Wednesday, April 10, 2013

CIA in Pakistan & Ignatius' Bloodmoney

From yesterday's New York Times editorial "How a Single Spy Helped Turn Pakistan Against the United States:"
...Davis had been navigating dense traffic in Lahore... Groups that had focused most of their energies dreaming up bloody attacks against India were now aligning themselves closer to Al Qaeda and other organizations with a thirst for global jihad. Some of these groups had deep roots in Lahore, which was why Davis and a C.I.A. team set up operations from a safe house in the city.
But now Davis was sitting in a Lahore police station, having shot two young men who approached his car on a black motorcycle, their guns drawn, at an intersection congested with cars, bicycles and rickshaws...
More than two years later, the Raymond Davis episode has been largely forgotten in the United States. It was immediately overshadowed by the dramatic raid months later that killed Osama bin Laden — consigned to a footnote in the doleful narrative of America’s relationship with Pakistan. But dozens of interviews conducted over several months, with government officials and intelligence officers in Pakistan and in the United States, tell a different story: that the real unraveling of the relationship was set off by the flurry of bullets Davis unleashed on the afternoon of Jan. 27, 2011, and exacerbated by a series of misguided decisions in the days and weeks that followed. In Pakistan, it is the Davis affair, more than the Bin Laden raid, that is still discussed in the country’s crowded bazaars and corridors of power.
For a novel about the CIA in Pakistan, try Bloodmoney by David Ignatius:
Someone in Pakistan is killing the members of a new CIA intelligence unit that is trying to buy peace with America's enemies. It falls to Sophie Marx, a young CIA officer with a big chip on her shoulder, to figure out who's doing the killing and why. Her starting point is Alphabet Capital, the London hedge fund that has been providing cover for this secret operation, but the investigation soon widens to include the capitals of the Middle East and the cruel hills of South Waziristan.
Sophie thinks she has the backing of her hard-nosed boss, Jeffrey Gertz, and his genial mentor at headquarters, Cyril Hoffman. In addition, she gets help from the well-mannered lieutenant general heading Pakistan's Inter-Services Intelligence Directorate. But the closer Sophie gets to her quarry, the more she realizes that nothing in this gallery of mirrors is quite what it seems. This is a theater of violence and retribution, in which the last act is one that Sophie could not have imagined.

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