Friday, February 13, 2009

Comment on Belmont Club "Mumbai in Kabul"

When you have a pre-existing organization with a life independent of the legal authority recognized by the international community it is not analogous to a subordinate military department in a constitutional democracy. In Morton Kaplan's Systems and Process terms you have a subsystem dominant system. Foreigners mistake the ISI, or the Palestinian Islamic Jihad, as the equivalent of the American CIA. Then they compound the error by fantasizing that the CIA is itself a shadow government. Individuals or cabals within the CIA can be obstructive. In the ISI there are not rogue elements. There are representatives of the organization who got caught. There may be factions within the ISI, as in any organization. As a whole though the ISI can be considered more cohesive, more "system dominant" than the State of Pakistan that it is embedded in.

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