Admiral Mike Mullen’s speech to lawmakers last week accusing Pakistan’s intelligence service of colluding with the Haqqani insurgent group was inaccurate and overstated, according to anonymous officials speaking with the Washington Post.
A senior Pentagon official with access to intelligence files on Pakistan said Mullen’s language “overstates the case,” because there is little evidence of direct control or cooperation with the Haqqanis. Mullen suggested otherwise and cited the recent 20-hour attack on the US Embassy in Kabul as a case in point.
“The Pakistani government has been dealing with Haqqani for a long time and still sees strategic value in guiding Haqqani and using them for their purposes,” the Post quoted the official as saying. But “it’s not in their interest to inflame us in a way that an attack on a [U.S.] compound would do.”
A senior aide to Mullen, Capt. John Kirby, said the accusations were designed to influence the Pakistanis to sever ties and crack down on the Haqqani network. “I don’t think the Pakistani reaction was unexpected,” he said.
Mullen’s critique of Pakistan’s alleged proxy war were hypocritical in nature, given the America’s own funding of terrorist proxies and abuse of Pakistan’s alliance with the US. But hypocritical may not be the worst of it if his very serious accusations were knowingly inaccurate.