tv Book Discussion on The Taliban Revival CSPAN September 26, 2014 10:30pm-12:04am EDT
together to enhance and synergize by this shia military of the marines? >> the u.s. army special forces is organized around different regions of the soldiers can focus on that part of the world, get that language and training -- cultural training and that's good in terms of working with local security forces forces. on the civil side state department usaid has people staying in the country for multiple years so they have, they eventually get to some wisdom about the place. the state department often has a challenge with manning austere locations with the kind of people who have the skill sets. they also send many of their people to foreign institutes. one of the things we have in afghanistan called the afghan hands program. it was an attempt to get out of this relentless careerism aboveboard promotions of getting people to eventually get out of
the country or the region and really focus on afghanistan for multiple tours of language training. the problem is that to the war in afghanistan of a certain size to slightly bent personnel rules to have the program created. right now the institutions are reverting back to their normal resting place which is to say good for you have -- for having been an afghan ham an afghan ham but your an afghan ham but your career is done thank you very much are you very much or you would post it to someplace where you will never get the next promotion. places like iraq and somalia and the sedges of empire we think they need these types of deep subject matter expert piece but also the relationships. most of these countries are based on relationships not in formal situations we have in the west. i think in yemen we need a yemeni hands program. we will be there for a long ti time. >> back to one of your first comments about whether it's fair not.
in many ways especially when there's complete lack of security who else is going to do it? that's part of the issue is you have to establish security first but one of the things we emphasize with the marines and soldiers as we have have to deal that handed off to someone. our presence there is an antibody and we understand that clearly. >> this is what i meant. i didn't mean to take away any. >> no, no but you hear that echoed in some of the marines and soldiers, this isn't fair. what is the enemy get to do things that we don't. well we are not them. so why do we have to do this? why can't we have more state department folks state department folks and folks from other agencies in your? they are allergic to getting shot at. those are the kinds of things when you don't have the security you have to have something in their that calms things down and inclination has to be we need to build a hand this off to someone. somebody else has to come in here and do this for the long-term to get things calm down because we know we don't
belong. i hope that answers your question. [applause] >> thank you both dan and bill. if you want to stick around they will sign copies of their books available at the checkout counter and thank you all again for coming. thank you very much. [inaudible conversations] here are just a few of the comments we recently received from our viewers. >> on the weekend on c-span2 is usually booktv. i really enjoyed that and it looks like maybe you are experimenting trying to find a new format. i want to discourage it. i just think that booktv is one of the smartest things on television. when tv was first invented i
think it's what everybody hoped television would be. it's too bad there isn't a cable channel devoted to it that i'm glad c-span is doing it. it's really important and i can't tell you how many books i have bought because i have watched that. i just watch it for general information too. >> i'm glad to tell you that i don't watch booktv anymore because i can't figure out what's going to be shown. i used to watch it over the weekend and comcast in massachusetts, it doesn't tell me. it just keeps saying to be announced or it says they are going to be talking about some book but they only give you the first two words of the chapter. it will say the second second word and it doesn't tell you what's going to be coming on. because i don't know what's going on i don't know whether to stay home and watch it or tape it or anything. >> i just want to say the best news source that i have at the moment.
keep up the good work. >> hassan abbas is a professor at the national defense university and author of the "the taliban revival" about the reemergence of the taliban in afghanistan after u.s. and nato invasion of 2001. he talked about his book at the carnegie endowment for international peace for about an hour and a half. >> welcome to the session on the resurgence of the taliban at the carnegie endowment. we are happy to welcome you here this morning and i must tell you from the very beginning this is
cosponsored with your organization in this. what this session is about is the launching of this book, "the taliban revival" violence and extremism on the pakistani-afghanistan frontier. this is indeed a timely book, or maybe not so much a timely book. ideally i don't know because we arrived at the end of the cycle. this cycle is the cycle of western intervention in afghanistan. this is definitely not the end of the arab complex. unless we believe our own propaganda this is not likely to be so in the months to come. since the end of 2001, a lot of people have died in afghanistan. all of that was -- the taliban.
i know that the focus these days in the country is mostly about the election and what is going wrong in this election. it will escape none of you that what we see actually is a resurgence of the taliban in both the south and east. none of this can be really surprised since there was mass information both places. the point is not whether this is the case. we know what's going on a retry to know what's going on. we certainly don't know everything. the question is whether does this mean that almost 13 years of war in afghanistan, additional war in afghanistan has served no purpose? has the taliban been eradicated? definitely not. does that mean that the war was
a success? that's definitely a different story. this is what this book in many ways is about. how did we get into the situation we are in now? how did we get into a situation that everybody in 2002's thought had been more or less eradicated or what was left of it was essentially residual. how is it that this movement has come up again and this is what this book by hassan abbas is about. i'm happy to say that this is an attempt to bring an objective perspective looking at a different angle. this is a three-dimensional aspect of the book which in my opinion is of interest. the role of kabul is something that is discussed. the role of western policy and again this is something which is slightly less discuss. today we tend to say mission
accomplished or so we would like to believe. for that matter we are delighted today to welcome the author's hassan abbas and let me say for most of you, for many of you at least he doesn't need an introduction. he's a professor of the department of regional and analytical studies at the national university college of international security affairs in washington d.c.. he is also senior adviser at the asia society. he previously served as the distinguished professor at columbia university and the sitting adviser at the belfour center for science and international affairs at the kennedy school of government. to me what is more important is he is a very prolific writer and many of you remember his first book, pakistan's -- extremism.
with those words i will not stand between you and the speaker. we will ask a song to please come up and present your book. >> thank you very much. thank you very much and it's a great privilege and honor to be here and to see many friends and for so many of us to be able to find time. in the beginning i mentioned frederick is an old friend and his work has affected many of us. it's bold and courageous and scholars of south asian studies. thithis is a newer organizationa think tank and advocacy group and bloodgood and indifferent thing about this organization is it's primarily pakistani
americans but benefiting from expertise in the guidance of many scholars of south asian descent and many of the other scholars. they believe in making pakistan a progressive state and also building u.s.-pakistan relations so thank you very much. i wish the u. the best of your luck in your endeavors. to give you first the main arguments of my book and also briefly talk about my recent visit which was kind of a book to her. i landed in pakistan for 15 da days. it was an opportunity to go to iraq. i had the opportunity to speak to parliamentarians and law
enforcement agencies. some of the things that i heard and it's not that i'm just mentioning iraq, the linkages between the pakistani taliban and this new militant group which have built a new state, it's very interesting. some of the slogans that it started coming up on the streets in iraq are in language. we will talk briefly about some of those linkages as well. first and foremost i must add this is also about my background other than me academic background and his face. i had a great honor to serve as a police officer in pakistan's tribal areas between 1995 and 1997. some of my ideas and talks are based upon that.
one of the understandings with my publisher was who has greatly helped me in -- to have some of the stories and ideas. i have many anecdotes in the book on that. what i want to begin with i had friends who lived around many cities around the world but my experience with pashtuns for both afghan and pakistan make up 80% of all taliban. my experience living among the pashtuns and i'm not pashtuns as i have not seen as many as hospitable and friendly as the pashtuns. at the same time i have found the pashtuns but they are principles are very religious. in their day-to-day affairs they
are not only pragmatic but quite similar. i served as an assistant superintendent to the schools in 1997 and said -- 98. it was taken over by the militants who were beheading and killing people on the streets before we have become aware of this phenomena phenomenon elsewhere. i remember a few years before this that in pakistan in those days and i'm not talking about the 1970s. this is late 1990s but if you want to hear good music and see the sights have a drink perhaps or whatever you smoke if you want to do that, subbot is the best place. it really changed and radicalized. this brings me to the pashtuns. having seen them as hospitable and very secular and i can
mention only one name abdul for a con. i don't think that any pashtun leader or pakistani leader was so close to gandhi the great indian leader. they used to call him frontier gandhi because of his secular ideas. despite being a religious man. what was the biggest for me was having seen it up close what was the extent that they produced and are producing unfortunately 70 to 80% of all taliban. what had gone wrong? so in search of that question i started working on my book. we have in the united states and the rest of the world are familiar with the phrase afghan in pakistan or afghanistan however if you start picking up
the history books you will find most books of history are in the political arena. focus on the overall south asian affairs a competitive political study mostly on pakistan and bangladesh india of course and some of the other countries. you can find a book which is comparing pakistan and afghanistan. this is the 9/11 construct. for security reasons and political elite reasons the focus was on these but there's not enough academic study or historical treatment of the subject. that was another purpose. i realized if i wanted to talk more about pashtuns and that is how i'm constantly pronouncing it different because in pakistan the call at pashtuns and their
side of the pashtuns is called -- mike pashtuns. the first challenge was pakistanis is a 60 country and -- was built in 1700's, very different ideals and different ethnic factors and tribalism played a major role in the creation of what we know today is afghanistan. whereas in pakistan it was of course a product of a very secular progressive movement led by all those leaders. the 15 most important pakistani leaders and political founders of pakistan. you would be amazed. they were from all different ethnic backgrounds, different sectarian backgrounds all very secular. it would seem if you looked at those from the 1940s it would
be difficult for you to comprehend how a state whose own founders and the people who came up with the idea for pakistan how was it drifted into a very different direction? that too is a phenomena that i try to answer the question how that drift had taken place. that was just to begin with the larger context of what we are looking out. there are five major factors that i would like to mention in my findings as well. first and foremost is the particular need for us to understand the different ways in which the taliban and pakistani taliban developed, how they were groomed in some ways, what was the genesis of these organizations? my net finding is that today
afghan taliban, the old guard of the afghan taliban seems to be quite open to negotiations. i would not say they have gone toward the left but they have migrated quite a bit and they are looking for opportunities and openings to negotiate. but these afghan taliban and maybe some of the other associates then my understanding the old guard afghan taliban have lost control of the insurgency taking place in afghanistan today. this is the second which has links with criminal groups and various sectarian groups as well as well as those who really believe that the foreign presence in afghanistan was something they have to fight. they were not necessarily taliban or militants but that was the considered view.
that is what is in their. that is what their tribal identity has led them to believe. that is the narrative that has been embedded in their mindset. those people who are still fighting into my assessment continue to fight, this is one subset of the afghan taliban. that taliban asian-americans if i might say are trying to negotiate in some form or shape to bring to into a mainstay in the biggest problem in my assessment the old guard trying to take control of insurgent the insurgent movements of a can directed and potentially bring it somewhat towards the middle. that's briefly my assessment of afghan taliban stand. they have various other groups. one is the haqqani group which operates from a pakistan afghanistan border and which is
now on the run. some people believe because there's a major pakistani military organization that is happening. i just want to expand on this division between the old guard and the new taliban. coming to the pakistani taliban. the pakistani taliban unlike the afghan taliban who had cooperated and a few more words about the afghan taliban. the afghan taliban had coordinated and collaborate with al qaeda -- collaborated but it never merge. there are couple of good studies that have come in recent years. bin laden had used afghan taliban for their financial needs and used al qaeda. however in the case of the pakistani taliban there was more of a merger that had taken place. the nature of the group and
their publications, their media and the pakistani taliban are quite active on social media as well. they afghan taliban are also but the pakistani taliban are more so. the afghanistan taliban are far more dangerous and lethal. they have moved far closer to al qaeda and in fact today if you ask in many experts how do we define and analyze them today you will not be able to explain to them and ask without explaining the dynamics of the pakistan taliban. that's the kind of proximity that has taken place. this brings me to the point i was referring to about iraq. the belief is there are around
300 pakistani taliban and some other religions from the affiliated groups. from syria they move into iraq. some of the new slogans mostly in parts of iraq, there are these pakistani taliban who are beginning. the pakistani taliban are also interesting and not homogeneous in terms of the pashtun identity. they are sick. groups in punjab the americans who have infiltrated or who have joined the ranks of pakistani taliban in a very big fashion. the number of in terms of the threat by the pakistani taliban all you need to see is read about the major terrorist attack at the karachi airport. the major attack on the milita military -- military
headquarters destroying one of the most important aircraft that they had. the attack on the air force base and in one case they successfully attacked a location where pakistanis were believed to have kept some of its nuclear arsenal. the point is a case of the pakistani taliban there are linkages of security forces behind the scene in terms of some insiders and in terms of some people who are radicalized enough, that is a much more dangerous phenomenon. security analysts -- if i were security analyst i would spend more time looking at the pakistani taliban. there were attempts made to engage pakistani taliban during these issues. part of the reason the pakistani taliban art directed is because
the only way pakistan attempted to get at them was through kinetic needs. from their point of view state out of the afghanistan tribal area. some part of it is still a hub. they moved into the mainstream pakistan and it was extremely difficult to monitor to them. that's the kind of analysis of the pakistani taliban afghan taliban. now coming to more of an academic and not for very long time come in terms of how do we understand based on the major issues, because we found these problems whether it's a broader law enforcement or is it about education? is it about a rule of law system collects all of those are very
good ideas from a long-term perspective. to be able to get to this challenge or to understand this before we can attempt to -- it has to go through a new wants analysis in which i claim that i have attempted. there are five points that i want to mention about those but before that i will mention a couple of antidotes -- anecdot anecdotes. these are partly from my book and partly from the experiences i had. i remember the day that former pakistani prime minister was returning to pakistan. i was honored to have served with her for a brief time in 1995 and 96. in 2007 when she was returning i was talking to her and she just mentioned, she said once upon a time you were a police officer.
what is the security situation in pakistan what should i expect when i land in pakistan? myself, many security officials and friends who focused on these issues we almost had a consensus before this. i asked her, i said do you want me to be blunt and direct and she said absolutely. i said i think there's a very high possibility that you could be investigated and she said instantly, instantaneously i know it. tell me something else that i need to -- and i appreciate her encouragement. she knew she was walking to a death trap not only because at that time the pakistani militants were strong enough. her assessment was come and i think she was not absolutely right at that time but that's a new reality. the radicalization is taking place in pakistan unfortunately. it's not only confined to the
militant camps or the waziristan area. it has seeped into the society in some ways. still a minority. still pakistan by and large. if you give them a chance they will mostly vote for relatively progressive political parties whether the pashtuns where they would vote historically along the secular party but having said that the way the discourse has changed in pakistan, for instance the debate going on in some institutions apply this isis military groups who have taken part of -- over iran weiss is a good idea? at the end of the days have brought islamic state. that discourse is -- the day she landed there was a major attack. those of you to follow that in karachi there were hundreds of thousands people who came to receive her. there was a major attack. that evening i was very
passionate about pakistan and i wrote something. i wrote who tried to kill benazir bhutto and i've made the case that beta masoud the previous head of the pakistani afghan -- taliban. she immediately wrote about it. she sent back a text to me and i sent it to her that night. she wrote back and said this is not beta masoud. she said something to the effect and i'm paraphrasing that these are the radical elements within the pakistani establishment. that means bureaucracy as well
seen the work has begun for your assessment through the funding for civilian law enforcement. has that bennie never done the right kinds of things? and you did not take it to the right -- the next up8:íg when we see them moving and then that impacts as it would extend into that area. separation between isi and that pakistan are many -- are we in terms of operations.
the leadership of isi comes from the army structure and then moves back at some point. and most of their own assessments that they are not separate entities but it is the single policy. and this haqqani group comes out of that single policy. one example might be but we have not seen much in the way of haqqani victims in the current drive in resisting and. >> thank you for that work and for your research. your job -- jeb bush has done a great job
it is maybe the largest of the scholarships. but in the case of law enforcement and has happened and not much has been done. because unlike in the military relationship with the clear responsibilities. with the united states it does not assume office. i really hope we have more funding. we have done a few things
that kept us away from this but this is the idea right in my next book with the partnerships to support international intervention. but the same state? what is the first thing you do? those setter on the road -- but you cannot do that. so thank you very much for the response and for that question. should have mentioned in the ways to handle the situation in to the tribal area.
could do within four stepsw0$mñ for this area with its instability? >> you are right to say that. but to figure it out in the absence of a very clear answer then the motives become popular. then those things that they can kill to get rid of it. many politicians and the members and to many of the leadersb;f4ñ.
but the last question i love my job as a academic. there is no chance to become prime minister but i think first and foremost, those whose served. [inaudible] he had mentioned working in the prime minister's office that all the departments can honest and efficient and competent prime minister. allots are very basic. the first and foremost, for
taliban on pakistan's decision to side with the united states post 9/11? was there a sense of betrayal from the government of pakistan? if they felt that kind of betrayal, then i would assume that their reaction should have been -- should have been some sort of a position within them, and wouldn't that create a tension against the state of pakistan? >> both are very good questions. second question, about afghan, taliban, and whether there's a betrayal. i mention that as one of my main arguments in my chapter three or four, and you're right. this is obvious from the book, "my years with the taliban." you can read that book and you see the distaste he has for all things pakistan but a he thinks the pakistanis went after him. simply no doubt about it. that's why i found out the --
but still, we know for a fact from studies that a majority of afghan taliban, even moved to pakistan with their families, and i think -- a leader who still most likely by the taliban because military are pushing them. they want them to come to the negotiating table. that's the commit. they give to the united states. in the initial years of afghan taliban, they ignore the opening to come to pakistan in afghan they would have been killed in bombing. pakistan, keep them space at least to, i think -- it's my guess, and estimate, without any empirical direct source in this case, i think maybe around 100 afghan taliban leaders are close to the -- around that number
probably came to pakistan. they brought their families and maybe their families are already living there. and then at that time they talked about bassan should have stood by them but they were thankful. and, yes, there was a lot of manipulation as well. so, afghan taliban owed a lot to pakistani forces that helped them before 9/11. in operations against northern alliance. so this control -- some were still sympathetic to pakistan but that fight also, wherever pakistan needed afghan taliban, the old guard, had to go off to pakistani taliban. so they responded to that old reach by not coming out against pakistani taliban. so your question is very valid. the other question -- and i'll takemont, but that a very profound idea you h