October 16, 2010

Gen Petraeus Turns Up The Heat On Pakistan, Afghanistan

It's not just Pakistan where the United States has stepped up air raids against members of al Qaeda and the Taliban. Last month, U.S-led NATO planes in Afghanistan conducted 700 missions, more than twice the number for the same month the previous year. It was also one of the highest single-month totals of the nine-year Afghan War, the military-focused Danger Room blog said, citing U.S. Air Force statistics.

September was also the month when missile strikes by unmanned U.S. drone planes in northwest Pakistan hit the highest level of 20 since America launched its secret war inside Pakistan, widely seen as the main battleground of the Afghan war because of the sanctuary provided to top al Qaeda and Taliban. And as if that was not enough, NATO helicopters from Afghanistan crossed the border on at least three occasions, triggering a firestorm of criticism in Pakistan which closed off the supply lines to the foreign troops in Afghanistan. . . .



Michel Chossudovsky, "The Destabilization of Pakistan," Centre for Research on Globalisation, December 30, 2007

Pratap Chatterjee, "Could Pakistan 2010 Go the Way of Cambodia 1969?,", February 7, 2010

[The destabilization of Pakistan is part of the U.S. plan because it is a Muslim nuclear state. The U.S. wants to isolate Pakistan from China as part of its containment policy.--"Arnaud de Borchgrave's interview of Hamid Gul, Pakistan ISI chief," Washington Times, July 26, 2010]

[Earlier this year WMR reported that "intelligence sources in Asia and Europe are reporting that the CIA contractor firm XE Services, formerly Blackwater, has been carrying out 'false flag' terrorist attacks in Afghanistan, Somalia, the Sinkiang region of China, Pakistan, Iran, and Iraq, in some cases with the assistance of Israeli Mossad and Indian Research and Analysis Wing (RAW) personnel--"Blackwater/Xe Terrorist Cells Conducting False Flag Terrorist Attacks in Pakistan,", September 20, 2010]

"Fatima Bhutto on the Floods in Pakistan, the Government Response and Her Memoir, Songs of Blood and Sword,", September 24, 2010

[ . . . the US Central Intelligence Agency is operating a secret, 3,000-man Afghan mercenary force whose mission is assassinating Taliban and al-Qaida fighters.--Eric Margolis, "Dodge City Meets Pakistan,", September 28, 2010]

Eric Margolis, "Mission Creep In Afghanistan / Pakistan,", October 3, 2010

[In the 21 months since his inauguration, President Obama has ordered or approved 120 drone attacks on Pakistan. There were 22 such attacks in September 2010 alone, reportedly killing more than 100 people. In contrast, Obama's predecessor Bush ordered just 60 attacks in eight years. . . .

The drone war is being waged by the US Army, by the US Air Force and, most of all, by the CIA. It is taking place in a shadowy realm beyond the reach of war tribunals, public debate and the media.--Klaus Brinkbaumer and John Goetz, "Obama's Shadowy Drone War,", October 12, 2010]

Julian E. Barnes and Adam Entous, "U.S. Seeks Wider CIA Role: Efforts to Intensify Targeting of Taliban on Pakistani Soil Have Been Rebuffed by Islamabad,", October 23, 2010

Kim Sengupta, "Afghanistan: Russia steps in to help Nato," Independent, October 27, 2010

Jason Ditz, "US Seeks to Widen Drone Strikes Beyond Pakistan's Tribal Areas: Pakistan Rejects Drone Strikes But Agrees to More CIA Agents on Ground,", November 19, 2010

[The US ambassador to Afghanistan, Karl Eikenberry, announced recently that a US$511 million contract had been awarded to Caddell Construction to build the world's largest embassy in Kabul and that a contract worth $734 million had been awarded to B L Harbert for a new US Embassy compound in Pakistan, which would virtually be an American base in Islamabad complete with an air strip - all at a cost of more than $1 billion.--Syed Saleem Shahzad, "Pakistan opens its door to US ops,", November 23, 2010]

Declan Walsh, "US embassy cables reveal elite American troops secretly embedded with Pakistan military to hunt down militants,", November 30, 2010

[When his wife, Benazir Bhutto, returned to Pakistan in 2007 to run for prime minister after years of self-imposed exile, she was already pledged to a campaign of pro-American engagement. She promised to hand over nuclear scientist and international bogeyman Dr Abdul Qadeer Khan, the "father" of the Pakistani atomic bomb, to the International Atomic Energy Agency. She also made clear that, once back in power, she would allow the Americans to bomb Pakistan proper, so that George W Bush's global "war on terror" might triumph. The Americans had been involved in covert strikes and other activities in Pakistan since at least 2001, but we didn't know that then.--Fatima Bhutto, "Pakistan elites turn blind eye to war,", December 11, 2010]

[But some international law experts are questioning their legality. In June, Philip Alston, the independent U.N. investigator on extrajudicial killings, urged the U.S. to lay out rules and safeguards, publish figures on civilian casualties and prove they have tried other ways to capture or incapacitate suspects without killing them.--Chris Brummitt, "Pakistani drone victim seeks to put US on trial," AP News, December 23, 2010]

Mehdi Hasan, "US drone attacks are no laughing matter, Mr Obama," Guardian, December 28, 2010

"2010, The Year of Assassination by Drones: Annual Report on CIA's Target Killing Campaign in Pakistan's Tribal Area," Conflict Monitoring Center (Pakistan), January 2011

[This winter, the Air Force is set to deploy to Afghanistan what it says is a revolutionary airborne surveillance system called Gorgon Stare, which will be able to transmit live video images of physical movement across an entire town.--Ellen Nakashima and Craig Whitlock, "With Air Force's new drone, 'we can see everything'," Washington Post, January 2, 2011]

["For the first time in history," the Times wrote, "a civilian intelligence agency is using robots to carry out a military mission, selecting people for killing in a country where the United States is not officially at war." . . .

The citizens of Peshawar still recall with horror the atrocities committed by Avitabile, an Italian mercenary who ruled Peshawar as the governor of the Sikh kingdom 150 years ago.--S. Amjad Hussain, "Pakistanis believe U.S. is destroying their country,", January 10, 2011]

[In all, about 335 American personnel - C.I.A. officers and contractors and Special Operations forces - were being asked to leave the country--Jane Perlez and Ismail Khan, "Pakistan Tells U.S. It Must Sharply Cut C.I.A. Activities,", April 11, 2011]

Anthony DiMaggio, "The Myth of Humanitarian Catastrophe: Counter-Insurgency Deceptions in Iraq and Afghanistan,", April 26, 2011

[Barack Obama would order troops to parachute in to protect key nuclear missile sites. These include the air force's central Sargodha HQ, home base for nuclear-capable F-16 combat aircraft and at least 80 ballistic missiles.--"US to deploy troops if Pak nukes come under threat," Sunday Express, May 15, 2011]

[Paul, a noted non-interventionist, said the United States has created a civil war in Pakistan and violated the country's national security.--Juana Summers, "Ron Paul: We'll occupy Pakistan, too,", May 18, 2011

Brian Cloughley, "Destroying Democracy in Pakistan: Why the US Will be the Ultimate Loser,", May 19, 2011

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