By Peter Chamberlin
Continuing and expanding upon their policies of being both blunt and devious, the Generals are getting in the faces of tribal leaders, doing their utmost to persuade them to take-on a policing function in their areas of control. Read more »
The latest column of Eric Margolis is a must read:
Eric S. Margolis is an award-winning, internationally syndicated columnist. His articles have appeared in the New York Times, the International Herald Tribune, the Los Angeles Times, Times of London, the Gulf Times, the Khaleej Times and other news sites in Asia. He is a regular contributor to The Huffington Post, Lew Rockwell and Big Eye. Read more »
By Greg Miller
Washington Post Staff Writer
The CIA is using an expanded arsenal of armed drones and other equipment provided by the U.S. military to secretly escalate its operations in Pakistan by striking targets beyond the reach of American forces based in Afghanistan, U.S. officials said. Read more »
From Saturday’s Globe and Mail
More and more people become terrorists every day
Buzzing robots sail through the sky, and nobody sleeps. Poor villagers spend their meagre savings on pills; at night they swallow sedatives and in the morning they take anti-depressants. They sweep their rooms and courtyards every couple of hours, trying to purge their homes of microchips. Nobody has seen the tiny chips – some say they’re invisible to the naked eye, others say the electric filaments are fine enough to be woven into cloth. Every garment is suspect, every speck of dust. Read more »
Pentagon Diverts Drones From Afghanistan to Bolster U.S. Campaign Next Door
Onlookers in Pakistan’s Sindh province after suspected militants set fire to tankers Friday carrying fuel for NATO troops in Afghanistan. Read more »
Wall Street Journal
By YAROSLAV TROFIMOV
KABUL—Afghan President Hamid Karzai’s recent attempts to placate the Taliban haven’t made him many new friends among the insurgents. But they have definitely alienated some crucial old friends: the country’s ethnic minorities, who have been a linchpin of Mr. Karzai’s American-backed government. Read more »
JULY 20, 2010
By JULIAN E. BARNES
WASHINGTON—U.S. Special Operations Forces have begun venturing out with Pakistani forces on aid projects, deepening the American role in the effort to defeat Islamist militants in Pakistani territory that has been off limits to U.S. ground troops. Read more »
UN rapporteur Philip Alston calls on the U.S. to put the military in charge of the targeted killings program, which is shrouded in secrecy under the CIA and has prompted accountability questions.
By David S. Cloud, Los Angeles Times
Reporting from Geneva
The campaign of CIA drone strikes against suspected militants in Pakistan has made the United States “the most prolific user of targeted killings” in the world, said a United Nations official, who urged that responsibility for the program be taken from the spy agency. Read more »
By Greg Miller
Washington Post Staff Writer
The U.S. military is reviewing options for a unilateral strike in Pakistan in the event that a successful attack on American soil is traced to the country’s tribal areas, according to senior military officials. Read more »
This is so stupid. The alleged actions of a US citizen who probably could not even kill a mouse and has not been provided with a lawyer so far, are being used for what is obviously a weak and stretched case to make Pakistani Talibans look like al Qaeda. Talibans are a primitive, violent, and abominable lot but let’s keep things in perspective. The fact is there is little of al Qaeda left. Osama bin Laden died in January 2002. Responsible and knowledgeable people like Jimmy Carter’s National Security Adviser Brzezinski, ex-deputy secretary of state for South Asia Teresita Scaffer, and a former CIA officer for the Middle East Robert Baer are on record having disputed CIA’s claims that Al Qaeda exists in Afghanistan.
The case of Faisal Shahzad, a US citizen of Pakistani origin, has been prejudiced so much against him through leaks in the media that he would never get a fair trial. Even if everything that has been reported is true, the official US reactions, from the US Secretary of State Clinton’s remarks, that warned Pakistan of very serious consequences, to the latest from the White House, confirm what many already suspect in Pakistan. This incident, true or false-flag, is being used to mount a new psychological, political, and diplomatic offensive against Pakistan to force an already stretched Pakistan Army to attack the Taliban bases in the North Waziristan. Those who dismiss all such analyses as conspiracy theories are sadly ignorant bunch of people with little knowledge of contemporary history and neo-colonialism. The condemnation of extremism, terrorism, and religious bigotry does not and must not translate into acceptance of the CIA’s political view of the world with its own agendas. Because if we believe that, we should also believe that Saddam Hussein sat on stockpiles of the weapons of mass destruction.
Thursday, May 06, 2010
The writer is a freelance columnist and former newspaper editor
The sordid murder of Khalid Khawaja, the former ISI official, squadron leader and a man thought at various times to have negotiated between the US, the Pak Army and militants, exposes the many inter-linkages relating to terrorism. Read more »
VIEW: Get the militant leadership — By Daud Khattak
From the Daily Times, May 04, 2010
In wars, the death of a leader means half the war is won. But, interestingly enough, in the anti-terror war in this region, the leadership is intact despite the use of all air, ground and intelligence resources against them. Read more »
From Hamid Mir
ISLAMABAD: The last mission of ex-ISI officer Khalid Khwaja failed but his assassination exposed many hidden secrets, including differences between the Afghan Taliban and the Pakistani Taliban, and has put a spotlight on his highly complex underworld life, as a mediator, sometimes on behalf of the Americans, a power-broker, a mover and shaker besides an ardent Islamic preacher.Squadron Leader (retd) Khalid Khwaja had been playing an active behind-the-scene role in domestic politics of Pakistan for the last 22 years. He became an important international player 11 years ago when he first tried to establish direct links between the Kashmiri militants and the Clinton Administration but failed. Read more »
(U.S. Air Force A-10 Thunderbolt jets, also known as the Warthog. File photo)
Pakistani army chief of staff General Ashfaq Parvez Kayani offered a rare apology at the weekend for a deadly air strike in the Khyber region in the northwest in which residents and local officials say at least 63 civilians were killed. Read more »
March 21, 2010
Army must destroy Taliban, jirga declares
* National peace jirga urges govt to reach out to terrorists, but also to crush those unwilling to negotiate
* Dismisses earlier offensives as ‘military dramas’
* Tribal leader says ‘it should be a genuine military operation like the Sri Lankans did against the Tamil Tigers’ Read more »
By Peter Chamberlin
Online Journal Contributing Writer
The multitude of theories on the reasons for the arrests of Taliban are divided between cooperation and confrontation theories, it is explained either by mutual interests or by rivalries. In my opinion, it is both.
Researchers and analysts are banging their heads against many walls, searching for meaning in reports of multiple arrests of Taliban by the Pakistani government. Speculation is running rampant, that Pakistan has finally “seen the light,” that it represents a “split” within the Taliban, or that Pakistan has arrested Taliban who have been negotiating with Brits or Americans. In my opinion, the arrests began as a clean-up operation to remove links to the intelligence being revealed in British courts, but it turned into a tit-for-tat series of paybacks between the ISI and the CIA. Read more »
The New York Times
March 3, 2010
By CARLOTTA GALL
Mary Fitzgerald/The Irish Times
Once a promising protégé for the United States, Brig. Sultan Amir, who is known as Col. Imam, has taught insurgent tactics.
RAWALPINDI, Pakistan — With his white turban, untrimmed beard and worn army jacket, the man known uniformly here by his nom de guerre, Col. Imam, is a particular Pakistani enigma.
A United States-trained former colonel in Pakistan’s spy agency, he spent 20 years running insurgents in and out of Afghanistan, first to fight the Soviet Army, and later to support the Taliban, as Pakistani allies, in their push to conquer Afghanistan in the 1990s. Read more »
Lt Gen Masood Aslam, Corps Commander Peshawar said on Thursday March 11, 2010 that the chief of Tehreek-e-Taliban (TeT) Swat, Maulana Fazlullah, has fled from Swat and was being chased.Talking to reporters on the inauguration of the Shuhada Park at Saidu Sharif and the Public Library in Mingora here, the corps commander said Fazlullah would soon be brought to justice. Read more »
KARACHI, Pakistan — Taliban fighters have long used this city of 17 million as a place to regroup, smuggle weapons and even work seasonal jobs. But recently they have discovered another way to make fast money: organized crime.
The police here say the Taliban, working with criminal groups, are using Mafia-style networks to kidnap, rob banks and extort, generating millions of dollars for the militant insurgency in northwestern Pakistan. Read more »
By: Peter Chamberlin
We are fighting a war that is like no other. The illusion is made as real; the real is made as dust. Nothing is as it seems in this war, even though this is the era of instant news. This alteration of our very understanding of reality has been necessary for us to pursue a war policy of pure evil, even though we have paraded ourselves before the world as warriors in defense of truth and light. The human race is begging for an end to the path of destruction that trusted American leaders have steered the world onto., longing to turn onto a permanent path of Light. It is high time the United States either showed the world the way into the Light, or got out of the way of those who can. Read more »
The following story by the Los Angeles Times gives a new twist to the earlier story released by the US news agency – the Associated Press (see the post before this one). The AP story said a group called Fedayeen al-Islam claimed responsibility. Now this LA Times story claims Baituallh Mahsud has. According to the LA Times, he has thretened to strike the White House. The timing of the attacks and the Mahsud’s statement is curious and provides a perfect justification for US military strikes (ground and air) anywhere inside Pakistani territories and conincides with the increasingly hostile statements made by the top U.S. military and political officials against Pakistan Army.
LA Times Story Read more »
March 31, 2009
By BABAR DOGAR of the Associated Press
LAHORE, Pakistan (AP) — The militant group that claimed responsibility for the assault on a police academy said Tuesday it will carry out more attacks unless Pakistani troops withdraw from tribal areas near the Afghan border and the U.S. stops drone attacks against militants in the country. Read more »
Much has been talked but little actually done in the matter of jamming the so-called “Mullah Radio” that has done much to inflame the situation in Swat. The government appears to take the position that this is an immensely complex and expensive task, requires vast resources and the import of foreign equipment – most of which is not necessarily the case. Read more »
The Predator planes that launch missile strikes against militants are based in Pakistan, the senator says. That suggests a much deeper relationship with the U.S. than Islamabad would like to admit.
From the Los Angeles Times
By Greg Miller
Reporting from Washington — A senior U.S. lawmaker said Thursday that unmanned CIA Predator aircraft operating in Pakistan are flown from an air base in that country, a revelation likely to embarrass the Pakistani government and complicate its counter-terrorism collaboration with the United States. Read more »
Why has the security apparatus failed to cut the militants’ supply lines; how come random journalists can talk to Fazlullah but security forces are unable to track him down; and if the state’s helplessness is genuine, how was the administration able to successfully hold general elections in Swat? Read more »
SWAT TALIBAN FM RADIO STATION
The Minster of Information assures us that the Federal government is serious in restoring the writ of the Pakistan government in Swat.This assurance is meaningless in view of the fact that her Ministry is allowing the Swat Taliban illegal FM Radio station to broadcast messages daily which assists the Taliban in controlling the territory they have captured. Read more »
By Peter Chamberlin
Obama has begun the tedious work of separating himself from the failed policies of his predecessor. He has halted pending Bush regulations and executive orders and reversed CIA policies on torture and secret prisons. If the President was sincere in his interview with Al-Arabiya, about wanting to assure Muslims that “Americans are not your enemy,” then he must be willing to reexamine all elements of the rogue agency’s terror war, especially the more controversial elements of it.
If President Obama really seeks a fresh start with the Muslim world –establishing a humane new foreign policy for the United States to guide us to an acceptable conclusion of the war– then he must make a visible clean break with all the failed Bush policies. A fresh start with Pakistan, our most important ally in the terror war, would begin by ending CIA Predator strikes and cutting-off all support for their gangs of criminals and terrorists who now plague the country. Read more »
From Dissident Voice
by Tom Burghardt in San Francisco/ January 26th, 2009
With 180 girls’ schools torched since 2008 in Pakistan’s Swat Valley and some 900 indefinitely closed, the future for education for some 125,000 young women is under dire threat by the Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP).
The latest bombings took place Monday in the district capital, Mingora, “once considered the safest place in Swat,” according to The Guardian. Five girls’ schools were leveled by TTP militants who last week decreed a permanent ban on education for girls. Read more »
By Walter Pincus
Washington Post Staff Writer
The Army is building $1.1 billion worth of military bases and other facilities in Afghanistan and is planning to start an additional $1.3 billion in projects this year, according to Col. Thomas E. O’Donovan, commander of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Afghanistan District.
Read more »
From Army Times, USA
Critics: Afghanistan plan takes SF from usual training mission
By Sean D. Naylor – Staff writer
Posted : Tuesday Dec 23, 2008 13:30:19 EST
Defense Secretary Robert Gates’ announcement of a plan to deploy an additional three brigades of combat troops to Afghanistan by the summer has superseded a contentious debate that pitted the Bush administration’s “war czar” against the special operations hierarchy over the National Security Council’s proposed near-term “surge” of special operations forces to Afghanistan, a Pentagon military official said. Read more »
Admiral Mike Mullen (first from left), the US Joint Chiefs of Staff, Pakistani Army Chief Gen. Pervez Kayani (third from the left) and next to him, the ISI Chief Ahmed Shuja Pasha (then Major. Gen. and Director General Military Operations) aboard the US naval carrier Abraham Lincoln in Indian Ocean; in a secret meeting on August 26, 2008. Pasha was promoted to the rank of Lt. Gen. and appointed as the head of the Inter-Services Intelligence on Sept. 29, 2008.
Who stands to gain the most from the Mumbai attacks?
The Pakistani media was quick to dismiss Indian allegations about the complicity of elements from Pakistan in Mumbai attacks. Some channels even carried stories that there was no Aslam Amir in Faridkot, only to contradict themselves later. We need to reflect upon the whole paradigm of ‘terrorism’. For this purpose, it is essential to to take a holistic view including examination of some important and critical events since 9/11, US’s strategic interests in the Middle East and Central Asia, the relationship between the US and Pakistan authorities, and the murky nature of CIA’s involvement with the so-called Islamic militants. Read more »
THE election of Barack Obama is an historic turning point for the US. The son of a black Muslim immigrant from Kenya, an underprivileged child born of a mixed marriage, raised in a broken home and a Washington outsider Obama represents an emerging post-race, post-gender, younger and more diverse America.
But that is so far as the optimism can go. Forty seven per cent of the voters still went with John McCain. That is, despite George Bush`s catastrophic presidency and the economic meltdown, a large number of Americans supported a 72-year-old white male Republican who strongly supported the invasion of Iraq and did not offer any plan for economic recovery. Read more »
Ending Chaos in Afghanistan and Pakistan
By Barnett R. Rubin and Ahmed Rashid
From Foreign Affairs , November/December 2008
Summary: The crisis in Afghanistan and Pakistan is beyond the point where more troops will help. U.S. strategy must be to seek compromise with insurgents while addressing regional rivalries and insecurities Read more »
November 4, 2008
It was routinely vaunted as the “Switzerland of Asia”. A plush region of mountains, dense forests and shimmering azure rivers. For years it was favoured as a choice holiday destination for Pakistan’s middle classes.
Now, a year after the Pakistani military launched a campaign here to halt a Taliban insurgency, officials fear that four-fifths of the state has slipped from their control. While the world’s attention has been fixed on the counter-insurgency operations in the volatile tribal areas along the Afghan border, the forces loyal to local Taliban commander Maulana Fazlullah have swiftly advanced across Swat Valley, beheading opponents and torching homes and schools as they enforce their brutal brand of Islamic law. Read more »
By David Ignatius
Tuesday, November 4, 2008; A17
Pakistan is publicly complaining about U.S. airstrikes. But the country’s new chief of intelligence, Lt. Gen. Ahmed Shuja Pasha, visited Washington last week for talks with America’s top military and spy chiefs, and everyone seemed to come away smiling. Read more »
Asia Times Online October 20, 2008
By Syed Saleem Shahzad KARACHI – Cash-strapped Pakistan, after the failure of operations against militants in Bajaur Agency and the Swat Valley, has had to call off an offensive in the North Waziristan tribal area, and instead negotiate ceasefire deals.
Nevertheless, relentless pressure from the United States will not allow Islamabad to remain inactive for too long. This would have been the message relayed by US Assistant Secretary of State Richard Boucher, who made an unscheduled visit to Pakistan at the weekend. The US is all too aware how militant strongholds in Pakistan’s tribal areas fuel the Taliban-led insurgency across the border in Afghanistan. Read more »
By Jon Hemming
KABUL, Oct 17 (Reuters) – Western leaders are reawakening to the reality of Afghanistan — that it is famously unforgiving to foreign forces on its soil and claiming victory there depends on how you measure success. Read more »
Published in the NEWS
The current received wisdom in the United States is that the militants in northwest Pakistan have provided safe havens to Al Qaeda has along the Pakistan-Afghanistan border and the greatest threat to America’s security comes from this region. No US official or journalist or think-tank has ever raised or answered the question that Alan Greenspan posed in his book, The Age of Turbulence: Read more »
By Michael Heath
Oct. 7 (Bloomberg) — The conflict in Afghanistan is impossible to win through force and talks with “relevant” groups are necessary to bring peace to the country, the United Nations envoy to Kabul said.
“We all know that we cannot win it militarily,” Kai Eide told reporters yesterday in the Afghan capital. “It has to be won through political means.” Read more »