This was Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Adm. Mike Mullen’s last testimony before retiring. It’s SecDef Panetta’s first appearance in front of the Senate Armed Services Committee, with the video via C-SPAN.
From ABC News (yesterday):
[...] Mullen even went so far as to say that Pakistan is “exporting violence” and that Pakistan’s intelligence agency provided the Haqqanis with support for their recent terror attacks in Kabul.
Mullen went further than defense officials who’ve said that the Haqqani Network was responsible for the recent terror attacks in Kabul prior to former Afghan President Burhanuddin Rabbani’s assassination, although the bomber’s affiliation has yet to be determined.
The Haqqanis are “veritable arm of Pakistan’s Inter-Services Intelligence Agency [ISI],” he said in opening remarks before the Senate Armed Services Committee, adding that it had provided the Haqqanis with support to conduct the Kabul attacks.
“With ISI support, Haqqani operatives planned and conducted the truck bomb attack, as well as the assault on our embassy,” Mullen said of the recent attack on a base in Wardak that wounded 77 U.S. soldiers. “We also have credible intelligence that they were behind the June 28 attack against the Inter-Continental Hotel in Kabul and a host of other smaller but effective operations.”
Both Mullen and Panetta described the turn to high-profile attacks in Afghanistan as a shift in tactics because insurgents are losing on the battlefield. Mullen said they are “as much about headlines and playing on the fears of a traumatized people, as they are about inflicting casualties, maybe even more so.”
He added, “We must not misconstrue them. They are serious and significant in shaping perceptions but they do not represent a sea change in the odds of military success.”
Mullen said Pakistan’s government has chosen to “use violent extremism as an instrument of policy,” which jeopardizes its relationship with the United States and its role as a player in the region.
Former Pres. George W. Bush had a “Musharaff policy,” as it came to be known, which did us no good at all.
After Pres. Obama gave the go ahead for Seal Team Six to kill Osama bin Laden, who had obviously been protected by factions inside the Pakistani government, as well as the ISI, our relationship became even more tense.
Mullen’s accusation doesn’t surprise anyone and the blunt assessment is something that’s been obvious for many years, even amid billions and billions of dollars of U.S. aid.