Harlan Ullman is a defense strategist best known as the conceptual architect of the “shock and awe” military strategy. He is also a strident critic of the Bush administration. And he was one of Benazir Bhutto’s closest friends and advisers in Washington.
I can’t share the essay he has written for the Washington Times and which will run next week, but I can say that he has a tidbit in his tribute to Bhutto and commentary on the implications of her death that needs to be revealed now.
Ullman shares that he had two long phone conversations with Benazir Bhutto on December 23rd. Ullman had been approached by a Musharraf emissary to encourage Bhutto to “tone down her attacks on President Peverz Musharraf.” The message was that such a gesture might lead to a “final reconciliation” between the two.
In an earlier conversation, Bhutto had already confided to Ullman that she and Musharraf “might meet privately over the Christmas holidays” to work out the details of their Abu Dhabi agreed government roles following the elections.
In other words, despite Bhutto’s rhetoric, Musharraf’s recent imposition of martial law, and the much-reported decision by Bhutto not to collaborate with Musharraf in any way, she apparently was keeping her options open with him.
I will post the Ullman article titled “Death of a Very Great Lady,” after it appears in print.
— Steve Clemons