Anti-US sentiments pervade Pak military training acdemy: Wiki

Anti-US sentiments pervade Pak military training acdemy: Wiki

The cable, sent in 2008 by then US Ambassador Anne Patterson, documents the experiences of American army officer Col Michael Schleicher while attending a course at the National Defence University, and expresses concern at the growing distance between Pakistan military officers and US.

"The senior level instructors had misperceptions about US policies and culture and infused their lectures with these suspicions, while the students share these misconceptions with their superiors despite having children who attended universities in the US or London," the cable quoted Schleicher as having told the US Embassy's political officer.

Schleicher was of the view that scripts used by the teaching staff and guest speakers at the NDU were vetted in advance.

"Lecturers often 'teach' their students information that is heavily biased against the US," the cable said.

Throughout the course attended by Schleicher, only a handful of non-Pakistanis were invited to speak as guest lecturers.

In contrast to criticism of the US, NDU students and instructors were openly approved of all things Chinese, the cable said.

Recent reports have said that anti-Americanism has again surged in the Pakistani military in the wake of the US raid that killed Osama bin Laden in the garrison city of Abbottabad.
The parliament recently adopted a resolution that condemned the raid as a violation of Pakistan's sovereignty.

Schleicher recorded other misconceptions about the US that were widespread among Pakistani military officers attending the NDU.

"One guest lecturer – who is a Pakistani one-star general – claimed the US National Security Agency actively trains correspondents for media organisations. Others thought the CIA was in charge of US media (and that MI-5 was in charge of the BBC)," the cable quoted Schleicher as saying.

Some participants "did not believe the US used female pilots overseas; they were convinced female pilots were restricted to flying within US borders", the cable said.

Ambassador Patterson expressed concern at the distance between Pakistan military officials and the Americans that had crept in following the discontinuation of the International Military Education and Training programmes during years when the US imposed sanctions on Pakistan in October 1990 and after the 1998 nuclear tests.

Patterson noted she had "received astonishingly naive and biased questions about America" after making an address at the NDU.

The cable said Patterson had worked to increase IMET opportunities for officers and non-commissioned officers.

"We need, in particular, to target the 'lost generation' of Pakistan military who missed IMET opportunities during the sanctions years," she wrote in the cable.

"The elite of this crop of colonels and brigadiers are receiving biased NDU training with no chance to hear alternative views of the US. Given the bias of the instructors, we also believe it would be beneficial to initiate an exchange programme for instructors," Patterson wrote.

According to Schleicher, students in the NDU's junior course shared "many of the biases prevalent in the Muslim world, including a belief the US invaded Iraq for its oil and that 9/11 was a staged 'Jewish conspiracy'".

Referring to his professional and personal interactions with NDU students, Schleicher noted that only two of the 135 senior course students "openly drank alcohol".

He said he "believed the secular students felt peer pressure to appear more religious than they actually were".