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The Depth of Pakistani-U.S. Cooperation; More Taliban Arrests?

The Christian Science Monitor carries an interview with an anonymous and recently retired senior Pakistani intelligence official, who tells us to expect more arrests like that of top Taliban leader Mullah Abdul Ghani Baradar:

[T]he emerging relationship is built on reciprocity. After the US killed Pakistan Taliban leader Baitullah Mehsud last August as a favor to the Pakistan government, analysts predicted that Pakistan would do more scratching of America’s back in turn.

The biggest payoff so far was the arrest of Mr. Baradar near the port city of Karachi about 10 days ago, which was announced late Monday. Baradar is the most senior Afghan Taliban official arrested since the war began and a man the US has been hunting for years.

“The numbers are always fluctuating. Some work in other US agencies like USAID, others operate exclusively for the CIA,” says the retired intelligence official, who spoke on condition of anonymity. “They obviously work closely and it is not one way — it is mutual. Sometimes they need our support, sometimes we need the support they give us. Sometimes they do things not known to us.” Often the CIA will pay local operatives handsomely to carry out their work, he says.

With respect, that’s a pretty badly contextualized quote. Is this guy saying that there are intelligence officials masquerading as USAID officials? (Wouldn’t be unheard of.) Even still, it’s rare that the United States gets to see what the intelligence partnership looks like through Pakistani eyes.

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