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Anne Patterson
"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 program for instructors," the ambassador noted. Ms Patterson also considered the Pakistani military officials attending a senior course at the NDU to be 'naïve' and biased against America. - File Photo (Thumbnail illustration by Hasaan Haider/

KARACHI: The US ambassador to Pakistan had expressed concern about the distance between Pakistan military officials and the Americans that had crept in following the discontinuation of the IMET (International Military Education and Training) programmes during the "sanction years" and had recommended specifically targeting the generation that was lost during this period, internal US documents have revealed.

The comments are part of a confidential cable by then Ambassador Anne Patterson in 2008. A year earlier, Ms Patterson notes, she had given an address at the National Defence University and "received astonishingly naive and biased questions about America."

The cable added that Ms Patterson had been working to dramatically increase IMET opportunities for officers and NCOs (Non-Commissioned officers). "We need, in particular, to target the 'lost generation' of Pakistan military who missed IMET opportunities during the sanctions years," Ms Patterson wrote. The reference to the 'sanctions years' appears to be to the period following the Pressler sanctions in October 1990 and further tightened after the 1998 nuclear tests.

"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 program for instructors," the ambassador noted. Ms Patterson also considered the Pakistani military officials attending a senior course at the NDU to be 'naïve' and biased against America.

The cable primarily documents the account of a US army officer, Col Michael Schleicher, who attended a course at NDU. The comments by Col Schleicher partly appear to corroborate the views expressed by Ms Patterson, but in many places also evince a great of naivety about Pakistani society and the security apparatus.

"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 recorded Col Schleicher as having shared with the embassy's political officer

"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). Some [participants] did not believe the US used female pilots overseas; they were convinced female pilots were restricted to flying within US borders."

Students in the junior course, too, 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,'" according to Col Schleicher. In contrast to criticism of the US, students and instructors were adamant in their approval of all things Chinese, the cable adds.

The confidential cable also includes comments by Col Schleicher on the NDU curriculum, his course mates and instructors. The colonel was of the view that the scripts used by the directing staff and guest speakers to provide lectures were usually meticulously vetted in advance.

"Lecturers often 'teach' their students information that is heavily biased against the United States," the cable said and added that throughout the course only a handful of non-Pakistanis were invited to speak as guest lecturers.

Of his professional and personal interactions with the students, Col Schleicher noted: "Of the 135 senior course students, only two openly drank alcohol." The colonel added that he "believed the secular students felt peer pressure to appear more religious than they actually were."

Commenting on the overall atmosphere of the NDU, Col Schleicher is quoted as saying, "The Pakistani military students appeared to come from wealthy families or from military families and were proud they received amenities, including private-quality schools and good health care, as an incentive to stay in the military. Officers at the brigadier rank touted their privileges, including a house, car, and a driver. The NDU students also obtained financial perks, such as a free trip for a pilgrimage that could be taken at the end of the class' official travels."

Cable referenced: WikiLeaks #153436

Comments (57) Closed

sazia May 25, 2011 06:09am
It is time that our security forces should start taking the terrorism threat seriously. To start with DHA's should be disbanded as they have turned our officers into property dealers and they have no time for professional issues. Their benefits should be monetized, so that waste is checked. Furthermore greater transparency should be enforced in armed forces including a promotion system based on professionalism and not boot licking.
Imran May 25, 2011 07:23am
Although there is certainly a need to improve Pakistan's record in education be it in the military or civilian arena, this account seems exaggerated. The fact that Pakistanis don't buy American arguments should not be seen as "biased." Certainly, the unfounded fears of WMDs which led to the Iraq war and took thousands of lives cannot be forgotten. Oil certainly played a role in the calculus of Bush admin. In the end its one man's view and everyone has a right to their opinion.
fN May 25, 2011 07:53am
Questioning details of that event (by NDU or any other) is not anti-Americanism, especially when a lot of Americans themselves are questioning with credible evidence.
M Israr May 25, 2011 08:23am
These are not misconceptions,these are realities may b there is mixing to some extent.USA is now fighting for their survival and try to get rid of afghan war.They are using different tactics to allegate pakistani forces.
Muhammad May 25, 2011 08:45am
I would like here to add, that not only Military Officers, but also CIVIL SERVANTS, These politicians, minister , President Prime minister , business man. Every body should be checked, these business man are not paying what they should be paying as tax, 1000 Bn Rs are stolen from govt just by the business man, they are the one who lure Tax official and bribe them. Rest armed forces are not paid what they should be paid, I am not from military but i know i will not go and get killed for 30,000 or 40000, could sazia , i dont think so? do not use this forum to defame Pakistan and Pakistan military because our enemies are already doing it, Wiki leaks are CIA leaks and these leaks are their to defame army,
Ejaz May 25, 2011 09:40am
I think she was more of a spy working for US in Pakistan than she was a diplomat.
Rashid Khan May 25, 2011 09:50am
Why does criticism of the armed forces revolve around the DHA? I'm sure there is adequate space for constructive criticism. Persistent dwelling on the DHA is reminiscent of late 70's and 80's, when Pakistani society was being overrun by a pseudo religious wave, the era marking the emergence of hypocrites,at that time according to the tall beards all vices and ills in Pakistan were rooted to alcohol while the increasing of herion was assiduously ignored. Yes! Its about time the armed forces clean up their act but DHA is not the ill- its inefficiceny at all levels managed by a mediocre leadershp.
mandark May 25, 2011 10:16am
Further evidence that Pak armed forces are full of ignorant cave-man types.
fahad May 25, 2011 10:17am
Col Schleischer thinks Iraq was invaded not because of oil, but because America wanted democracy and freedom in Iraq....that pretty much sums up the dilemma of this crumbling super power, whose policy makers no longer make sense. And Libya is being bombed to bring in freedom and prosperity.
intikhab May 25, 2011 10:18am
not sure why was Ms. Patterson or any other American official would be surprised, they must know that the entire Pakistan has anti-American sentiment for obvious reasons - meddling into every affair of Pak, drone attacks, the issue of Palestine, unjustified war in Iraq, etc... And it's not just Pakistan, many countries around the world have the same feeling... Many many Americans themselves question the authenticity of the US Gov claims on 9/11 and the dubious role of CIA, to say the least... Wake up America!!!!
Khawaja May 25, 2011 10:43am
Pakistan needs to understand it's not only fighting the terrorists but also fighting world's top intelligence agencies who're posing as terrorists.
Akil Akhtar May 25, 2011 10:49am
height of arrogance to expect our training to suit them. What about their military training being pro Mslim so that we may ahve a stop to the crusades one day.
AHK May 25, 2011 11:00am
I would say you are delusional if you believe that the US invaded Iraq because it wanted to bring freedom & democracy there rather than take control of oil supplies from the region. And this is not a muslim bias - i think every sane person from anywhere in the world would understand that.
Afaque May 25, 2011 11:28am
Ms Sazia! Just that there was one incident that Armed Forces could not control OBL's operation doesnt mean that they are sleeping or all the time thinking about property or whatever. Obviously, everyone in this country has 100% rights to make property and to better their future. So please dont discredit out armed forces like this on an open forum where your negative comments can matter to those readers who are naive and take it what is written here.
Rahul May 25, 2011 12:30pm
It is the normal Pakistani mentality of making up lies and start believing them. Impunity and fanaticism is seen to be a virtue in the Society. What made the Americans think that the Armed forces would be different.
rahm May 25, 2011 12:42pm
very well said----i like that "boot licking"
Salman May 25, 2011 01:22pm
so what did the usa invade Iraq for if not oil? non existent wmds? the us just can't handle the fact that there is another world view except theirs....
raza May 25, 2011 01:25pm
Any body with any grey matter would know that the 9/11,WMD in Iraq were were the biggest orcheterated dramas in the world history.During my visit i found the average Americans very dumb and naieve and were so much into the matrix that their goverment has built for them that they do not know a world exists outside the realm of USA. On the contrarery our rikshaw driver is more wise and well informed as to what goes on in the world.If the pakistanis are doubtfull of the US it is because they see the double standards on which their foriegn policy is made some exapmpes are ; Isreals nuclear programe makes no difference to them while they are worried about every one elses. USA is the only country who has used the atomic bomb and has twice come close to staring a nuclear war yet they claim to be the champion of neuclear safe gaurds and a nuclear responsible nation LOL There is no democracy in the entire middle east yet the sole champion of democracey USA has no qualms over dealing with kings and sheiks as they are towing their line WHAT A SHAM It took USA two years to find Timmothy Maugwee the Oklahoma bomber while it took them 2 hours to find osama to be responsible for 9/11 YA RITE During the first 48 hours there was only mention of Mullah Omar and OSama then later on the American Think Tank thought hey these two could be only two places at one time so LO and Behold suddenly the World came to know of a powerfulkl sinster Organisation AL QAIDA (a figment of the CIA Immaginaqtion) dont believe me next time you see a footage of the so called Al Qaida recruits training Note the following Their hieghts Their Physiche No beards No Shalwar Kameez Faces coverd Cause they are American GIs in the garb So my Ynankee friends who are you trying to fool ????????????
Bltizter May 25, 2011 01:27pm
I couldn't agree more with @shazia in her comments. It's high time we do away with all murky financial perks and privileges that are offered on a platter to the middle to higher level officers of the Pakistan's Armed Forces. These men and women in uniform are sworn to protect the country and are payed from the tax money collected from common Joe's like me and everyone else. We need to completely disentangle our military from their "side-businesses" including those of property dealerships, banking, food (including the now infamous cereal brand), etc. The military and ISI's budget should be put up for scrutiny in front of the Parliament and complete transparency should be ensured in all deals pertaining to military's procurements, etc. In addition to this, all generals should be made answerable to the Pakistani people, if not the corrupt, incompetent, NRO-by-product politicians. I see this as the only way going forward if Pakistan is to survive as a state. Pakistan Zindabad.
Blitzer May 25, 2011 01:36pm
And as far as the widespread anti-Americanism Ms. Patterson got a taste of at the NDU is concerned, the US foreign policy of "fire-and-forget" deserves the blame in its entirety. In the wake of all sacrifices Pakistan has made in the WoT (5,000 security officials and around 30,000 civilians dead), US Senators and political pundits have the nerve and audacity to question our resolve and our loyalty to this marriage-of-convenience between Pakistan and US is, frankly put, unbelievable. This case in point is a very good example of why Pakistanis are so suspicious of US and her policies towards them and rightly so. Pakistan should certainly diversify its portfolio of defense-related needs and requirements and hedge against future US sanctions and mercurial change in policy by looking elsewhere for all defense-related needs, including Russia, China and the EU.
SmarterThanYou May 25, 2011 01:44pm
What does a "Jewish conspiracy" have to do with Anti-Americanism? This statement is fundamentally flawed- USA is a secular country. Moreover, there are many folks in the USA who are proponents of a conspiracy theory, and this is just one of the many scenarios.
Ahsan Ali May 25, 2011 01:46pm
This is an old thing now.
Ram Prasad May 25, 2011 01:48pm
Ms. Paterson should know that America is not a country, the USA is the country. The Americas include both continents of North and South America. Many in USA are equally naive about anything beyond the borders of the USA, or even their own state. They think Eskimos live in Canada, and Taco Bell is from Mexico.
vigilant May 25, 2011 01:49pm
Do USA have reason for war with Iraq.....presence of WMDs...rubbish....etc....
Saad Abbasi May 25, 2011 01:50pm
so if someone asks you for evidence then he is biased and naive......why didn't US ever went public with the evidence of 9/11??? oh and in case of Iraq they came up with some "solid evidence" and we all know the credibility of that as well......the simple conclusion of that lady was that we need to bribe these officers because they have started thinking on their own....
Paul May 25, 2011 01:56pm
Only uneducated Americans believe in the same conspiracies that are passed around in Pakistan. Most Americans realize how brainwashed Pakistani's are against them in every part of their life and seek friends else where who learn about us though talking and mutual respect rather than lies and accusations about conspiracies. America is made up of all people of the world who work together for common goals.
M. Asghar May 25, 2011 02:02pm
The fundamental element in the USA geopolitical and geostrategic matrix is to destablise the nuclearised Pakistan with the aim of lining it up against China as part of the China-encirclement plan. As the recent events show, the weak and irresponsable government and the incompetent expensive army and the intelligence agencies are a great help in this task.
KHAN wali May 25, 2011 02:10pm
US wants to control the overall thinkings including religious and social approach of the cream of the Pakistani future civilian and military leadership.
reason May 25, 2011 02:13pm
goes on to show that it was a bad decision to let an american attend the course. It is surprising on how meticulous and efficient US intelligence gathering mechanism is. A student's gossip with the brigadier about his perks has been debriefed, documented, analysed and reported. We need to keep an arms distance with american's in all respects.
Syed Ali Raza Shah May 25, 2011 09:15am
"The NDU students also obtained financial perks, such as a free trip for a pilgrimage that could be taken at the end of the class
Patriot May 25, 2011 03:50pm
Well said. We need to come out of self denial & conspiracy theories, if we want to achieve any success for our country amongst comity of nations. Otherwise we would be more & more isolated as a nation.
Shoaib May 25, 2011 04:06pm
The entire idea of having a problem with any defense training's bias toward a country (which in fact most of the world terms 'hostile') is ridiculous. These cables only reflect the US' obsession to control or assert their views on military officers around the world. It is funny to read former US ambassador's assessment of finding Chinese approval among Pakistani armed forces 'troublesome', when China has never attacked a foreign land for occupational purpose throughout their ancient history.
hassan May 25, 2011 05:21pm
Army generals have made army into a joke. These luxories their kids have are due to tax payers money. No wonder army has forgotten how to defend the borders. Is this where my tax goes?
tat May 25, 2011 05:55pm
This is quite silly .. anti Americanism is found in every part of society from most liberals to conservative... US should had thought they are just being taught history... now history is telling the Pakistanis again and again the American betrayals... so how can it be washed out.....
Dr Azim Sucha May 25, 2011 06:43pm
Once again the Americans are try to plant seeds of doubt in the Pakistani public please do not be folled, The current events taking place in Pakistan have been carefully orchestrated by the Americans and there Allys, Pakistan was warned by the Americans not to challenge their policies and not to form any alliance with Iran, The Americans want Pakistan to subservient and Not question their policies in any way or form ,,, But Pakistan is a sovereign nation and should be able to think for its self,, America is the biggest dictator in the world and will be happy at the demise of Pakistan and we pakistanis will not let this happen,,,, Inshallah PAKISTAN ZINDA BAAD..
Muhammad May 25, 2011 07:15pm
It is high time that all cantts should be relocated outside the cities as they were planned initially the cities have grown phenomenally and it is need of the time that all military installations and cantts should be relocated because when forces people easily mingled with civilians they develop the same biases, which are normal characteristics of any civilian population such as class, linguistic, sectarian biases. Further they forces pupils should not be fed with the teaching of one specific school of thought they must be taught with diverse views so that their vision should be widened otherwise we will experience the same incidents on more regular basis.
Naeem Khan May 25, 2011 07:28pm
"sanction years", lost generation of officers,bring them to US for further training including the instructors, this is the way US influence the Pakistan Army and then use them for their grand designs.It has been clear to all the Pakistanis that Army Generals conspire,hang and depose the legally elected governments with US blessings.One should look at South American and Middle Eastern countries who's officer core was and is being trained in the US and how these"trained officers" deal with their citizens,rampant torture comes to my mind.I am sure Americans would not like or appreciate their Military treat them the way they demand these so called Allies who inflect so much pain on their countrymen in the name of security.Sure, Pakistan Army's officer core should be exposed to other points of views and not tow the line either of Americans or Chinese.And we all know that Pakistan Army is the most privileged class in this unprivileged country called Pakistan.Col Schleicher of US Army should not have been surprised.
leopard May 25, 2011 07:52pm
The senior officers of Pak Army who undergo courses in NDU are biased as the directing staff responsible to teach in this institution appears to be misguided about the USA. One solution to this problem has also been suggested which pertains for those responsible for teaching should be sent to USA under exchange programs to have first hand knowldege of US policies. Back in 1984 while doing staff college at Quetta, one US officer was im my syndicate. Later I also got the oppertunity to visit one US Army school in Albama for an advance officer course. During my stay in USA (1985-1986) I happen to examine the US people and its Army. At least I can say that I did not not find any double standard in US Army. The whole problem lies in Pakistan Army. People might argue and even does so Gen Kiani and Pasha that mutual trust has been broken by US while attacking Abbotabad unilaterly. Howeve I would say the foundation of this mistust was laid down by Pakistan Army. You can cheat some one for some time but not for whole time. On the pretext of strategic depth I do not know to whom the elite of Pak Army is befooling. The only and very simpe requirement for Pakistan is to have a friednly government in Afghanistan: Be it from Karzai, Talban or Northern Alliance. If this simpel and stright demand is forwarded to USA should be agreed. At least for the time being US is in a position to ensure the Pak friendly gwovernment is installed in Afganistan. The structure of Pak Army is such that who so ever is at top brass is the master of ceremony. Problem with mid cadre officer is a term which was never heard before. Who so ever the COAS is the main man concerned. Currently Gen Kiani is the main source of power. Instead of exchange programs efforts should be made to clear to COAS and to DG ISI that these terrorists are a real threat to Pakistan also and elimination of this menace is for the benefits of Pakistan. If these two persons get agreed the whole country will agree. So try to invest on these two. Friendly countries like Saudi Arabia, UK and Turkey can also play a vital role in this regard.
nha May 25, 2011 08:00pm
Naturally, elite or average Americans express no bias toward Pakistanis or Muslims in general. The 'American way' is unbaised, politically neutral, and always for the common good. The rest of the (muslim) world simply cannot understand this simple objective.
danish May 25, 2011 08:18pm
the problem isn't just the military; the civilian establishment is as corrupt, spoilt and dangerously uneducated and mis-informed. the entire country needs to wake up to reality otherwise there's no room for improvement.
p s ahmed May 25, 2011 08:33pm
It is common knowledge that officers who speak their minds have less chances of promotion, while those who say "yes sir, yes sir" have better chances of getting promoted. This trend must be stopped and only bold officers who can lead their men from the front must be promoted and the shoe shiners must be stopped at major level.
patron May 25, 2011 10:17pm
Until and unless you get military under civilian control and management, Pakistan has no future. Look at all the failed /destroyed military nations.
Irfan Husain May 25, 2011 10:51pm
It is deeply worrying that senior Pak military officers should have such a jaundiced view of the country they are allied with, and which is supplying us with billions of dollars worth of arms.
Ga May 26, 2011 12:14am
Just imagine! A colonel from the world's sole super power has fewer perks than those of a poor, third world country who couldn't even protect a military base let alone the country's frontiers. What did Musharraf call it when he took over in '99, "...last remaining viable institution"?
Humanoid May 26, 2011 12:42am
So drinking alcohol is a sign of being liberal? or saying US is right is morally correct? These cables make me laugh!
Adam May 26, 2011 01:41am
I think Americans are naive to think that pakistanis are naive. Pakistani Army knows what it is doing but americans are totally out of touch with the ISI capability to fool the world.
Sick_of_Big_Brother May 26, 2011 02:28am
Listen USG! You can control our bodies, but not our minds. These officers hate you because they are from within our society. But, the intensity of their hatred is no match to the feelings of an ordinary man against the USA. You think we are financially dependent upon you. Badly mistaken, as not a penny of your aid goes anywhere other than filling the coffers of the elite. Not sure if there are any sane voices left in the US society to tell USG that by reckless pursuit of their own interests only, they are bound to make many more enemies than friends.
QJ May 26, 2011 02:39am
Are they saying that they themselves don't brainwash children in their schools?
MS May 26, 2011 04:14am
I believe this is absolutely wrong thinking about Civil establishment as uneducated, Senior civil officers have to pass CSS competitive exams , Whereas the senior Army officials have a F.A degree and they get a bogus bachelors from kakool academy , these are the basis for starting the career for two , It's not the time to criticize , Its time to improve to a battle hardened army from Ceremonial Fauji corn flakes making company.
Anwar May 26, 2011 05:05am
'...including a belief the US invaded Iraq for its oil...' This one is well established all over the world. So did US attack Iraq for WMDs?
Usman May 26, 2011 05:07am
Really? What's more scary is the imperialistic view of the Americans of the Pakistanis. I feel proud that our military still possesses independent thinking and unbiased teaching institutions. Basically if you don't teach a pro-US agenda, you are teaching a biased curriculum according to the naive US Generals.
Rizwan May 26, 2011 06:07am
It seems US is naive in its thinking about Pakistan. It is just another effort to defame and destroy the strong image of Pak-Military forces.
Sara Khan May 26, 2011 06:55pm
I'm not surprised by the NDU comments given that some of our army generals think the same things and have said so in public. It's worrying. I feel like we're never going to be the Country Jinnah wanted us to be. On one hand we have terrorists attacking us and on the other hand we have conspiracy theorists teaching our armed forces and holding high positions in our miliatry teaching these kinds of things. It's a cycle that is never going to end. America needs to be held to account for it's actions though, the fact that well educated (?) students seem to be asking American officals questions (some incredibly racist questions apparently) based on conspiracies doesn't look good, but questions about the Iraq war must be answered and questions about U.S funding must be anwered and many more, just not by the Zaid Hamid's of this country.
Kripters May 27, 2011 10:19pm
Shaukat Bau'do May 28, 2011 02:20pm
I'm wondering what 's been happening before the Pressler sanctions (1990) and nucler tests (1998). Were the USA running and ruling the NDU by that time?
Jamal May 30, 2011 10:02pm
Usman - You are arguing the other side and nothing else. Praising the US will solve nothing, and neither will bashing it. Our institutes, military AND civilian, are overrun with instructors who have no clue on what teaching is, and how to actually have a rational discussion. That is where the problem lies. I'm no fan of the US but at the same time i'd take them over the mullahs, who have given us nothing but trouble.
Jamal May 30, 2011 10:08pm
And its because of people like you Dr Sahib that we are looked at as a bunch of hard headed village idiots. Abbotabad happened. The sooner we take it as Fact, the sooner an action plan can be made to prevent a repeat. Have we not been shamed enough as a nation ?