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Kirk releases video on Haqqani network and Pakistan’s ISI

Mark Kirk (R-IL) is not just a U.S. senator, he’s also a Naval Reserve officer who spent two weeks in August serving in Afghanistan. Suffice to say, his trip didn’t change his longstanding criticism of Pakistan’s refusal to cut ties between the Inter Services Intelligence (ISI), its spy agency, and the Pakistan-based Haqqani network. "Since ...

Mark Kirk (R-IL) is not just a U.S. senator, he's also a Naval Reserve officer who spent two weeks in August serving in Afghanistan. Suffice to say, his trip didn't change his longstanding criticism of Pakistan's refusal to cut ties between the Inter Services Intelligence (ISI), its spy agency, and the Pakistan-based Haqqani network.

"Since 1995, the ISI and Haqqani network have maintained a strong relationship with the goal of establishing a terrorist, Islamic state in Afghanistan," Kirk said in a newly released video on his recent time there. "The Pakistani government continues to provide financing, operational support, and protection for the Haqqani network in Western Pakistan. This includes advanced notice of impending drone strikes against it leaders and bomb-making facilities in northwestern Waziristan."

Kirk also said that the ISI provided the Haqqani network with planning and operational support for their Sept. 12 attack on the U.S. embassy and NATO headquarters in Kabul. He called on the administration to press the Pakistani government to cut ties with the Haqqanis and he said it may be time for the United States to cut financial assistance to Pakistan.

Mark Kirk (R-IL) is not just a U.S. senator, he’s also a Naval Reserve officer who spent two weeks in August serving in Afghanistan. Suffice to say, his trip didn’t change his longstanding criticism of Pakistan’s refusal to cut ties between the Inter Services Intelligence (ISI), its spy agency, and the Pakistan-based Haqqani network.

"Since 1995, the ISI and Haqqani network have maintained a strong relationship with the goal of establishing a terrorist, Islamic state in Afghanistan," Kirk said in a newly released video on his recent time there. "The Pakistani government continues to provide financing, operational support, and protection for the Haqqani network in Western Pakistan. This includes advanced notice of impending drone strikes against it leaders and bomb-making facilities in northwestern Waziristan."

Kirk also said that the ISI provided the Haqqani network with planning and operational support for their Sept. 12 attack on the U.S. embassy and NATO headquarters in Kabul. He called on the administration to press the Pakistani government to cut ties with the Haqqanis and he said it may be time for the United States to cut financial assistance to Pakistan.

"In these times of government deficits and debt, it may be time to cut the hundreds of millions of dollars we send to Pakistan. It may also be time to forge a new alliance with the world’s biggest democracy, India," Kirk said.

This is sure to be a main topic of discussion when Secretary of State Hillary Clinton arrives in Pakistan later this week.

Josh Rogin covers national security and foreign policy and writes the daily Web column The Cable. His column appears bi-weekly in the print edition of The Washington Post. He can be reached for comments or tips at josh.rogin@foreignpolicy.com.

Previously, Josh covered defense and foreign policy as a staff writer for Congressional Quarterly, writing extensively on Iraq, Afghanistan, Guantánamo Bay, U.S.-Asia relations, defense budgeting and appropriations, and the defense lobbying and contracting industries. Prior to that, he covered military modernization, cyber warfare, space, and missile defense for Federal Computer Week Magazine. He has also served as Pentagon Staff Reporter for the Asahi Shimbun, Japan's leading daily newspaper, in its Washington, D.C., bureau, where he reported on U.S.-Japan relations, Chinese military modernization, the North Korean nuclear crisis, and more.

A graduate of George Washington University's Elliott School of International Affairs, Josh lived in Yokohama, Japan, and studied at Tokyo's Sophia University. He speaks conversational Japanese and has reported from the region. He has also worked at the House International Relations Committee, the Embassy of Japan, and the Brookings Institution.

Josh's reporting has been featured on CNN, MSNBC, C-Span, CBS, ABC, NPR, WTOP, and several other outlets. He was a 2008-2009 National Press Foundation's Paul Miller Washington Reporting Fellow, 2009 military reporting fellow with the Knight Center for Specialized Journalism and the 2011 recipient of the InterAction Award for Excellence in International Reporting. He hails from Philadelphia and lives in Washington, D.C. Twitter: @joshrogin

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