The CIA’s Pakistan Endgame
Image Credit: US Army

The CIA’s Pakistan Endgame

0 Likes
6 comments

In the autumn of 2009, US President Barack Obama rounded up his foreign policy team and cadre of political advisors to determine how to move forward in Afghanistan. After months of leaks, opinion pieces and TV spots that spurred a public turf war between the Pentagon and the National Security Council, the Obama administration finally agreed to send 30,000 additional troops to Afghanistan. All of the national security players reportedly agreed in principle to the plan, but anxiety arose over two looming uncertainties: the exit strategy and Pakistan.

The worst kept secret from Foggy Bottom to Miram Shah is that the CIA continues to conduct increasingly expansive covert operations in the Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA) of Pakistan. Obama seems to favour the surgical strikes from the CIA’s Predator drones rather than a more visible US footprint such as special operations units, while CIA Director Leon Panetta has been even more enthusiastic about the effectiveness of the drone project, privately urging national security principals in the Obama administration to consider significantly increasing the frequency and scope of the programme.

But proponents of these asymmetric strikes still face a considerable hurdle in securing Islamabad’s acquiescence. Pakistan continues to lack the political capital to allow the CIA to act with impunity within its sovereign territory, with Pakistani President Asif Ali Zardari struggling to balance his desire to degrade Islamic militants within his country with the perceived need to hedge his bets over the future political landscape of neighbouring Afghanistan. The military establishment in Pakistan, meanwhile, still views its threat matrix through an India-centric lens—Pakistan genuinely believes, rightly or wrongly, that India continues to work aggressively against its strategic interests through bribery and espionage in Afghanistan.

Despite these reservations, US pressure on Pakistan to attack terrorist safe havens in FATA intensified after the failed Times Square bombing in May 2010, in which Pakistan-born Faisal Shahzad loaded an SUV full of explosives with the apparent intention to cause mayhem in New York City. Panetta travelled to Islamabad shortly after the botched attack to deliver a message to Zardari: if a terrorist attack like this is successful, the strategic partnership between the US and Pakistan is finished. In effect, Panetta was issuing an informal demarche to the Pakistani leadership to either conduct operations in FATA or be prepared for unilateral action by the United States.

Some backers of drone warfare in Pakistan argue that the CIA needs to have the ability to conduct operations outside of the narrowly defined ‘boxes’ that the Pakistani Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) has mapped out. Analysis by the New America Foundation, which has looked at the drone attacks since 2004, shows that most strikes have taken place in Northern Waziristan, an area that Washington has pleaded with Zardari to increase Pakistan’s military presence in. The ISI, however, refuses to budge on Quetta in Balochistan Province, which US intelligence analysts believe is the area that shelters Taliban leader Mullah Mohammed Omar and potentially senior al-Qaeda leaders.

Comments
6
Tauss
March 5, 2012 at 02:02

India is the new best friend of Israel. Since China refused to be enslaved by Israel, it is the new bad boy and target. You can almost read their (The masters) mind by watching what their controlled media is saying and showing (China Bad – India Good and Pakistan evil). This is the big game. Everyone knows that USA, England, Israel and India are running intelligence operations in Balochistan province to break up Pakistan. The Pakistan Taliban is on the CIA payroll and attack Pakistan while the Afghan Taliban only attack the USA army. The idea is to weaken Pakistan Armed forces the glue and create conditions for a civil war in Pakistan. They are playing both sides in this war to appear as friends of Pakistan. Why India is interested in Pakistan’s break up is very clear – They have never accepted Pakistan’s creation by breakup of their motherland. They want the UN resolution to grant Kashmir freedom to break free of India diminished by breaking up Pakistan (The Kashmiri’s want to unite with Pakistan). India wants the UN permanent seat but is violating the UN resolution on Kashmir. Why is the USA interested in Pakistan’s break up??? To deny China the energy corridor to Gawadar port in Balochistan and the vast mineral and oil resources of Balochistan. Why is Israel interested in Pakistan’s breakup? Because some Indian convinced a some Jew that Pakistan, Thousands of miles away, is a threat to their survival – Most Pakistanis do not even care of such a far away land. Why is England Interested in Pakistan’s break up, because they are a puddle of USA. George Soros (Rothschield’s) money investor has a foundation that published that Pakistan must be partitioned as China must be denied the Energy corridor to Gawadar port or the Dollar is doomed. The Giant Oil companies are salvating at the prospect of getting their hands on the Oil in Balochistan. In 1994 5 USA senators went to India and announced that within 15 years Pakistan will be partitioned. These plans are made decades before they are supposed to materialize. The process involves demonization over a decade followed by sanctions and then an attack. The powerful Indian Silicon valley in California is also pushing this agenda and then off course the Jewish masters of USA are also doing their part —just see their media and you will see their thoughts and motives —it reads like a book. Pakistan’s ambassador to USA Haqqani and the present Pakistani traitor government gave visas to 8000 CIA agents to come to Pakistan and get to know the terrain, make contacts, bribe the tribal leaders and flame the Insurgency. He was held by the supreme court but due to USA pressure was let go. The CIA bloke who shot 2 Pakistan ISI agents was on a mission to flame the insurgency in Balochistan. He too was let go after the killings. You must have heard of the Israeli’s caught and reported in the NY Times who were contacting extremist outfits to attack Iran—How far is Pakistan from there?? It is the border. Simple Fact is if you are a Muslim and have Oil or other natural resources, your families, life or livelihood will be taken away from you by force. It is time to wake up and see the power hungry, merciless faces behind most of the troubles in this world today. Please remember the peaceful Pakistan of 1978 where no religious party ever won the presidency or any high government positions and where people never heard of guns. How could this transformation happen – It was engineered by the vested interests spoken of above. Pakistani’s just want to live and let live – leave them alone.

Jonathan Branson
February 16, 2012 at 04:21

Hay Jackson,

Everyone knows in Pakistan that India is flaming the insurgency in Balochistan. These tribal feudal lords who have denied their own people a decent living for decades and who are less than 1% of 1% of the Pakistan population are being actively supported by India, England, USA and Israel. One such notorious Baloch terrorist warlord has been provided shelter in England and another is in Afghanistan – perhaps on a USA base. The leader of the Swat terrorist who had their arses kicked by the Pakistan Army ran off to Afghanistan and was actively supported by India. Please stop trying to fool people. Your RAW is not that innocent. It is stained with the blood of the innocents.

JJJackxon
August 22, 2011 at 06:24

I can only pray that you are correct and RAW plays hardball. Unfortunately, the evidence points to the contrary. Why are leaders of terror groups freely roaming about in Lahore? The terrorists who were released after the Indian Airlines airplane was hijacked to Kandahar are giving public speeches and collecting funds openly in Pakistan to again attack India. How come India does not vigorously protest the take-over of Gilgit-Baltistan part of Kashmir by the Chinese who want to build a pipeline to Gwador and neclear reactors? Why is the Balochistan Freedom Movement not supported by Indian intelligence and advidors? How come Chinese continue to flout Indian boundaries, in addition of their occupation of Aksai Chin, with no diplomatic hoopla from India? Why is the infrastrucurre to defend India from Chinese aggression decades behind where it should be? India has to find a way to make anti-India behavior by Pak and China costly and find a way to reward pro-India behavior. So far, Indian government and RAW have failed for 64 years.

guest
April 13, 2011 at 09:28

Do you suppose that the Indian intelligence agencies are made up of levitating mystic gurus? The RAW play hardball. The India security forces play hardball. The only place where a nominally free country like India practices censorship, torture and false flag ops is Kashmir.

Paul Davis
April 13, 2011 at 05:57

Another insightful piece from Mr. Miller. I look forward to seeing more of his penetrating analysis on these complex issues in the future. We need more writers of his caliber speaking out on these sorts of issues within our North American context.

JJJackxon
April 13, 2011 at 05:21

The Author states that “The military establishment in Pakistan, meanwhile, still views its threat matrix through an India-centric lens—Pakistan genuinely believes, rightly or wrongly, that India continues to work aggressively against its strategic interests through bribery and espionage in Afghanistan.”

Did you know that many Paranoid Schizophrenics “genuinely believe” that they can read other peoples’ minds and that they hear God talking to them? We put them away in mental hospitals and give them medications.

What can be done with a country that behaves in the same manner?

Share your thoughts

Your Name
required
Your Email
required, but not published
Your Comment
required

Newsletter
Sign up for our weekly newsletter
The Diplomat Brief