Rep. Mike Rogers, chairman of the House Intelligence Committee, acknowledged the complicated relationship between the United States and Pakistan during an address at the Center for Strategic and International Studies Tuesday.
Rogers, who recently returned from talks in Pakistan with top military and intelligence leaders, says the U.S. has to demand greater transparency from their ally in order to maintain trust between the two nations. Here are some excerpts from his speech:
"I tell you it is still the most frustrating relationship I think the United States finds itself in, certainly the most complicated. It is soon to be a rising nuclear power. It has extremist elements, meaning it will move up, by the way, on the list of sheer number of weapons and systems that it possesses. It will edge out some of the other nuclear powers in the world. It is a place that has extremist areas in the tribal regions that we all know about. I came away from this this time with just the strong realization that Pakistan today is an army with a country, not a country with an army."
"Now, they had a choice, after the Osama bin Laden raid, two roads they could have taken. One, yes, it was a horribly embarrassing event for them. I understand that. They could have said we are going to redouble our efforts with the United States. We are going to fight extremism. We are going to fight terrorism. We are going to join with you as partners to try to remove the extremist and dangerous elements from Pakistan that we know have targeted the United States in the past. That would have been the outcome we looked for. That is the outcome we were hoping for. That is the outcome we were advocating for with Pakistan. Unfortunately, as, I think, my trip confirmed for me and all the intelligence I certainly see, that is not the Pakistan that we find ourselves with today. "
"The American people are asking themselves questions on why they would supply their taxpayers to a country that clearly has not been completely open and transparent in its efforts on extremism in Pakistan. And I clearly think they have a point and despite the fact that we need to continue this relationship, it is a relationship that needs some benchmarks on behalf of either the United States Congress or this President in order to get them back on the right track. We have got a lot of repair work to do. I am concerned greatly about our relationship as we move forward and the directions and the decisions that they are going to need to make in the weeks and days ahead."
"I believe that elements of both the military and the Intelligence Service who in some way, both prior, and maybe even current, provided some level of assistance to Osama bin Laden. Now, there is no evidence, and I want to make this very clear, today, as we sit here today, there is no evidence that the leadership of the Army, or the government, or the ISI knew that UBL was there and that that was his compound. I do believe, and I think that the recent news report on the compounds that were provided to them highlights that there is some level of sympathizers within the ISI, within the local police departments, within the way that they would handle that piece of information. Someplace in there there are certainly sympathizers. And I think you can extrapolate that on a proactive side to the fact that Osama bin Laden was in Abbottabad for nearly five years."
"They have done an exceptionally good job in detaining Al Qaeda and Taliban members over the last decade, some hundreds. We would like to have better access, complete access to detainees when they do have them. Making sure that they are not making life difficult for Embassy operations, which is already a difficult place for our diplomats to operate. So those are the kind of things where they can be more helpful, more transparency, better cooperation, less hostility, I think would be the order of the day."