing economy, recent devastating floods, and mayhem in its largest city resulting from gang wars and ethnic and political strive.  Admiral Mullen emphasized the need for the United States to “move beyond counterterrorism to address long-term foundations of Pakistan’s success.”  Those foundations, he said, include improved trade relations with the United States, economic development, electricity generation, and water security.  In other words, actions that can help the Pakistani people lead better lives, which in turn will promote internal stability. He said we must continue to work with the government and military in Pakistan to forge a constructive relationship. He said in the testimony that he has spent a great amount of time during the past four years cultivating a relationship with Pakistan’s military. He had been dedicated to this task because he says he knows  the importance of this relationship, strained as it is, and because he recognize the difficulties Pakistan has had and the many sacrifices it has made in its own internal fight against terrorism. He believes that besides odds  US  must stay engaged. This is because while Pakistan is part of the problem in the region, it must also be part of the solution. A flawed and strained engagement with Pakistan is better than disengagement. We have completely disengaged in the past. That disengagement failed and brought US where we it is today. Thus, our engagement requires a combination of patience with understanding what is in Pakistan’s national interests and a clear-eyed assessment about what is in US interest.

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Mullen testified that even in the midst of extraordinary challenges in our relationship today, he believe we can take advantage of this situation and reframe U.S.-Pakistan relations. While the relationship must be guided by some clear principles to which both sides adhere. To further augment his thinking and provide a guideline to Dempsey from his experience on the day of  retirement  he again spoke  on importance of relationship for both the countries. One of Mullen’s most concerted efforts has been to strengthen the United States’ relationship with Pakistan through his personal relationship with Pakistani Army Chief of Staff Gen. Ashfaq Parvez Kayani. Visiting Pakistan 27 times during the past four years, Mullen said he has developed “a very close relationship” with Pakistan’s senior officer. Their relationship has helped move Pakistan beyond its distrust of the United States — the product of America’s abandonment in 1989 and of its breaking of relations altogether from 1990 to 2002.  Above all his golden departing words for the future US leadership speaks of nothing but PAK-US friendship .He said, "I continue to believe that there is no solution in the region without Pakistan, and no stable future in the region without a partnership," Mullen said at a ceremony to handover to the incoming chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, General Martin Dempsey. He  urged Dempsey  to remember the importance of Pakistan to all of this, to try and do a better job than he did with that vexing and yet vital relationship.

Dempsey takes over the  environment is  marked by continued negative trends. Years of progress in cross-border coordination and collaboration is facing  increased challenges not only between US and Pakistan but the region is also  under pressure. Afghanistan’s president and other senior leaders under these tense conditions have started  rethinking the country’s strategy and its negotiations with the Taliban because they think the talks made no significant progress. The shift in Afghanistan’s policies emerged in a statement released by the presidential palace during the present war of distrust between Pakistan and US. The statement said, “Despite making repeated attempts in the past three years, including sending several letters to the Taliban to open negotiations in order to bring peace and stability to the country, our leaders, scholars, influential figures, elders, women and children, old and young are being martyred,” the statement was referring to a string of assassinations this year, most recently the killing of Burhanuddin Rabbani, the chairman of the peace council. US President Barack Obama on Friday did not endorse the accusations, made by retiring chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Admiral Mike Mullen, but said US intelligence was not entirely clear on links between Haqqani operatives and Pakistani spy agencies. Obama spoke to Michael Smerconish syndicated radio show and said, "I think Mike's testimony expressed frustration over the fact that safe havens exist, including the Haqqani network safe haven inside Pakistan, I think that the intelligence is not as clear as we might like in terms of what exactly that relationship is,"  This shows that Dempsey will have to work under pressures from external as well as internal hard line environment. The concept of Pakistan being a tactical and India a strategic allay in the region due to China factor is fast fading. The emerging reality  is of US- PAK being natural allies at the moment to resolve Afghan issue and provide not only safe exit to US forces but also guard future interest of both countries in the region.The nature provides a unique opportunity to both countries and the people who matter in decision making to contribute for the peace in the region and the world.

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