Monthly Archives: December 2011

Crackpot Anti-Islam Activists, “Serial Fabricators” and the Tale of Iran and 9/11

By:   Gareth Porter

Behind a mysterious December 22 Associated Press story about “finding of fact” by a District judge in Manhattan Friday that Iran assisted al Qaeda in the planning of the 9/11 attacks is a tapestry of recycled fabrications and distortions of fact from a bizarre cast of characters.

The AP story offers no indication of the nature of the evidence in the case except that former members of the 9/11 Commission and three Iranian defectors provided testimony. What it didn’t say was that at least two of the Iranian defectors have long been dismissed by US intelligence as “fabricators” and that the two “expert witnesses” who were supposed to determine the credibility of those defectors’ claims are both avowed advocates of crackpot conspiracy theories about Muslims and Shariah law who believe the United States is at war with Islam.

The ostensible purpose of the case brought by families of 9/11 terror attack victims was to win damages from those responsible for 9/11. Dozens of such cases involving different terrorist attacks have been brought to US courts over the years, in which “default judgments” have been made against Iran over various attacks in which Iran was allegedly involved, but there is no chance of getting any money for the families.

The only real effect of the case is to promote right-wing political myths about Iran. One of the peculiarities of such cases is that the witnesses are not subject to cross examination in court. The witnesses have every incentive, therefore to indulge in false testimony, knowing that there will be no one to challenge them.

“A Fabricator of Monumental Proportions”

The lawyers and the “expert witnesses” behind the accusation of Iran in regard to 9/11 hoped to sell the press and public on recycled claims first made by Iranian “defectors” several years ago that they had personal knowledge of Iranian participation in the 9/11 plot. The lawyers produced videotaped affidavits by three such defectors who were identified, with a dramatic flourish, as Witnesses “X,” “Y” and “Z.”

In the one public hearing held on the case, the lawyers revealed the identity of purported former Iranian intelligence official Abolghasem Mesbahi – probably a pseudonym – and described his testimony that he had received a series of “coded messages” from a former colleague in the Iranian government in the late summer and early fall of 2001 warning that a terrorist attack against the United States was being planned, and that it was a plan that had been concocted by Tehran in the late 1980s.

Although the judge and the public were being led to believe that this is somehow new information going beyond what was known by the 9/11 Commission report, it is, in fact, very old information and has long been completely discredited. Mesbahi’s story doesn’t hold up, for several reasons, and the most obvious is that, despite his claim that he was warned nearly a month before the 9/11 attacks that civilian airliners would be crashed into buildings in major US cities, including Washington and New York on September 11, he never conveyed that information to the US government before that date.

In October 2001, Mesbahi claimed to right-wing journalist Kenneth R. Timmerman, as reported in Timmerman’s 2005 book that he had tried calling the legal attaché at the US Embassy in Berlin, but was “unsuccessful in several attempts.” But he did not claim any other attempt to reach a US consulate or the US Embassy in Germany by fax, e-mail or letter before September 11, nor did he go to the US Embassy in person to convey this warning. He told Timmerman that he called an Iranian dissident contact in the United States who, he believed, had contacts with US intelligence agencies only some hoursafter the attacks on New York and Washington.

It wasn’t the first time Mesbahi had claimed inside information about Iranian involvement in a terrorist attack only after the attack had taken place. He hadtold investigators working on the December 1988 terror bombing of Pan Am Flight 103 that Iran had asked Libya and Abu Nidal to carry out the attack on the personal orders of Ayatollah Khomeini. Unfortunately for his credibility, however, he had not come forward with the allegation until after the bombing had happened.

He had also provided affidavits to Argentine investigators in the case of the 1994 AMIA bombing in Buenos Aires, claiming his well-informed friends in Iranian intelligence had tipped him off that the decision to bomb the Jewish Community Center had been made at a meeting attended by top Iranian officials in August 1993.

But in fact, by his own admission Mesbahi had not worked for Argentine intelligence since 1988, and the FBI’s Hezbollah Office’s James Bernazzani, who had helped the Argentine intelligence service with the investigation in 1997, told me in a November 2006 interview that American intelligence officials had concluded Mesbahi did not have the continued high-level access to Iranian intelligence officials throughout the 1990s and beyond that he was claiming. They regarded him as someone who was desperate for money and ready to “provide testimony to any country on any case involving Iran,” according to Bernazzani.

Mesbahi wasn’t even consistent in the story he told about the alleged “coded messages.” In an interview with Timmerman, Mesbahi stated that he had gotten two messages from his contact, one on September 1, 2001 and a second three days later. And Timmerman wrote that his alleged contact had “phoned him again” on September 4, indicating that Mesbahi had made no reference to an elaborate scheme to send coded messages through articles in Iranian newspapers.

But in his affidavit to the 9/11 court case, he said he had gotten three messages – on July 23, August 13 and August 27 – and that the coded messages were placed in newspaper articles. Timmerman, who referred the lawyers to Mesbahi, discretely avoided pointing out the huge discrepancy between the two stories, which clearly indicates that Mesbahi fabricated the tale of messages in newspaper articles to make it more dramatic and convincing.

The second defector, Hamid Reza Zakeri, claimed he had been an officer of Iran’s Ministry of Information and Security and had provided security for a meeting at an airbase near Tehran on May 4, 2001 attended by supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, President Hashemi Rafsanjani and Osama bin Laden’s son Saad bin Laden. He also claimed to have seen replicas of the twin towers, the White House, the Pentagon and Camp David in the entry hall to the main headquarters of the MOIS with a missile suspended above the targets, and “Death to America” written in Arabic (rather than Farsi) on the side.

Like Mesbahi, Zakeri also first told his tale to Timmerman, who recounts it in his 2005 book. Zakeri, who apparently defected from Iran in late July 2001, claimed he had told the US Embassy in Baku, Azerbaijan on July 26, 2001 about the alleged meeting and replicas, warning them that he believed the Iranians and al Qaeda were planning an attack on those targets that would occur September 11. But CIA officials denied categorically to Timmerman that Zakeri had given any such warning to the Embassy and called Zakeri “a fabricator of monumental proportions” and “a serial fabricator.” Zakeri failed an FBI polygraph test in 2003, according to Timmerman.

watch?v=MxpMYE-UHpM&feature=player_embedded

Crackpot Hate-Islam Extremists as “Expert Witnesses”

Significantly, no reputable retired intelligence analyst on Iran was asked to help judge the testimony of the Iranian defectors. Instead, Clare M. Lopez and Bruce Tefft, both former CIA covert operations case officers, were invited to be “expert witnesses,” in large part to view the videotaped testimony of the three Iranian defectors and assess their credibility.

Based on the record of their public statements, however, they were selected for that role because they could be counted upon to endorse the defectors’ allegations of Iranian involvement in planning the 9/11 attacks and any other assertion, no matter how outlandish, that suggested Iranian guilt.

Lopez has been linked with the neoconservative faction of the Bush administration and the pro-Likud Party extreme right ever since she became Executive Director of the Iran Policy Committee in 2005. Through a series of policy papers issued that year, the Committee sought to support from outside the push by a group of pro-Likud officials within the administration for a policy of regime change in Iran.

In particular, the Committee called for using the Mujahedin-E-Khalq or MEK, the armed opposition group listed by the US State Department as a terrorist group because of its assassinations of US officials during the regime of the Shah and bombings of large civilian events in Iran. The MEK had long enjoyed close working relations with Israel, but not with the United States, and the State Department had continued to oppose delisting and alliance with the MEK against Tehran, as proposed by the Defense Department and the Vice-President’s office.

Since 2009, Lopez has been a senior fellow at the Center for Security Policy founded and headed by notorious Islam-hating extremist Frank J. Gaffney. One of Lopez’s projects has been to stir up public fear over an alleged threat to America – not from al Qaeda attacks, but from subversion by Muslim-Americans. She is one of a number of authors of a book published by Gaffney’s Center in October 2010 called “Shariah: the Threat to America,” which declares, “The United States is under attack by foes who are openly animated by what is known as Shariah (Islamic Law).”

Revealing the project’s anti-Islam paranoia, the book asserts, “Shariah dictates that non-Muslims be given three choices: convert to Islam and conform to Shariah; submit as second class citizens (dhimmis), or be killed.”

In a videotaped talk she gave on February 23, 2011, Lopez said Muslims, “believe they should be in charge of the world.” The main threat from Islam, she said, is “stealth Jihad” waged by Muslims who “hide behind a moderate image,” but whose “purpose is still the same” as that of al Qaeda.

A second aspect of Lopez’s work for Gaffney has been to intimidate opponents of the hard-line policies toward Iran – and especially the National Iranian-American Council (NIAC) – by accusing them of being covert lobbyists for Iran.

Tefft, who retired from the CIA’s Operations Division in 1995, is even more explicit in arguing that there is a worldwide war against Islam. “We are fighting a 14-century war against Islam and its adherents, Muslims,” he declared in an interview with the right-wing website FrontPage in October 2007. “And it is a war that they have declared on all non-Muslims….” Islamic ideology requires Muslims to “make the world Islamic under the Caliphate, and to convert, kill or enslave all non-Muslims….” When the interviewer suggested that there are “moderate Muslims,” Tefft responded, “I don’t think so….” he said. “Were there ‘good’ or ‘moderate’ Nazis?”

Tefft referred to the way “the West” had “prevailed” over Islam with the “defeat of the marauding armies of Islam at the Gates of Vienna in 1529″ and added, “We need to recall that period…and again contain Islam to its existing borders.”

When asked by this writer in a phone interview last week if he had been aware of the advocacy of Islamophobe arguments by Lopez and Tefft, Thomas Mellon, Jr., one of two lead lawyers in the case, did not answer directly, but said, “To the extent that you are accurate, we would say, fine, take them out.” He insisted that the lawyers for the case had not relied on any one of the ten “expert witnesses” listed on the case.

Also playing a central role in weaving the tale of Iranian complicity in the 9/11 attacks for the court case was the right-wing author and anti-Iran activist Kenneth R. Timmerman. According to the lawyers’ brief on the case, it was Timmerman who sought out one of the attorneys, Timothy B. Fleming, and brought to his attention the three Iranian “defectors” who claimed personal knowledge that Iran was involved in the planning of 9/11.

Like Lopez, Timmerman has been linked with hardline pro-Likud organizations and involved in efforts to overthrow the regime in Tehran. Along with Joshua Muravchik, and a group of Iranian exile foes of the Islamic regime, he established the “Foundation for Democracy in Iran” in 1995.

Timmerman has also expressed views sympathetic to the Hate-Islam movement. His 2003 book, “Preachers of Hate: Islam and the War against America,” portrays the United States and Israel as innocent victims of a vicious campaign against the West by whole Islamic societies that refuse to accept the US-Israeli narrative on terrorism. And his new novel, “St. Peter’s Bones,” has been praised by notorious Islam-hater Robert Spencer for revealing the “long-hidden origins of Islam.”

The “Material Support” and “Save Haven” Ploys

The most egregious allegations of Iranian complicity in 9/11 come from three former staff members of the 9/11 Commission – Daniel Byman, Dietrich Snell and Janice Kephart. They had all worked on the section of the 2004 report that had given heavy emphasis to the fact that Iran had not stamped the passports of Saudis who had later become hijackers in the 9/11 attacks when they entered Iran. The section had suggested that this and other evidence could indicate Iranian complicity in the plot, even if it could not yet be proven.

In their affidavits to the court, those three former staffers, two of whom (Snell and Kephart) are lawyers, argue that Iran’s failure to stamp the passports of the al Qaeda operatives constituted provision of “material support” to al Qaeda in executing the 9/11 attacks. US anti-terrorist law specifies that the provision of “material support” to terrorists includes any “service” to terrorists if the provider is “knowing or intending that they are to be used in preparation for, or in carrying out” a terrorist action.

However, a key piece of information in a different chapter of the 9/11 Commission report shows that Iran’s failure to stamp passports was not intended to aid al Qaeda. On page 169, the report says that, in order to avoid the confiscation by Saudi authorities of passports bearing a Pakistani stamp, the Saudi al Qaeda operatives, “either erased the Pakistani visa from their passport or traveled through Iran, which did not stamp visas directly into passports.” In other words, the Iranian practice of not stamping visas directly into passports applied to everyone. And since, as the Commission report acknowledged, there was no evidence of Iranian foreknowledge of the 9/11 attacks, the existence of that policy did not support the thesis of Iranian “material support” for the al Qaeda plot.

The Commission staff went back to the two senior planners of the attacks, Khalid Sheikh Mohammed and Ramzi Binalshibh, in July 2004, to ask them specifically about the Iranian failure to stamp the passports of the hijackers, but, strangely, the Commission report gives no indication of what they said about whether the Iranian practice was intended to assist al Qaeda. Either the staff never asked the question, or the answer was ignored because it contradicted the line that those staff members were pushing in 2004 and are still pushing today.

The former Commission staffers also joined right-wing activists in highlighting the intelligence Commission report statements that “an associate of a senior Hizbullah operative” was on the same mid-November flight from Beirut to Tehran as a group of future hijackers, and that Hezbollah officials in Beirut and Iran had been “expecting the arrival of a group [from Saudi Arabia] during the same time period.” The former staffers insist that these could not have been coincidences and that they had to mean that Iran was involved in the al Qaeda plot.

The argument that the presence of an “associate” of a top Hezbollah official on the same flight as future al Qaeda hijackers could not have been a coincidence is absurd. There were obviously many “associates” of top Hezbollah officials, most whom would have had occasion to travel to Iran frequently. The statistical likelihood that one of them would be on the same flight as the future hijackers would not be so small as to merit suspicion.

And the very same section of the Commission report provides a clear explanation of the anticipation of a group traveling from Saudi Arabia to Iran that reveals the conspiratorial interpretation as dishonest. It says that a senior Hezbollah operative – said to have been Imad Mugniyeh – visited Saudi Arabia in October 2000 to “coordinate activities” there, that he planned to assist a group traveling to Iran in November, and that intelligence reports showed the planned visit to Iran involved a “top Hezbollah commander” and “Saudi Hezbollah contacts.”

But that didn’t stop the lawyers for the case from twisting the Commission report to fit the desired narrative: “The ‘activities’ that Mughniyah went to coordinate,” clearly revolved around the hijackers’ travel, their obtaining new Saudi passports and/or US visas for the 9/11 operation, as several of them did, as well as the hijackers’ security, and the operation’s security.”

Paul Pillar, who was the CIA’s senior intelligence officer on the Middle East and South Asia from 2000 to 2005 and had previously been the senior analyst at the agency’s Counterterrorism Center, was categorical about the matter when I interviewed him in 2006. The facts detailed in the Commission Report about passports, travel of the hijackers through Iran, and the presence of a Hezbollah official on one of the flights “don’t show Iranian collusion with al Qaeda,” he told me.

The lawyers’ brief refers to “the existence of a secret network of travel routes and safehouses” worked out from the mid-1990s onward as being “confirmed by al Qaeda military chief Saef al Adel in a May 2005 interview.” That implies that secret arrangements on such “travel routes and safehouses” were made between al Qaeda and the Iranian government. But al-Adel said nothing of the sort. He made it clear in his interview with a Saudi journalist that the Iranians who helped them with housing and logistics were not connected with the Iranian regime.

The “expert witnesses” and the lawyers carefully skirt the fact that in the latter half of the 1990s – at a time when the United States was officially still “neutral” on the civil war in Afghanistan – Iran was providing funding, arms and other support to the Northern Alliance, the non-Pashtun forces seeking to overthrow the Taliban regime which bin Laden and al Qaeda were helping to keep in power.

That Iranian support for the Northern Alliance was still ongoing when the organization’s chief, Ahmad Shah Massoud, was assassinated September 10, 2001 by two Arabs posing as journalists. The leader of the CIA’s post-9/11 covert paramilitary team in Afghanistan, Gary Schroen, reported that there were two IRGC Colonels attached to the Commander of the Northern Alliance, Bismullah Khan, when the CIA team arrived. Nevertheless, Lopez and Tefft as well as Israeli journalist Ronan Bergman, a former intelligence officer in the Israeli Defense Forces who boasts of his “close personal contacts” with senior Israel intelligence and military officials, cite reports supposedly originating with German intelligence that Iran helped al Qaeda operatives carry out the Massoud assassination.

All the “expert witnesses” insist vehemently that Iran continued to provide “safe haven” for al Qaeda operatives who fled from Afghanistan to Iran after 9/11, allowing them to direct terrorist activities against Saudi Arabia in particular. But that accusation merely recycles the claim first made in early 2002 by Bush administration officials seeking to prevent negotiations between the United States and Iran and push for the adoption of a regime change strategy in Iran.

The central pretense of the neoconservative “safe haven” ploy was that, if any al Qaeda operatives were able to function in Iran, Iran must have deliberately permitted it. But the United States has been unable to shut down al Qaeda’s operation in Pakistan after a decade of trying, despite the cooperation of the Pakistani intelligence service and the drone coverage of the tribal areas. If the same criteria applied to Iran were to be applied to the Bush administration and the government of Germany, they could be accused of having provided “safe haven” for al Qaeda operatives prior to 9/11.

In fact, after US complaints about al Qaeda presence in Iran in late 2001, Tehran detained nearly 300 al Qaeda operatives, and gave a dossier with their names, passport pictures and fingerprints to the United Nations. Iran also repatriated at least 200 of those detainees to the newly formed government of Afghanistan.

US Ambassador Ryan Crocker revealed last year that, in late 2001, the Iranians had been willing to discuss possible surrender of the senior al Qaeda officials it was detaining to the United States and share any intelligence they had gained from their investigations as part of a wider understanding with Washington. But the neoconservative faction in the administration rejected that offer, demanding that Iran give them the al Qaeda detainees without getting anything in return.

Iran’s crackdown on al Qaeda continued in 2002-03 and netted a number of top officials. One of the senior al Qaeda detainees apparently detained by Iran during that period, Saif al-Adel, later told a Jordanian journalist that Iran’s operations against al Qaeda had “confused us and aborted 75 percent of our plan.” The arrests included “up to 80 percent” of Abu Musab al Zarqawi’s group, he said, and those who had not been swept up were forced to leave for Iraq.

In further negotiations with the Bush administration in May 2003, Iran again offered to turn over the senior al Qaeda detainees to the United States in return for the MEK captured by US forces in Iraq. The Bush administration again refused the offer.

By 2005, a “senior US intelligence official” was publicly admitting that 20 to 25 top al Qaeda leaders were in detention in Iran and that they were “not able to do much of anything.”

In 2008, one US official told ABC news that administration officials had not been raising the al Qaeda issue publicly, because “they believe Iran has largely kept the al Qaeda operatives under control since 2003, limiting their ability to travel and communicate.”

But in the world of the right-wing Islam-hating extremists and others pushing for confrontation with Iran, reality is no obstacle to spinning tales of secret Iranian assistance to al Qaeda.

NOTE:This is a cross post from Truthout: http://www.truth-out.org/crackpot-anti-islam-activists-serial-fabricators-and-tale-iran-and-911/1325172724

Thoughts on Mark Twain’s ‘The War Prayer’

By: David Lindorff, Sr.
This is a cross post from This Can’t Be Happening : http://www.thiscantbehappening.net/node/954
At the beginning of the twentieth century the United States was engaged in a long and brutal war of aggression against the Philippines, which led to between 200,000 and 1.5 million civilian deaths. It was a colonial war against independence fought by the US with patriotic zeal and of course, the claim that God was on our side.  To be against the war in that jingoistic era was considered tantamount to treason.  Hence it was a brazen act of effrontery for author Mark Twain to have made a statement denouncing the acts of brutality that accompanied this war.  In his short story, The War Prayer, he portrayed a priest who, with  fervor, called upon God to bring victory to a supposedly just cause,  irrespective of the horror inflicted on the “enemy,” a poor and downtrodden people trying only to assert their freedom after centuries of colonial oppression.

Following an invocation from the Old-Testament and an enormous blast from the organ “that shook the house,” the priest closed with,

“Bless our arms,
grant us the victory,
O Lord our God,
Father and Protector
of  our land and flag.”

It was then that attention shifted to an old man walking slowly down the aisle. With his eyes fixed on the gaunt face and long white hair of the approaching stranger, who was wearing a white robe that reached to his feet, the startled minister yielded his place at the altar.  The strange interloper stood there for a time, seemingly unaware of the people sitting spellbound before him in the pews.

With eyes that showed an “uncanny light, he then said in a deep voice:

I come from the Throne –
bearing a message from Almighty God.

These words were of course shocking. He continued:

He has heard the prayer
of the servant your shepherd
and will grant it
if such shall be your desire
after I, his messenger,
have explained to you its import…
For it is like unto
many of the prayers of men
in that it asks for more
than he who utters it is aware of–
except that he pause and think.
 (Emphasis added)

For in truth there are two prayers embedded within any prayer for success in war, the spoken and the unspoken.  The spoken word is a prayer for victory, but the unspoken prayer is asking for many unforeseen but terrible consequences.  In granting the first, the second must follow in the form of “unmentioned results.” It is to these that Twain’s God had instructed the stranger to draw attention.  It was to the second hidden prayer that the people needed “to listen.”

(unforeseen)

Help us
to lay waste
their humble homes
with a hurricane of fire.

(unforeseen)

Water their way with their tears,
stain the white snow with the blood of their wounded feet!
We ask it, in the spirit of love, of Him Who is the Source
of Love, and Who is the ever-faithful refuge and friend of all
that are sore beset and seek His aid with humble and
contrite hearts.

Amen

My experience is limited to life in the 20th and 21st centuries, in which the atom bomb has been the first awakening.  In World War II, when 30 million died, I wasn’t listening.  In Vietnam, when two million were killed, I listened but too late. As for the recent and present wars, which have killed more than a million people, I am trying now to listen.

President Kennedy famously said, “There will always be wars.”

Since this is  probably true for the foreseeable  future, we must strive to diminish the first prayer, and listen to what we are really asking for in the second when we pray for victory.
DAVID LINDORFF, Sr. is a retired electrical engineer, a Jungian analyst, and is author of Pauli and Jung: A Meeting of Two Great Minds (Quest Books, 2004).

Improving US Image in Pakistan:The Hows of it!

By Brig Nadir Mir

Regardless of US, Pakistan remaining allies or not, they were never destined to be enemies. Yet anti Americanism grows in Pakistan and frustration with Pakistan increases in America. Even though ‘disenchanted allies’ for long, the last decade, post 9/11 has resulted in a growing animosity. This is a result of American geopolitical naivete, Pakistani wishfulness and Indians deceit creating an explosive brew. Yet there is a clear distinction between US and Pakistani global perceptions. US being a global albeit sole super power has to worry about a long list of geopolitical rivals, allies, surrogates and fence sitters.

Washington has to relate to Putin’s Russia, China’s rise, the Middle East Arab Spring, Turkish growth and independence, keeping Israel on a tight leash, Iran’s defiance, North Korean wild card antics, European economic gloom and doom (of EU), India unreliable both as friend or foe etc. Besides the mess American Neo Con policy resulted in at home and abroad (bankrupt at home and over stretched abroad).

Pakistan’s case is much simpler. Its geopolitical world is limited. Indian threat, Afghanistan issues and American relations are key subjects for now. Afghanistan the geopolitical square on the global chessboard for testing both! American stock in Pakistan has plunged to the lowest depth. America needs Pakistan, while it is in Afghanistan. But Washington will need Islamabad even more later. Pakistan’s geography is globally pivotal. (This scribe’s book ‘Gwadar on the Global Chessboard’ makes it quite evident). Pakistan’s demography will be the most numerous in the Muslim world (3 billion Muslims by 2030). Pakistan may be the world’s 3rd or 4th most populous state decades from now. According to Mr. Bruce Riedel (former CIA and advisor to President Obama) Pakistan will possess the world’s 4th or 5th biggest nuclear arsenal in the next decade. The key question Americans  should address – how to improve its image in Pakistan?

A few cardinal points to ponder are presented here:

People

The only people who are duped by Fox TV, Neo Con plus Globalists Media etc are some gullible Americans. The rest of the world including Pakistanis are quite clear about these issues. Even if the majority of Pakistanis lack high end education, there is ample rustic wisdom in the Pakistani Nation. America’s constant reference to Pakhtoons, Baloch, Punjabis, Sindhis, Sunni, Shia etc, are seen as attempts to divide the Pakistani people. As is US patronage of dictator dispensation and elite, viewed as corrupt plus treacherous by many in Pakistan. Washington’s investment in Pakistani liberals is also a complete waste as far as containing extremism is concerned. Pakistani Nationalists with moderate views are the best recipe for dealing with extremists of various hues. Pakistan’s liberals are frequently and often correctly seen as puppets with self aggrandizing agendas. Many NGOS have been discredited due to American links. Even European or other western NGOS, organization have fallen in disrepute (for no fault of theirs) as being fronts and full filling US agenda.

Bottom line: ‘Befriend the people of Pakistan’.

Nukes

Pakistani nukes though guarded by its military are the pride of the nation. In a country of corrupt elite, hungry and angry people, internal and external threats, the nukes are seen as deterrents, equalizers and symbols of national pride.

Relentless American inspired propaganda against Pakistani nukes – missiles (even if contributed by India and others) is threatening, shocking and pride snatching for Pakistanis. Indo – US nuclear deal is nuclear apartheid for Pakistan. (Regardless of what Americans say about AQ khan’s affairs). Pakistani Nation would prefer nukes to be used if it ever faces – ‘use them or lose them scenario’.

The average Pakistani knows that India does not have the capability or courage to attempt nuclear defanging of Pakistan. But the Gungho – cow boys might attempt it, resulting in a regional – global catastrophe.

Bottom line: US should accept ‘Nuclear Pakistan’ or at least stop its tirade against it.

Centre of Gravity

Geopolitically speaking ISI – Pakistan military is the centre of gravity. Though over all historically speaking, it is the freedom spirit of the Pakistani Nation. A concerted campaign against ISI and Pakistan military, amounts to degrading its centre of gravity. (After ten years of Pakistanis sacrifices in blood, treasury, infrastructure, national emotions in the so called global war on terror).

Bottom line: US should abandon attempts to divide Pakistani Nation from ISI – Armed Forces and forgo demonizing them.

Kashmir

Genocide in Kashmir by Indian Army has resulted in hundreds of thousands of Kashmiris killed besides thousands of Kashmiri women raped. US intervention in Bosnia, Libya and numerous other places was for much less. Unresolved Kashmir is the core issue preventing peace in South Asia. By condoning Indian war crimes (2000 plus in unmarked graves recently identified in Indian held Kashmir), US is aggravating the problem.

Bottom line: Help resolve the Kashmir issue.

Afghanistan

The majority of Pakistanis want peace in Afghanistan. Peace cannot prevail until foreign forces leave Afghanistan, whether by agreement or other quick exodus. As long as foreign forces remain, the Afghans will resist. It is not a question of Haqqanis involvement or anyone else for that matter but of US departure.

Bottom line: US should relent and withdrawal its forces from Afghanistan. A negotiated peace agreement in Afghanistan involving Pakistan is the solution.

National Emotions

A history of US betrayal haunts Pakistani minds. The current issue is not only US walking away from Kabul but installing Indians before departure. As American drone strikes killing many innocents and attacks on Pakistani Soldiers signify US hubris, entrenching Indians in Kabul would once again prove American betrayal. If Washington does this, it will lose the Pakistani nation’s confidence. Any US or US sponsored attempt, be it diplomatic or military against Pakistan’s nukes, would end Pakistani nation’s relations with USA forever. (Lead to a conflagration and create a sea of radioactive hostility).

So far the PERCEPTION of American strategy towards Pakistan has been:

§  Patronize liberal puppet elite

§  Divide Pakistani nation

§  Demonize ISI, nuclear, military in Pakistan.

§  Support the enemies of Pakistan to destabilize and encircle it.

§  Aim to denuclearize and balkanize it.

Obviously this has resulted in the lowest level of US – Pakistan relations in history. Going further down can best be summed up by the German philosopher’s famous quote.

“When you look into an abyss, the abyss also looks into you”

Friedrich Nietzsche

The writer is a graduate of Armour School, Fort Knox USA, Army Staff College Quetta, Turkish War Academy Istanbul, War College and National Defence College Islamabad.After “Farewell to Arms” Brigadier Nadir Mir aspires to contribute for the national cause – Pakistan. He is now settled in Lahore.   This article is a cross post from his blog “PAKISTAN & GEOPOLITICS”.

After American Aid Freeze….now what?

A Pakpotpourri Exclusive

By

Hamid Waheed

What will happen now with US Congress passing of bill to freeze military aid to Pakistan? This is THE Question asked by many Pakistanis in this difficult times of strained Pak – US relations when US house of representative passed a legislation to freeze 700 million dollar aid to Pakistan. A Common Pakistani perception is that Pakistan has suffered enormous losses financially, economically, socially and psychologically and the compensation being paid by the US for this colossal damage amounts to pea nuts. The American public, on the other hand, feels that Pakistani policy makers and officials continue to benefit from the aid and assistance through their tax money  and at the same time use it as punching bag to pursue their own political agenda and accuse it of double game in fight against terrorists and Afghan exit Strategy. Misperceptions that prevail on both sides need a surgery to find facts. Today lets take  a ‘transparent look’ that explains and reveals the U.S.-Pakistan relationship with respect to aid to Pak and its utilization.

The total amounts budgeted by the US $20.7 billion in US funding allocated to Pakistan from 2002 to 2010,had $14.2 billion for the Pakistani military. Security-related funding, including CSF (2002-2010).This includes the operational cost of the 140,000 Pakistani troops deployed along the 2,560-kilometer border. However the paper  transactions show that amounts actually given to Pakistan, in economic assistance came to $6.5 billion which is  less than a third of the total. Almost two-thirds of the amount goes into security-related heads, while the social sector and economic infrastructure receive the remaining one-third. Within social sector US AID and ‘private contractors’ spent more than 70 percent of the funds allocated for socio-economic development on their own support infrastructure. Half of the money never leaves US accounts. It’s the same for Iraq and Afghanistan. Now coming  to spending of  $488.537 million being provided under the Kerry-Lugar-Burmen Law (KLL), it was  provided for two modes of assistance: one, budget money worth $1,025.335 million for the year 2010-11 and, two, “off the budget” $488.537 million.

Looking at “off the budget” assistance of $488 million, America planed to spend $170 million for International Narcotics Control and Law Enforcement, $106.387 million for Office of Transition and $60 million for humanitarian assistance. The remaining over $240 million will be spent through international and local NGOs. Pakistani authorities do not know details of this spending.  The US Government Accountability Office reports that only 12 percent of the $1.5 billion in economic assistance to Pakistan authorized for 2010 was actually disbursed that year. Independent calculations by the Center for Global Development suggest that $2.2 billion of civilian aid budgeted for Pakistan is currently undisbursed, meaning that total economic assistance actually received from the US over the past nine years is in the approximity of $4.3 billion, or $480 million per year. . When this is  compared with remittances of, Pakistanis abroad they send more than $11 billion to their families in Pakistan annually, over twenty times the flow of US economic aid. It is estimated that during 2000-10, the US spent Rs2,000 billion in Afghanistan, Iraq and on beefing up domestic security. Pakistan’s share of the amount allotted on papers was 20 billion or 0.1 per cent, while the country has lost 35,000 civilians and soldiers, in addition to suffering disruption and dislocation of the economy, displacement of population, a several-fold increase in expenditure on military operations and internal security. Out of the amount received a huge amount is under the Coalition Support Fund which is simply reimbursement of the expenditures incurred on logistical support and supplies to NATO and US forces and maintenance of own troops fighting WOT.

The Congress authorised a substantial increase of development assistance in 2008 to $1.5 billion per year, the actual disbursements in Fiscal Year 2009 were $275 million and $676 million in Fiscal 2010, including $500 million spent on flood relief. Assuming that the whole $3 billion in economic and military assistance (including $1 billion under the Coalition Support Fund) is disbursed fully, this accounts for less than seven per cent of the total foreign exchange earnings of the country. The increase in export revenues and remittances in the current year was almost twice that amount. Had foreign direct investment flows not been disrupted (Pakistan received Rs5 billion in2006-07) US aid would have become even less significant in the overall capital flows. World Bank data shows that net Official Development Assistance (ODA) from all sources to Pakistan in the last five years has averaged less than 1.5 per cent of Gross National Income (GNI). US aid  does not help the government’s precarious fiscal situation in any meaningful way as only 12-15 per cent of the total amount is channeled for budgetary support. These facts do not, by any scale, reflect that the Pakistani economy will collapse if the US decides to withdraw its aid package.

However this is not the only issue, the Anti-American sentiment in Pakistan, caused by blowing hot and cold by the super power, is strongly attached  with public frustrations over the failures of the Pakistani government, which is losing credibility among its own people and political allies. With widespread tax evasion, Pakistan has one of the lowest tax revenues in the world, resulting in a lack of funding for development , infrastructure and basics hitting the public.

The solution lies in understanding of ground realities by both partners and educating and mobilizing their public opinion based on facts. The Pakistani government needs to work out strategy and make a policy to reform the state institutions, improve health, education and other services, and invest in its people to ensure stability looking into the future. The United States can help by expediting and expanding development and economic growth initiatives from the international community for Pakistan . American must beware of the group trying to distance the collation partners as we enter into exit phase of Afghanistan. If the partnership collapses completely, the  effects will certainly be felt by both. In life of Nations TIME is of importance and the question remains can we afford loosing time by adopting a longer route or find a reasonable path  through mutual respect. for each other’s National interests?

NOTE: The writer is a political analyst based in Islamabad.

The Pakistanis Have a Point

By 

As an American visitor in the power precincts ofPakistan, from the gated enclaves of Islamabad to the manicured lawns of the military garrison in Peshawar, from the luxury fortress of the Serena Hotel to the exclusive apartments of the parliamentary housing blocks, you can expect three time-honored traditions: black tea with milk, obsequious servants and a profound sense of grievance.

Talk to Pakistani politicians, scholars, generals, businessmen, spies and journalists — as I did in October — and before long, you are beyond the realm of politics and diplomacy and into the realm of hurt feelings. Words like “ditch” and “jilt” and “betray” recur. With Americans, they complain, it’s never a commitment, it’s always a transaction. This theme is played to the hilt, for effect, but it is also heartfelt.

“The thing about us,” a Pakistani official told me, “is that we are half emotional and half irrational.”

For a relationship that has oscillated for decades between collaboration and breakdown, this has been an extraordinarily bad year, at an especially inconvenient time. As America settles onto the long path toward withdrawal from Afghanistan, Pakistan has considerable power to determine whether the end of our longest war is seen as a plausible success or a calamitous failure.

There are, of course, other reasons that Pakistan deserves our attention. It has a fast-growing population approaching 190 million, and it hosts a loose conglomerate of terrorist franchises that offer young Pakistanis employment and purpose unavailable in the suffering feudal economy. It has 100-plus nuclear weapons(Americans who monitor the program don’t know the exact number or the exact location) and a tense, heavily armed border with nuclear India. And its president, Asif Ali Zardari, oversees a ruinous kleptocracy that is spiraling deeper into economic crisis.

But it is the scramble to disengage from Afghanistan that has focused minds in Washington. Pakistan’s rough western frontier with Afghanistan is a sanctuary for militant extremists and criminal ventures, including the Afghan Taliban, the Pakistani Taliban, the notorious Haqqani clan and important remnants of the original horror story, Al Qaeda. The mistrust between Islamabad and Kabul is deep, nasty — Afghanistan was the only country to vote against letting Pakistan into the United Nations — and tribal. And to complicate matters further, Pakistan is the main military supply route for the American-led international forces and the Afghan National Army.

On Thanksgiving weekend, a month after I returned from Pakistan, the relationship veered precipitously — typically — off course again. NATO aircraft covering an operation by Afghan soldiers and American Special Forces pounded two border posts, inadvertently killing 24 Pakistani soldiers, including two officers. The Americans said that they were fired on first and that Pakistan approved the airstrikes; the Pakistanis say the Americans did not wait for clearance to fire and then bombed the wrong targets.

The fallout was painfully familiar: outrage, suspicion and recrimination, petulance and political posturing. Gen. Ashfaq Parvez Kayani, the chief of the army and by all accounts the most powerful man in Pakistan, retaliated by shutting (for now and not for the first time) the NATO supply corridor through his country. The Pakistanis abruptly dropped out of a Bonn conference on the future of Afghanistan and announced they would not cooperate with an American investigation of the airstrikes. President Obama sent condolences but balked at the suggestion of an apology; possibly the president did not want to set off another chorus of Mitt Romney’s refrain that Obama is always apologizing for America. At this writing, American officials were trying to gauge whether the errant airstrike would have, as one worried official put it, “a long half-life.”

If you survey informed Americans, you will hear Pakistanis described as duplicitous, paranoid, self-pitying and generally infuriating. In turn, Pakistanis describe us as fickle, arrogant, shortsighted and chronically unreliable.

Neither country’s caricature of the other is entirely wrong, and it makes for a relationship that is less in need of diplomacy than couples therapy, which customarily starts by trying to see things from the other point of view. While the Pakistanis have hardly been innocent, they have a point when they say America has not been the easiest of partners.

One good place to mark the beginning of this very, very bad year in U.S.-Pakistani relations is Dec. 13, 2010, when Richard C. Holbrooke died of a torn aorta. Holbrooke, the veteran of the Balkan peace, had for two years held the thankless, newly invented role of the administration’s special representative for Afghanistan and Pakistan. The antithesis of mellow, Holbrooke did not hit it off with our no-drama president, and his bluster didn’t always play well in Kabul or Islamabad either.

But Holbrooke paid aggressive attention to Pakistan. While he was characteristically blunt about the divergent U.S. and Pakistani views, he understood that they were a result of different, calculated national interests, not malevolence or mere orneriness. He was convinced that the outlooks could be, if not exactly synchronized, made more compatible. He made a concentrated effort to persuade the Pakistanis that this time the United States would not be a fair-weather friend.

“You need a Holbrooke,” says Maleeha Lodhi, a well-connected former ambassador to Washington. “Not necessarily the person but the role.” In the absence of full-on engagement, she says, “it’s become a very accident-prone relationship.”

On Jan. 27, a trigger-happy C.I.A. contractor named Raymond Davis was stuck in Lahore traffic and shot dead two motorcyclists who approached him. A backup vehicle he summoned ran over and killed a bystander. The U.S. spent heavily from its meager stock of good will to persuade the Pakistanis to set Davis free — pleading with a straight face that he was entitled to diplomatic immunity.

On May 2, a U.S. Navy Seals team caught Osama bin Laden in the military town Abbottabad and killed him. Before long, American officials were quoted questioning whether their Pakistani allies were just incompetent or actually complicit. (The Americans who deal with Pakistan believe that General Kayani and the director of the Inter-Services Intelligence agency, Gen. Ahmed Shuja Pasha, were genuinely surprised and embarrassed that Bin Laden was so close by, though the Americans fault the Pakistanis for not looking very hard.) In Pakistan, Kayani faced rumbles of insurrection for letting Americans violate Pakistani sovereignty; a defining victory for President Obama was a humiliation for Kayani and Pasha.

In September, members of the Haqqani clan (a criminal syndicate and jihadi cult that’s avowedly subservient to the Taliban leader Mullah Omar) marked the 10th anniversary of 9/11 with two theatrical attacks in Afghanistan. First a truck bomb injured 77 American soldiers in Wardak Province. Then militants rained rocket-propelled grenades on the U.S. Embassy in Kabul, forcing our ambassador to spend 20 hours locked down in a bunker.

A few days later the former Afghan president, Burhanuddin Rabbani, spread his arms to welcome an emissary from the Taliban to discuss the possibility of peace talks. As they embraced, the visitor detonated a bomb in his turban, killing himself, Rabbani and the talks. President Hamid Karzai of Afghanistan, without any evidence that American officials are aware of, accused Pakistan of masterminding the grotesque killing in order to scuttle peace talks it couldn’t control.

And two days after that, Adm. Mike Mullen, the outgoing chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, took to Capitol Hill to suggest that Pakistani intelligence had blessed the truck bomb and embassy attack.

His testimony came as a particular shock, because if the turbulent affair between the United States and Pakistan had a solid center in recent years, it was the rapport between Mullen and his Pakistani counterpart, General Kayani. Over the four years from Kayani’s promotion as chief of the army staff until Mullen’s retirement in September, scarcely a month went by when the two didn’t meet. Mullen would often drop by Kayani’s home at the military enclave in Rawalpindi, arriving for dinner and staying into the early morning, discussing the pressures of command while the sullen-visaged general chain-smoked Dunhills. One time, Kayani took his American friend to the Himalayas for a flyby of the world’s second-highest peak, K2. On another occasion, Mullen hosted Kayani on the golf course at the Naval Academy. The two men seemed to have developed a genuine trust and respect for each other.

But Mullen’s faith in an underlying common purpose was rattled by the truck bombing and the embassy attack, both of which opened Mullen to the charge that his courtship of Kayani had been a failure. So — over the objection of the State Department — the admiral set out to demonstrate that he had no illusions.

The Haqqani network “acts as a veritable arm of Pakistan’s Inter-Services Intelligence agency,” he declared. “With ISI support, Haqqani operatives planned and conducted that truck-bomb attack as well as the assault on our embassy.”

Several officials with access to the intelligence told me that while the Haqqanis were implicated in both attacks, there was no evidence of direct ISI involvement. A Mullen aide said later that the admiral was referring to ISI’s ongoing sponsorship of the Haqqanis and did not mean to say Pakistan authorized those specific attacks.

No matter. In Pakistan, Mullen’s denunciation led to a ripple of alarm that U.S. military “hardliners” were contemplating an invasion. The press had hysterics. Kayani made a show of putting the Pakistani Army on alert. The Pakistani rupee fell in value.

In Washington, Mullen’s remarks captured — and fed — a vengeful mood and a rising sense of fatalism about Pakistan. Bruce O. Riedel, an influential former C.I.A. officer who led a 2009 policy review for President Obama on Pakistan and Afghanistan, captured the prevailing sentiment in an Op-Ed in The Times, in which he called for a new policy of “containment,” meaning “a more hostile relationship” toward the army and intelligence services.

“I can see how this gets worse,” Riedel told me. “And I can see how this gets catastrophically worse. . . . I don’t see how it gets a whole lot better.”

When Gen. David H. Petraeus took over the U.S. military’s Central Command in 2008, he commissioned expert briefing papers on his new domain, which sprawled from Egypt, across the Persian Gulf, to Central Asia. The paper on Afghanistan and Pakistan began, according to an American who has read it, roughly this way: “The United States has no vital national interests in Afghanistan. Our vital national interests are in Pakistan,” notably the security of those nuclear weapons and the infiltration by Al Qaeda. The paper then went on for the remaining pages to discuss Afghanistan. Pakistan hardly got a mention. “That’s typical,” my source said. Pakistan tends to be an afterthought.

The Pakistani version of modern history is one of American betrayal, going back at least to the Kennedy administration’s arming of Pakistan’s archrival, India, in the wake of its 1962 border war with China.

The most consequential feat of American opportunism came when we enlisted Pakistan to bedevil the Soviet occupiers of Afghanistan in the 1980s. The intelligence agencies of the U.S. and Pakistan — with help from Saudi Arabia — created the perfect thorn in the Soviet underbelly: young Muslim “freedom fighters,” schooled in jihad at Pakistani madrassas, laden with American surface-to-air missiles and led by charismatic warriors who set aside tribal rivalries to war against foreign occupation.

After the Soviets admitted defeat in 1989, the U.S. — mission accomplished! — pulled out, leaving Pakistan holding the bag: several million refugees, an Afghanistan torn by civil war and a population of jihadists who would find new targets for their American-supplied arms. In the ensuing struggle for control of Afghanistan, Pakistan eventually sided with the Taliban, who were dominated by the Pashtun tribe that populates the Pakistan-Afghanistan frontier. The rival Northern Alliance was run by Tajiks and Uzbeks and backed by India; and the one thing you can never underestimate is Pakistan’s obsession with bigger, richer, better-armed India.

As long as Pakistan was our partner in tormenting the Soviet Union, the U.S. winked at Pakistan’s nuclear-weapons program. After all, India was developing a nuclear arsenal, and it was inevitable that Pakistan would follow suit. But after the Soviets retreated, Pakistan was ostracized under a Congressional antiproliferation measure called the Pressler Amendment, stripped of military aid (some of it budgeted to bring Pakistani officers to the U.S. for exposure to American military values and discipline) and civilian assistance (most of it used to promote civil society and buy good will).

Our relationship with Pakistan sometimes seems like a case study in unintended consequences. The spawning of the mujahadeen is, of course, Exhibit A. The Pressler Amendment is Exhibit B. And Exhibit C might be America’s protectionist tariffs on Pakistan’s most important export, textiles. For years, experts, including a series of American ambassadors in Islamabad, have said that the single best thing the U.S. could do to pull Pakistan into the modern world is to ease trade barriers, as it has done with many other countries. Instead of sending foreign aid and hoping it trickles down, we could make it easier for Americans to buy Pakistani shirts, towels and denims, thus lifting an industry that is an incubator of the middle class and employs many women. Congress, answerable to domestic textile interests, has had none of it.

“Pakistan the afterthought” was the theme very late one night when I visited the home of Pakistan’s finance minister, Abdul Hafeez Shaikh. After showing me his impressive art collection, Shaikh flopped on a sofa and ran through the roll call of American infidelity. He worked his way, decade by decade, to the war on terror. Now, he said, Pakistan is tasked by the Americans with simultaneously helping to kill terrorists and — the newest twist — using its influence to bring them to the bargaining table. Congress, meanwhile, angry about terrorist sanctuaries, is squeezing off much of the financial aid that is supposed to be the lubricant in our alliance.

“Pakistan was the cold-war friend, the Soviet-Afghan-war friend, the terror-war friend,” the minister said. “As soon as the wars ended, so did the assistance. The sense of being discarded is so recent.”

A Boston University-educated economist who made his money in private equity investing — in other words, a cosmopolitan man — Shaikh seemed slightly abashed by his own bitterness.

“I’m not saying that this style of Pakistani thinking is analytically correct,” he said. “I’m just telling you how people feel.”

He waved an arm toward his dining room, where he hung a Warhol of Muhammad Ali. “We’re just supposed to be like Ali — take the beating for seven rounds from Foreman,” he said. “But this time the Pakistanis have wised up. We are playing the game, but we know you can’t take these people at their word.”

With a timetable that has the United States out of Afghanistan, or mostly out, by the end of 2014, Pakistan has leverage it did not have when the war began.

One day after 9/11, Richard Armitage, the deputy secretary of state, summoned the head of Pakistani intelligence for a talking to. “We are asking all of our friends: Do they stand with us or against us?” he said. The following day, Armitage handed over a list of seven demands, which included stopping Al Qaeda operations on the Pakistani border, giving American invaders access to Pakistani bases and airspace and breaking all ties with the Taliban regime.

The Pakistanis believed from the beginning that Afghanistan had “American quagmire” written all over it. Moreover, what America had in mind for Afghanistan was antithetical to Pakistan’s self-interest.

“The only time period between 1947 and the American invasion of Afghanistan that Pakistanis have felt secure about Afghanistan is during the Taliban period,” from 1996 to 2001, says Vali Nasr, an American scholar of the region who is listened to in both academia and government. Now the Bush administration would attempt to supplant the Taliban with a strong independent government in Kabul and a muscular military. “Everything about this vision is dangerous to Pakistan,” Nasr says.

Pakistan’s military ruler at the time, Pervez Musharraf, saw the folly of defying an American ultimatum. He quickly agreed to the American demands and delivered on many of them. In practice, though, the accommodation with the Taliban was never fully curtailed. Pakistan knew America’s mission in Afghanistan would end, and it spread its bets.

The Bush-Musharraf relationship, Vali Nasr says, “was sort of a Hollywood suspension of disbelief. Musharraf was a convenient person who created a myth that we subscribed to — basically that Pakistan was on the same page with us, it was an ally in the war on terror and it subscribed to our agenda for Afghanistan.”

But the longer the war in Afghanistan dragged on, the harder it was to sustain the illusion.

In October, I took the highway west from Islamabad to Peshawar, headquarters of the Pakistan Army corps responsible for the frontier with Afghanistan. Over tea and cookies, Lt. Gen. Asif Yasin Malik, the three-star who commanded the frontier (he retired this month) talked about how the Afghan war looked from his side of the border.

The official American version of the current situation in Afghanistan goes like this: By applying the counterinsurgency strategy that worked in Iraq and relying on a surge of troops and the increasingly sophisticated use of drones, the United States has been beating the insurgency into submission, while at the same time standing up an indigenous Afghan Army that could take over the mission. If only Pakistan would police its side of the border — where the bad guys find safe haven, fresh recruits and financing — we’d be on track for an exit in 2014.

The Pakistanis have a different narrative. First, a central government has never successfully ruled Afghanistan. Second, Karzai is an unreliable neighbor — a reputation that has not been dispelled by his recent, manic declarations of brotherhood. And third, they believe that despite substantial investment by the United States, the Afghan Army and the police are a long way from being ready to hold the country. In other words, America is preparing to leave behind an Afghanistan that looks like incipient chaos to Pakistan.

In Peshawar, General Malik talked with polite disdain about his neighbor to the west. His biggest fear — one I’m told Kayani stresses in every meeting with his American counterparts — is the capability of the Afghan National Security Forces, an army of 170,000 and another 135,000 police, responsible for preventing Afghanistan from disintegrating back into failed-state status. If the U.S. succeeds in creating such a potent fighting force, that makes Pakistanis nervous, because they see it (rightly) as potentially unfriendly and (probably wrongly) as a potential agent of Indian influence. The more likely and equally unsettling outcome, Pakistanis believe, is that the Afghan military — immature, fractious and dependent on the U.S. Treasury — will disintegrate into heavily armed tribal claques and bandit syndicates. And America, as always, will be gone when hell breaks loose.

General Malik studied on an exchange at Fort McNair, in Washington, D.C., and has visited 23 American states. He likes to think he is not clueless about how things work in our country.

“Come 2015, which senator would be ready to vote $9 billion, or $7 billion, to be spent on this army?” he asked. “Even $5 billion a year. O.K., maybe one year, maybe two years. But with the economy going downhill, how does the future afford this? Very challenging.”

American officials will tell you, not for attribution, that Malik’s concerns are quite reasonable.

So I asked the general if that was why his forces have not been more aggressive about mopping up terrorist sanctuaries along the border. Still hedging their bets? His answer was elaborate and not entirely facile.

First of all, the general pointed out that Pakistan has done some serious fighting in terrorist strongholds and shed a lot of blood. Over the past two years, Malik’s forces have been enlarged to 147,000 soldiers, mainly by relocating more than 50,000 from the Indian border. They have largely controlled militant activities in the Swat Valley, for example, which entailed two hard offensives with major casualties. But they have steadfastly declined to mount a major assault against North Waziristan — a mountainous region of terrorist Deadwoods populated by battle-toughened outlaws.

Yes, Malik said, North Waziristan is a terrible situation, but his forces are responsible for roughly 1,500 miles of border, they police an archipelago of rough towns in the so-called Federally Administered Tribal Areas, or FATA, and by the way, they had a devastating flood to handle last year.

“If you are not able to close the Mexican border, when you have the technology at your call, when there is no war,” he said, “how can you expect us to close our border, especially if you are not locking the doors on your side?”

Americans who know the area well concede that, for all our complaints, Pakistan doesn’t push harder in large part because it can’t. The Pakistan Army has been trained to patrol the Indian border, not to battle hardened insurgents. They have comparatively crude weaponry. When they go up against a ruthless outfit like the Haqqanis, they tend to get killed. Roughly 4,000 Pakistani troops have died in these border wars — more than the number of all the allied soldiers killed in Afghanistan.

“They’re obviously reluctant to go against the Haqqanis, but reluctant for a couple of reasons,” an American official told me. “Not just the reason that they see them as a potential proxy force if Afghanistan doesn’t go well, but also because they just literally lack the capability to take them on. They’ve got enough wars on their hands. They’ve not been able to consolidate their gains up in the northern part of the FATA, they have continued problems in other areas and they just can’t deal with another campaign, which is what North Waziristan would be.”

And there is another, fundamental problem, Malik said. There is simply no popular support for stepping up the fight in what is seen as America’s war. Ordinary Pakistanis feel they have paid a high price in collateral damage, between the civilian casualties from unmanned drone attacks and the blowback from terror groups within Pakistan.

“When you go into North Waziristan and carry out some major operation, there is going to be a terrorist backlash in the rest of the country,” Malik told me. “The political mood, or the public mood, is ‘no more operations.’ ”

In late October, Hillary Clinton arrived in Islamabad, leading a delegation that included Petraeus, recently confirmed as C.I.A. director, and Gen. Martin E. Dempsey, Mullen’s successor as chairman of the Joint Chiefs. Petraeus used to refer to Holbrooke as “my diplomatic wingman,” a bit of condescension he apparently intended as a tribute. This time, the security contingent served as diplomacy’s wingmen.

The trip was intended as a show of unity and resolve by an administration that has spoken with conflicting voices when it has focused on Pakistan at all. For more than four hours, the Americans and a potent lineup of Pakistani counterparts talked over a dinner table.

Perhaps the most revealing thing about the dinner was the guest list. The nine participants included Kayani and Pasha, but not President Zardari or Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani, who provided the dining room at his own residence and made himself scarce. The only representative of the civilian government was Clinton’s counterpart, the new foreign minister, Hina Rabbani Khar, a 34-year-old rising star with the dark-haired beauty of a Bollywood leading lady, a degree in hospitality management from the University of Massachusetts and, most important, close ties to the Pakistani military.

For a country that cherishes civilian democracy, we have a surprising affinity for strong men in uniform. Based on my conversations with American officials across the government, the U.S. has developed a grudging respect for Kayani, whom they regard as astute, straightforward, respectful of the idea of democratic government but genuinely disgusted by the current regime’s thievery and ineptitude. (We know from the secret diplomatic cables disclosed by WikiLeaks that Kayani has confided to American officials his utter contempt for his president and “hinted that he might, however reluctantly, have to persuade President Zardari to resign.”) Zardari, whose principal claim to office is that he is the widower of the assassinated and virtually canonized Benazir Bhutto, has been mainly preoccupied with building up his patronage machine for elections in 2013. The Americans expect little from him and don’t see a likely savior among his would-be political challengers. (As this article goes to press, Zardari is recovering from chest pains in a hospital in Dubai; there are rumors he won’t return.) So, Kayani it is. The official American consensus is less enamored of Kayani’s loyal intelligence underling, General Pasha, whose agency consorts with terrorists and is suspected of torturing and killing troublemakers, including journalists, but Pasha is too powerful to ignore.

The day after the marathon dinner, Clinton’s entourage took over the Serena Hotel for a festival of public diplomacy — a press conference with the foreign minister, followed by a town meeting with young Pakistanis and then a hardball round-table interview with a circle of top editors and anchors.

Clinton’s visit was generally portrayed, not least in the Pakistani press, as a familiar ritual of America talking tough to Pakistan. In the town meeting, a woman asked why America always played the role of bossy mother-in-law, and that theme delighted editorial cartoonists for days.

But the private message to the Pakistanis — and a more careful reading of Clinton’s public performance — reflected a serious effort to reboot a troubled relationship. Clinton took care to pay tribute to Pakistani losses in the war against terror in the past decade — in addition to the military, an estimated 30,000 civilian dead, the equivalent of a 9/11 every year. She ruled out sending American ground troops into Pakistani territory. She endorsed a Pakistani plea that U.S. forces in Afghanistan do a better job of cleaning up militant sanctuaries on their own side of the border.

Questioned by a prominent television anchor, she repudiated Mullen’s testimony, not only disavowing any evidence of ISI complicity in the attack on America’s embassy in Kabul but also soft-peddling the spy agency’s coziness with terrorists.

“Now, every intelligence agency has contacts with unsavory characters,” she said. “I don’t think you would get any denial from either the ISI or the C.I.A. that people in their respective organizations have contacts with members of groups that have different agendas than the governments’. But that doesn’t mean that they are being directed or being approved or otherwise given a seal of approval.”

That particular riff may have caused jaws to clench at the C.I.A. compound in Langley, Va. The truth is, according to half a dozen senior officials with access to the intelligence, the evidence of Pakistan’s affinity for terrorists is often circumstantial and ambiguous, a matter of intercepted conversations in coded language, and their dealings are thought to be more pragmatic than ideological, more a matter of tolerating than directing, but the relationship goes way beyond “contacts with unsavory characters.”

“They’re facilitating,” one official told me. “They provide information to the Haqqanis, they let them cross back and forth across the border, they let this L.E.T. guy (the leader of the dangerous Lashkar-e-Taiba faction of Kashmiri terrorists) be in prison and not be in prison at the same time.”

And yet the Pakistanis have been helpful — Abbottabad aside — against Al Qaeda, which is America’s first priority and which the Pakistanis recognize as a menace to everyone. They have shared intelligence, provided access to interrogations and coordinated operations. Before the fatal border mishap Thanksgiving weekend, one U.S. official told me, anti-terror cooperation between the C.I.A. and Pakistani intelligence had been “very much on the upswing.”

The most striking aspect of Clinton’s trip, however, was her enthusiastic embrace of what is now called “reconciliation” — which is the polite word for negotiating with the Taliban.

Pakistan has long argued that the way to keep Afghanistan from coming to grief is to cut a deal with at least some of the Taliban. That would also mean Afghanistan could get by with a smaller, cheaper army. The notion has been anathema to the Americans tasked with killing Taliban; a principled stand against negotiating with terrorists is also a political meme that acquires particular potency in election seasons, as viewers of the Republican debates can attest.

Almost unnoticed, though, reconciliation has moved to a central place in America’s strategy and has become the principal assignment for U.S. officials in the region. Clinton first signaled this in a speech to the Asia Society last February, when she refocused Afghanistan strategy on its original purpose, isolating the terrorists at war with America, meaning Al Qaeda.

The speech was buried beneath other news at the time, but in early October, Tom Donilon, Obama’s national security adviser, met Kayani in Abu Dhabi to stress to skeptical Pakistani leaders that she was serious. Clinton’s visit to Islamabad with her generals in tow was designed to put the full weight of the U.S. behind it.

Clinton publicly acknowledged that the ISI (in fact, it was General Pasha in person) had already brokered a preliminary meeting between a top American diplomat and a member of the Haqqani clan. Nothing much came of the meeting, news of which promptly leaked, but Clinton said America was willing to sit down with the Taliban. She said that what had once been preconditions for negotiations — renouncing violence, shunning Al Qaeda and accepting Afghanistan’s constitution, including freedoms for women — were now “goals.”

In diplomacy, no process is fully initiated until it has been named. A meeting of Pakistani political parties in Islamabad had adopted a rubric for peace talks with the Taliban, a slogan the Pakistanis repeated at every opportunity: “Give peace a chance.” If having this project boiled down to a John Lennon lyric diminished the gravitas of the occasion, Clinton didn’t let on.

Within the American policy conglomerate, not everyone is terribly upbeat about the prospect of reconciling with the Taliban. The Taliban have so far publicly rejected talks, and the turban-bomb killing of Rabbani was a serious reversal. There is still some suspicion — encouraged by Afghanistan and India — about Pakistan’s real agenda. One theory is that Pakistan secretly wants the Taliban restored to power in Afghanistan, believing the Pashtun Islamists would be more susceptible to Pakistani influence. A more cynical theory, which I heard quite a bit in New Delhi, is that the Pakistani Army actually wants chaos on its various borders to justify its large payroll. Most Americans I met who are immersed in this problem put little stock in either of those notions. The Pakistanis may not be the most trustworthy partners in Asia, but they aren’t idiots. They know, at least at the senior levels, that a resurgent Taliban means not just perpetual mayhem on the border but also an emboldening of indigenous jihadists whose aim is nothing less than a takeover of nuclear Pakistan. But agreeing on the principle of a “stable Afghanistan” is easier than defining it, or getting there.

After Clinton left Islamabad, a senior Pakistani intelligence official I wanted to meet arrived for breakfast with me and a colleague at Islamabad’s finest hotel. With a genial air of command, he ordered eggs Benedict for the table, declined my request to turn on a tape recorder, (“Just keep my name out of it,” he instructed later) and settled into an hour of polished spin.

“The Taliban learned its lesson in the madrassas and applied them ruthlessly,” he said, as the Hollandaise congealed. “Now the older ones have seen 10 years of war, and reconciliation is possible. Their outlook has been tempered by reason and contact with the modern world. They have relatives and friends in Kabul. They have money from the opium trade. They watch satellite TV. They are on the Internet.”

On the other hand, he continued, “if you kill off the midtier Taliban, the ones who are going to replace them — and there are many waiting in line, sadly — are younger, more aggressive and eager to prove themselves.”

So what would it take to bring the Taliban into a settlement? First, he said, stop killing them. Second, an end to foreign military presence, the one thing that always mobilizes the occupied in that part of the world. Third, an Afghan constitution framed to give more local autonomy, so that Pashtun regions could be run by Pashtuns.

On the face of it, as my breakfast companion surely knows, those sound like three nonstarters, and taken together they sound rather like surrender. Even Clinton is not calling for a break in hostilities, which the Americans see as the way to drive the Taliban to the bargaining table. As for foreign presence, both the Americans and the Afghans expect some long-term residual force to stay in Afghanistan, to backstop the Afghan Army and carry out drone attacks against Al Qaeda. And while it is not hard to imagine a decentralized Afghanistan — in which Islamic traditionalists hold sway in the rural areas but cede the urban areas, where modern notions like educating girls have already made considerable headway — that would be hard for Americans to swallow.

Clinton herself sounded pretty categorical on that last point when she told Pakistani interviewers: “I cannot in good faith participate in any process that I think would lead the women of Afghanistan back to the dark ages. I will not participate in that.”

To questions of how these seemingly insurmountable differences might be surmounted, Marc Grossman, who replaced Holbrooke as Clinton’s special representative, replies simply: “I don’t know whether these people are reconcilable or not. But the job we’ve been given is to find out.”

If you look at reconciliation as a route to peace, it requires a huge leap of faith. Surely the Taliban have marked our withdrawal date on their calendars. The idea that they are so deeply weary of war — – let alone watching YouTube and yearning to join the world they see on their laptops — feels like wishful thinking.

But if you look at reconciliation as a step in couples therapy — a shared project in managing a highly problematic, ultimately critical relationship — it makes more sense. It gives Pakistan something it craves: a seat at the table where the future of Afghanistan is plotted. It gets Pakistan and Afghanistan talking to each other. It offers a supporting role to other players in the region — notably Turkey, which has taken on a more active part as an Islamic peace broker. It could drain some of the acrimony and paranoia from the U.S.-Pakistan rhetoric.

It might not save Afghanistan, but it could be a helpful start to saving Pakistan.

What Clinton and company are seeking is a course of patient commitment that America, frankly, is not usually so good at. The relationship has given off some glimmers of hope — with U.S. encouragement, Pakistan and India have agreed to normalize trade relations; the ISI has given American interrogators access to Osama bin Laden’s wives — but the funerals of those Pakistani troops last month remind us that the country is still a graveyard of optimism.

At least the U.S. seems, for now, to be paying attention to the right problem.

“If you stand back,” said one American who is in the thick of the American strategy-making, “and say, by the year 2020, you’ve got two countries — 30 million people in this country, 200 million people with nuclear weapons in this country, American troops in neither. Which matters? It’s not Afghanistan.”

NOTE: Bill Keller, a former executive editor of The Times, writes a column for the Op-Ed page of New York Times. This is a cross post from New York Times.

The Bone of contention in the Bonn Conference

This is a Pakpotpourri Exclusive

By: Hamid Waheed

The role of all such conferences used to be deepening and boarding of support for a consensus on a view point so that when it comes to practical implementation stage a whole hearted participation is guaranteed. As we enter into a unipolar world it seems that now such forums are used to take advantage of the weak and get a decision inline with the powerful and not the majority consensus. Therefore the decisions mostly remain part of declarations of the conference and are seldom transformed into implementation stage resultantly, the countries do not fulfill the pledges agreed by them. At diplomatic level also such decisions are not taken in letter and spirit due to differences in objectives of power centers which are never discussed amongst the members states. The New world order takes us to new height of bluffing when we see the declaration of international Afghanistan Conference in Bonn held on 5 December 2011.The concluding statement says “Today in Bonn, we solemnly declare a strategic consensus on deepening and broadening the partnership between Afghanistan and the International Community founded at the Petersberg ten years ago.  Building on the shared achievements of the past ten years, and recognising that the security and well‐being of Afghanistan continue to affect the security of the entire region and beyond, Afghanistan and the International Community strongly commit to this renewed partnership for the Transformation Decade”.

The deepening and broadening could have come through practical steps of international community to support its economy and security through funding for establishing Afghan National Army which has been structured to never operate without foreign support having no air cover of its own along with other problems. Moreover how did the conference achieved broadening through absence of Pakistan the most important neighbor remained a million dollar question. The shared achievements the declaration talks about can be summed up by quoting United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-moon who warned in Jan 2010 that there is a risk that Afghanistan’s deteriorating situation could become irreversible. His observations appeared in a UN report on Afghanistan where He noted that the country has been rocked by rising violence and political turmoil in recent months. This was further confirmed by a report by an independent body that collects and analyses information on current human rights situations. The reports produced by Landinfo are based on information from both public and non-public sources. The  SUMMARY of the report issued in June 2011 says that  the security situation in most parts of Afghanistan is deteriorating, with the exception of some of the big cities and parts of the central region. The situation is particularly tense in the southern and south-eastern provinces.  The insurgency has expanded far beyond its traditional strongholds. Parts of the central, western and northern regions experience a significant level of conflict related activity and violence on a more or less regular basis. The number of civilian casualties is rising and a growing number of people experience severe problems caused by deteriorating security and an environment marked by corruption, war economy, drug traffic and crime.  Attempts to combat the fragmented insurgency seem so far not to have contributed to a more stable security situation.

Every participant  including US secretary of state Clinton regretted on 26 Nov NATO Attack. The absence of Pakistan from Bonn conference was felt as Pakistan is the most important neighbor of Afghanistan which can play a role in its stabilization. The logic would have been to make efforts to resolve the issue through quick inquiry and negotiations. However, the group believing in strategy of pressurizing Pakistan through blame game has once again prevailed. The statements of  Karzai implicating Pakistan based Lashkar e Jhangvi in suicidal attack on religious congregation and media giving different colour to conviction of Ghulam Nabi Fai on behest the hostile group will further increase the trust deficit. The LeJ is a localized small group which has always been on hit list of Pakistan’s law enforcers, how can they have the agency backing is again mind boggling. Fai on other hand has been an active promoter of Kashmir cause. He has confessed his linkage with Pakistan as well as Indian government to get inputs for his Kashmir cause.  Other than this the charges are of hiding facts and has no connection with Pakistan but the media is being used to create wedge. The individual interests of Karzai and the group believing in military solution and sustenance through drug money seem coinciding. The situation demands that those who believe in peaceful and long lasting solution of Afghanistan according to the wishes of its people must take the bull by horn before it gets too late. Pakistan is being hit from inside as well as externally. One needs to understand the Kiyani , Gillani stance and the circumstances which have brought them to this stage. Nations have to take difficult decisions in crucial stages of their life but the history tells us that mass conviction and support is the only way to emerge successful.

NOTE:The writer is a political commentator based in Rawalpindi.

Smashing Greater Central Asia

Editor’s Note:This is originally a series of three articles compiled as one from writer’s blog Therearenosunglasses’s Weblog

By: Peter Chamberlin

After ten years of raging warfare in Afghanistan, watching the fight slowly ooze across the invisible Durand Line into Pakistan, we have the right to wonder whether the war is any closer to ending today?  It is perfectly reasonable to suspect that if we were allowed to know the truth we would understand that the American government has no plans to end the war in the near future.  Trying to make sense of relentless Western news reports on the disaster of the impending American “withdrawal from Afghanistan,” even though other reports reveal that super-bases have been constructed, leaveing most observers completely bewildered about whether the Afgan war is ending or expanding.  The only thing that is obvious is that there is to be no “withdrawal” from Afghanistan, at least not from the northern half of the country (SEE:  Plan B In Afghanistan).

If it was true that US forces were planning to eventually leave Afghanistan, then CENTCOM would not be allocating $100 million to build a Special Forces base in Mazar i-Sharif.  This is to be a massive, permanent structure, intended to serve as a Special Forces operations center for many years to come.  The majority of analysts who have focused upon this SOCOM facility, have drawn the conclusion that this and the other super-bases are intended to provide protection to the pipelines which are planned, in addition to providing Green Berets and Navy Seals to send on night raids into Pakistan.  My own research into the subject reveals something far more sinister than just the intentional prolonging of the occupation of Afghanistan.

From the bid solicitations which are cited below, the US Army has big plans for Central Asia, most of them are scheduled to take place after the official Afghan withdrawal date of 2014.  Ongoing military construction contracts are proof of military intent.  CENTCOM has just awarded KBR a contract for $3.8 billion for constructing unspecified new facilities in an “area of responsibility” which encompasses the following countries:

Afghanistan, Bahrain, Egypt, Iran, Iraq, Jordan, Kazakhstan, Kuwait, Kyrgyzstan, Lebanon, Oman, Pakistan, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Syria, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, United Arab Emirates, Uzbekistan and Yemen.

This contract (which is supplemented by the other contracts given below) is something known as a MATOC contract (Multiple Award Task Order Contract).  To initiate this major omnibus contract, ninety-nine security-cleared companies were solicited to participate in the contract program, which is scheduled to continue until the year 2016.  The majority of these ninety-nine companies specialized in wartime construction, but many of them had exotic specialties, ranging from electronic prototype construction, to aerial drone manufacturing and operations, to private security contractors specializing in “irregular warfare.”  There were even a couple of them dealing with “directed energy weaponry,” in addition to one image consultant.   

From this list of approved, experienced contractors fourteen construction contractors were selected to form a pool of ready bidders to bid on each project as it reached approval stage.   Somehow, since the solicitation was announced, KBR has apparently eliminated the competition, winning the whole construction contract.  It was also announced that five electronic contractors would form a bidding pool for the component manufacturing, maintenance and operations of the experimental prototype network.  It may turn out, that the electronics are handled like the building, SAIC (Science Applications International Corporation) may have landed the entire package.  (It does seem strange that both contract winners have been charged with wrongdoing on previous contracts.)   SAIC has also been awarded another separate contract which is a companion to this big operation:

SAIC, Tetra Tech Joint Venture Gets Criminal Justice Program Support (CJPS) Contract

Science Applications International Corporation (SAIC) (NYSE:SAI) and Tetra Tech, Inc. (NASDAQ:TTEK) announced that their joint venture, Integrated Justice Systems International, LLC (IJSI), has been awarded a contract to render worldwide civilian police and criminal justice assistance to the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs (INL). The total contract limit for this multiple-award, indefinite delivery/indefinite quantity (IDIQ) contract is worth $10 billion, consisting one base year and four option years.

To compete for task orders to supply INL with program management, criminal justice, and life and mission support to countries emerging from conflict or otherwise facing instability challenges the abovementioned joint venture was chosen.

IJSI shall render technical assistance, training, logistics and infrastructure services to support the Department of State’s efforts to strengthen criminal justice systems in select partner countries under this new contract. IJSI is one of six teams that can compete for task orders under the contract.

Chuck Zang, SAIC senior vice president and business unit general manager explained that our joint venture renders the experience required for successful international criminal justice training and worldwide logistics. He added that SAIC has critical experience supporting the U.S. government’s overseas law enforcement initiatives; including antiterrorism training and technical assistance and that they expect to support this important effort, and using their expertise to help ensure stability and safety through professional criminal justice entities, and training personnel to ensure modernization of their programs.   

Washington’s New Foxy Plan To Sneak Into the Central Asian Hen House

“Counternarcotics officials in Washington have unveiled a plan to help combat the flow of drugs from Afghanistan, through Central Asia, and into Russia…The plan, still in draft form, is known as “The Central Asian Counternarcotics Initiative” (CACI).  It envisions the establishment of counternarcotics task forces in the five Central Asian countries — Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, and Uzbekistan — which would communicate with similar existing units in Afghanistan and Russia…The seven groups would share sensitive information, improve coordination on joint and cross-border operations, and help build cases against wanted or arrested traffickers…for the Russian Federation ‘it is a means by which they can link into the efforts both in the source country, Afghanistan, and transit countries, the Central Asian five, in a way that they currently cannot do.’”

According to other advertised contracts, whatever work is in the pipeline for KBR, the operation will involve major investments in a prototype experimental electronic network.  The official government website for the General Services Administration is soliciting contract bids for work for the Quick Reaction and Battle Command Support Division (QR&BCSD), which does everything from surveillance, to Special Forces missions, to conducting “irregular warfare,” to running aerial drones.

ENGINEERING, INSTALLATION/INTEGRATION, TECHNOLOGY INSERTION AND LOGISTICAL SUPPORT TO THE QUICK REACTION & BATTLE COMMAND SUPPORT DIVISION (QR&BCSD)

Solicitation Number: 4QDS21110084

Agency: General Services Administration
Office: Federal Acquisition Service (FAS)
Location: Assisted Acquisition Services Division (4QFA)

This contract is also for unspecified work in the following countries, covering the same projected timeframe (contracts to be completed by 2016):

Afghanistan, Azerbaijan, Dubai, Egypt, Jordan, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, Ukraine, Uzbekistan and Pakistan.

In narrowing the list down, we can rule-out the construction of these new facilities in Afghanistan or Pakistan, since such assets are already deployed there.  Under a new plan unveiled Thursday, the Defense Dept. said that it is preparing to treat cyberspace as another “operational domain.”   In this domain, China has been identified as America’s primary “cyber-enemy.”   That should shrink the list, ruling-out the Middle Eastern, African and European countries, as the battlefield for any new net-centric operations, leaving only “the Stans” as the planned construction sites.  Whatever the US military has planned for Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, or Uzbekistan will definitely be net-centric, in a big way.  It is unlikely that the host governments will be apprised of any special operations which are outside the parameters of fighting narco-terrorism.

It is important at this point that we examine the “Quick Reaction Forces,” so that we may understand how they will be used.  We have already summarized what they do (everything from surveillance, to Special Forces missions, to running aerial drones), but we now need to take a closer look at what those jobs entail, comparing that to the specific technicians being sought for the jobs.

The government is soliciting private contractors with experience in combat zones, to build a private electronics network to be used by US Special Forces in the same Central Asian countries.  Again, the work conditions and terms given for these job listings matches the MATOC contract solicitation.

Getting back to the Quick Reaction contract notice, there is a more detailed pdfincluded, which really fleshes-out exactly what is being sought.  The following national organizations will be connected with the planned tasks:

“The Afghanistan training efforts include the Border Mentoring Task Force, DEA SCIF, Counter Narcotics Academy and the Border Services Communications training. Other programs requiring C4ISR training include the Kyrgyzstan Information Sharing Communications System, Turkmenistan State Border Service Communications, and Tajikistan Intra-Agency Communications System Training.”

The purpose of these secret and semi-secret operations will be to establish American military dominance over the energy-laden CIS states.  Contrary to popular opinion, these dangerous covert measures are not necessarily just to enable American oil companies to “steal the oil,” but are more likely intended to simply give American blackmailers the opportunity to assert similar control of the Asian oil and gas pipelines which Russia has over European gas lines.  American military penetration of Central Asia will give US leaders the power to shut-down China, as well as India and Pakistan, whenever the new pipelines become operational.  This military penetration is being hotly pursued on all fronts.

As a first step to obtaining veto power over energy to China, the US Army is creating for SOCOM the first “big network” of sensors and communication media (net-centric combat system), tied directly into the Global Information Grid (GIG).

This is what “full-spectrum dominance” (the battlefield of the future) looks like. This is not speculation; it is a fact, taken directly from the General Services website.

The following job descriptions are copied from the Quick Reaction pdf:

Performance Work Statement (PWS) summarizes the jobs that this private network will perform for SOCOM:

engineering, integration, technology insertion, installation, testing, logistical,

material acquisition and other support activities as required in support of a variety of

C4ISR technology insertion and support projects.

Research and Development

• Technology Insertion, Systems Integration

• Engineering and Technical Documentation Support

• Software/Hardware Engineering

• Systems Engineering Support

• Engineering Contingencies

• Test and Evaluation

• Logistics Support

• Business Operations Support

Provide In-Country C4ISR experts to station/deploy into USCENTCOM and

other countries to perform C4ISR and Counter Narcotics communication

systems quality assurance tasks, witness testing, and assist in training

events., NIU firing and training range management, and provide

liaison/coordination between customer nations, embassies and C2D. The

C2D Counter Narcotics Program Coordinators shall report back to CENTCOM

HQ,

C4ISR stands for Command, Control, Communication, Computers, Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance.  MASINT is “measurement and signals intelligence” obtained from air-dropped or ground-placed sensors, which measure and report movement on the ground or in the sky to the Special Forces network.

Under cover of joint operations with host governments, pursuing narco-terrorists, or interdicting drugs or arms traffickers, American air support will be secretly mapping terrain and acquiring GPS coordinates, as they air-drop MASINT sensors across the countryside.

US-contracted construction companies will erect permanent border control and other security facilities.  These facilities will be in addition to Special Forces training centers, like the one in Tokmok, Kyrgyzstan, and the new one being built in Qaratogh, Tajikistan. Both of these facilities will belong to the host governments, but they will also be providing space for US technicians to occupy, as they monitor and coordinate efforts within the country, bringing those governments in line with the the other six national groups participating in the CACI initiative.

Into these fledgling counter-terror/counter-narcotics networks, American and British Special Forces trainers will be inserted, serving as instructors in the new state-of-the-art centers.  From these operational centers, “training missions” will be dispatched into the surrounding hills, facilitating the emplacement of ground-installed sensors, some of which have a battery life of six months or more.

In Central Asia, we will be hunting the IMU terrorists (Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan is the new “al-Qaeda”), as the means to permanently entrench American power in the region. The claim that “targets have been identified” from the alleged bin Laden raid is a complete fabrication, since the new enemies (those who are willing to take-up arms against American occupiers) have not as yet been identified.  Whenever the time for killing begins, the victims will all be identified as “militants” by the complicit Western media, after they demonstrate their willingness to take-up arms and resist the encroaching Empire.  For now, they remain simple folks facing a low-level invasion, who have not yet made the conscious personal decisions to resist.  This is the real nature of a war against terrorism, it is based on an erroneous definition of “terrorism.”  Civilians who resist invasion are classified as “terrorists.”   Identifying them for later elimination is a primary objective of the opening (“tickling”) phase of the war.

The wars in Afghanistan and Pakistan have both been co-opted to this greater mission, allowing both wars to fester and stalemate until the new, greater war in Central Asia could be brought online.  By “online,” I mean that preliminary groundwork could be laid, even as the destabilization programs were being guided to fruition.  From the Tajik civil war, to the early colored revolutions and riots which have been engineered on the former Soviet real estate, to the more recent upheavals in Kyrghzstan and in China’s western regions.   Social tensions in the region have been slowly percolated to the current boiling point, closely approximating the conditions arranged for the “Arab spring” movements.  Destabilization is the primary weapon in “limited warfare” doctrine.

Afghan drugs have also served as another primary weapon in the CIA/Pentagon psywar destabilization program, their movement across borders and their corrupting influence have laid the foundations for joint counter-terrorism and counter-narcotics efforts from Afghanistan to Russia and beyond, anywhere that American-enabled opioids flow.  In order to fight all the problems associated with these drugs and other fallout of America’s failed Afghan war plan, partnerships have been formed with US and NATO forces, making these governments all partners in plans for their own destruction and servitude.  As a direct result of these partnerships, the doors have flung wide-open for a full-scale US military penetration of all of the “Stans,” and that planned penetration is getting underway.

In a strange twist of dictatorships striving to save their fledgling democracies from an Imperial penetration and net-centric psywar operations, governments which have found themselves under attack, have been turning to censorship of the Internet, as a last line of defense.   In the past twenty-four hours three major Central Asian news websites have been taken-down by unknown entities in major cyber-attacks (Chronicles of TurkmenistanNewsCentralAsia and Avesta.Tj).

In a mystifying arrogance that leaves decent folks grasping for the proper words to describe what we are witnessing, the American administration has revealed to the world that it has some unwritten right to take actions meant to undermine any government that tries to protect itself against the intensive, organized assault.

The United States is funding the development of new technologies to circumvent unwanted controls, sponsoring training programs for Internet activists, and launching diplomatic initiatives to build “a global coalition of governments committed to advancing Internet freedom.”

The New York Times reports that the US State Department will have spent upwards of $70 million on “shadow networks” which would allow protesters to communicate even if powers that be pull the traditional plug — so far, it’s spent at least $50 million on a independent cell phone network for Afghanistan, and given a $2 million grant to members of the New America Foundation creating the “internet in a suitcase” pictured above. It’s a batch of mesh networking equipment designed to be spirited into a country to set up a private network.”

It is the nature of psywar (psychological warfare) that each small operation builds upon the previous operations, in a kind of inverted pyramidal edifice, where all building blocks rest upon one original faulty foundation stone.  In the case of the global war on terror (GWOT), everything rests upon the American definition of the word “terrorism.”

In the grand psyop, war is perpetuated and sometimes escalated, but it is never ended. In order to accomplish the perpetuation of persistent warfare, American forces are never allowed to obtain anything approximating ultimate victory.  In the scheme labeled “asymmetric warfare,” the impossible becomes an everyday occurrence.  The flea is portrayed as the equal to the wolf pack.  Small, poorly armed militant groups like the Taliban, somehow manage to hold-off and sometimes defeat the world’s most powerful military, even with its overwhelming air superiority.  Even in mountainous terrain, where there are vast distances between targets, the overaccommodating Western media paints a misleading picture of militants who are armed with RPGs and AK-47s, surviving against military forces which operate under the principle of “full-spectrum dominance.”

Maintaining the illusion is the key to maintaining perpetual war.  The psywar is far more important than the real war.  The war against minds has more far-reaching effects than the war against the flesh.  With one bullet, or one-hundred bullets, you can kill one man (or several), but with the right combination of words you can destroy or disable the minds of hundreds, even thousands of men.  This is the reason why the US Army maintains 40 psychological warfare reserve units.  Even the most deadly arm of the American military, the Special Forces divisions rely upon psyop battalions to prepare their battles for them.  Full-spectrum cyber-warfare brings every resource to bear upon making the enemy think whatever you want them to think.  In the case of the global terror war, America’s real intentions are hidden behind a façade of ineptitude and near-incompetence, while the most sophisticated warfighting system ever dreamed-up by the minds of martial man have concentrated on overcoming the minds of the world.

They do this by creating the contradictory impression that our military is more concerned with perpetuating our enemies than in defeating them.  We fight against “militant Islamists,” even while our every action is cued towards increasing the number of militants.  American policies of staging overwhelming punitive attacks upon our adversaries, knowing that countless numbers of Muslim males will rush forward in reaction, seeking vengeance for murdered family members, increases the resistance, instead of decreasing it.  A policy which focuses upon provocation aims to drive the insurgencies.  It is little wonder that so many researchers draw the conclusion that the CIA and military intelligence are behind the militant/terrorist groups, if not in actual deeds, then in intentions.  This “intelligence-driven war” is a perpetual motion machine.

By driving the “Islamic” militant groups, wherever policy-makers wish to go, the doors are opened wide to US and NATO forces.  The staged mock “killing of bin Laden” has set the next stage in the grand Pentagon psywar, a massive “manhunt” deep into Central Asia.  World opinion is now pre-primed to expect US Special Forces kill teams to pursue Osama’s alleged associates wherever they can be spotted in CENTCOM’s area of operations.

The “killing of bin Laden” scam is being augmented by further US government machinations, which are centered around circumstances arising from the “failing” Afghan war–drugs and gun-running, narco-terrorism, regional instability.  Under the pretense of assisting local governments deal with this Afghan-related chaos (through American and NATO support in improving national technological capabilities, especially in tightening border security), inroads are made into each of the targeted states military and police forces, justifying intensive penetration of the countryside under peaceful “aid” programs.

The American construction of massive bases in foreign countries (often against the will of the host governments) is one of those “national security” issues that our “free press” normally chooses to avoid.  Despite claims that media in Western democracies are free to report on whatever they want, the corporate-owned press chooses to avoid stories of outright government duplicity, such as the contradictions inherent in the base construction issue.  America is not so generous that it builds multi- million military bases with the intention to simply give them away as soon as they are completed.  The tracks which have been left, confirm to us all, that the Afghan war is not slated to end in 2014, it is instead, going to be shifted into interior Central Asia.  There is not yet any reason for world opinion to accept that major shifting of forces, but reasons (or at least excuses) are being created to shift those opinions, by means of the problems being cooked-up in the boiling pot of Afghanistan and Pakistan.

While the world’s attention will remain riveted to potential military actions in Pakistan and the Persian Gulf, the real war will erupt elsewhere, seemingly out of nowhere.

Representatives from all of the secret agencies of the Stans, except for Turkmenistan, have come together in Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan to identify a common threat in Central Asia, emanating from a non-existent terrorist underground (SEE: Secret services say about the presence in Central Asia, domestic extremist underground).  This consensus on a common invisible enemy sets the stage for the coming creation of a Central Asian rapid reaction force (which is to be used primarily for crushing political dissent), without defining the author of that budding force.  Will it be Western-oriented or Russian in composition, or will there be two competing forces?

The sudden appearance of “Islamist terrorists” inKazakhstanseems like a sure sign of outside intervention, but is it really?  It is doubtful that many of the terrorist attacks which have happened in the past and have been blamed on shadowy, previously unheard of terrorist outfits, have really been the work of religious extremists.  The exceptionally high military skills which have been exhibited in most of these rare guerilla attacks (Fedayeen) is proof that most of the terrorist attacks have been the work of military professionals.  There is presently no way to know for certain whether the terrorism in Kazakhstan and elsewhere in Central Asia has been by real militants, or has been the work of intelligence agencies or military contractors, (mercenaries), or possibly commando actions by Special Forces soldiers.

Whoever bombed the railroad bridge in Uzbekistanrecently, destroying the concrete bridge supports, were clearly professionals, just like those demolition teams who disabled Russian hydroelectric dams last year.  It would be accurate to think ofCentral Asia as a secret battlefield, where attacks and counterattacks have been taking place beyond the eyes and ears of civilization for several years.  It is only now, since our attention has been diverted to the former Soviet empire that observers have started to take notice of the secret shenanigans.

When it comes to news reports out of the CIS countries, or any of the closed societies of Asia orAfrica(where the legitimate media does not go), we can never be sure if any of them are true.  Who can be sure that reported terrorist attacks even happen at all?

If a believable world-wide terrorist organization can be created practically out of thin air, then how many real terrorists does it really take to create a popular perception of a growing terrorist menace?  With its “al-Qaeda” project, the CIA has perfected its mastery of a process for creating pseudo-terrorists and weaving terrorist legends around them.  Since the official start of the terror war, we have demonstrated our mastery of this black art to the world.  Even though our leaders and the national media like to claim that we are locked in a deadly terrorist war with this Islamist organization, secret services in the know understand that “al-Qaeda” is merely a phantom outfit, existing only on paper, to be called forth whenever US inroads are needed anywhere in the world.

Every functioning spy agency knows by now that a few terrorist legends have been blended together to create the impression of a widespread terrorist internationale, to serveAmerica’s secret plans. The only real connection between “al-CIA-da”-linked terrorist groups anywhere is the common denominator of the CIA hand, or the CIA-created al Qaeda brand-name.  The CIA has turned mass-murder into an art form, creating a prototype of roving gangs of militants, mercenaries, or hired criminal thugs, who provide cover stories for any missions to terrorize the local populations or to attack designated targets.  Anyone who has been paying attention would have learned of our skills and adapted them towards their own ends by now, simply by plugging into the lively “al-Qaeda” mythology for themselves.

Which government is behind the alleged “Islamists” of Central Asia–American, or copycat competitors?  Did Kazakh President Nazarbayev manufacture his own “Islamists,” in order to justify a wave of political repression, just as Bakiyev allegedly raised the specter of Mullah Abdullo and the IMU to provide cover for ethnic rioting  that was unleashed in theOsh region in southernKyrgyzstan?  Did Uzbek President Islam Karimov claim that unseen “terrorists” blew that railroad bridge to cover his feud withTajikistan?  Or, were all of these faceless terrorists (some of them operating under the name of unheard of militant outfits) real, working for meddling outside powers?  That is the nature of a covert war environment—nobody knows what to believe, so everybody is suspect.  Such an environment is created with the intention of fostering suspicious paranoia among real resistance forces.  It is part of the divide and conquer strategy.

This is what is happening all overCentral Asia.  InUzbekistan, phantom “terrorists” have allegedly blown-up a railroad bridge, not on the main rail line being used to supply NATO, but on a side route which only servicesTajikistan. This rail blockage comes after months of sporadic service, because of an ongoing railroad war of attrition with Uzbek President Karimov, over the Rogun Dam issue.  InTajikistanitself recently, the government has revived the memory of Mullah Abdullo and bands of phantom Islamists, to cover up government repression of religious dissidents.  If a group ever existed anywhere, it remains forever useful to deceitful individuals who want to invoke the image of killer Islamists to cover their own tracks.

The term “militant Islamist” describes a particular, rare type of individual, one who follows a deviant version of Islam, and is highly trained in the military arts.  The people who are usually blamed for isolated terrorist attacks have been religious students, who have somehow become radicalized and motivated to take-up arms, allegedly in defense of their faith.  It takes outside intervention to train and arm these new militants, after they have gone through religious indoctrination.  Somebody has to provide the military hardware they rely on.  Every terrorist group has such backers or sponsors.  Identifying the state terrorist backer is even more difficult than identifying secret terrorists.

The struggle to dominateEurasiahas evolved past the original Cold War scenario, producing a new form of warfare.  World War III has been reduced to a media war, with the East/West coalitions striving in the shadows to influence popular perceptions and thereby alter reality.  War reporting is a thing of the past, having been replaced by national “news,” which is usually delivered weeks, after the events have passed.

In a psywar, it is often impossible to tell which side is benefitting from the violence, or which side is responsible for it.  It is sometimes even harder to know whether the event is intentional, or simply coincidence.  It is sometimes possible after the event has passed to understand which side has gained advantages from the violent terrorist incident, with the benefit of 20/20 hindsight.  This is why hard analysis of the many ongoing international confrontations has us all looking backwards, in order to anticipate what the future may hold (perhaps this explains the prevailing paranoia in the conspiracy research community).  InCentral Asiawe see traces left behind from many, widely dispersed terrorist events, forming an evidence trail that unlocks secret events from the past, giving us insight into the forces that will be destabilizing the CIS countries in the future.

All the players in the Central Asian psywar have adapted their games to the new realities.  Everyone is now singing the same tune, expressing the same fear of future “Islamists” and narco-terrorists who might be migrating outward fromAfghanistanafter 2014.  Both East and West claim to offer protection and order in the face of this common terrorist threat.  There is an unspoken consensus on the true nature of these Islamist terrorists and an understanding that the real terrorist threat comes from those who protect the narco-terrorists and their deadly products.  The real terrorists are those government forces which have banded together in secret to manufacture “radical Islam” and to push it onto unsuspecting Muslim populations.

The beliefs promoted by every radical Islamist outfit are the same—someone has insulted God and must die—it then falls to the true believer to become a self-appointed executioner for God.  It is the Islamists of tomorrow, who represent the real danger which Central Asian governments prepare for today.  Militant groups, led by such individuals are the only real military threat that could possibly endanger Central Asian governments in the near future.

Both East and West are now selling military solutions to meet future CIS needs.  TheUSis relying on its “Partnership for Peace” relationships to gain an inside track to sell its proposed secret military solution.  So far, this approach has paid-off with Western inroads made in border control, drug control and counter-terrorism programs in all of the Stans.  It remains to be seen whether US diplomats can turn this into actual partnerships with separate governments.  That decision will depend upon the American aid program offered and the level of confidence in American security.

Russiais has been taking a different approach to the anticipated security problems of the region, according to the Russian press.  They are developing a strategy and war-gaming on it, to deal with an unspecific type of threat which is somewhere between militant Islamists and any “Arab spring” type of movement which might arise in the immediate future.  The most obvious problem that is developing with both Eastern and Western strategies, is that all of the solutions are being developed piecemeal, out of separate components, based on separate treaties and security organizations that often don’t match-up.  It is making it difficult to synchronize commitments already made by the separate states with developing plans to enhance security.  Some governments belong to both East and West security organizations, meaning that they might belong to the same drug control regime, but be on different sides of the counter-terrorism issue.

Russian security solutions are being practiced with individual governments in the region, to develop a common concept of fighting future Islamist terror and popular uprisings.  Kazakhstanparticipated in September’s Center-2011 Caspian exercises.  Tajikistan has been named in next year’s Peace Mission-2012 exercise, which has been reportedly focused on the same missions inTajikistan’s mountainous terrain.

Sept. 9-26, the Russian army, joined byKazakhstan,TajikistanandKyrgyzstan, deployed 12,000 troops in a huge combined military exercise code-named Center-2011 which reportedly simulated an Iranian attack on Caspian oil fields.  Two videos from those war games below:

учения ЦЕНТР-2011.mp4, posted with vodpod

Сюжет “Центр 2011″, posted with vodpod

The Center-2011 Caspian war games were very significant because of the specific missions which were reported by the Russian press to have been practiced there.  One practice mission was securing an undefinedCaspian Sea oil terminal from a military assault by approximately 70 aircraft from an unnamed air force, coming from the south. The games reportedly involved defendingKazakhstan’s Caspian Mangustanskoy field being developed by ExxonMobil in the northern Caspian.  The map released to the press, which had been used in the exercise, looked remarkably like the Turkmen Cheleken Contract Area just south of there,Turkmenistan’s Caspian cash cow.   See the similarities between the two graphics below:

In addition to the similarity of the two sites, the size of the Turkmen Air Force and the 70 operational fighter aircraft reported in the Center-2011 story are nearly the same.  CouldRussiaandKazakhstanhave actually been practicing taking control of the Cheleken facility, but reported to the Russian press the Kazakh scenario?

The following report appeared in Eurasia.org on Nov. 22, Would Russia Go To War Over The Trans-Caspian Pipeline?   Did this reporter’s speculation strike a nerve inTurkmenistan?  Putin’sRussia has been very assertive since the Georgian war demonstratedRussia’s resolve to hold on to its special possessions in this vital region.  The conflict that has been brewing withTurkmenistan may dwarf the Georgian actions.  Disagreements with the Turkmen government have precipitated a media war, with Berdymukhamedov’s stubborn rejection of anything associated withRussia looking like a mutiny, a rebellion against Putin’s dreamed of Eurasian alliance.

The final straw forRussiamay have been Berdymukhamedov’s open promises to sign-on to the European trans-Caspian pipeline projects, which would have cost Gazprom andRussiaenormous losses of gas profits.  This was unacceptable.  The Turkmen President had to be made to understand exactly what he stood to lose by threateningRussia’s economic lifeline.

The day after the Caspian war story ran, Turkmen President Berdymukhamedov was in China, where he signed 14 agreements, among them, an agreement to double Turkmenestan’s pipeline exports to China (SEE: Turkmen in Gas Accord With China ).

He also signed 13 more bilateral agreements with Hu Jintao on securing loans for oil and gas equipment, collaborating on internal affairs, police training, anti-terrorism etc.  The full range of the agreements is not yet known, but police and anti-terrorist training forTurkmenistan had already been contracted from theUS and NATO.  It is unknown what effect the Chinese agreement will have upon such commitments already made to either NATO orRussia.

This new Chinadeal effectively sealed the fate of both European dream projects, Nabucco and the trans-Caspian project, in addition to negating a resumption of high Russian export levels.  Turkmenistancould no longer promise such high production levels, no matter what they had previously claimed.  In reality, Turkmenistanhas not yet managed to produce meet the halfway point in the projected 32 billion cubic meters a year required to fill that first pipeline.  It may take an extended development period to consistently produce enough Turkmen gas for a second Chinese pipeline.  There will be no available Turkmen gas to send to Europe, despite the rosy predictions made by the government and their British advisers (SEE: Turkmenistan: Ashgabat Energy-Reserve Controversy Continues to Flare ).

President Berdymukhamedov recently stated that the U.S. “has been and remains one of the strategic vectors of its foreign policy (SEE:  Turkmenistan Hosts Meeting To Develop Action Plan For Implementing UN Global Counter-Terrorism Strategy;  US and Turkmenistan to continue combating illegal narcotics).  It is not often mentioned in the Western media, but the US has also been using the airport in Ashgabat for refueling aircraft, as well as the airport town of Mary and at least one other airport in the country, even though the northern distribution network land routes bypassTurkmenistan.

From all available evidence, it is reasonable to conclude that there will be no Turkmen participation in anything Russiahas planned.  The same cannot be said of Tajikistan, where the201st motorized division of the Russian Army maintains its only base in the region, overriding any smaller issues like the recent Russian pilot arrest.  The Tajik media has reported thatTajikistan has signed-on to next year’s SCO war games with the 201st, to develop a rapid reaction force.

This new military exercise inCentral Asiashows that Russian forces are honing their new Rapid Reaction Force, to be operational by the time of the American Afghan withdrawal in 2014.  The coming Peace Mission-2012 represents the natural progression of the training acquired in the Center-2011 (“Центр-2011″) Caspian war game exercise, which was conducted in September.   We can expect to see more of these war games in the future, as Russian forces develop the concept of a quick reaction battalion, to intercept narco-terrorists, or to free villages overrun by unnamed forces.

Turkmenistanhas already invited NATO/US forces to help it in counter-terrorist, counter-narcotics, border control and policing efforts, even though the Turkmen leadership boasts loud and often about its “neutrality.”

Even though Uzbekistan is helping the US conduct its NDN (northern distribution network) enterprise in exchange for military aid and help with image modification, the Karimov government refuses to participate in any regional solution that has been put forth by either the US or Russia, even scuttling the US Istanbul agreement on Afghanistan.

Karimov will not support any security scenario that omits the Shanghai Cooperation Organization’s (SCO) Regional Anti-Terrorist Structure (RAT), which is based in Tashkent.  A parallel law enforcement structure is being created there, to expedite terrorism suspects in the US model of operation.  Moscow’s coalition building has so far been unable to overcome Karimov’s distrust of Putin, in order to bring him onboard, even though the SCO structure has been officially linked to the Collective Security Treaty Organization (CSTO) andUzbekistan is a member.

Karimov refuses to join in any collective security force andBelarusis leading a push to haveUzbekistanexpelled from the CSTO, unless it joins the security arrangement.  This prevailing anti-Russian sentiment more or less ensures that no conceivable security arrangement will include all the national governments, creating a dangerous scenario where the CIS governments choose-up sides and take-up arms in opposition to each other.  It may work out that the separate organizations can come together over the real threats and remain divided over the manufactured points of contention.

The new message emerging from the Russian press reports and manipulations of that news is that Putin is trying to pull together all of the remnants of theSoviet Unionthat he can influence, in his Eurasian Economic Union (EEU).  Laying the economic groundwork for the massive organization effort, the Customs Union is the first stage of that planned reunion.  War games to secure the resources of the member states suggest thatRussiaand its allies are prepared to use military force to hold onto assets.  Widespread attacks by “Islamists” who suddenly emerge out of nowhere, or out of retirement, forcing recalcitrant governments to seek military assistance, suggest that the Kremlin may be giving them a nudge.

Against the temptation to side with Russiaover concerns about Islamists and revolutions, the Americans have also deployed their own, perhaps more attractive, economic/military package of incentives.  In addition to the incessantly advertised Silk Road incentive package we have the promise of such things as the free military surplus weapons, Special Forces training centers and modern border control technology (SEE: Smashing Greater Central Asia –Part One).

Border control enhancement in the Central Asian states is one area of Western penetration into the national security structure of all of the Stan governments.  The EUand the UN build and remodel border control facilities for the individual governments to run, while the US and NATO provide the expertise and technical means to control borders in the face of determined smugglers and terrorists, who are hell-bent on conducting their deadly trade across normally porous borders.

In the war to “Smash Greater Central Asia,” the great game is being played-out as a massive psywar, with both sides using the same covert tactics to produce opposite results.  The secret war is on, for the hearts and souls of individual nations and individual tribes, who are looking for economic roads out of the remnants of the massive Gulag state and the crumbling industrial base that has been left in its wake.  An interesting, though often overlooked, fact about the former Soviet empire is the wreckage that has been left behind in the crumbling infrastructure of roads, factories, pipelines, water and electrical transmission systems.  All of these former life-giving arteries of the Soviet industrial state have been milked of their usefulness to the economically starved CIS countries, having surpassed their expiration dates and started to crumble.  Repairing these systems may be more difficult and more costly than simply replacing them with brand new systems.

All of the former communist satellite countries are looking to the community of nations for help in overcoming these obstacles to economic growth, no matter whether that help is offered by the Western democracies or by a Gazprom-energized Russian economic union.  The objective of the psywar against these CIS countries is to gain the loyalties of the individual governments in a bidding war for the least costly solutions available to the Center.  The importance of co-opting each government means that those nations which cannot be tricked into giving their loyalty will be bought, if possible, if not, then the military option remains open.

The issue of “human rights” is overlooked by Western diplomats when they are trying to legitimize their interaction with the dictatorships of Central Asia, such as Islam Karimov,   but it becomes a weapon when it comes to other, less vital governments.  Human rights becomes a useful issue for bashing unfriendly dictatorships.  It has been used too often in this hypocritical manner to be very effective any more.  The two-faced method for deploying the human rights issue serves to delegitimize the idea of democratic rights for all, which must form the foundation of any democracy movement.  In September, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton commended Karimov for “progress” on human rights and traveled to Tashkent in October to thank the dictator in person for his cooperation.  In Turkmenistan, Berdimuhamedov no longer feels obligated to listen to the comments of the West on human rights.

We have worn-out our welcome inCentral Asia, before we really got our foot in the door.  It is a bad idea to squander all of your good will, especially at the same time that you are wearing out your economic appeal.  Interfering in the internal Russian electoral process is also not a good example to set if you plan to encourage dictatorships to be more lenient on human rights.  If you cannot get your foot in the door and you cannot even gain observer status, your plans may be left out in the cold as well.  The ultimate solution forCentral Asiamay be whatever defense Russian leaders can organize to stop US State Dept. and CIA subversion.  The governments siding withRussiamay have already figured that out.

Pakistan: Gateway to the Zionist Endgame

By Martin Iqbal.

Israel’s plan to eviscerate the Arab and Muslim states, eyes nuclear Pakistan as the final hurdle. In the wake of NATO’s deadly November 26 attack on Pakistan, the S.I.T.E. Intelligence Group rears its head to carry forward the Zionist deceptions.

In February 1982 an important Hebrew paper appeared in a Jewish journal named KIVUNIM(Directions). Penned by Oded Yinon and titled ‘A Strategy for Israel in the Nineteen Eighties‘, the essay delineates strategies for Israel to become a regional hegemon in the Middle East. The short and long term strategies discussed involve the dissolution of the surrounding Arab states, and the expansion of Israel beyond its current (undeclared) borders. Over a decade later in 1996, a Zionist study group led by arch Jewish Zionist Richard Perle wrote a paper entitled ‘A Clean Break: A New Strategy for Securing the Realm‘. ‘A Clean Break‘ was largely a rehashing of Oded Yinon’s essay, adapting the same strategies to the contemporary geopolitical landscape of the Middle East.

The Mossad false flag attacks of September 11, 2011 ushered in the Zionist-designed ‘War on Terror’. Before the attacks had even concluded, before any conclusive proof of the perpetrators could possibly have been attained, a prominent architect of the attacks appeared(1) on BBC World in order to name the states that had to be dissolved under Israel’s grand strategy (including Iraq, Libya, Syria and Iran). The U.S. Military was to be used as a mere tool, a ‘host body’ that would act as the American glove protecting the Israeli hand from the blood and treasure that would be spilled and spent. Since that time the geopolitical landscape of the Middle East and Central Asia has changed radically; we have seen the ‘Clean Break’ strategy unfold. In 2011 alone, Israel’s plan has lurched forward to engulf Libya and Syria. A major conflagration looms in the Middle East as Bashar Al-Assad faces a concerted destabilisation attempt mounted by Israel, the U.S, Jordan, Turkey and Saudi Arabia.

Oded Yinon’s plan is centred around the exploitation of ethnic, religious and tribal divisions within the Arab world. He notes that the Arab states have been largely defined by Britain and France, with arbitrary borders drawn that are not faithful to the ethnic, religious, and tribal differences between the different peoples in the region. Likening the Arab world to a house of cards, Yinon surmises that the entire region can be easily broken up into tiny states based on ethnic, religious, or tribal lines. This would preclude any centralised governance, and ensure that power is only localised to these ‘mini-states’. In effecting this strategy, Israel would remove any real opposition to its regional dominance.

Egypt, Libya & Sudan

A Strategy for Israel in the Nineteen Eighties‘ makes clear Israel’s goal of balkanising (or ‘breaking up into smaller states’) Egypt and the surround states of Libya and Sudan:

Egypt, in its present domestic political picture, is already a corpse, all the more so if we take into account the growing Moslem-Christian rift. Breaking Egypt down territorially into distinct geographical regions is the political aim of Israel in the Nineteen Eighties on its Western front.

Egypt is divided and torn apart into many foci of authority. If Egypt falls apart, countries like Libya, Sudan or even the more distant states will not continue to exist in their present form and will join the downfall and dissolution of Egypt. The vision of a Christian Coptic State in Upper Egypt alongside a number of weak states with very localized power and without a centralized government as to date, is the key to a historical development which was only set back by the peace agreement but which seems inevitable in the long run.

The illegal war on Libya has already plunged the country into tribal conflict and chaos, signalling a new phase in Israel’s plan. Sudan, as we have seen very recently, has already been split into two distinct states: Sudan and South Sudan. In a piece(2) published by the Al-Khaleej Times, Fahmi Howeidi expertly lays out how Israel has brought about the balkanisation of Sudan by training and cultivating secessionist groups, and provoking internal wars since the nineteen fifties. As Howeidi succinctly writes, “the crop sown by Israel and its allies since the 1950s is beginning to bear fruit“.

Pertaining to Libya, Islamic scholar Sheikh Imran Hosein’s analysis is right on point. He theorises that the Libya war, waged by NATO, an extension of the Zionist entity, is a precursor to the balkanisation of Egypt. Hosein envisages a two-pronged attack on Egypt: NATO and its proxy land forces from the west, and Israel from the east.

Moving to Egypt’s eastern frontier, it is a well known fact that Israel covets the Sinai (the Egyptian peninsula east of the Nile River) for not only ideological reasons (the realisation of Greater Israel), but also economic ones. Yinon makes no secret of Israeli designs on the Sinai:

The loss of the Suez Canal oil fields, of the immense potential of the oil, gas and other natural resources in the Sinai peninsula which is geomorphologically identical to the rich oil-producing countries in the region, will result in an energy drain in the near future and will destroy our domestic economy: one quarter of our present GNP as well as one third of the budget is used for the purchase of oil. The search for raw materials in the Negev and on the coast will not, in the near future, serve to alter that state of affairs.

(Regaining) the Sinai peninsula with its present and potential resources is therefore a political priority which is obstructed by the Camp David and the peace agreements. The fault for that lies of course with the present Israeli government and the governments which paved the road to the policy of territorial compromise, the Alignment governments since 1967. The Egyptians will not need to keep the peace treaty after the return of the Sinai, and they will do all they can to return to the fold of the Arab world and to the USSR in order to gain support and military assistance. American aid is guaranteed only for a short while, for the terms of the peace and the weakening of the U.S. both at home and abroad will bring about a reduction in aid. Without oil and the income from it, with the present enormous expenditure, we will not be able to get through 1982 under the present conditions and we will have to act in order to return the situation to the status quo which existed in Sinai prior to Sadat’s visit and the mistaken peace agreement signed with him in March 1979.

This corroborates Hosein’s theory that an Israeli attack is impending on the Sinai, potentially in concert with NATO-aligned forces in Libya. Recent belligerent posturing(3) by an Israeli Member of the Knesset further backs up this idea.

Syria & Iraq

Two other nations earmarked for destruction at the outset of the Zionist ‘War on Terror’ were Syria and Iraq. As Yinon’s paper demonstrates, these nations too are prime targets of Israel’s balkanisation plan.

The dissolution of Syria and Iraq later on into ethnically or religiously unique areas such as in Lebanon, is Israel’s primary target on the Eastern front in the long run, while the dissolution of the military power of those states serves as the primary short term target. Syria will fall apart, in accordance with its ethnic and religious structure, into several states such as in present day Lebanon, so that there will be a Shi’ite Alawi state along its coast, a Sunni state in the Aleppo area, another Sunni state in Damascus hostile to its northern neighbor, and the Druzes who will set up a state, maybe even in our Golan, and certainly in the Hauran and in northern Jordan. This state of affairs will be the guarantee for peace and security in the area in the long run, and that aim is already within our reach today.

Iraq, rich in oil on the one hand and internally torn on the other, is guaranteed as a candidate for Israel’s targets. Its dissolution is even more important for us than that of Syria. Iraq is stronger than Syria. In the short run it is Iraqi power which constitutes the greatest threat to Israel. An Iraqi-Iranian war will tear Iraq apart and cause its downfall at home even before it is able to organize a struggle on a wide front against us. Every kind of inter-Arab confrontation will assist us in the short run and will shorten the way to the more important aim of breaking up Iraq into denominations as in Syria and in Lebanon. In Iraq, a division into provinces along ethnic/religious lines as in Syria during Ottoman times is possible. So, three (or more) states will exist around the three major cities: Basra, Baghdad and Mosul, and Shi’ite areas in the south will separate from the Sunni and Kurdish north.

Not only is Syria now undergoing the major Zionist destabilisation plot prescribed in Yinon’s strategy, but this plot is being carried out on the ground with major Turkish military, operational, and territorial support. This is something that was recommended in Richard Perle’s ‘Clean Break’ rehashing of the strategy:

(Israel can) Work closely with Turkey and Jordan to contain, destabilize, and roll-back some of its most dangerous threats. This implies clean break from the slogan, “comprehensive peace” to a traditional concept of strategy based on balance of power.

Israel can shape its strategic environment, in cooperation with Turkey and Jordan, by weakening, containing, and even rolling back Syria. This effort can focus on removing Saddam Hussein from power in Iraq — an important Israeli strategic objective in its own right — as a means of foiling Syria’s regional ambitions.

Most important, it is understandable that Israel has an interest supporting diplomatically, militarily and operationally Turkey’s and Jordan’s actions against Syria, such as securing tribal alliances with Arab tribes that cross into Syrian territory and are hostile to the Syrian ruling elite.

Readers will most likely be aware of General Wesley Clark’s ‘seven nations in five years’ testimony. Clark, a four star General in the United States Army stated that on September 12, 2001 – the day after Israel’s false flag – the United States had already made the decision to wage war on Iraq in spite of having no casus belli whatsoever. A few weeks after this, shortly after the start of the war on Afghanistan, Clark was shown a memo which named seven countries that the United States was to ‘take down’ in five years: Iraq, Syria, Lebanon, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, and Iran. This is literally a laundry list of Israel’s targets; the ‘Israeli hand in the American glove’ metaphor becomes disconcertingly fitting and relevant:

Jordan & the Palestinians

A Strategy for the Nineteen Eighties‘ recommends a ‘final solution’ to Israel’s ‘Palestinian problem’. After ethnically cleansing Palestinians from their land in 1948, Israel was unable to uproot the indigenous Arabs from the portion of Palestine that is now known as the West Bank. Though Israel occupied it in 1967, they were unable to force the entire population into flight.

Yinon’s plan calls for the native Palestinians of the West Bank to be pushed east over the river into Jordan, where they may establish a state. This, without compromise, is the only solution the Israeli colonists will accept – something which is evidenced by Israel’s continued and accelerated Jewish colonisation of the West Bank.

There is no chance that Jordan will continue to exist in its present structure for a long time, and Israel’s policy, both in war and in peace, ought to be directed at the liquidation of Jordan under the present regime and the transfer of power to the Palestinian majority. Changing the regime east of the river will also cause the termination of the problem of the territories densely populated with Arabs west of the Jordan. Whether in war or under conditions of peace, emigration from the territories and economic demographic freeze in them, are the guarantees for the coming change on both banks of the river, and we ought to be active in order to accelerate this process in the nearest future. The autonomy plan ought also to be rejected, as well as any compromise or division of the territories for, given the plans of the PLO and those of the Israeli Arabs themselves, the Shefa’amr plan of September 1980, it is not possible to go on living in this country in the present situation without separating the two nations, the Arabs to Jordan and the Jews to the areas west of the river. Genuine coexistence and peace will reign over the land only when the Arabs understand that without Jewish rule between the Jordan and the sea they will have neither existence nor security. A nation of their own and security will be theirs only in Jordan.

Within Israel the distinction between the areas of ’67 and the territories beyond them, those of ’48, has always been meaningless for Arabs and nowadays no longer has any significance for us. The problem should be seen in its entirety without any divisions as of ’67. It should be clear, under any future political situation or military constellation, that the solution of the problem of the indigenous Arabs will come only when they recognize the existence of Israel in secure borders up to the Jordan river and beyond it,

The Atlantic boasts of a new Middle East

A 2008 Atlantic article by Jewish Zionist Jeffrey Goldberg contained a very telling map of a possible future Middle East. Readers may recall that it was Jeffrey Goldberg who said in 2002(4) that Saddam Hussein “could have an atomic bomb within months of acquiring fissile material”, and that the genocidal war on Iraq would be “remembered as an act of profound morality”.

The map makes for very interesting viewing; it is literally a visual representation of the Israeli plan to remake the Middle East and North Africa. On the Horn of Africa we see Somalia split into three states, and Sudan broken into two (something which has actually happened since 2008). Eritrea is occupied by Ethiopia, signified by the striped colour-coding on the map, and the Egyptian Sinai is given the same treatment, presumably indicating an Israeli occupation.

Palestine is merged into Jordan, in line with the plan to push the Palestinians out of the West Bank and into a state on Jordanian territory.

Iraq has been balkanised with the creation of a Shia state, a Sunni state, and a Kurdish state in the north. This outcome is being avidly worked towards by Mossad and elite elements of the Israeli military, who have been fomenting Shia-Sunni sectarian conflict in Iraq for years.(5) As a result, since the 2003 invasion the U.S. Military has constructed hundreds of miles of concrete walls in Iraqi cities, to separate the Sunni and the Shia from one another. Though most of these walls have since been torn down, their very presence is a manifestation of the Israeli plan to split Iraq on sectarian lines, “So, three (or more) states will exist around the three major cities: Basra, Baghdad and Mosul, and Shi’ite areas in the south will separate from the Sunni and Kurdish north.

Pakistan: Gateway to the Zionist Endgame

The first Prime Minister of Israel, David Ben Gurion, elucidated Israeli opposition to the state of Pakistan. His words, printed in the London Jewish Chronicle on August 9, 1967 – a matter of weeks after Israel’s conquest of the West Bank, Al Quds (Jerusalem), Gaza, and Syria’s Golan Heights – made Zionism’s staunch opposition to Pakistan crystal-clear:

The world Zionist movement should not be neglectful of the dangers of Pakistan to it. And Pakistan now should be its first target, for this ideological State is a threat to our existence. And Pakistan, the whole of it, hates the Jews and loves the Arabs.

This lover of the Arabs is more dangerous to us than the Arabs themselves. For that matter, it is most essential for the world Zionism that it should now take immediate steps against Pakistan.

Whereas the inhabitants of the Indian peninsula are Hindus whose hearts have been full of hatred towards Muslims, therefore, India is the most important base for us to work there from against Pakistan.

It is essential that we exploit this base and strike and crush Pakistanis, enemies of Jews and Zionism, by all disguised and secret plans.

Relatively recent comments from Israel’s repugnant, racist Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman corroborate this position, revealing that this Zionist strategy exists as a priority in the modern day. In a 2009 interview with a Russian daily newspaper, Soviet-born Lieberman (born Evet Lvovich Libermanrevealed(6) that he saw Pakistan as Israel’s biggest threat, as opposed to Iran which is commonly painted as Israel’s arch nemesis:

“Pakistan is nuclear and unstable and Afghanistan is faced with a potential Taliban takeover, and the combination forms a contiguous area of radicalism ruled in the spirit of Osama bin Laden,”

In the same interview Lieberman professed, “Believe me, America accepts all our decisions”, an arrogant but nevertheless valid analysis.

Briefly returning to the ‘Atlantic’ map, you will notice that Afghanistan has been disembowelled; the ethnic states of Baluchistan and Pashtunistan have been created, and the northern region of Afghanistan has been absorbed into ‘Persia’. As a result of the secession of Baluchistan and Pashtunistan (both of which straddle the Afghanistan-Pakistan border, while Baluch territory extends into Iran too), significant chunks of Pakistan have been lost. This is part of a long-standing Zionist policy to cripple Pakistan as a nation.

Pakistan is a proud Muslim nation which not only has an ideological opposition to Zionism and Western colonialism, but possesses nuclear weapons. The nuclear deterrent, partnered with a cohesive and loyal army and air force presents a significant roadblock to Zionist and Indian aspirations of hegemony.

Shahid Siddiqi of Dawn.com muses(7) that,

“Due to its defiance of Indian diktat, Pakistan is for India an obstruction in its quest for domination of South Asia and the Indian Ocean region. Israel`s apprehension of Pakistan’s military prowess is rooted in the strength Pakistan indirectly provides to Arab states with whom Israel has remained in a state of conflict. Conscious that several Arab states look up to Pakistan for military support in the event of threat to their security from Israel, it is unsettling for Israel to see a nuclear armed Pakistan.

Again, this analysis gives a nod to David Ben Gurion’s position on Pakistan – echoed by Israel’s Foreign Minister over forty years later. Israel’s deep military-intelligence collaboration with India(8) is yet another indication of this strategy manifesting.

This strategy was transposed into an overt act of war when in 1984, Israel attempted to destroy Pakistan’s Kahuta nuclear reactor. After becoming aware of the plot, Pakistan spurned the attack by pre-emptively scrambling jets to protect the facility. To this day the strategy continues by overt and covert means.

In the midst of the Zionist ‘War on Terror’ in June 2004, George W. Bush began drone attacks on Pakistan. The deadly attacks, ostensibly launched against ‘Al Qaeda’ and Taliban ‘terrorists’ and ‘insurgents’, accelerated in regularity and intensity from 2004 to 2011 – killing thousands of innocent Pakistanis. The real underlying motive for these attacks is to foment unrest in these regions, with a view to provoking and cultivating militant secessionist groups. The aim is to turn these groups against the collaborationist Pakistani government (which is impotent in the face of naked aggression on the part of its American ‘ally’).

The balkanisation of Pakistan and seizure of its nuclear weapons are the ultimate aspirations of Israel as well as the United States, which aims to preserve its declining superpower status in the face of a growing China. A prominent meme in the Zionist media is the notion that Pakistan’s nuclear weapons are unsafe and at risk of ‘falling into the wrong hands’. This is the very justification that will eventually be used to launch an all-out invasion of Pakistan whereby Western powers will seize its nuclear weapons. The drone strikes, NATO provocations, and CIA-Mossad-RAW black ops serve to fan the flames of unrest, creating the necessary climate for military action and eventual dismemberment of Pakistan, Afghanistan, and Iran. The close relationship between China and Pakistan is a significant factor in the drive to break up Pakistan. China’s port at Gwadar is known as one of her ‘String of Pearls’, being of huge strategic interest and allowing for an energy corridor through Pakistan.

The latest chapter in the war on Pakistan transpired on Saturday 26 November when NATO helicopter gunships slaughtered 24 Pakistani soldiers.(9) In a naked act of aggression, NATO helicopters attacked a Pakistani army post for 45 minutes, then returned 20 minutes later and attacked for a further hour. Predictably this has triggered furious protests in Pakistan, and intense anger at both NATO and the Pakistani military, criticised for not responding to protect the soldiers during the two-hour attack. In the final analysis however, this event has unified the Pakistani people.

After NATO’s inexcusable attack on Pakistan the Zionist deceptions immediately followed, in a stunningly predictable development.

On Saturday 13 August, 2011 – over three months prior to the recent NATO attack – an American Jewish man named Warren Weinstein, working under the auspices of the U.S. government, was reportedly kidnapped by armed men in the eastern Pakistani city of Lahore. Suspiciously, five days after the NATO attack, the S.I.T.E. Intelligence Group informs the world that ‘Al Qaeda’ have claimed in an audio message to be holding Weinstein. In a profoundly shaky statement a U.S. official was quoted(10) as saying, “It’s entirely possible that al Qaeda or one of its militant allies may be holding Mr. Weinstein, and the statement by Zawahiri supports this conclusion”.

Why would ‘Al Qaeda’ wait over three months to tell us?

Is it not convenient that, in S.I.T.E’s audio message, ‘Zawahiri’ also called for the lifting of the siege on Gaza?(11) Israel has consistently tried to link the global ‘Free Gaza’ struggle to ‘Al Qaeda’. This has been the Zionist entity’s modus operandi ever since the Mavi Marmara was brutally attacked, whereafter Israel claimed the activists were linked to ‘Al Qaeda’.(12)

Why are these ‘Al Qaeda’ audio messages invariably posted on ‘extremist websites’ that no independent person has access to and therefore can never be independently verified? Why is every such ‘Al Qaeda’ tape, without exception, found by S.I.T.E? This bizarre situation becomes clearer when we examine the S.I.T.E. Intelligence Group. Founded in 2002 at the outset of the ‘War on Terror’ by rabid Zionist and former IDF soldier Rita Katz (whose father was hanged in Baghdad for spying for Israel), S.I.T.E. is nothing more than the PR organ of the ‘War on Terror’. It exists to convince the world that the ‘Al Qaeda’ apparition is an eminent threat whenever and wherever it is required.

The invasion of Afghanistan was waged in the name of a number of important interests. It was an attempt to militarise Central Asia in order to counter the growing power of China, Iran, and Russia. It was meant to facilitate the construction of an energy pipeline to transport the rich energy reserves of the Caspian basin through Turkmenistan, Afghanistan, southern Pakistan, and from there to Western markets. However, even more importantly the occupation of Afghanistan serves as a precursor to the war on Pakistan. It allows Western forces to learn the territory and develop the necessary tactics. It allows them to become familiar with local groups who can be armed, trained, and used as proxy armies as we’ve seen in the Libya war.

When we read of drone strikes against ‘militants’ and alleged ‘Al Qaeda’ kidnappings in Pakistan, we must view them through an analytical lens; nothing is ever as it seems in this geopolitical hotspot. While kvetching that Pakistani nukes are unsafe and a threat to peace, Israel, the United States, and India are actively working to violently destabilise the country.

The ‘War on Terror’ is an utterly false paradigm shored up by the sea of deception put forth by the Zionist media and groups such as S.I.T.E. We must strip away this veneer to expose the motivations and strategies of the Zionist entity and its American lapdog – the nations which constitute the biggest threat to peace on the face of the planet.

Notes

(1) ‘September 11, 2001: Zionist shock therapy and the birth of the lie’ by Martin Iqbal
(2) ‘Israelis can tell the whole story of Sudan’s division – they wrote the script and trained the actors’ by Fahmi Howeidi
(3) ‘MK: Prepare for War If Egypt Deploys in Sinai’ – Israel National News
(4) ‘Should the U.S. Invade Iraq? Week 2′ – Slate Magazine
(5) ‘Occupied Iraq: New Year, Same Zionism’ by Jonathan Azaziah
(6) ‘Israeli FM sees Pakistan biggest threat’ – nation.com.pk
(7) ‘How safe are Pakistan’s nuclear assets’ – dawn.com
(8) ‘Israel and India: Brothers In Occupation of Kashmir’ by Jonathan Azaziah
(9) ‘Pakistan army says NATO attack was blatant aggression’ – Reuters
(10) ‘Al Qaeda Leader Zawahiri Says He Has American Hostage’ – ABC News
(11) ‘Al-Qaida: Israel must lift Gaza ‘siege’ in exchange for U.S. Jewish prisoner’ – Ha’aretz
(12) ‘Israeli Officials Claim Aid Flotilla Had Ties to Al Qaeda, PM Gives Military ‘Full Support” – Fox News

NOTE:THIS IS A CROSS POST FROM empirestrikesblack

 

 

The Rogue Network

This is a Pakpotpourri Exclusive

By:Hamid Waheed

The international  relationship  has lost the power of its  ethics and rules with significant shift towards  intelligence and covert relations. The reality considered an absolute value has become dynamic with the world moving towards information warfare. The psychological  operations as part of information operations  launched now focus on creating confusion and demoralization amongst target audience and increase the wedge between the leadership, security apparatus and general population. The old saying every thing is allowed in war was rationalized and  as the civilization developed Human Rights , ethics , rule of law and morality prevailed.  The developed world came up with rules for every game including war and the rights for prisoners. Most of this was refined and formalized by the culture of democracy. It was believed that in the unipolar world headed by the biggest democracy of the world, such practices will thrive and the man will leave the barbaric laws  far behind.  The improvement in technology, science and awareness  benefited  humans during bipolar era. We saw laws coming up to stand for humanity and values. However post bipolar world suddenly finds itself fighting to find escape routes by a group of ROGUE  to again maximize slave industry. The American statue of liberty became irrelevant in the new world order  and the first target are Americans who are undergoing perceived fear of unknown and being forced to give up their rights and liberty. The rogue elements in State department, Pentagon and CIA  working with outsourcers seem to prevail in undermining the logics.  Director of policy research for the Senlis Council, Jorrit Kamminga, says: “the poppy eradication campaign in Afghanistan  has been ineffective, counterproductive and could well give the Taliban the decisive advantage in their struggle for the hearts and minds of the Afghan people.” The personal gains like easy money through drugs have been a source of strength and common goal.  A retired Admiral Dennis Blair, President Barack Obama’s former director of national intelligence, declared that America’s drone campaign “is eroding our influence and damaging our ability to work with Pakistan.”Such voices of logic get diluted due to the power of outsource groups employed by US army and the CIA in Afghanistan.

According to a military-led investigation U.S. logistic  trucking funds reach Taliban. The report compiled in May  and reviewed by an  international news paper, say the military found “documented, credible evidence  of involvement in a criminal enterprise or support for the enemy” by four of the eight prime contractors.  Tierney, now the top minority member of the national security subcommittee of the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, said “I would hate like hell to think my kid was over there” and the Taliban was “coming after them with something bought with our taxpayers’ money. The US exit strategy strongly hinges on effective Afghan National Army (ANA). According to a news report, the Afghan National Army is plagued by inefficiency and corruption. U.S. training efforts have been drastically slowed by the corruption, widespread illiteracy, vanishing supplies, and lack of discipline.

NOTE:The writer is a political analyst based in Islamabad.

 

Pak – U.S have always been a story of seasonal relationship with Pakistan accusing U.S of being a friend only at time of its need and leaving Pakistan high and dry afterwards. The U.S accuses  Pakistan of partnering only for its economic  interests . Resultantly the U.S policy has always focused on winning individuals  which play important role in Pakistan. The international events after 9/11 brought a realization to both the nations . The public statements by leadership of both countries focused on long lasting and strategic relations. U.S publically admitted leaving Pakistan after Russian withdrawal , F-16 issue and  sanctions were counter productive. Pakistani leadership came out to reverse anti U.S sentiments by convincing public that partnership in war on terror (WOT) is in interest of both Nations. However this way forward could only move few paces when it was challenged by the rogue group. The U.S was targeted from within by creating a silent divide between Pentagon, the government and CIA. Media proved one of the major weapons. At times it was Pentagon and at other it was either U.S government or the CIA which became instrumental to incidents like handling of Raymond Davis issue and policy shifts like U.S-India nuclear deal and US Afghan policy directly hitting Pakistan’s national interests. Under such environment Pak – US relation again come under stress after NATO attack on Salala posts killing 24 Pakistani soldiers. Salala incident has a history attached, according to details, in the second week of June 2008 an air strike by US-led forces killed 11 FC soldiers and 10 civilians in Mohmand Agency the target of the attack was a security post of the FC in Sheikh Baba area of Mohmand Agency. In September 2010, Nato forces in Afghanistan announced that in a strike by two Nato helicopters they killed 30 civilians on Pakistani soil. It was said that two Apache attack helicopters from the Nato-led International Security Assistance Force (Isaf) had crossed the border from eastern Afghanistan to target the apparent “insurgents.”On September 30, 2010 Pakistan halted Nato’s supplies after a brazen violation of Pakistan’s border, in which Nato helicopter gunships had attacked a security post in Kurram Agency, killing three soldiers and injuring three others. The helicopters had twice intruded into Pakistan’s airspace and shelled various areas in Kurram tribal region. The Nato gunship helicopters had fired two missiles at a security forces’ checkpoint located at a mountain near the border with Afghanistan’s Paktia province.

In the first week of February 2011, a soldier was killed and seven others sustained injuries when the Nato and Afghan forces fired mortar shells at the Bangidar security check-post in North Waziristan Agency (NWA). In the last week of April 2011, three Pakistani soldiers were killed and over a dozen people, including security personnel and local tribesmen, sustained injuries in cross-border shelling between the Afghan and Pakistani security forces near the remote border village of Angoor Adda in South Waziristan. In May this year, Nato forces again violated Pakistani airspace as two of its helicopters intruded into Pakistani territory in the border area of North Waziristan Agency (NWA). On 19 July artillery fire from Afghanistan continued for 5 hours despite repeated protests from Pakistan which resulted in death of 4 Pakistani soldiers. The Nato helicopters entered the border area and conducted a search operation inside Pakistan. In the last week of August 2011, around 300 men crossed into Pakistan from Afghanistan’s territory and stormed seven security checkpoints along the Durand Line and killed dozens of Pakistani security personnel. Last month, Pakistani security forces fired ‘warning shots’ at two Nato helicopter gunships when they intruded into Pakistani territory in North Waziristan, forcing them to return to Afghanistan.

The statements of regrets coming from all top leadership in US including Obama’s telephonic contact after Pakistan’s strong reaction against Salala attack and future discourse spelled out by General Kiyani shows that possibly the operation was not ordered at their level. At the same time  it does leave a food for thought for the collation partners to identify the ROGUE GROUP  from within which have become powerful enough to play with Pak – US relations . The inquiry report scheduled for 23 December will carry a strong message for future relationship. The US must understand that the forces operating far from their borders though have lesser regard and relevance to  violation of laws and  ethics  but great powers have to keep international laws in consideration for future strategy. An approach to bypass the laws may give quick tactical victory but will certainly bring strategic defeat. The democracy , the people from America, the West and all over the world will have to stand for themselves and for their coming generations. A nation is recognised by its values and not  by name. The civilization has covered a  long journey from the dark ages of  humanity, we must not give in to ROGUE GROUP  who wants  to take away our rights,  liberty and mutual respect for each other.

 

Killing Pakistani Soldiers

America’s Lost War

By: BRIAN CLOUGHLEY 

The killing of  24 Pakistan army soldiers in Mohmand Tribal Agency on November 26 by US air strikes is unforgivable. I was in Mohmand three weeks ago, visiting 77 Brigade, whose officers and soldiers were slaughtered by US aircraft,  and I know exactly where Pakistan’s border posts are located. And so do American forces, because they have been informed of the precise coordinates of all them. 

There can be no refutation of the statement to me that  “No plans of any patrols or operations being conducted [at the time of the Mohmand airstrikes] were shared [with Pakistan, by US forces].” And nobody can deny that the posts are well inside Pakistan.

Those killed in the US attack on Pakistan included Captain Usman, whose six-month-old daughter will never see him again, and Major Mujahid who was to be married shortly.  Well done, you gallant warriors of the skies. May you never sleep contented.

Here is a description of what went on, from a retired army officer who visited the casualties in the Military Hospital in Peshawar:

There were 14 wounded in the surgical ward suffering a variety of wounds . . . The crux of the account of the soldiers and officers was that at about 11pm . . .  a light aircraft came from across the border, flew over the post and fired flares and returned. About half an hour later armed helicopters and [other] aircraft came. They again fired flares and began firing at the men. They remained in the area for about 5-6 hours. During this time, the helicopters [were] firing at individual personnel at will  . . .  [and fire was returned by their single 12.7 machine gun].  Every one of the men on the post was killed or wounded. They seemed to be in no hurry and going after each individual separately. Having finished the entire post, they peaceably went back without any casualty on their part.

The US assault is unpardonable. It was one of the only too frequent Cowboy Yippee Shoots, as we used to call them in Vietnam when I served there in the Australian army.  Some things don’t change.

And on the subject of flying — it is ironical that my flight from Islamabad to Paris in early November was delayed because there was so much conflicting air traffic through Afghan airspace. The West’s war in Afghanistan, which is hideously costly in lives of foreign soldiers and Afghans (not that Afghan lives matter much to the so-called ‘coalition’ forces), and fantastically lucrative for corrupt Afghan politicians and officials – and lots of western commercial enterprises – involves staggering amounts of air movement.  Much of it is by combat jet and helo jockeys, as well as countless drones, maneuvered by amoral, intellectually depraved video-game players in dinky little hi-tech parlors, blasting away with rockets, bombs and bullets at little figures on their screens.

The news keeps coming of errant air strikes, like the one in Kandahar on November 24 that killed six Afghan children, who were yet more victims of the West’s precision technology. And “NATO helicopters on Monday [November 28] fired four rockets into houses in Zhari district of Kandahar, killing three women and injuring two men, said Zalmai Ayoubi, the provincial governor’s spokesman.”  Concurrently the websiteicasualties.org showed the names of three more young foreign soldiers killed in this cruel shambles.  The British army’s Rifleman Sheldon Steel was 20, as was US Private Jackie Diener, whose countryman Corporal Zacharie Reiff was 22 when the three of them they gave their lives for — what?  There were 25 foreign soldiers killed in Afghanistan in November, but there is little in the war-supporting mainstream western media about this death toll. And there is nothing about the concurrent maiming, physically and mentally, of countless young men who will never again know normality in their entire lifetimes — unlike the slavering ghouls in politics who piously intone their mantra that “we must support our troops,” in order to justify their war.  What rancid humbugs. Have any of them had a son or husband die in hideous agony or suffer appalling mutilation in any of the wars they so noisily support?

The website about casualties does not of course record the names of any of the Pakistan army soldiers who were killed in Mohmand by the US air strikes in the small hours of last Saturday.  The US commander of foreign forces in Afghanistan, General John R Allen, said he had offered his condolences to the family of “any” Pakistani soldiers who “may have been killed or injured,” which expression of halfhearted disquiet will undoubtedly go a long way to infuriate even more citizens of Pakistan. (Where do they get people like Allen? Are they programmed to say moronic things like this?)

It is not too much to say that the author of Cables from Kabul, Sherard Cowper-Coles, the brilliant British diplomat who was ambassador in that besieged capital for three action-packed years, feels that the Afghan War is fruitless.  He writes that “it is unarguable that the West got into Afghanistan in October 2001 without a clear idea either of what it was getting into or of how it was going to get out.”   Cowper-Coles (we’ll call him C-C) brought extensive experience and skill to Afghanistan, and it isn’t too much to suggest that if his notions and prescriptions had been accepted the place wouldn’t be in the terminal shambles that now exists. He obviously empathized with the Afghan people, and one can imagine him, translated to a century ago, being a benign interlocutor with Emir Nasrullah Khan and arguing persuasively about the Treaty of Gandamak.

But C-C’s modern arguments were of a different sort.  His intercession concerning the slaughter of ninety Afghan villagers by a US Specter gunship – a truly hellish death-machine – was instrumental in extracting the final admission by the then US commander of foreign forces in Afghanistan, General McKiernan, that his troops – his army – his country – had lied.  McKiernan acknowledged, after “the Americans were at first in denial”, that a US strike had killed the civilians —  a “big gesture by a big man” writes C-C.  And perhaps it was.  But of course big gestures don’t bring back dead children to their mothers, be that in Afghanistan or the US or Pakistan or Britain or anywhere else. And the lies continue, with the Washington Post and the New York Times doing their best to spread the word, from un-named “Afghan security officials” that the slaughter of the Pakistan army soldiers on November 26 was their own fault.  Here’s the Post:

After the coalition unit came under fire from the Pakistani side of the border, the troops responded by calling in an airstrike, which resulted in the Pakistani casualties, the officials said. “They did come under fire from across the border first, before reacting,” said a senior Afghan official, who spoke on condition of anonymity to discuss the sensitive issue . . .

One senior Afghan police official said that after an initial gunbattle, the insurgents retreated into a Pakistani post and began firing from there. “They started firing at the commandos, and they continued firing so the air support had to come to their defense,” the official said.

One wonders how C-C would have reacted to this, in his official position (probably with civilized disdain), but in 2009 he had to pay attention to the bigger picture, and when he was offered the opportunity to become his foreign minister’s Special Representative to Afghanistan, standing down from being ambassador, he accepted the poison chalice because he thought “it was a real chance to help the Obama Administration deliver the political strategy capable of bringing sustainable success.” In this he was vastly over-optimistic, even being warned by the late Richard Holbrooke that “not everyone” in the US administration saw things as did the British. C-C “pointed to the need for a process of national reconciliation to complement the military campaign” but although there may have been lip-service to that estimable objective, there was no evidence of serious application. Nor is there now, two years later.

In early November Major General Peter Fuller, the US deputy commander of Nato’s training mission in Afghanistan, was sacked for saying publicly that President Karzai was “isolated from reality” and that Afghans “don’t understand the sacrifices that America is making to provide for their security.” He had to be fired, of course, for making a fool of himself (where do they get them from?), but it is apparent that his sentiments are widely supported by the Pentagon’s decision-makers who blame everyone but themselves for the fact that their war is going catastrophically in what they insultingly call “AfPak.”

The “sacrifices that America is making” in Afghanistan, in what is ludicrously called ‘Operation Enduring Freedom’,  are entirely self-inflicted.  But Pakistan’s sacrifices are inflicted by America, which is losing yet another war and again blames another country for its failure. Just like it did in the disasters in Vietnam and Somalia and Iraq.

In the past fifty years, what nation has trusted America and come out of the deal with dignity, honor and prosperity?  Pakistan is far from a perfect country.  Its government is corrupt and appallingly inefficient. But it could do without Washington’s imperial insolence. At the moment Islamabad is desperate to find some means of registering the country’s contempt and loathing for the United States, and there are very few options available to it.  But it could reflect on what Washington’s retaliation would have been if Pakistani aircraft had gone on a yippee shoot and killed 24 American soldiers inside Afghanistan.

Brian Cloughley is a South Asia defence analyst. 

This is a cross post from COUNTER PUNCH.

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