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Update to previous Afghanistan post.

21 January, 2010

Robert Gates, now Defense Secretary, responds to Pakistan’s rebuff from Pakistan. Keep in mind that it was his CIA that helped destabilize the region in order to defeat the U.S.S.R.

Before arriving in Islamabad, Mr Gates told reporters travelling with him from India: “You can’t ignore one part of this cancer and pretend that it won’t have some impact closer to home.”

His visit comes amidst a slight cooling in relations between the two allies. In an article published in a Pakistani newspaper on Thursday, Mr Gates referred to a “trust deficit”.  BBC [bold emphasis mine]

The lifelong “public servants” in Washington hope you won’t remember what happened under their watch thirty years ago and how it has continually affected the U.S. (mostly to the advantage of the military complex and to the disadvantage of the general public).

General Eisenhower, a warrior and a president, tried to warn us.1961

But each proposal must be weighed in the light of a broader consideration: the need to maintain balance in and among national programs — balance between the private and the public economy, balance between cost and hoped for advantage — balance between the clearly necessary and the comfortably desirable; balance between our essential requirements as a nation and the duties imposed by the nation upon the individual; balance between actions of the moment and the national welfare of the future. Good judgment seeks balance and progress; lack of it eventually finds imbalance and frustration.

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This conjunction of an immense military establishment and a large arms industry is new in the American experience. The total influence — economic, political, even spiritual — is felt in every city, every State house, every office of the Federal government. We recognize the imperative need for this development. Yet we must not fail to comprehend its grave implications. Our toil, resources and livelihood are all involved; so is the very structure of our society.

In the councils of government, we must guard against the acquisition of unwarranted influence, whether sought or unsought, by the militaryindustrial complex. The potential for the disastrous rise of misplaced power exists and will persist.

We must never let the weight of this combination endanger our liberties or democratic processes. We should take nothing for granted. Only an alert and knowledgeable citizenry can compel the proper meshing of the huge industrial and military machinery of defense with our peaceful methods and goals, so that security and liberty may prosper together. [bold emphases mine]

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