Kiyani's Order of the Albatross Award
On Wednesday, the New York Times reported that Pakistani Army Chief of Staff, General Ashfaq Parvez Kiyani, has been selected for the United States Army Command and General Staff College’s International Hall of Fame, which honors the distinguished service of American allies' military leaders.
The move is well-intended and certainly well-deserved. But one must conclude that its timing is altogether not very well thought out. The latest elections in Pakistan represent its political decision to rush to move away from American cooperation and influence. And with Musharraf's depiction domestically as an American 'lackey,' an American military honor for his military replacement as Chief of Staff may be an honor intended for a good man, but within Pakistan it is more akin to an American albatross. Don't expect the accompanying plaque to be prominently displayed in Gen. Kiyani's office or to appear in the background of media interviews.
India's The Acorn says of the move, "These Americans are crazy." And Registan describes the award as a foolish move with All the Subtlety of a Lead Pipe to the Face. And, well, considering the current political dynamic in Pakistan, it certainly does neither General Kiyani nor American interests there any favors, no matter the honorable intentions.