Archive

Posts Tagged ‘white-house’

Stanley McChrystal’s war path on White House

  • Stanley McChrystal — the Runaway General
  • Excerpts from the Rolling Stone interview with General Stanley McChrystal
  • The White House must decide whether stability in the war effort outweighs the need to discipline the commander.
  • As President Obama weighs whether to relieve his Afghanistan commander over inappropriate comments in a magazine article, he is also wrestling with the future of a war that he has taken on as his own.
  • If he fires Gen. Stanley A. McChrystal, Obama will be forced to consider revising his strategy, which relies on large numbers of U.S. troops and a far-reaching counterinsurgency effort to promote governance and development in Afghanistan.
  • The White House now has to decide whether stability at the top of the war effort outweighs the need to discipline a commander who twice has seemed to publicly challenge civilian oversight of the war.

The article in this week’s Rolling Stone depicted Gen Stanley McChrystal – the top US military commander in Afghanistan – as a lone wolf on the outs with many important figures in the Obama administration and unable to persuade even some of his own soldiers that his strategy could win the war.

The interview describes McChrystal as “disappointed” in his first Oval Office meeting with President Barack Obama. The article says that although McChrystal voted for Obama, the two failed to connect from the start. “McChrystal thought Obama looked ‘uncomfortable and intimidated’ by the roomful of military brass,” said the magazine about the general’s first meeting with his new commander-in-chief, a week after the latter took office.

McChrystal’s one-on-one meeting with the president a few months later did not go much better either. “It was a 10-minute photo-op,” the magazine quotes an adviser to McChrystal. “The Boss was pretty disappointed,” the aide had said, referring to the general.

The Rolling Stone article, which quotes several McChrystal aides anonymously, portrays a split between the US military and Obama’s advisers at an extremely sensitive moment for the Pentagon, which is fending off criticism of its strategy to turn around the Afghanistan war.

  • Firing McChrystal would also probably ignite fierce debate in Congress, with some Republicans charging that Obama had sacrificed an effective wartime commander because of comments that, while intemperate, did not challenge the course set by civilians.
  • Opponents in Congress of the current strategy would probably respond by pressing even harder for a shift in strategy.
  • In December, Obama essentially sided with McChrystal, who recommended a troop buildup and a dedicated counterinsurgency effort in Afghanistan.
  • And he rebuffed, at least for the moment, Vice President Joe Biden and other advisors, who expressed skepticism about the strategy.
  • Obama set a July 2011 deadline for beginning a troop drawdown in Afghanistan and promised to review the strategy in December — in effect giving McChrystal a year to show results.
  • McChrystal’s approach already has been under fire, because stabilization efforts have proved less successful than expected in Helmand province and the general has extended an operation around the city of Kandahar because of delays in getting Afghan support.
  • Officials who back the current strategy say that firing McChrystal would set back that effort even further.

Obama appointed McChrystal to lead the Afghan effort in May 2009. He was, however, not happy with the proposals the general was making – calling, among other things, for another 40,000 troops – to avoid a ‘mission failure’, writes the magazine.

“The White House was furious. McChrystal, they felt, was trying to bully Obama, opening him up to charges of being weak on national security unless he did what the general wanted. It was Obama versus the Pentagon, and the Pentagon was determined to kick the president’s ass,” states the Rolling Stone piece.

“I found that time painful,” McChrystal said in the article. “I was selling an un-sellable position,” he added.

Obama agreed to dispatch an additional 30,000 US troops to Afghanistan only after months of study, which many in the military found frustrating. And the White House’s troop commitment was coupled with a pledge to begin bringing them home in July 2011, in what counter-insurgency strategists advising McChrystal regarded as an arbitrary deadline.

A diplomatic incoherence among several officials in the Obama administration dealing with the war in Afghanistan, opines the magazine, has effectively allowed McChrystal’s team to call the shots and “hampered efforts to build a stable and credible government in Afghanistan”.

The magazine goes on, “part of the problem is personal: In private, Team McChrystal likes to talk shit about many of Obama’s top people on the diplomatic side. One aide calls Jim Jones, a retired four-star general and veteran of the Cold War, a ‘clown’ who remains ‘stuck in 1985′.”

“Politicians like [John] McCain and [John] Kerry, says another aide, ‘turn up, have a meeting with Karzai, criticise him at the airport press conference, then get back for the Sunday talk shows. Frankly, it’s not very helpful,” quotes the magazine.

Only US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton receives good reviews from McChrystals advisers. “Hillary had Stan’s back during the strategic review,” an adviser tells Rolling Stone, adding, “She said, ‘If Stan wants it, give him what he needs’.”

The assessment of McChrystal’s team of Richard Holbrooke, the US special envoy to Afghanistan and Pakistan, and the official charged with the reintegration of the Taliban is not nearly as rosy: “‘The Boss says he’s like a wounded animal’,” the magazine quotes a member of the general’s team. “‘Holbrooke keeps hearing rumors that he’s going to get fired, so that makes him dangerous. He’s a brilliant guy, but he just comes in, [and] pulls on a lever, whatever he can grasp onto’,” quotes the magazine.

McChrystal, says the magazine, does not bother concealing his annoyance over the diplomat. “At one point during a trip to Paris, he checks his BlackBerry. ‘Oh, not another e-mail from Holbrooke’, he groans. ‘I don’t even want to open it’, he says. He clicks on the message and reads the salutation out loud, then stuffs the BlackBerry back in his pocket.”

McChrystal, a widely respected former special operations chief, has enjoyed mostly sympathetic US media coverage since he took over the NATO-led force last year with a mandate from Obama to launch a major counter-insurgency offensive.

In the interview, McChrystal said he felt betrayed by US Ambassador Karl Eikenberry, the man the White House chose to be his diplomatic partner. If Eikenberry had the same doubts, McChrystal said he never expressed them until a leaked internal document threw a wild card into the debate over whether to add more troops last November. In the document, Eikenberry said Afghan President Hamid Karzai was not a reliable partner for the counter-insurgency strategy McChrystal was hired to execute.

McChrystal accused the ambassador of giving himself cover.

“‘Here’s one that covers his flank for the history books’,” McChrystal told the magazine, adding, “‘Now, if we fail, they can say ‘I told you so’.”

  • The most logical successor would be Lt. Gen. David Rodriguez, who is already in Afghanistan serving as McChrystal’s deputy. Replacing McChrystal with Rodriguez would signal continuity, rather than a shift in approach.
  • Another name being mentioned as a possible successor was Marine Gen. James N. Mattis, commander of the U.S. Joint Forces Command in Norfolk, Va. He has command combat experience in Afghanistan and Iraq.
  • Even if he remains the U.S. commander in Afghanistan, McChrystal is almost certain to emerge from the furor as a damaged figure, less able to defend his war strategy against those in the administration hoping to change it.
  • “I strongly believe McChrystal will return, but the damage is done,” said a senior military official sympathetic to McChrystal.
  • Among the issues Obama will have to decide is whether McChrystal can remain effective as commander in the wake of the furor.
  • “Does he come back weakened or gun shy or hesitant to make that case?” asked one senior official. “We need him engaged.”

The article depicts the strained relationship between McChrystal and Eikenberry. “According to those close to the two men, Eikenberry – a retired three-star general who served in Afghanistan in 2002 and 2005 – can’t stand that his former subordinate is now calling the shots. He’s also furious that McChrystal, backed by NATO’s allies, refused to put Eikenberry in the pivotal role of viceroy in Afghanistan, which would have made him the diplomatic equivalent of the general.”

The job instead went to British ambassador Mark Sedwill – a move that effectively increased McChrystal’s influence over diplomacy by shutting out a powerful rival.

“‘In reality, that position needs to be filled by an American for it to have weight’,” the magazine quotes a US official familiar with the negotiations.

The Rolling Stone article appeared to catch him and his staff in unguarded moments, including a drinking session at an Irish pub in Paris.

In the article, McChrystal joked sarcastically about rehearsing an answer for US Vice-president Joe Biden, known as a sceptic of the general’s strategy of hurling thousands more troops into the fray.

“‘Are you asking about Vice President Biden?’ McChrystal says with a laugh.

‘Who’s that?’” the article quotes him as saying. “‘Biden?’ suggests a top adviser. ‘Did you say: Bite Me?’”

Obama’s troop surge in Afghanistan – the brainchild of McChrystal – will see NATO and US numbers peak at 150,000 later this year before a draw-down scheduled to start next year.

Drone Strikes Continue To Fuel Anti-US Sentiment In Pakistan

Drone Strikes Continue To Fuel Anti-US Sentiment In Pakistan

Jason Ditz

US Claims Massive ‘Militant’ Deaths and Almost No Civilian Casualties

The CIA’s drone strikes in Pakistan’s tribal areas, something which has become an enormous issue over the past year and a half, have been an enormous source of controversy, both legal and practical.

The US, for its part, maintains that the drone strikes have caused no more than 30 civilian casualties, while killing over 500 militants. The claims seem common among US officials, in keeping with the narrative of precision drone strikes.

But they are tough to swallow for children killed and maimed in the almost constant bombardment. And for villagers the claims that friends and relatives are “suspected militants” are tough to reconcile with reality, as are the claims of US precision.

They also don’t jibe with figures from Pakistan’s own intelligence agencies, which estimate that the US actually killed 700 civilians in 2009 alone, while killing only a handful of confirmed militants. The number of civilians wounded in all these attacks is unknown, but significant.

It is unsurprising, then, that the strikes continue to inflame anti-US sentiment across Pakistan, and US claims that the victims are almost universally “militants” is likely only making matters worse, in the face of enormous evidence to the contrary.

Categories: Article Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Travesty Of Justice In Indian Occupied Kashmir

April 27, 2010 Leave a comment

Travesty Of Justice In Indian Occupied Kashmir

The death sentences given to Kashmiris in the recent Lajpat Nagar bomb blast case verdict is viewed as unfair and oppressive uniformly by the commoners in Kashmir.

Prostest against the verdict has rocked Kashmir. Mother of Mirza Nissar Hussain , who staged a protest dharna in Srinagar says he was only 14 years when he was arrested by Delhi Police. She claims that there is no possibility of his involvement in the bomb blast. The common sentiment in Kashmir is that while Kashmiris caught in mainland India by the “oppressive rulers” are given the maximum punishment, Indians arrested on criminal charges in Kashmir go scotfree. Kashmiris are petrified that in the Shopian double murder and rape case the CBI has approached J &K High Court seeking dismissal of the criminal charges against four policemen arrested for alleged destruction of evidence. These two court cases raises disturbing questions about Kashmiri nationalism, deliverance of justice and engagement of Indian administration and Kashmiri population.

It also reinforces the mutual distrust and hatred that Kashmiri population and Indian administration hold for each other. The survival of this thirty-year-old violent insurgency in Kashmir is fanned by this mutual hatred and distrust. The experiences of Kashmiris in mainland India certainly add to the foreign feelings that the Kashmiris hold. This may be because of the different context from which Indian and Kashmiri nationalism emerged. Kashmiri nationalism, in particular has sustained itself by constructing the hate for India. To be explicitly hating everything Indian is also helpful in constructing their nationalism and identity. William Polk in his book ‘Violent politics’ says, ‘for a sustained insurgency against the foreign rule one doesn’t even need the backup of an ideology; it is just the idea of hate for the “foreign” that would survive it’.

This engagement of the Indian police system and Kashmiri civilians has emerged from this historical backdrop of hate, mistrust and disrespect for each other. It is like the collison of two trains running on the same track. This may be case when cases related Kashmiris come up in court too. Are they treated as humans first without associating this history of hate to their particular case? The mere identity of a Kashmiri can raise the word “Terrorist” in India. Is it fair? Kashmiris fear that Indian courts are not free from these bisases.

The case is quite reverse if it is a Kashmiri court and an Indian convict (for a rape and murder case by the security officials in Shopian). The Hindu reports that “CBI has approached the J&K high court seeking dismissal of the criminal charges against the four policemen arrested for alleged destruction of evidence” (the Hindu, 23/04/2010). Can you complain if Kashmiris loss complete hope and faith in judicial procedures in India after seeing so many go Scot-free after committing heinious crimes like the Shopian rape case or be it the popular kununposhpora mass rape? Let us not forget the popular case of Afzal Guru.

The efforts of Indian administration in managing the Kashmiri lives or the efforts put forth to win Kashmiri support have failed miserably so far. Instead many actions of the Indian administration has led to to further alienatiing Kashmiri populace from India. The prevailing mistrust and hatred will also lead to widening of this divide and worsening the life and the future of so many hopeful youngsters whose life is destroyed by this violent siege that doesn’t seem to end. Travesty Of Justice In Kashmir By Inshah Malik, 26 April, 2010, Countercurrents.org

Inshah Malik is a PhD scholar at Tata institute of Social Sciences Mumbai, India. Inshah.malik@tiss.edu

Afghanistan: Can Obama hammer India to stop interfering in US policy?

Afghanistan: Can Obama hammer India to stop interfering in US policy?

The Obama Administration wants a face saving exit from Kabul. Islamabad holds a key to that face saving exit. Islamabad is asking Washington to use its offices to reduce the border tension between Pakistan and Bharat so that Islamabad can concentrate on the Western Frontier. The Obama Administration, and the Civilian and Military leadership seems to have understood this Pakistani point of view–which they find reasonable.

The Obama Administration must make it very clear to Delhi that it must stop its terror activities in Balochistan and its cross-border terror using the TTP and other terror groups. Enough is enough. Unless the Obama Administration can take that tough stand, it cannot bring peace to the land between the Indus and the Amu Darya and beyond. One major issue that many in the Administration are well aware of is the potential and the reality of the destabilization of Central Asia. If peace does not grow in Afghanistan and does not grow quickly, all of Central Asia will be encompassed in the vortex of war. That is why China and Russia want a quick end to violence on their doorstep.

  • The directive, issued in December, concluded that “India must make resolving its tensions with Pakistan a priority for progress to be made on US goals in the region,” Hindustan Times
  • http://www.hindustantimes.com/Obama-s-secret-directive-Intensify-efforts-to-ease-Indo-Pak-tensions/H1-Article1-527400.aspx
  • A debate continues within the administration over how hard to push India, which has long resisted outside intervention in the conflict with its neighbor. WSJ
  • To blunt India’s eager courtship of Afghanistan, Pakistan is pouring $300 million of its own money and resources into a nation it also views as key to the stability of volatile South Asia, as well as a potentially lucrative business partner. Emily Wax. Washington Post.
  • Pakistan has hosted 3 million Afghan refugees for 30 years and has already spent $500 million in projects in Pakistan. Millions of Afghans have been born in Pakistan and they speak Urdu and have made Pakistan their home–specially in Quetta.

President Obama wants to change Bharati attitudes. The issue in Washington is how to bell the Delhi cat. Bharat feigns nervousness about any third party “negotiations”–and uses the excuse of bilateralism so that it does not have to budge on any issue. Bilateral talks are the victim of Bharati hubris, arrogance, intransigence and obduracy. They always fail.

  • Indian epiphany: Taliban good again!
  • Rejection of Indian influence by the region

The directive concluded that India must make resolving its tensions with Pakistan a priority for progress to be made on U.S. goals in the region, according to people familiar with its contents.

The U.S. has invested heavily in its own relations with Pakistan in recent months, agreeing to a $7.5 billion aid package and sending top military and diplomatic officials to Islamabad on repeated visits. The public embrace, which reached a high point last month in high-profile talks in Washington, reflects the Obama administration’s belief that Pakistan must be convinced to change its strategic calculus and take a more assertive stance against militants based in its western tribal regions over the course of the next year in order to turn the tide in Afghanistan.

According to the Boston Globe Senator “Kerry has become a key architect of a policy shift away from strictly short-term, conditional payments to Pakistan’s military and toward long-term pledges of assistance to its citizens”. Wendy Chamberlain is very popular in Pakistan. The Boston Globe quotes her on Senator John Kerry. “John Kerry has played an enormously positive role,’’ said Wendy Chamberlin, a former ambassador to Pakistan who is president of the Middle East Institute…Kerry hopes the aid will bolster what he calls a “sea change’’ in Pakistan.

  • India prepares for war with China-Raises 2 divisions
  • Syed Ali Gilani says ‘Kashmiris’ sacrifices not to go waste’
  • Hasina Wajed ordered BDR massacre
  • Afghanistan tests India’s Strategic Innocence

President Barack Obama issued a secret directive in December to intensify American diplomacy aimed at easing tensions between India and Pakistan, asserting that without détente between the two rivals, the administration’s efforts to win Pakistani cooperation in Afghanistan would suffer.

Peter Spiegel and Matthew Rosenberg make some blunt observations in The Wall Street Journal and if the reports are to be believed then Delhi is under a lot of pressure to reduce its presence in Afghanistan, and obtund its military presence along the Pakistani border. While Delhi clamors to proffer the anti-thesis that Islamabad’s perceptions about Bharat are incorrect–Washington’s retort on this line is “deal with the perception”, and “resolve the issues”.

  • The Pentagon, in particular, has sought more pressure on New Delhi, according to U.S. and Indian officials. WSJ
  • Current and former U.S. officials said the discussion in Washington over how to approach India has intensified as Pakistan ratchets up requests that the U.S. intercede in a series of continuing disputes.
  • The directive concluded that India must make resolving its tensions with Pakistan a priority for progress to be made on U.S. goals in the region, according to people familiar with its contents. Times of India
  • Adm. Mike Mullen, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff has been among the more vocal advocates of encouraging Delhi to be more “transparent” about its activities along the countries’ shared border and to cooperate more with Pakistan. WSJ

A debate continues within the administration over how hard to push India, which has long resisted outside intervention in the conflict with its neighbor. The Pentagon, in particular, has sought more pressure on New Delhi, according to U.S. and Indian officials. Current and former U.S. officials said the discussion in Washington over how to approach India has intensified as Pakistan ratchets up requests that the U.S. intercede in a series of continuing disputes.

During the Strategic Dialog with Pakistan, the US tacitly, and publicly accepted Pakistan’s Strategic Depth and role in brining peace to Afghanistan. This is anathema to Delhi which wants to pressure Pakistan from both sides.

The Wall Street Journal and major media outlets are portending the thesis that the Obama Administration is asking Delhi to be stop terror activities against Pakistan, listen more carefully to Islamabad’s complaints, and resolve the Kashmir and water disputes with Pakistan. This is not music to the Delhi politicians who usually ignore the Pakistani point of view and take the Kashmir discussion into a cul de sac called bilateral talks. During bilateral talks Delhi then kills all discussion by loudly proclaiming that Kashmir is an integral part of Bharat (aka India) and the topic of boundaries are nut subject to negotiations. Since 1947 dozens of these “talks have been held between Delhi and Pakistan–all ending in abject failure due to obduracy, intransigence and skullduggery of Delhi. Pakistan is not the only country that has faced Bharati tergiversation. Delhi has been unable to resolve its boundary disputes with any of her neighbors, namely Nepal, Bhutan, Sikkim, Myanmar, China, Bangladesh.

Pakistan has long regarded Afghanistan as providing “strategic depth”—essentially, a buffer zone—in a potential conflict with India. Some U.S. officials believe Islamabad will remain reluctant to wholeheartedly fight the Islamic militants based on its Afghan border unless the sense of threat from India is reduced.

Pakistan does not see the threat from the same prism that Bharat sees the threat. For Pakistan the threat is Bharat–whether from the Eastern of the Western border. Islamabad feels that it can deal with the Pakhtuns through battles, negotiations, and with projects. Delhi wants to dominate Afghanistan as part of its colonial legacy and its flights of fancy headed towards regional power. For Pakistan it is a struggle for survival. For Bharat is it a point of prestige and stature. The Pakistanis will fight with a lot more determination than the Bharatis can ever hope to.

U.S. and Indian officials say the Obama administration has so far made few concrete demands of New Delhi. According to U.S. officials, the only specific request has been to discourage India from getting more involved in training the Afghan military, to ease Pakistani concerns about getting squeezed by India on two borders.

Can President Obama over rule or convince its Bharati constituencies supported on the Hill by the Bharati lobby and their AIPAC allies? This is the question that vexes the Obama Administration. His second term and his presidency depends on the ability to face the onslaught of the lobbies. If he follows the Bush doctrine and does not stand up to the Bharatis, the Afghan war will go on in perpetuity without any chance of ever achieving peace. The Afghan war is not popular with the American people and the US military. They want a face saving exit. Bharat was given a decade, and it cannot deliver peace in Kabul. The US military and the CIA believe that no peace is possible in the Hindu Kush without Islamabad on board. The only way to get wholehearted Pakistani cooperation is to resolve its disputes with Delhi and to give it a major role in Afghanistan.

  • Will India ever know what US is hiding about Mumbai
  • Artcile 370: Can India reverse the clock on Kashmir
  • Delhi packs up, retreats from Afghanistan

“This is an administration that’s deeply divided about the wisdom of leaning on India to solve U.S. problems with Pakistan,” said Ashley Tellis, an analyst at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace who has discussed the issue with senior officials in the U.S. and India. “There are still important constituencies within the administration that have not given up hope that India represents the answer.”

India has long resisted outside involvement in its differences with Pakistan, particularly over the disputed region of Kashmir. But, according to a U.S. government official, a 56-page dossier presented by the Pakistani government to the Obama administration ahead of high-level talks in Washington last month contained a litany of accusations against the Indian government, and suggestions the U.S. intercede on Pakistan’s behalf.

Pakistan has forcefully and unequivocally informed Washington that Bharati dourness about Pakistan stems from its historic inability to accept the reality of Pakistan which it feels was artificially and temporarily “partitioned” from the mother country. Ms. Hillary Clinton and many in the Democratic Party had been unable to see this Pakistani point of view–initially they brushed it off as Pakistani paranoia. However lately there have been signs that the American tin ear has melted and Pakistani concerns about its sovereignty viz a viz Bharat have found some measure of understanding in Washington.

  • Is US using Liability, Design excuses to ‘delay’ 123-Nuclear deal with India?
  • Post dialogue analysis: Pakistanis not impressed with US promises
  • India cannot match Pakistan in its relations with Afghanistan: FM Qureshi

The official said the document alleges that India has never accepted Pakistan’s sovereignty as an independent state, and accuses India of diverting water from the Indus River and fomenting separatism in the southwestern Pakistani province of Baluchistan.

Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has signaled that Washington isn’t interested in mediating on water issues, which are covered by a bilateral treaty.

The Bharati media has been reacting to the sagacious and sane Obama initiative which could and would bring peace to Afghanistan. Obviously the sagacious policy has been met with a wall of traditional Bharati inexorability and stubbornness. The Bharati pundits and media wish Pakistan to go away, so that Bharat can reach out to its lands in Afghanistan and beyond. Realpolitik comes in the way of this Bharati revanchism, kleptomania and irredentism. Unable to hold on to its own fraying Union, Delhi is consumed by its desire to extend its borders–on the Eastern, Northern, and Western fronts. IN the North it faces Chinese might, and on the West it faces Pakistan’s Nuclear Mutually Assured Destruction. therefore it wants to use Afghanistan to pressure Pakistan, to aid separatists, and to form road and rail links to “conquer” Central Asia. This is not the Indian Doctrine–the religion requires them to expand into areas which Alexander and Islam had taken from them.

Subcontinental Drift

The White House declined to comment on Mr. Obama’s directive or on the debate within the administration over India policy. The directive to top foreign-policy and national-security officials was summarized in a memo written by National Security Adviser James Jones at the end of the White House’s three-month review of Afghan war policy in December.

Bharat is now trying to blackmail the US by holding commerce, currency, lobbies and other means to make it change its course–and help Delhi as a counterweight to China. Of course Delhi sees this a temporary alliance–’till it can challenge the US itself.

An Indian government official said the U.S.’s increasing attention to Pakistani concerns hasn’t hurt bilateral relations overall. “Our relationship is mature—of course we have disagreements, but we’re trying not to have knee-jerk reactions,” the Indian official said.

According to U.S. and Indian officials, the Pentagon has emerged in internal Obama administration debates as an active lobbyist for more pressure on India, with some officials already informally pressing Indian officials to take Pakistan’s concerns more seriously. Adm. Mike Mullen, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff and the U.S. government’s prime interlocutor with the powerful head of the Pakistani army, Gen. Ashfaq Kayani, has been among the more vocal advocates of a greater Indian role, according to a U.S. military official, encouraging New Delhi to be more “transparent” about its activities along the countries’ shared border and to cooperate more with Pakistan.

Pakistan has made clear to Delhi that it does not just want talks so that Delhi can appease Washington. Pakistan’s Foreign Minister recently told the media that Delhi must initiate a composite results oriented dialog with a schedule. Talks for the sake of talks will not work, and Pakistan is not interested in parleys to show Washington that Delhi is talking.

In interviews, U.S. military officials were circumspect about what specific moves they would like to see from New Delhi. But according to people who have discussed India policy with Pentagon officials, the ideas discussed in internal debates include reducing the number of Indian troops in Kashmir or pulling back forces along the border.

“They say, ‘The Pakistanis have this perception and you have to deal with the perception’,” said one foreign diplomat who has discussed India’s role with Pentagon officials.

An Indian defense ministry spokesman said his country’s army has already moved about 30,000 troops out of Kashmir in recent years.

The State Department has resisted such moves to pressure India, according to current and former U.S. officials, insisting they could backfire. These officials have argued that the most recent promising peace effort—secret reconciliation talks several years ago between Indian Prime Minster Singh and then-Pakistani President Pervez Musharraf—occurred without U.S. involvement.

“Our principal interest has always been to encourage the talks to resume, but we also understand where the Indians are coming from, which is that there has to be some progress on these bilateral counterterrorism” issues, said the official.

During the Strategic Dialog with the US, Pakistan clearly described the Bharati interference in Pakistan and wanted it stopped as quickly as possible. Why would Bharat need so many Consulates in Afghanistan? The number of consulates exceeds the number of visas issued to Afghanis. Pakistan has repeatedly and forcefully proclaimed that these Consulates are the dens of inequity spreading problems for Pakistan. Those Indian sponsored problems then bring pain not only to Pakistanis, but also are an impediment to US interests in the region. The US has asked Delhi to reduce its presence in Afghanistan, and there are signs that Bharat may be reducing its staff and activities that were aimed against Islamabad.

Separately, Pakistan has been more forcefully raising concerns about Indian activities in Afghanistan with the U.S. Senior Pakistani officials allege India is using its Afghan aid missions as a cover to support separatists in Baluchistan and the Pakistani Taliban, and say they have presented evidence of that to U.S. officials. Indian officials deny the accusations.

A Pakistani security official said his government also has pressed the U.S. about India’s ties to the Afghan intelligence agency, the National Security Directorate, and argued that Indian consulates in Jalalabad and Kandahar are outposts for India’s spy agency.

“Something has to be done to stop Afghanistan from being a jumping-off point for Indian intelligence,” said the security official. Washington Post. U.S. Aims to Ease India-Pakistan Tension By PETER SPIEGEL in Washington and MATTHEW ROSENBERG in Kabul

Pakistanis don’t believe ‘Ugly American’ with ‘forked tongue’

There are clear signs that the US has in many ways asked Bharat to reduce the tensions by whatever means necessary. The question is what will Delhi do to circumvents US pressure and bypass Washington’s requirements and then work against President Obama’s plans. How will Delhi resist the US military’s demands?

Pakistan War Games: Thwarting Indian Cold Start Strategy

Pakistan War Games: Thwarting Indian Cold Start Strategy

Responding to the “Surgical Strikes”: Neutralizing Delhi’s Cold Start strategy:

  • These exercises will be focused only on conventional war on the eastern border,” Major-General Muzamil Hussain, director-general of army training, told a news briefing.
  • Pakistan’s army will launch its biggest manoeuvres in 20 years next week to deal with the threat of conventional war with old rival India, military officials said on Monday.
  • “These exercises will be focused only on conventional war on the eastern border,” Major-General Muzamil Hussain, director-general of army training, told a news briefing.
  • Military spokesman Major-General Athar Abbas said India had been informed of the exercise.
  • The army conducted its biggest-ever exercises involving 200,000 soldiers in 1989.
  • The wargame, to begin on April 10 and continue till May 13, will be the largest manoeuvres conducted by the army since the Zarb-e-Momin exercise in 1989.
  • The wargame will be conducted in Punjab and Sindh provinces, which border India, officials said.

RAWALPINDI, Pakistan — Pakistan’s military will on Saturday launch war games allowing thousands of troops to road test new tactics near its eastern border with India, a military official said.

“The exercise is aimed at validating and refining newly evolved doctrines,” the head of the army’s military training directorate, Muzammil Hussain, told foreign media in the garrison town of Rawalpindi, neighbouring Islamabad.

The “Azm-e-Nau-3″ or New Resolve exercise will mobilise 20,000 troops in the beginning, rising to 40,000 to 50,000 towards the end, he said.

The exercises will involve all branches of the military, including the air force, and will focus on the possibility of “conventional war on the country’s eastern border,” Hussain said.

Relations between Pakistan and India have been bedevilled by an atmosphere of mistrust and tensions over the unresolved Jammu and Kashmir dispute.

  • During the exercises, plans prepared for prevention of terrorist attacks will be implemented and capabilities of Pakistan army in times of peace as well as war will be improved.
  • Furthermore, attention will be given to communication, intelligence information and modern technology.
  • Responding to the “Surgical Strikes”: Neutralizing Delhi’s Cold Start strategy:
  • Nuclear deterrence & Mutually Assured Destruction (MAD) blunts Bharat’s Cold Start Strategy
  • Why India did not attack Pakistan in 2002 and 2008?
  • The India-Pakistan war
  • Delhi’s Cold Start Strategy Frozen DOA (Dead on Arrival)
  • Responding to the “Surgical Strikes”: Neutralizing Delhi’s Cold Start strategy:
  • Pakistani response to “India’s Cold start strategy”: Limited strikes against targets vs Hot War leading to Nuclear Armageddon
  • Indian Airforce crying wolf? or facing shortage of jets?
  • India’s Cold War strategy guarantees hot war—Nuclear annihilation

Last February, the two nuclear-armed South Asian neighbours held their first official talks since the 2008 Mumbai attacks …

Under US pressure, Pakistan has diverted troops … — although the establishment still sees India as the primary threat.

India and Pakistan have fought three wars since independence in 1947 — two of them over the fate of the Himalyan territory of Kashmir.

“We cannot remain oblivious to what happens on our eastern borders,” Hussain told reporters.

“Pakistan desires peace and security both within and beyond,” he said, adding that maintaining peace and security is the army’s “key strategic policy”.

  • The six-week field exercise will involve troops from all arms and services and aircraft and equipment of the Pakistan Air Force, he said.
  • “The exercise is the culmination of a long and deliberate process of wargames, discussions and logical evolution of the concept of warfare that is fully responsive to a wide range of emerging threats,” Hussain said.
  • The exercise is also aimed at validating and refining tactics and operations, he said.
  • It will validate concepts formulated during the year of training initiated by army chief Gen Ashfaq Parvez Kayani, he added.
  • A special feature of the exercise will be the use of technological achievements and advancement in intelligence-gathering, surveillance, reconnaissance and communication.
  • These measures will reduce the reaction time of troops, Hussain said.
  • The essence of the Cold Start doctrine is reorganising the army’s offensive power that resides in the three strike corps into eight smaller division-sized integrated battle groups (IBGs) consisting of armour and mechanised infantry and artillery, closely supported by helicopter gunships, air force and airborne troops (parachute and heliborne).
  • The IBGs are to be positioned close to the border so that three to five are launched into Pakistan along different axes within 72 to 96 hours from the time mobilisation is ordered.
  • Cold Start thus envisages rapid thrusts even when the defensive corps’ deployment is yet to be completed, and high-speed operations conducted day and night until the designated objectives are achieved
  • The probable objective areas for Cold Start could be (1) Ravi-Chenab corridor from two directions, an IBG along Jammu-Sialkot-Daska axis and another across the Ravi to link up with the first IBG, and (2) in the south against Reti-Rahim Yar Khan-Kashmore complex.
  • To counter Cold Start, the Pakistan Army will have to create more armour-dominated brigade-sized reserves from the existing resources if possible, and a more flexible military system and structure.
  • For Pakistan the dimensions of time and space assume paramount importance as it lacks territorial depth, is opposed by a larger adversary and lacks the resources to fight a protracted war.
  • The strategy of pre-emption is thus imposed on Pakistan in the same way it was imposed on Israel prior to the 1967 war.
  • The fact that the Pakistani Army can occupy their wartime locations earlier than the Indian army confers on it the ability to pre-empt Cold Start;
  • failure to do so could lead to firing of low-yield tactical warheads at IBGs as they cross the start line or even earlier

SAMAA/AGENCIES

Until 2004 the Indian army’s strategic thought envisaged the deployment of seven corps in defensive role and three corps in offensive role each built around an armoured division supported by mechanised infantry and artillery. After the defensive corps had blunted Pakistani attacks, the strike corps would undertake counter-offensive operations aimed at the destruction of the Pakistan Army’s two strategic reserves also built around an armoured division.

After Operation Parakaram the Indian army concluded that this doctrine was inflexible because of the huge size of the strike corps — they have long deployment times, are difficult to manoeuvre, while their concentration in the forward areas gives away the general strategic direction they would adopt. And above all, the doctrine inhibited a quick response to challenges posed by acts like the attack on the Indian parliament (and seven years later in Mumbai).

As a consequence, in 2004 the Indian army announced the development of a new limited war doctrine called Cold Start to respond to what it calls proxy wars by Pakistan. It would seek to inflict significant damage on the Pakistan Army before the international community could intervene on Pakistan’s behalf, while at the same time ensuring that the conflict did not escalate to a level where Pakistan was tempted to use nuclear weapons.

The essence of the Cold Start doctrine is reorganising the army’s offensive power that resides in the three strike corps into eight smaller division-sized integrated battle groups (IBGs) consisting of armour and mechanised infantry and artillery, closely supported by helicopter gunships, air force and airborne troops (parachute and heliborne). The IBGs are to be positioned close to the border so that three to five are launched into Pakistan along different axes within 72 to 96 hours from the time mobilisation is ordered.

Cold Start thus envisages rapid thrusts even when the defensive corps’ deployment is yet to be completed, and high-speed operations conducted day and night until the designated objectives are achieved.

In a war limited by time, mobility is the single-most important factor which if used to its full potential will help attain the political aim in the desired time and space framework. But this requires a perfect matching of the physical means of mobility with the mobility of the mind, as the value of a highly mobile force can be reduced to zero by commanders whose minds are characterised by lack of imagination, initiative and flexibility. “Adherence to dogmas has destroyed more armies and lost more battles and lives than any other cause in war. No man of fixed opinions can make a good general.” (J.F.C. Fuller)

In the 1965 war the Indian 1 Corps, spearheaded by the 1st Armoured Division, had penetrated seven miles only into Pakistani territory in Sialkot sector in 21 days, while in the 1971 war, the same corps having about eight tank units did marginally better by penetrating eight miles in 14 days, that too when opposed by light covering troops. In both wars the Indian army was schematic in its operations. Changes in dispositions such as forming a new defensive line, reassigning of objectives, switching forces not in accordance with their original plan, took time. Above all, their commanders at all levels lacked enterprise, imagination and initiative.

Given this, while Cold Start is a sound concept, though not original, the Indian war directors need to question the ability of their commanders at all levels to execute it efficiently and sustain the advantage gained from striking first. The “law of the initial advantage of the aggressor” assumes critical importance, as it is the aggressor who generally sets the pattern which operations will take. The Germans in the Second World War and the Israelis in the 1956 and 1967 wars had translated the concept of blitzkrieg, characterised by surprise, speed and concentration, with devastating results against numerically superior forces because they had a flair for conducting high-speed operations with flexibility, rapidity and less military routine.

The probable objective areas for Cold Start could be (1) Ravi-Chenab corridor from two directions, an IBG along Jammu-Sialkot-Daska axis and another across the Ravi to link up with the first IBG, and (2) in the south against Reti-Rahim Yar Khan-Kashmore complex. To counter Cold Start, the Pakistan Army will have to create more armour-dominated brigade-sized reserves from the existing resources if possible, and a more flexible military system and structure.

For Pakistan the dimensions of time and space assume paramount importance as it lacks territorial depth, is opposed by a larger adversary and lacks the resources to fight a protracted war. The strategy of pre-emption is thus imposed on Pakistan in the same way it was imposed on Israel prior to the 1967 war. The fact that the Pakistani Army can occupy their wartime locations earlier than the Indian army confers on it the ability to pre-empt Cold Start; failure to do so could lead to firing of low-yield tactical warheads at IBGs as they cross the start line or even earlier.

Cold Start would be a portent of escalation, and inevitably a disaster for both. It is a doctrine that challenges both countries. The writer is a retired brigadier of the Pakistan Army. javedhussainpa@yahoo.com

Categories: Afghan War, Afghanistan, Article, Asia-Pacific, Clash of Civilization, Conflicts, Conspiracies, Deception, defence, Geo-Politics, India, India-Pakistan Disputes, India-Pakistan Relations, Insurgencies, Intelligence Agencies, International Politics, International Relations, Military Strength, PAF, Pakistan, Pakistan Army Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Pentagon for pressure on India to ease tension with Pakistan: WSJ

Times Of India

WASHINGTON: The Pentagon is actively lobbying for more pressure on New Delhi to ease tensions between India and Pakistan, the Wall Street Journal has reported. It has also revealed that US President Barack Obama had issued a secret directive to intensify diplomacy towards that aim and to win Islamabad’s cooperation in Afghanistan.

Asserting that without détente between the two rivals, US efforts to win Pakistani cooperation in Afghanistan would suffer, the directive in December concluded that India must make resolving its tensions with Pakistan a priority for progress to be made on US goals in the region, the daily said citing “people familiar with its contents”.

A debate continues within the administration over how hard to push India, which has long resisted outside intervention in the conflict with its neighbour. The Pentagon, in particular, has sought more pressure on New Delhi, the influential daily said citing US and Indian officials.

The journal cited current and former US officials as saying the discussion in Washington over how to approach India has intensified as Pakistan ratchets up requests that the US intercede in a series of continuing disputes.

The Obama administration has, so far, made few concrete demands of New Delhi, it said citing US and Indian officials.

According to US officials cited by the Journal, the only specific request has been to discourage India from getting more involved in training the Afghan military, to ease Pakistani concerns about getting squeezed by India on two borders.

The directive to top foreign-policy and national-security officials was summarised in a memo written by National Security Adviser James Jones at the end of the White House’s three-month review of Afghan war policy in December, the daily said.

According to US and Indian officials cited by the Journal, the Pentagon has emerged in internal Obama administration debates as an active lobbyist for more pressure on India, with some officials already informally pressing Indian officials to take Pakistan’s concerns more seriously.

Admiral Mike Mullen, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, has been among the more vocal advocates of a greater Indian role, according to a US military official, encouraging New Delhi to be more “transparent” about its activities along the countries’ shared border and to cooperate more with Pakistan.

US military officials were circumspect about what specific moves they would like to see from New Delhi, the Journal said.

But according to people who have discussed India policy with Pentagon officials, the ideas discussed in internal debates include reducing the number of Indian troops in Kashmir or pulling back forces along the border, it said.

The State Department has resisted such moves to pressure India, according to current and former US officials, insisting they could backfire, the Journal said.

Does “CIA Post In Karachi” Mean Blackwater?

February 23, 2010 Leave a comment

WASHINGTON: Pakistan allowed the US Central Intelligence Agency to set up a post in Karachi and the data collected by this post led to the arrest of a key Taliban commander and two ‘governors’, officials said.

Describing this as “a high-level of cooperation between the United States and Pakistan,” The Washington Post reported on Friday that it signalled a major change in Islamabad’s attitude towards the Taliban movement.

This enhanced cooperation between the CIA and the ISI led to the arrests of Mullah Abdul Ghani Baradar, the Afghan Taliban’s second in command, and two Taliban shadow governors for northern Afghanistan, the report said.

“The ISI and the CIA are working together, with the Americans providing actionable intelligence and the Pakistanis acting together with them” to hunt the insurgency’s leaders, a Pakistani official told the paper.

The Post noted that Pakistan’s decision to aggressively search for Afghan Taliban leadership reflected a shift that had been in the works since autumn last year when US President Barack Obama wrote to President Asif Ali Zardari.

The letter offered additional military and economic assistance and help in easing tensions with India.

The Post noted that with US facilitation, India and Pakistan had agreed to restart their stalled talks. President Obama’s letter also contained a warning that Pakistan’s use of insurgent groups to achieve policy goals would no longer be tolerated.

The arrests of Mullah Baradar and other leaders represented “major progress,” a US intelligence official told the Post. “No one has forgotten Pakistan’s complex history with the Taliban. But they understand how important this is to the United States, the region and to their own security.”

The CIA post in Karachi intercepted communications which were later handed over to ISI officials. The two agencies then planned a joint operation to catch Mullah Baradar and ‘governors’.

Final agreement on the operation came in the last week of January.

The detentions, which have taken place since early last week, were initially kept secret to allow intelligence operatives to use information gleaned from the captured men to reach other militants.

The Post claimed that the arrests offered evidence of something that has long been suspected: Top Afghan Taliban leaders have found refuge across Pakistan, particularly in its cities, something the government long denied.

Coutesy: DAWN

Categories: Afghan War, Afghanistan, Article, Color Revolutions, Conspiracies, Deception, Editorial, Geo-Politics, History, Imperialism, Insurgencies, Intelligence Agencies, International Politics, International Relations, Lies & Deception, Military Strength, Pakistan, Pakistan Army, Regional Affairs, Report, SiyasiPakistan, Strategic Cooperation, Sub-Continent, TALIBAN, U.S.A, US-Pakistan Relations, War, War on Terror, Waziristan Operations, World Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,