Archive for the ‘Predators’ Category

Pakistan Auditions For “New Start” in U.S. Policy, Funding From President Obama on CNN

January 24, 2009

Pakistan has been the staunchest ally of the United States in the war against terror, President George W. Bush often told us, to say nothing of Vice President Cheney’s unprecidented support for the South Asian nuclear power.

Yet Pakistan was never able to find in itself the courage to pick one side or the other: democracy and the United States or Islam and the Taliban.  Anti-terror or terror.

Because Pakistan refused for most of the Bush Administration to use its army to root out the Taliban and al-Qaeda (maybe even Osama bin Laden himself) from the tribal areas near Afganistan, the U.S. started raining down death on terror leaders iside Pakistan from predator drones armed with missiles.

Countless terror leaders were killed.

An unmanned Predator drone. A suspected US missile strike Friday ... 
An unmanned Predator drone. A suspected US missile strike Friday killed at least three foreign militants in the northwest Pakistan stronghold of a local Taliban commander, a senior security official said.(AFP/File/US Air Force)

Pakistan was torn further internally by its number one ally and benefactor, the U.S., ignoring preas from its government to stop violating its sovereign borders — from the air.  Pakistan even mustered its Air Force to the tribal areas in attempts to find and destroy the U.S. drones — with little consequence.

Now Pakistan has a new Government headed by Mr. Zardari and Mr. Gilani.  Musharraf is out.  And India along with much of the world believes that Pakistan had some hand in the terror attack in Mumbai.

Re-enter Musharraf:

“Pakistan is being treated so unequally while we are the ones who are in the lead role fighting the global war on terror,” said Pervez Musharraf, interviewed by CNN’s Wolf Blitzer for “The Situation Room.”

“This is what hurts Pakistan. It hurts the leadership. Indeed, it hurts the government. It hurts the people of Pakistan,” said Musharraf, speaking from Dallas, Texas, during a book tour in the United States.

Former Pakistan President Pervez Musharraf says anti-American sentiment in Pakistan is high.

Former Pakistan President Pervez Musharraf says anti-American sentiment in Pakistan is high.

“Nobody in Pakistan is comfortable with the strikes across the border. There is no doubt in that. Public opinion is very much against it,” he said. “But as far as this issue of the new president — President Obama having taken over and this continuing — but I have always been saying that policies don’t change with personalities; policies have national interest, and policies depend on an environment.

“So the environment and national interest of the United States being the same, I thought policies will remain constant,” he said.

Musharraf seems to be making a plea to President Obama, who has claimed a “new way” in the Middle East and with Iran, that Pakistan too deserves a new lease on life — and American wealth in the form of aid and assistance; of which Musharraf has been one of the number one beneficiaries in the past….

Related:
http://edition.cnn.com/2009/WORLD/
asiapcf/01/23/pakistan.musharraf/index.html

Pakistan’s Ugly, Dangerous Game

December 30, 2008

Today Pakistan closed the U.S. and NATO supply line from Pakistan into Afghanistan in a move it said allowed Pakistan to chase down and kill anti-U.S. Taliban members in the tribal areas.

The fact is that the U.S. and NATO needs those supplies from Pakistan into Afghanistan and they also need the Pakistani army to fight the Taliban and al-Qaeda.  One without the other is a fool’s errand.

For some months now, Pakistan resisted U.S. pleas for the Pakistani army to take a greater role in fighting the Taliban in the tribal areas.  When Pakistan ignored U.S. requests, the U.S. targeted key Taliban men and positions using drone aircraft armed with missiles.

An unmanned Predator drone. Six suspected militants were killed ... 
An unmanned but missile-armed U.S. Predator drone.(AFP/USAF/File/US Air Force)

But Pakistan is trapped by conflicting loyalties: to allow the U.S. drone overflights and attacks caused militants inside Pakistan to revolt.

Pakistan again wrestled with a long standing dilemma: to appease the U.S. and continue to suck up U.S. money and supplies or to suffer the consequences of further internal and border violence from Islamic militants.

Pakistan is using the unsettled situation with India over the Mumbai massacre as a ruse to move troops away from the tribal areas and the border with Afghanistan and toward India.  This allowed rebels to attack the NATO supply system for Afghanistan inside Pakistan.

Pakistan is playing an ugly and dangerous game.  The Islamic militants inside Pakistan have no real love for the government of President Zardari — nor did they for his predecessor General Musharraf. 

Pakistan's President Asif Ali Zardari, widower of former ... 
Pakistan’s President Asif Ali Zardari.REUTERS/Nadeem Soomro (PAKISTAN)

In Pakistan, the government leadership reaps most of the wealth from U.S. assistance and little trickles down.

So Pakistan’s gamesmanship only further annoys the militants.

India has lost all regard for Pakistan and its games, too. India wants answers and action from Pakistan following Mumbai: not war.  And Pakistan seems to be stonewalling while saying all the right things, as usual.

And the U.S. should be weary too by now of Pakistan’s clumsy chicanery…..

This now is the challenge for Barack Obama and India.  The militants in Pakistan have already decided they can’t tolerate the Zardari regime.  Obama’s play is not known.  But in India, patience is wearing thin.

By John E. Carey
Wakefield Chapel, Virginia

Related:
Pakistan Closes NATO Supply Line to U.S., Afghanistan

Pakistan: India moves troops toward shared border

Pakistan army: We must ‘avoid conflict’ with India

From CNN:
http://www.cnn.com/2008/WORLD/asiapcf
/12/30/pakistan.afghanistan.border/index.html

http://www.cnn.com/2008/WORLD/asiapcf/1
2/30/pakistan.india.tensions/index.html

http://pakistankakhudahafiz.wordpress.com
/2008/12/30/the-brass-tacks-of-indias-duplicity/

India terror group, Lashkar-e-Taiba, the new Al Qaeda?

December 21, 2008

U. S. intelligence was caught off-guard by Lashkar-e-Taiba‘s “highly sophisticated” Mumbai terror strikes last month, which top spies now consider the debut of a new “brand name” to rival Al Qaeda.

The Islamist group was formed with Pakistani government help decades ago, but U.S. officials admit underestimating Lashkar’s shift from waging a minor conflict in the Kashmir region to threatening Westerners and Jews.

By James Gordon Meek
New York Daily News
.
“There is real concern over the fact LeT has raised its profile,” a U.S. counterterror official told the Daily News. “A lot of people are watching closely now to see if they’re plotting new attacks.”

The group is as mainstream in Pakistan as its ally Hamas is in the Palestinian territories.

Before the mayhem that began Nov. 26, no Lashkar camps in Pakistan’s tribal areas had been targeted during an intense CIA offensive in the fall, a senior intelligence official confirmed.

The agency has used unmanned drones to fire missiles at Taliban and Al Qaeda operatives directing the insurgency in Afghanistan. Lashkar cross-trains with the two terror groups.

But U.S. counterterror efforts are now getting beefed up, sources said.

“Assume that the intelligence community has new targets it previously hoped would be only distractions, of which LeT is one,” a third U.S. official told The News.

Navy Adm. Mike Mullen, chairman of the military’s Joint Chiefs of Staff, said Lashkar – which once focused on the India-Pakistan fight over Kashmir – hit a “new threshold” of terror by killing Americans, Brits and Jews.

Mike Mullen, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Adm., ... 
Admiral Mike Mullen, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, seen, during a press conference at a
U.S base in Kabul, Afghanistan, Saturday, Dec. 20, 2008.
(AP Photo/Rahmat Gul)

“They specifically targeted a Jewish center that was off the main drag,” Mullen recently told reporters. “It raises this outfit to a much higher level than where it was before.”

Brooklyn Rabbi Gavriel Holtzberg and his wife, Rivkah, were slain there, leaving their baby, Moshe, an orphan.

Many also were surprised by what one internal U.S. government document called “hit and run” tactics that killed scores of Indians and six Americans.

Mullen said the 10 thugs “in a highly sophisticated manner [held] at bay an entire city.”

They had been trained by military pros in small arms and close combat for a year near Kashmir – though evidence isn’t a slam dunk that Pakistani spies aided them, sources said. The killers used satellite GPS units and phones and Google Earth to plan and execute the attacks.

Ex-CIA analyst Michael Scheuer declared it “a superb operation.”

Americans and Jews now face greater danger from Lashkar overseas, officials said.

“There are a lot of tourists in South Asia, and there’s really not a lot we can do,” Scheuer said.

“The question,” said another intelligence official, “is whether Mumbai is a ‘one-off’ or if such operations could be sustained.”

http://www.nydailynews.com/news/us_world/2008/12/21/2008-12-21_india_terror_group_lashkaretaiba_the_new.html