Small Wars Journal

UPDATED: The strange case of Raymond Davis, a 'strategic corporal' in Pakistan

UPDATE: 21 Feb 2011

According to a just-released article in the Washington Post, U.S. officials have confirmed that Raymond Davis is a contract employee of the CIA, responsible for security at a safe house in Lahore. According to the article, a U.S. official presumed that the Pakistani government has known the nature of Davis's work and that today's official confirmation will "make it a hell of a lot harder to get him out." U.S. officials are also concerned about Davis's safety and health while he remains in pre-trial confinement.

Left unsaid was why exactly U.S. officials decided to confirm Davis's status. What this confirmation will mean for Davis and other U.S. government employees in Pakistan, and for the achievement of U.S. objectives in the region, remains to be seen.


16 Feb 2011

In 1999, Gen. Charles Krulak, USMC coined the term "strategic corporal," referring to a low-level soldier whose battlefield decisions could have strategic consequences. Raymond Davis, an "administrative and technical staff" employee at the United States consulate in Lahore, may soon be inducted into the "strategic corporal" Hall of Fame. Davis, now jailed in Lahore and awaiting trial for allegedly murdering two Pakistani men whom Davis claims were attempting to rob him at gunpoint, may accomplish what Osama bin Laden, the Taliban, and ISI scheming have failed to do, namely cause a fundamental break in relations between the United States and Pakistan.

U.S. State Department spokesmen have called for Davis's release under the terms of diplomatic immunity. The Pakistani government has thus far refused and continues to process Davis's criminal case while it reviews his diplomatic status. Meanwhile, authorities in Lahore leaked the police investigation to the local media, which seems to have further inflamed public outrage against Davis and the U.S. government. The U.S. government has cancelled a Feb 23rd meeting with Pakistani and Afghan officials. Activists in Pakistan are threatening Cairo-style protests if Davis is set free.

Davis's case is only the latest in a long line of complaints the U.S. government has against the Pakistani government, most of which center around Pakistan's reluctance to fully cooperate with the U.S. campaign plan in Afghanistan. The U.S. government no doubt already knows that its ability to spring Davis from captivity is inhibited by the same constraint that has limited its ability to compel greater Pakistani compliance concerning Afghanistan. Pakistan's control over supply lines into Afghanistan is a trump card that seems to rank even higher than the billions in aid the U.S. supplies to Pakistan every year.

Pakistan had an opportunity early in the Davis affair to label the two slain men as street thieves and miscreants and to whisk Davis out of the country. The authorities didn't follow this course due to very legitimate fears of a strong backlash from the street, or because some policymakers saw an opportunity to leverage the Davis capture to extract something more from the Americans. With the case having now boiled for over two weeks, it will be extremely difficult for the Pakistani authorities to back down.

The easiest path for U.S. policymakers would be to throw Davis overboard. But they obviously realize that that would set a terrible precedent. The long-term U.S. government strategy for "Af-Pak" contemplates larger long-term diplomatic staffs on both sides of the border, which will include security force assistance trainers and advisors, many of whom will be contractors. If Davis is tossed away, it will become much more difficult to recruit quality individuals for these positions and for those working in the field to be effective at their jobs. If the U.S. government has to pay some sort of ransom to get Davis back, such a payment could create an incentive to arrange more such incidents in the future. Such a downward spiral would cripple the U.S. government's plans to have its diplomats and contractors in the field improving local security in Pakistan and Afghanistan.

What is most surprising about the Davis incident is not that it occurred but that such an incident hasn't happened sooner or more frequently. The Davis incident shows the difficulty the U.S. government has operating inside a country that is hostile to it. Plans to expand that presence will only multiply the risks.


LPierson (not verified)

Tue, 03/01/2011 - 5:02pm

I just couldn't resist....

In the spirit of Omar's unnecessary apology, Carl's observation of Omar's unnecessary apology, and Ken White's aggreement with said postings:

@Raj Kumar-Editor Rupee News-BG Sharaf-Jenny-Mary Beth-GHQ Media Relations-Former Police Precinct Video leaking Constable-Barracks Room Barrister-Now Counsular Services Officer-Susan Berkley-LL-Whomever you are;

Yes, who here are you fooling?

Anyway to all "you" and for all the good fun I have had with this thread:


Anonymous (not verified)

Sat, 02/26/2011 - 3:49am

Raj Kumar if knew the language, you would know that "thank you" is not "Dhanday Bad" , you are phonetically incorrect and and it is never written as 2 words!! You should have at least googled your spelling before you made a fook of yourself. Also, people in Banglaore where you claim to be from use "shukriya" like they do in Pakistan more than they use "dhanyavad" anyday.

Who are you fooling on this forum?

Ken White (not verified)

Sat, 02/26/2011 - 2:32am

Agree with Carl...

carl (not verified)

Sat, 02/26/2011 - 1:29am


No apologies needed. It has all been very enlightening. Maybe it will help open the eyes of some Americans in high places who refuse to see the sun in the sky. If there is even a tiny chance that it might do that it is of very great value.

Want to read anther howler.

The Paks have nabbed another one of these mercenaries err "Diplomats". Heard that US has thousands of these "Consular contractors" in Pakland.

News is that dozens more will be headed to the jail.

This latest one was nabbed in Peshawar and is called DeHaven.

Does that mean Non-Heaven or From-Heaven?

Must be from South Africa or some place exotic!

I love it!

Anonymous (not verified)

Fri, 02/25/2011 - 9:31am

I seriously doubt "Raj Kumar" is Raj Kumar from Bangalore. He probably just made up the pseudo name posing as a Hindu Indian just so that we can't criticize him for being bias!

He is probably all of the following as as Lpierson said: "Raj Kumar-Editor Rupee News-BG Sharaf-Jenny-Mary Beth-GHQ Media Relations-Former Police Precinct Video leaking Constable-Barracks Room Barrister-Now Counsular Services Officer-".

LPierson (not verified)

Fri, 02/25/2011 - 3:16am

@Raj Kumar-Editor Rupee News-BG Sharaf-Jenny-Mary Beth-GHQ Media Relations-Former Police Precinct Video leaking Constable-Barracks Room Barrister-Now Counsular Services Officer-Whomever you are;

Your trouble with me not getting the "other side" of the story is that I actually DO get the other side of the story. ALL most everyone commenting here gets it, except you...

Seen Mr. Davis' visa: Yes. And?

Not on the list of "Diplomats", well no kidding. He was on "Admin and Tech" status, as mentioned MANY times previously in the thread. So?

To answer the anonymous question "Who will be the winner of all this?" Easy, the bank.

carl (not verified)

Fri, 02/25/2011 - 3:12am

Raj Kumar:

Namashkaar. (I hope I used that right.)

My thinking is a bit pretzel like so I will try to straighten it out a bit.

You propose a swapping Mr. Davis for Dr. Aafia. Mr. Davis is an intel agent for the US gov. In the past, swaps involving one intel agent of one gov often involved an intel agent of the other gov. During the cold war that got to be sort of routine if I remember. So with that in mind, can it not be inferred from your proposed swap that Dr. Aafia may be an agent of some kind for the Pakistan gov? I hope that was straighter.


Fri, 02/25/2011 - 12:53am

btw, great minds think alike. You and editor rupee news sahib are remarkably similar in your views about the percentages of Americans who support and hate the US at various points of time. In spite of editor sahib's rather jaundiced view of Hindus, you may get along very well.


Fri, 02/25/2011 - 12:46am

Raj Jee,

Enjoy yourself in Bangalore. In my misguided youth I would have tried to set you right about your extensive assumptions regarding my politics and so on, but I am old now and used to the intertubes. It is what it is..
So, my next "just curious" question: what do regard as your motivation for participating in this discussion? As I said, just curious... guys are too serious--here is some comic relief

Senator Lindsay Graham (R-SC), a loose-tongued member of the Senate Armed Services Committee, also apparently inadvertently slipped up and disclosed on the Senate floor that Davis is an 'agent, saying, "We cant throw this agent over."

Kisses to all!

Ta Taa

Lully, Laura and LUnd Pierson:

Your problem is that you have access to only side of the view. You cannot get the other side of the story.

Foreign Minsiter Mahmood Qureshi categorically said that the "Raymond Davis" was not on the list of diplomats kept in the Foreign Office.

He then resigned. He will testify as such in the court. No back door attempts at placing the roster will work. The roster as it existed on the day of the incident has been published in Pakistani newspapers. Now the embassy is trying to get a new one. The orignal roster does NOT show "Davis" on the list.

Vienna 63 does not give absolute immunity to anyone--consular officers are only covered during the course of thier duties--not on killing sprees. Heinious crimes are not covered under Vienna 63. QED.

Have you seen the visa of "Raymond Davis". It is posted on may sites and on You tube. It clearly not a diplomatic visa. The You tube and channels show how a diplomatic visa looks like.


Your twisted logic cannot be answered--everyone knows what Aafia did and didn't do.

Dr. Aafia Siddiqui is a MIT graduate with a pHD. She is an accomplished researcher and an engineer. She was kidnapped in Pakistan and taken to Baghram Afghanistan (by the likes of "raymond Davis". He kids were abused for five years, and she faced the worst fate any human being can face--daily rape.

No one knows her fault--she has not been charged with anything--other than trying to fir at a marine.

She was convicted for TRYING to shoot a US Marine in Afghanistan after being gang raped in Bagram prison for five years. Her three children faced the same. Baghram "prison" is a series of dumpsters where scraps of old bread is thrown in once in a while.

The prosecution could not produce any bullets fired--even when the brought all the walls. The frail 90 pound Aafia herself was shot in the stomach and the marines did not have any injuries.

Aafia was never charged with terror. She was charged at attempted murder and convicted of 86 years in solitary.

About 100% (give or take a few) of Pakistanis and Afghans loved the USA and Americans in the 90s. Americans used to have a good time in Karachi and Islamabad. Public places wer full of them. US parties invited one and all. US Ambassadors and workers mingled with the crowds at concerts.

It only been a decade. What changed?

It is episodes like Aafia which has transformed the countries into hotbeds of anti-Americanism

They they wonder "why they hate us"?

They don't hate us, they hate the cowboyism.


I am fat dumb and happy in Banglore, I really don't give a shit what the kutloos do.

Better not say more lest by bitter half gets wind on my innner Mahasabah thoughts--she keeps complainng about!!!!!!!!!!!

I only laugh when I see you the so called liberal "wannabees" try to drown out the voice of the masses of Pakistanis.

I only smirk when I see the so called "Liberals" being challenged by the emergent backlash. A few years ago, the Omar-Ali types had full reign of the internet and would not even allow these guys a spot on their blog aggregators. Today they have come back with a vengeance and you guys can't handle it.

I can understand the "Liberals" in India. Aruntdhuti Roy and Romilla Thapar are great human beings but they are small insignificant minority that have no say in national Indian politics. Who cares what they say!

You guys in Pakistan are pathetically outnumbered--and with the new media onslaught your kind has been drowned.

I can only laugh when you try to say that "" means anything in Pakistani politics. It is published only in Karachi--read in Defense only. Defense itself has been over-run with Urdu medium types. The Nawai Waqt publications are published in every city of Pakistan and also overseas. They have a massive following. There is absolutely no comparision. Dawn English TV was unsustainable and had to go to Urdu--and is already in bankruptcy. Geo and Aaaj are the largest channels and they really can eat up several times over.

All your other stuff which tried to personify the folks of Pakistan as war mongering butchers--is utter nonsense which no one believes. Your problem is that you hate your own people and your own pathetic!

Jai Hindh!

from nepal scandal (not verified)

Thu, 02/24/2011 - 1:49pm

Pakistan, too, should show some intelligence in dealing with this problem. After all, we are a signatory to the Vienna Convention, and let us not forget that embarrassing little incident when a Pakistan "diplomat" to Nepal was found to be hiding several hundred pounds of explosives in his home, for recreational purposes only. Furious orange-robed Buddhist monks didnt hold rallies on the streets of Kathmandu, demanding that he be hanged from the nearest mountaintop. Nepalese pundits didnt go on cable television networks, ranting about Pakistani-Nepalese relations being irrevocably damaged by the incident. The Nepalese government quietly asked Pakistan to waive his immunity, and when Pakistan refused - a sensible decision, like all those taken by the government - they expelled the man, who is now enjoying his time as the Pakistani ambassador to Libya.

Anonymous (not verified)

Thu, 02/24/2011 - 1:42pm

CIA was recon. without ISI help.

ISI was tracking CIA.

ISI got caught tracking them.

CIA killed ISI.

ISI is now acting shell-shocked that CIA was doing things behind their back.

By acting like they had nothing to do with the "robbers" using military issued weapons now they can milk more money from CIA by using Raymond as a hostage.

The real question is what will have to be paid to get Raymond released?

Who will be the winner of all this?

carl (not verified)

Thu, 02/24/2011 - 1:13pm

I just read the story posted by Anonymous at 10:20.
That is a great story. Omar, it seems the ISI is upset because the CIA has slipped the leash and is doing some genuine spying on its own rather than merely passing on whatever the ISI chooses to give them. That seems plausible.


Thu, 02/24/2011 - 12:16pm

Raj Jee,
Pakistani Newspaper circulation figures are available from ABC (audit bureau of circulation) and the last time I checked, for English newspapers:
1. Dawn
2. The News

I dont think The Nation was even number 3 (and there is a huge gap between the first two and everyone else). I dont have time, but I am sure your friends can check the figures for you.
Nawai Waqt was the number 2 URDU newspaper, though I am not sure if that is still true, since Express has grown a lot.
Since you are in Bangalore, I assume your main problem here is with the want the US out of Pakistan. Again, just to satisfy my curiosity, do you also want the Daily Mail crowd to go back to their full-frontal India policy or do you envisage a change in that policy (to see what that policy may be, spend time with your friends at rupee news)? Or do you believe the US has not played a role in moderating that policy and getting the US out will not change things anyway? Or do you perhaps feel that the US is actually responsible for the harder anti-Indian features of that policy and things in the subcontinent will improve once the evil hand of the CIA is cut off? Or, maybe you feel the Indian state being very evil and incompetent, a vigorous push from Pakistan is exactly what is needed to bring down this den of iniquity? Just curious.

LPierson (not verified)

Thu, 02/24/2011 - 11:32am

@Raj Kumar-Editor Rupee News-BG Sharaf-Jenny-Mary Beth-GHQ Media Relations-Now Police Precinct Constable-Barracks Room Barrister-Whomever you are;

Dude, you are doing some decent research -- unfortunately WELL after the fact.

ALL nations maintain a roster of those possessing numbered diplomatic visa's. Nothing sensational about that breaking and juicy news tidbit.

Hence the "admin and tech" status for all others, and those visa's are monitored also. Administrative and Technician status are for those who on temporary duty to provide support to the diplomatic mission, be they contractors (which most are) or full time State Department Employees.

And the visa of choice issued by all civilized nations to individuals entering as "admin and tech personnel?" The winner is.... "Business visa." You are tilting against windmills.

So....As an honest and impeccable Pakistani voice, you can now admit the two "unfortunate wayward boys" were not petty criminals just trying to make a go of it in the shadow of western capitalist controlled global economy were they?

They were indeed members of the ISI on an op weren't they?

And the dirty little facts that they were in possession of Army issued firearms, ammunition, pistol belts and ammo pouches seen under their shirts (as witnessed and recorded by Pakistani press) as they were hauled off from the scene can't be swept under the rug.


Another question: How did all those press personnel get on the scene so quickly to report essentially the same by-line narrative? It seems likely (and apparent) the by-line was already written. Just how could that be?

sanskrit (not verified)

Thu, 02/24/2011 - 11:23am

Namashkar is another way of saying Namaste. Its a greeting in Sanskrit that people use when they greet people hello or goodbye while folding their hands together.

It more or less means "I bow to the divine within you".

sanskrit (not verified)

Thu, 02/24/2011 - 11:21am

Namashkar is another way of saying Namaste. Its a greeting in Sanskrit that people use when they greet people hello or goodbye.

It means "I salute the divine within you".

hindi (not verified)

Thu, 02/24/2011 - 11:20am

Namashkar is another way of saying Namaste. Its a greeting Hindus use when they meet people.

It means "I salute the divine within you".

carl (not verified)

Thu, 02/24/2011 - 7:33am

Raj Kumar:

You stated "The best deal is a swap with Dr. Aafia."

Now Mr. Davis is an agent of the US gov. If the swap you mentioned were made, wouldn't that be a de-facto admission that Dr. Aafia was also an agent of the Pakistan gov based on the principle of a like for a like? Also by proposing such a deal are you not, in effect dismissing the importance of those two gallant young souls dispatched by Mr. Davis? If that was done it would be a straight up spy for a terrorist deal, the two dead heroes just being fuel to heat up the political pressure.

What does "Namashkaar" mean?

Gallows or not, the message has been sent to all "contractors". Anecdotal evidence suggests that many of these mercenariness have already left.

The Pakistanis are going through every visa with a fine tooth comb--those who have not left will be deported.

Future visas will be scrutinized closely. The issues is that the Embassy will not longer be able to play the "lets sneak in a pre-dated visa and get it installed retroactively"

That is why the Pakistani Foreign Office, like the Indian Ministry of External Affairs keeps a roster of all diplomatic immunity visas, so that there is no confusion. "Davis" was not on that list.

It seems Mr. "Davis" is under severe psychological pressure--and was sobbing the other day. He must feel that the CIA has dumped him by admitting to his status.

He should have fled--he hung around and was caught. Kayani met Mullen in Oman---it would be very hard for Zardari to release "Davis"--extremely difficult.

The best deal is a swap with Dr. Aafia.


The Nawai Waqt Group is the largest. is a very small circulation--and that too only in Karachi. It is not a nationwide paper. The News is a new paper, but Nation and Nawai Waqt are published all over Pakistan in every city.

Shireen Mazari has not changed anything. Have you ever heard Majeed Nizami--is is ten times more hardline than Shireen Mazari.

>>US commentators would have fewer delusions >>about the people who actually run Pakistan >>and what they are thinking.

US commentators base their policies on Ahmed Rashid, Najam Sethi and Haqqani. They don't even invite The Nation to their press conferences.

That is the issue. No wonder the US policy is so messed up.

The base of the country doesn't read reads Nawai Waqt.

The policies are based on the elites' point of view--hence the disconnect.

I am from Banglore. My wife is Pakistani. I married her when I was teaching in the NCA in Lahore. We live in Banglore


Wed, 02/23/2011 - 10:16pm

Raj Jee,

relax, I am not suggesting that these sites be shut down. I am saying that Americans should read them just like many middle class and military-sympathizing Pakistanis do. Maybe then US commentators would have fewer delusions about the people who actually run Pakistan and what they are thinking.
Just out of curiosity, which country are you from? (in the interest of fairness, I am happy to tell you that I am from Pakistan).
The Nation is certainly NOT the biggest newspaper in Pakistan..not by miles. Both "The News" and "Dawn" have much larger circulations. With Shireen Mazari as editor, the editorial viewpoint is now solidly aligned with traditional army-style Pakistani nationalism (intense hatred of India, paranoia, the delusion that China will be even more generous than Uncle Sam and so on, you know the drill..)

I wouldn't expect gallows to get involved. I'd guess that he'll be held until popular attention passes on and the case has been milked for all that can be had from it, and then slipped out the back door in exchange for some package of concessions. At this point the Pakistani government hasn't much choice: giving him up now would be politically... disadvantageous, to put it way beyond mildly.

All we know for sure about the case is that everything either side says is a lie, as you'd expect with such goings on. The only people who really know what was up aren't saying, so anyone saying anything is speculating. Unfortunately the rather obvious nature of the lies encourages and lends credibility to the wildest speculations, but that too is to be expected...

Lully, Laura and Lund Pierson;

>>He is what he says he is

If that is so, he is not a diplomat--he is a contractor

>>His presence in Pakistan was fully known, approved and supported by GoP.

The presence may have been known--but he cross the red lines. That is why he was being followed.

He is not a diplomat (Vienna 61). Even the US Embassy has claimed that he is a "Contractor" (Vienna 63)--but that has several loopholes. Vienna 63 allows folks to be tried under local law in case of "grave crimes". Of course he is not even entitle to Consular employee status. He is a common criminal who is going to face the gallows!--that is why he is sobbing like a baby and singing like a bird. All his contact have now been "contacted"!

Omar-jee: Namashkaar.

Earlier you had list as part of this "vast right wing conspiracy". For your kind information and broadcasting The Nation (Nawai Waqt Group) is Pakistan largest selling newspaper which goes head to head with Jang.

.."These are NOT fringe sites"

In other words, they represent the majority point of view--"nationalistic" to Pakistan.

Not only are not fringe sites--but they are also extremely popular--filling a niche.Do they make the message, or simply reflect the mood of the Pakistanis.

Would you suggest that they be muffled? Are you suggesting that they don't have a right to portray their point of view?

>>direct consequences regarding the judgments >>made by American decision makers

You mean to say that these papers should beguile the Americans with soft balls, lies and deceipt like Zardari does?

Case in point---the US media hid the CIA connections of Mr. "Davis" on orders from the US Government. It was the publications that you mentioned who first broke the news that "Davis" was a spy. Of course you didn't believe them at the time--till the Guardian broke the gag order and opened the flood-gates.

You hate these sites, the readers love them--that is why they are proliferating. Their teams work hard and present analysis that is unique and not available anywhere else.

With all due apologies, who died and left you "God"? Why would anyone listen to you sitting in judgment on "hard core Pakistani nationalism". Why would "Soft Core Pakistani Nationalism" be better?..worse still why would Anti-Pakistanism be good?

What is so diabolical about this? Aren't there tons of US sites that represent the US point of view. Doesn't WSJ present that. Doesn't represent the Indian point of view?

You make it sound is if the Pakistanis are doing something unique.

Granted you don't like the Pakistani Nationalists and you personally agree with the US point of view--but that is minority point of view with hardly any takers. The entire world knows how you are slammed on the internet for your CIA point of views.

LPierson (not verified)

Tue, 02/22/2011 - 1:29am

@ Raj Kumar-Editor Rupee News-BG Sharaf-Jenny-Mary Beth-GHQ-Whomever you are;

There is nothing to take back.

Mr. Davis is who he says he is, the leaked passport scans, the leaked police station videos, the statements etc., all clearly state he is a security contractor in Pakistan under "Admin and Tech" status. His presence in Pakistan was fully known, approved and supported by GoP.

As Madhu mentioned, there isn't anyone writing here claiming that Ray Davis was working as a sheeply and benign member of the hand-out patron band known as diplomats. Ray Davis is a security contractor.

All the finger-wagging, "lecturing of the raj" with circular reporting, and attempts at barracks barristerisms has been nothing more than poor exercise.

Now, since 'we're a-askin' questions": Why was Mr. Davis et. al. being tailed for an hour or more by two supposed armed robbers on motorcycles? Especially as it was reported that both were in possession of plenty of ill-gotten gain? Why waste their efforts on hard targets such as moving vehicles? That tale has been the most laughable (along with the bleating about "illegal firearms").

Likely these characters with the convenient criminal records, weren't.

Lastly, in line with what Madhu pointed out, and in keeping with the thread; Rent seeking for sure. And Mr. Davis is that singular strategic individual, whether it be for good or for worse.


Tue, 02/22/2011 - 12:41am

And Raj Jee, you may find this fairly standard piece by the London Post's senior strategic analyst, Mr. "Tariq Majeed" an illuminating window into the mindset:

and more relevant to this case:

My point in posting these links is not to have harmless fun. These are NOT fringe sites in the same way as neonazi sites are fringe sites in the US blogosphere. These sites represent the hardcore Pakistani nationalist viewpoint and the mindset that drives the entire stable of publications (London post, Daily Mail,, rupee news, PKKH, etc) is very easy to identify, but remarkably they are able to "hide in full view" as far as the American strategic blogosphere is concerned. This ignorance has direct consequences regarding the judgments made by American decision makers and it will be better for all concerned if everyone knows where the other party stands...

Madhu (not verified)

Mon, 02/21/2011 - 11:48pm

<em>Since when did SWJ become the new paki twitter? And no one has answered Carl's question above. And I doubt it will. At least not by this crowd.</em>

I disagree with the tenor of your comment, <strong>duck</strong>. The conversation above illustrates exactly Mr. Haddick's point. We dumped a bunch of money and operatives into an environment where something like this was bound to happen. The Deep State plays for keeps and we thought we could navigate it without an incident like this? That is what is being displayed in the comments.

Some of us are pointing out that our strategy is a mess because our think tankers and military planners and DC-strategists misunderstood regional motivations and planned badly.

If someone <em>had</em> bothered to pay attention to Pak Twitter, maybe we wouldn't be in this situation. Our assumptions were based on fantasy.

To take a stab at answering your question, I think it would be exceedingly bad politically for any American politician to cut the man loose, so I am assuming that some weird deal is being played out behind the scenes.

Either way, the Pak Army/ISI has played its hand beautifully. They will get more money, or a particular promise regarding future Afghan negotiations, or a prisoner in exchange, or maybe, weaken the civilian government of Zardari for its favored political party.

That's my guess but that place is wheels within wheels within wheels, so who knows? And this is the country where our naive PC-COIN development types thought they could partially nation build, a la the vaunted "whole of government" AfPak regional strategy?

Like I said above: Please!

So, all of that is being displayed in the thread for lurkers if you are bothering to pay attention.

Personally, I think this is one of the better threads around here because it breaks through the utter BS we hear day in and day out from the Generals and Admirals and assorted DC politicos. "Our great partnership with blah blah blah...."

Hey duck: The response to your quak is "We are here because th matherchode 'crackers' and honkies were there"

Hey Lully, Laura and Lund Pierson:

Take everything you said back…

Hey Omar Ali--This is not from the "Daily Mail" its from the Guardian--and yes it does quote the NY Times

Confirmation that he worked for Xe could prove even more problematic than working for the CIA, given the extent of hatred towards Blackwater, whose staff have gained a reputation in Pakistan as trigger-happy. For Pakistanis the word "Blackwater" has become a byword for covert American operations targeting the country's nuclear capability. Newspaper reports have been filled with lurid reports of lawless operatives roaming the country.

US officials have reiterated their concern about Lahore's Kot Lakhpat jail where Davis is being held, saying he had been moved to a separate section of the prison, that the guards' guns had been taken away from for fear they might kill him, and that detainees had been previously killed by guards. They are also concerned about protesters storming the prison or that he might be poisoned, and that dogs were being used to taste or smell the food for poison.

However, the authorities in Pakistan stressed the stringent measures they have put in place to protect Davis in Kot Lakhpat following angry public rallies in which his effigy was burned and threats from extremist clerics.

PJ Crowley, the US state department spokesman, said: "Obviously, we are concerned about his safety. We have had multiple conversations with the government of Pakistan regarding his current surroundings. They have told us that he is in the safest possible location in Lahore. And clearly, we hold the government of Pakistan fully responsible for his safety."

Surveillance cameras are trained on his cell in an isolation wing, and a ring of paramilitary troops are posted outside. About 25 jihadi prisoners have been transferred to other facilities.

The revelations about Davis will complicate further the impasse between the US and Pakistan. Washington says he has diplomatic immunity and should be released but the Pakistan government is in a bind, facing the danger of a public backlash if it complies.

Until Sunday, the US had said Davis was a diplomat, doing technical and administrative work at the embassy. It says that because he has diplomatic immunity, he should be released immediately.

Hey Carl: The lies have been exposed


Are you claiming that the Daily Mail is not a legitimate publication?

What did you smoke for breakfast today?

Daily Mail is a very popular UK publication, which has been in business for centuries. The Daily Mail,was first published in 1896 by Lord Northcliffe, it is the United Kingdom's second biggest-selling daily newspaper after The Sun.
Its sister paper The Mail on Sunday was launched in 1982. Its online edition is called Mail Online.

You didn't give us any example--you Sir (with all due apologies) are not making any sense. Can you give us an example?

You made a charge. If you can't back it up--then you have lost all credibility.

1) Your points are very confusing too..the Pakistan Government did go after him in a big way--despite threats of aid cutoff, "Raymond" remains behind bars..

2) He was being followed, he lost his cool and then he was arrested. Very simple. Splits between the government? Did you want it to be a monolith?

and so on...

duck (not verified)

Mon, 02/21/2011 - 10:31pm

Since when did SWJ become the new paki twitter? And no one has answered Carl's question above. And I doubt it will. At least not by this crowd.

LPierson (not verified)

Sun, 02/20/2011 - 3:28am


Pundita is a interesting read to say the least. More on that in another thread.

Brig Gen (Retired)Sharaf,

I have to say the prose used in your post (as well as Rupee News Editor) is a confortable read. But comfortable prose does not make what is written truthful.

It is clear there was a purpose to this pre-meditated and delibrate incident. However the clarity of purpose did not originate in the conspiracy you or others outline.

In fact, those who sought this confrontation did not calculate the end result; further it is highly likely the choreography figured for the security detail to submit to motorcyclists waiving guns in their faces with nary a wimper. The cold-blooded intent lays elsewhere.

Some points of "evidence" you state: "Raymond Davis' firing spree is no suprise." "The motorcyclists had been trailing the landcruiser and Raymond's toyota for over an hour"; "... at some point it was agreed that Davis would kill the motorcyclists, and in the confusion thereof, the land cruiser would get away with its high value occupants."; " The conflicting reports of identity coming from Raymond himself, the US Consulate and Embassy, and the White House Spokesperson lent credence to the suspicion that perhaps the State Department neither knew the true role of Davis, nor his real identity. A quick check of his company on the web raised doubts."

All very interesting, but the above raises more questions than answers. So how is it that it is known that the motorcyclists were trailing for an hour? Especially since both motorcyclists were slain? Unless of course they were reporting to someone during the course of their surveillance. And that is what their efforts were weren't they?

There is no ambiguity about Mr. Davis' identity. It is clear that Mr. Davis was known to GoP, that his presence was allowed and sanctioned by GoP. Otherwise why did he give himself up to the police without a struggle or make an attempt to flee.

Is it indeed likely this was a sting operation. A sting operation concocted and organized not by nefarious and bumbling US spies, but by those that seek to manipulate global affairs. Again one of many provocations that have occurred over past 12-16 months.

If Pakistan wants to assert its soverignity, assert it while fixing your relationship with India.

carl (not verified)

Sun, 02/20/2011 - 1:20am

Brig. Gen. Sharaf:

You mentioned the escalation of drone strikes. You did not mention that those drones are based in Pakistan and operate with the approval of Pakistani authorities. If those authorities do not like the drone strikes, they can stop them at any time, yet they do not. Why is that?

You made the following statement-"It is time Pakistan uses this opportunity to reassert itself, as a sovereign, stable and independent nation." I agree with you and hope that this comes to pass. Pakistan can start by not cashing those aid checks the United States sends and not accepting any in the future. Speaking as a taxpayer it might save me some money. It is time we saw the sun in the sky anyway.

Raymond Davis firing spree is no surprise. This was the unsaid message of Obamas third surge and comes to pass with alacrity like many other violent incidents in Pakistan; drones escalation to the use of banned sectarian outfits and undercover sting operations.

This incidence is a tip of the proverbial iceberg and can be made a case study to convince the rulers that it is better for the nation to pass through a river of fire, than be plunged into an abyss where history is forlorn. It is time Pakistan uses this opportunity to reassert itself, as a sovereign, stable and independent nation.
From the various versions of the event that led to the killing of two Pakistanis and the crushing to death of a bystander by a US Consulate land cruiser, it appears that the entire operation was premeditated, deliberate and cold blooded. It had a purpose.
The motorcyclists had been trailing the land cruiser and Raymonds Honda for over an hour. The US nationals camera with photos testifies his activities. Chased by a motorcycle, the peak traffic hours made it impossible to achieve a clean break. As in sting operations, at some point it was agreed that Davis would kill the motorcyclists and in the confusion thereof, the land cruiser would get away with its high value occupants. In this extraordinary situation, he complied. However, his escape was prevented by the highly charged and emotional mob that gathered at the scene. Confident, that the US influence and pressure will ensure his safety and exit, Davis showed remarkable cool in his line of duty. In Pakistan, one could get away with anything. On two previous occasions, he had managed his way.
However, this was not to be. The quick media reporting and public anger forced the police to escort him to the police station.

The conflicting reports of identity coming from Raymond himself, the US Consulate and Embassy, and the White House Spokesperson lent credence to the suspicion that perhaps the State Department neither knew the true role of Davis, nor his real identity. A quick check of his company on the web raised doubts.

As arrogance and contempt for the law of the land becomes more apparent by the Consulates refusal to hand over the land cruiser and its occupants to the local police, so does the intent and purpose of American covert operations in Pakistan. Some reports suggest that the valued cache of the car is already in USA.

The operation gone awry was so important that John Kerry, the Chairman of the Foreign Relations Committee, had to make a dash to Pakistan. Meanwhile the urgency was so grave that before Kerry could land, President Barack Obama censured and demanded Pakistan to release the assassin. At the same time, a segment of the liberal media in Pakistan portrayed Kerry as a friend of Pakistan; ironically a man who played the crucial role in the closure of BCCI and who as Chairman of the Foreign Relations Committee always exercised an elastic conscience.

LPierson (not verified)

Sun, 02/20/2011 - 6:20pm

BG Sharaf,

This has nothing to do with illegal firearms, the illegal arms ruse is a very feeble strawman. There are plenty Glock .40 S&W caliber sidearms carried by security personnel, both diplomatic and commercial, in Pakistan. This kind of dishonesty is beneath you.

This is about an American and how he and this incident can be used to re-order Pakistani political machinations.

The UK'S Guardian would declare "Ms. Piggy" from Sesame Street a spy if it suited their purpose. It is meaningless to parrot Mr. Cory's questions as they are nothing more than shrill attempts at rhetoric.

Yes his wife provided contact numbers that could be attributed to the CIA, and this gem" "...It's beyond a shadow of a doubt," said a senior Pakistani intelligence official." All of this circumstantial data still does not prove that he was anything other than what he claimed to be, a security consultant/contractor in Pakistan on "Admin and Tech" status. Even your Interior Minister, Rehman Malik, acknowledges knowing Mr. Davis' status etc.

Again, it must be pointedly asked, why were the motorcyclists trailing Mr. Davis for over an hour, and how would anyone know they were? Unless they were part of a GoP surveillance effort; which of course would mean they were acting under orders and required to report to a superior. Dead men cannot speak, but their superiors surely can. Given the hysteria mongering, the leaked police information/reports, and leaked police station videos, it is certain those with a malicious intent are speaking loudly.

I have seen the word "pedagogical" used by more than one author, and in more than one entry on this thread. And the context of use is the same. So, are we to sit down, cross our little arms, and close our impudent mouths and await the lecture?

Please my good sir, is your clinging to hyper-nationalism really necessary?

Please see th story in the fiercely independent and respectable British newspaper The Guardian

The Guardian concludes that "Raymond Davis" was a CIA spy and not a diploamt --"beyond a shadow of a doubt".

Please note that when the wife was contacted by news agencies, she referred them to phone numbers which belong to the CIA.

Corly of the Independent asks "What kind of a diplomat carries" an armed gun.

It is pedagogical to note that Mr. "Raymond Davis" wasn't just carrying an ordinary pistol--he was carrying a Block gun (a customized .40 caliber gun which is banned in most countries of the world).

Diplomats do not carry guns, specially banned guns. Pakistani Law does not allow unlicensed arms to be carried by anyone--and diplomats are not allowed to carry arms. This would be a violation of any possible immunity.

As far as Pakistani complicity in drone attacks is concerned, this has been denied by the president, the Prime Minister and all ministers. No Pakistani official can violate the constitution, supersede UN resolutions and allow the bombing. This is an illegal act. The Pakistani National Assembly has unanimously repudiated the drone attacks. The US a nation of laws should not use this excuse to justify "war crimes".

Madhu (not verified)

Sat, 02/19/2011 - 12:16pm

<strong>@ Omar</strong> - sadly, I think you are right. We will pay for a soft exit. And we won't have learned a thing about romanticizing a rent-an-ally. The back of Tora Bora was never going to be sealed no matter how fondly high level types remembered the 80s and working together. Or else were afraid to rock the boat too much during the fog of war. Introducing special forces "antibodies" and all of that. I suppose the latter is more likely. Most messes happen because of human error, not poor intent.

<strong>@ carl</strong> - when I first used "sahibism" on this blog I meant roughly what <strong>LPierson</strong> is saying: the "raj" lecture and "raj" mentality. A culture to jolly along the British remained after Partition and its particular skills and charms were then turned on Americans eager to fight the Soviets back in the day. It's one thing to buy into that stuff when we were caught in an epic struggle with the Soviets but it's another to let it inform our policies today. The "raj" lecture has many more subtle forms and it <em>does</em> work on our high level civilian decision-makers and military brass. One can see the evidence of it today and in the original Administration strategy for "Af-Pak". You might like to go back and read the original document. It's eerie. It's chilling. It has the same level of assumption as the our-friends-will-seal-the-back-of-Tora Bora crowd originally made.

I know this is a site dedicated to small wars but I think human motivation and human desire is one of the most important things to understand before you can make decent war plans of any type.

Sanctuaries exist in the mind too. Where there is a will....

<strong>Charles Hill</strong> has written a book on literature and Grand Strategy and I've wanted to read it for some time because I think literature helps you understand human motivations. <strong>Robert C. Jones</strong> makes the same sort of points, too, although I don't always agree with his specific recommendations. He gets the motivation part right though. He's right on track with that. Fascinating theories.…

On literature and how it can inform Grand Strategies.

<strong>Pundita</strong> is a blogger who has described much of the cultural mentality of sahibism:…

Those are my theories but I may very well be wrong. Wouldn't be the first time. If this stuff was easy, all of our problems would have been solved by now.

LPierson (not verified)

Sat, 02/19/2011 - 2:07am

Angry-Rupee News-Shill-lecturing-the-Raj-Dude,

Who was the "we" that was invited to that fateful party??? Might it be the same "we" you are now writing for?

The only way Jaamat Islami got any American money was through.... dare I say it? Likely not directly from the US....???

Nextly. Your reference to Mr, Davis' visa situation marks you as part and parcel of the conspiracy. How would it be that Mr. Davis was PNG'D, then allowed to stay until his visa expires? "That dog don't hunt." Regardless, his status is truly and undeniably known, understood and agreed to by the GoP. You sir, are not telling the truth.

Again the discussion thread is regarding the strategic impact of a single individual, whether good or bad. And to re-state Mr. Haddick's words:
"What is most surprising about the Davis incident is not that it occurred but that such an incident hasnt happened sooner or more frequently. The Davis incident shows the difficulty the U.S. government has operating inside a country that is hostile to it. Plans to expand that presence will only multiply the risks."


By the way, isn't combining liberal with facism into a single word counterintuitive? I'll leave the "wannabe WOG" comment to lay for all to see.


You were in diapers when we visited the US Embassy in the morning on November 22nd 1979--we had been invited to a party--which actually did happen---more folks are killed in NY on a Sunday afternoon--more died in the Columbine shooting.

The Jamat e Islami at the time was very pro-American party getting Dollars from the US, while the liberals used to be Pro-Soviet taking out processions in favor of the USSR. Fiaz and party was all committed communists.

>> "It is highly likely that Mr. Davis is what >>he says he is..."

which means he was a "consultant"--not a diplomat.

The Shilling went obsolete decades ago, the sun et on the "raj" half a century ago, the Union Jack is just another flag in the comity of nations piggy-backing on a Superpower seeking out old glory, in search of a voice like the stuttering monarch of yester-year. It has no significance to todays world.

The Pakistani nation is solidly behind the trial and incarceration of a murderer.

After being thrown out of PK, he was being followed and tracked--Mr. Davis's application for diplomatic status was not accepted. On expiration of his visa, he would be sent back.

Mr. "Davis" shot the men from the the front windshield. Obviously the bikers who had supposedly been trailing him were no fleeing. He shot them in the back. One cannot defy gravity or make bullets turn around and go backwards.

"Great deal of time" means nothing. How much time is that? a few days in the Interncontinental mixing with the Anglo-Indians? Doesn't count and doesn't matter a "hay-penny".

The peanut gallery has also spoken--nothing worth mentioning, just eulogizing the liberal-fascism that is so fashionable in the wannabe WOGs.

>>I don't know what the demeanor and >>mannerisms of a trained mercenary and killer

Shooting two bikers in the back, then stopping the car getting out and pumping at least five bullets into the fallen kids and then taking pictures of them--this is the demented of a cold blooded killer

>>Cyril Almeida

The druggies left-over hangover from the sixties has no following except in (which has a declining readership, and a failed TV station). The paper continues its march towards bankruptcy propagating bankrupt ideas which have no affect on the common man. Recently Mr. Sethi was drummed out of Dunya TV--Mr. Omar Ali represents these losers.

This is may last comment

Please continue to worship the writings of Mr. Omar Ali and continue the rah rah. We are outa here

What? (not verified)

Sat, 02/19/2011 - 12:37am

Editor Sahib,

Aap ne kuch piya kya?

LPierson (not verified)

Sat, 02/19/2011 - 12:27am

Rupee News Dude:

It is doubtful that GHQ'S hubris doesn't allow itself to understand Pakistan...

Mr. Davis shot two individuals carrying pistols and ammunition belts under their shirts, your oft listed myriad of Pakistani "news" sources don't even TRY to deny that piece of info.

I didn't claim anything. To repeat, I stated: "It is highly likely that Mr. Davis is what he says he is..." Again for the benefit of willingly ignorant, contractors of all sorts, be they repairmen or security, are used by everyone's embassies, worldwide. They are brought in to their country's respective embassies under temporary "admin & tech status" because they are not claimed nor counted on the roles as permanent. EVERYBODY does that, to include Pakistan. And he was likely given a business visa because of a Pakistani requirement and not because of ruse. I think if you do some research on this "visa" thing you will find I am correct

Nextly. IF he were a real spy, and if he were declared "persona non-grata" and tossed from the Khyber region, why was that PNG not extended to expedite his immediate and forthtight ouster? (You know, "get out now, do not pass go, do not collect $200.00", that kind of ouster...) Again, it is likely he was what he claimed he was, and just as likely the GoP knew what he status was.

Why not reveal the "juiciest parts" now, instead of "later?" Unless there needs to be more time allotted to fabricate the juice.

For your memory jolt (either you weren't born when the follwoing occurred, or....)

The US Embassy in Islamabad was destroyed 21 November 1979 by a Jamaat-Islami led mob, incited by a rumor put out by Ayatollah Khomeni. GHQ dispatched an infantry company to attempt to quell the problem "a day late and a dollar short" as the embassy was near complete collapse and the surrounding structures were completely in flames. T'wernt just a bunch of students. Four embassy personnel died as a result that so-called little riot.

Dude, do several things for yourself: 1) Cut out the shill and the "raj" lecture for whomever, its unbecoming and real transparent, 2) Try to understand the audience members here are not neophytes and ignorant, some of us actually spent a GREAT deal of time in your country, and 3) don't deflect the discussion thread.