July 21, 2017 Disclaimer: Please read.
Statements and opinions expressed in articles are those of the authors, not Truthdig. Truthdig takes no responsibility for such statements or opinions.
Posted on Jun 2, 2009
There is also growing concern that the military’s mismanaged offensive will actually strengthen extremist forces, reports the Post: “Concern is growing that this latest wave of displacement will create a fresh crop of Pakistanis with grievances against the government and loyalty to groups that seek to undermine the state through violent insurgency. ... Outside the camps, groups with radical Islamist agendas are rushing to fill the void left by the paucity of government services.”
Ignatius reported a few days earlier that “Petraeus’s plan in Afghanistan is to hit the enemy very hard this year with the additional 21,000 troops President Obama has approved—and then see if the Taliban coalition begins to crack. Much greater violence is ahead initially, as the United States attacks Taliban sanctuaries in the south.”
There are also indications that Petraeus is planning deeper incursions into Pakistan in support of these efforts. The New York Times ran a story in March saying: “In separate reports, groups led by both Gen. David H. Petraeus, commander of American forces in the region, and Lt. Gen. Douglas E. Lute, a top White House official on Afghanistan, have recommended expanding American operations outside the tribal areas if Pakistan cannot root out the strengthening insurgency.” These operations would “strike at a different center of Taliban power in Baluchistan, where top Taliban leaders are orchestrating attacks into southern Afghanistan.”
Thus, as Petraeus aggressively seeks to destroy the Taliban, he is likely to wind up going after Taliban “sanctuaries and safe havens” in Pakistan, and we can expect a vast expansion of the U.S. special operations that have already done so much to help jihadi forces.
Square, Site wide, Desktop
Square, Site wide, Mobile
McChrystal’s appointment, according to the Times, was explicitly designed to help expand U.S. operations into Pakistan: “Until now, the successive American generals in charge of the war in Afghanistan have argued that their responsibilities ended at the border with Pakistan. But the choice of a new and very different breed of general to take over the seven-year-old fight may mean the old mind-set has begun to change. ... General McChrystal, with his commando background, is ideally suited to carry out a White House strategy that regards Afghanistan and Pakistan as part of a single, urgent problem. `For him to be successful, he’s going to have [to] fight the war on both sides of the border,’ said Robert Richer, a retired C.I.A. officer who worked with General McChrystal when Mr. Richer was the agency’s head of Middle East operations and assistant director of clandestine operations.”
Bob Woodward wrote in his book “The War Within”: “Beginning in about May 2006, the U.S. military and the U.S. intelligence agencies launched a series of top secret operations that enabled them to locate, target and kill key individuals in extremist groups such as al Qaeda, the Sunni insurgency and renegade Shia militias, or so-called special groups. ... A number of authoritative sources say these covert activities had a far-reaching effect on the violence and were very possibly the biggest factor in reducing it. … ” The book goes on to quote praise directed at “Lieutenant General Stanley McChrystal, the commander of the Joint Special Operations Command (JSOC) responsible for hunting al-Qaida in Iraq. … ”
Placing McChrystal in charge of U.S. Afghanistan forces indicates that Petraeus agrees with Woodward’s report on the success of McChrystal’s tactics, and that they might be applied on a far larger scale in the Af-Pak theater. Reminiscent of the Phoenix assassination program in Vietnam, a program that set weekly quotas on the number of civilians to be killed for supposedly supporting the Viet Cong, McChrystal is known for applying constant pressure on his officers to produce greater numbers of kills, and promoting them on that basis. As former Special Forces officer Roger Carstens noted: “McChrystal kills people. Has he ever worked in the counterinsurgency environment? Not really.”
Banner, End of Story, Desktop
Banner, End of Story, Mobile
Watch a selection of Wibbitz videos based on Truthdig stories:
New and Improved Comments
Right Skyscraper, Site Wide
Right Internal Skyscraper, Site wide