Friday, December 24, 2010

US Plan for High-Risk Raids into Pakistan Is More Than Psywar

by Gareth Porter, CommonDreams.org, Dec 23, 2010

WASHINGTON – This week’s leak to the New York Times of a proposal for U.S. Special Operations Forces (SOF) raids against Afghan insurgent sanctuaries in Pakistan may be intended to put more pressure on the Pakistani military to take action against those sanctuaries.

[Spc. Randy.J. Lockwood of Muskegon Michigan of 2nd Platoon Bravo Company 2-327 Infantry stand guard as Afghan men greet each other in Chowkay district near Pakistani border in Kunar province, eastern Afghanistan, Wednesday, Dec 22, 2010.(AP / Rafiq Maqbool)] 
Spc. Randy.J. Lockwood of Muskegon Michigan of 2nd Platoon Bravo Company 2-327 Infantry stand guard as Afghan men greet each other in Chowkay district near Pakistani border in Kunar province, eastern Afghanistan, Wednesday, Dec 22, 2010.(AP / Rafiq Maqbool)
 
But the proposal for such cross-border raids also reflects a real demand from the U.S.-NATO command in Afghanistan to target insurgent leaders inside Pakistan if the Pakistani military does not respond to the threat, according to a U.S. source familiar with discussions at the International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) headquarters in Kabul.
And the position of the Barack Obama administration on the necessity of attacking insurgent safe havens in Pakistan appears to be in line with the proposal for cross-border raids.

Carrying out such raids would probably provoke a new level of anti-U.S. sentiment in Pakistan, with dangerous political consequences in that country, according to experts on Pakistan, but the behaviour of the national security organs of the United States in the recent past suggests that such dangers are being rationalised.

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