Thursday, April 14, 2011

Why Pakistan Resists CIA Strikes

Gareth Porter, Consortium News, April 14, 2011

Editor’s Note: The consequences of George W. Bush’s botched wars in Afghanistan and Iraq continue to reverberate across the region with the Obama administration now facing new resistance from Pakistan over CIA drone strikes and other special operations against alleged Taliban targets near the Afghan border.

With the Afghan conflict dragging on and political support in the United States waning, the Obama administration had stepped up those attacks in hopes of salvaging the increasingly fragile American position, as Gareth Porter reported for Inter Press Service:

The Pakistani military’s recent demands on the United States to curb drone strikes and reduce the number of U.S. spies operating in Pakistan, which have raised tensions between the two countries to a new high, were a response to U.S. military and intelligence programs that had gone well beyond what the Pakistanis had agreed to in past years.

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The military leadership had reached private agreements in the past on both the drone strikes and on U.S. intelligence activities in Pakistan, but both had changed dramatically in ways that threatened the interests of Pakistan.

The Pakistani military, which holds real power over matters of national security in Pakistan, is now insisting for the first time that Washington must observe strict limits on both the use of drone strikes and on the number of U.S. military and intelligence personnel and contractors in the country.

And they have backed up that demand with a suspension of joint intelligence operations with the United States – a program that had been strongly sought after by the Barack Obama administration.

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