Friday, January 25, 2008

U.S. Troops to Pakistan

Robert Gates, the US defence secretary, has said the United States is prepared to send troops to Pakistan to fight alongside the country's forces against Islamic fighters.

"We remain ready, willing and able to assist the Pakistanis and to partner with them, to provide additional training, to conduct joint operations, should they desire to do so," Gates said on Thursday.

He also made it clear that his country was open to providing more direct assistance.Asked if he envisaged US combat troops and Pakistani forces operating together, Gates said: "If the Pakistanis wanted to do that, I think we would."

'Act of war'

Al Jazeera's Kamal Hyder, reporting from Islamabad, said Gates's suggestion would anger most Pakistanis.

He said
: "The Pakistani people believe that it is only their armed forces that are able to handle the continued violence in the tribal region."

"Musharraf himself said that if foreign intervention is applied, it would be construed as an act of war.

"But ultimately, the government believes that an end to the conflict is via a political solution - not a military one - and it should not be dictated from overseas."

The US military is under strain from fighting the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, but the Bush administration says it is concerned about the ongoing clashes in Pakistan's tribal areas.

Let me tell you something about military leadership -- and this goes for the appointed civilian leadership at the Pentagon, as well: they don't publicly engage in idle speculation. If they're talking about it, they're planning it, and they're almost certainly going to do it. It's just a matter of time before we have a long-term military presence in Pakistan. My next deployment, perhaps?

I just predicted a few weeks ago that we were going to be going to Pakistan. I told my supervisor to expect it. She and a few others I work with were a bit incredulous about that prediction, but I stated that Pakistan was a nuke state which we couldn't afford to allow to fall to the Taliban or other people who are less than friendly to U.S. interests. Considering Pakistanis are now fleeing to Afghanistan, it struck me as only a matter of time before we sent troops over there. Truth be told though, I didn't expect it to happen quite so quickly.

If Musharraf gives them any push-back on this, expect to start hearing from the White House about how this current "important ally in the War on Terror" is suddenly an evil, terrorist-sympathizing tyrant.

Oceania has always been at war with Eastasia.


pandora said...

Do they even know what they are doing in Pakistan?

We seem to be arming all sides.
U.S. Considers Enlisting Tribes in Pakistan to Fight Al Qaeda,

WASHINGTON, Nov. 18 - A new and classified American military proposal outlines an
intensified effort to enlist tribal leaders in the frontier areas of Pakistan in
the fight against Al Qaeda and the Taliban, as part of a broader effort to bolster
Pakistani forces against an expanding militancy, American military officials said.

If adopted, the proposal would join elements of a shift in strategy that would also
be likely to expand the presence of American military trainers in Pakistan, directly
finance a separate tribal paramilitary force that until now has proved largely ineffective
and pay militias that agree to fight Al Qaeda and foreign extremists, officials
said. The United States now has only about 50 troops in Pakistan, a Pentagon spokesman
said, a force that could grow by dozens under the new approach.

The tribal proposal, a strategy paper prepared by staff members of the United States
Special Operations Command, has been circulated to counterterrorism experts but
has not yet been formally approved by the command's headquarters in Tampa, Fla.
Some other elements of the campaign have been approved in principle by the Americans
and Pakistanis and await financing, including $350 million over several years to
help train and equip the Frontier Corps, a paramilitary force that currently has
about 85,000 members and is recruited from border tribes.

US Deploys Pakistani Insurgents against Al-Qaeda

As insurgents in the Pakistani tribal areas increase their attacks on the Pakistani
government, there have been various discussions about the relations between the
White House and the extremist groups. In line with this, a number of experts believe
that the White House has been secretly provoking these groups to fight Al-Qa'idah.
This comes at a time when there have been close relations between Al-Qa'idah
and the insurgents in the tribal areas for some time... (ellipses as published)

Waziristan has become a base for the movements of the extremists. Actually, who
are these extremists? How are they explained? What are the agreements and disagreements
between the extremists and Al-Qa'idah and the Taleban? A more important issue
are the relations between the extremist groups and the United States of America.

When the White House attacked Afghanistan in 2001 and occupied this country, it
dispersed the Taleban and Al-Qa'idah in the Indian subcontinent and Central
Asia. In the second phase, it maintained direct contacts with the senior leaders
of this group. Therefore, America has been using Al-Qa'idah as a tool since
the symbolic and self-made event on 11 September 2001.

A US newspaper has recently revealed a secret US army document, according to which
America has been cooperating fully with the leaders of the tribal insurgents in
Pakistan under the pretext of fighting Al-Qa'idah.

According to what the New York Times has claimed, America has relations with insurgent
groups located in the tribal areas in order to make them fight the Taleban and Al-Qa'idah
as part of its measures to improve security in Pakistan.

According to the officials of the Pentagon or the US Secretary of Defence, this
cooperation has not been just in the financial field, America is also giving military
training to the Pakistani tribes. In view of this, we will face a kind of double-standards
in the policies of America in Pakistan. However, America does not have a military
presence in Pakistan, but with the revelation of this document, it was specified
that a number of US militarists are present in that country to train the Pakistani

This secret document was revealed at a time when, according to US officials, the
Pakistani tribal areas had become a safe haven for Al-Qa'idah and the Taleban,
and Al-Qa'idah has been organizing its troops in these regions to carry out
terrorist activities in different countries. On the other hand, the Pakistani tribal
areas cooperate with the Taleban and Al-Qa'idah. In view of this, what does
the financial and military assistance of the USA to the Pakistani tribal areas mean?

This issue becomes more important if we consider the growing tension between the
Musharraf administration and the Pakistani tribal areas. The Pakistani security
forces have always clashed with these tribes, and the military activities of the
Pakistani tribes have been counted as one of the current challenges facing security
in Pakistan.

Beginning early next year, U.S. Special Forces are expected to vastly expand their
presence in Pakistan, as part of an effort to train and support indigenous counter-insurgency
forces and clandestine counterterrorism units, according to defense officials involved
with the planning.

Now, a new agreement, reported when it was still being negotiated last month, has
been finalized. And the first U.S. personnel could be on the ground in Pakistan
by early in the new year,
according to Pentagon sources.

U.S. Central Command Commander Adm. William Fallon alluded to the agreement and
spoke approvingly of Pakistan's recent counterterrorism efforts in an interview
with Voice of America last week.

"What we've seen in the last several months is more of a willingness to
use their regular army units," along the Afghan border, Fallon said. "And
this is where, I think, we can help a lot from the U.S. in providing the kind of
training and assistance and mentoring based on our experience with insurgencies
recently and with the terrorist problem in Iraq and Afghanistan, I think we share
a lot with them, and we'll look forward to doing that."

CarbonDate said...

Pandora, a favor, please? You're an author here, and this is the kind of thing I'd like to see you posting on. Those quoted articles, along with some analysis of your own, out on the main page would be FANTASTIC. Thanks.