Tags: America's Forum | War on Terrorism | Pakistan | CIA | Taliban | Robert Grenier | hostage

Ex-CIA Official: Pakistan Has Always Been 'Problematic Ally'

By    |   Monday, 02 Feb 2015 12:14 PM

Managing Pakistan has long been a slippery slope for the United States and today is no exception, according to Robert Grenier, the former CIA station chief for Pakistan, who discussed the complex nation on Newsmax TV's "America's Forum" on Monday.

"Pakistan has always been a very problematic ally," said Grenier, author of "88 Days to Kandahar: A CIA Diary," which recounts the 88 days from 9/11 until the United States successfully drove al-Qaida and the Taliban out of Kandahar in southern Afghanistan.

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"There are certain areas where we have common interests, that we've been able to pursue jointly dating back, in fact, before the so-called anti-Soviet jihad of the 1980s when the Pakistanis were very helpful in working with us and driving the Soviets out of Afghanistan," he said of the tenuous U.S.-Pakistani relationship.

"They also played a major role with us much earlier than that and providing a support during the Cold War with the Soviet Union. So there's a long story there.

"But that said, they have their own view of their national interest and we have tended to part ways, particularly with regard to the Afghan Taliban," he said. "So while we cooperate very closely on some areas, there have always been very problematic parts of our relationship as well."

Grenier briefly touched on the hostage situation the U.S. is dealing with, trying to rescue a female aid worker captured last year by ISIS in Syria while there on a humanitarian relief mission.

In exchange for the American hostage's release, ISIS has demanded $6 million and the return of imprisoned MIT-educated neuroscientist Aafia Siddiqui, convicted in 2010 of trying to kill U.S. officials and suspected of planning the construction of dirty bombs to be used in terrorist attacks, according to the Daily Mail.

The 26-year-old American aid worker's identity has not been made public.

It would be problematic for the U.S. to agree to a prisoner exchange, Grenier said, since ISIS is "clearly an international terrorist group."
 
"This is a civilian, this would not be a prisoner of war exchange," he said. "It could certainly not be presented in that way.

"And we have had a very firm national policy that dates back decades now, not to negotiate with terrorists when they take American hostages, simply because that further incentivizes them to try to seize more American hostages."

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Managing Pakistan has long been a slippery slope for the United States and today is no exception, according to Robert Grenier, the former CIA station chief for Pakistan, who discussed the complex nation on Newsmax TV's "America’s Forum" on Monday.
Pakistan, CIA, Taliban, Robert Grenier, hostage
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2015-14-02
Monday, 02 Feb 2015 12:14 PM
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