Posts Tagged Pakistan

$10 Million Bounty for Hafiz Mohammad Saeed

It is believed that Hafiz Mohammad Saeed planned the 2008 Mumbai attacks and the US is now offering a bounty for any “information leading to the arrest and conviction” of Saeed.

From MilitaryTimes.com:

U.S. State Department spokeswoman Victoria Nuland said the decision to place a bounty on Saeed was driven by his alleged role in the November 2008 attacks in India’s financial capital Mumbai and recent high-profile public appearances.

“It has everything to do with Mumbai and his brazen flouting of the justice system,” Nuland said in Washington.

 

, , , , , ,

No Comments

The State of the World: Assessing China’s Strategy

This report is republished from STRATFOR:

By George Friedman

Simply put, China has three core strategic interests.

Paramount among them is the maintenance of domestic security. Historically, when China involves itself in global trade, as it did in the 19th and early 20th centuries, the coastal region prospers, while the interior of China — which begins about 160 kilometers (100 miles) from the coast and runs about 1,600 kilometers to the west — languishes. Roughly 80 percent of all Chinese citizens currently have household incomes lower than the average household income in Bolivia. Most of China’s poor are located west of the richer coastal region. This disparity of wealth time and again has exposed tensions between the interests of the coast and those of the interior. After a failed rising in Shanghai in 1927, Mao Zedong exploited these tensions by undertaking the Long March into the interior, raising a peasant army and ultimately conquering the coastal region. He shut China off from the international trading system, leaving China more united and equal, but extremely poor.

The current government has sought a more wealth-friendly means of achieving stability: buying popular loyalty with mass employment. Plans for industrial expansion are implemented with little thought to markets or margins; instead, maximum employment is the driving goal. Private savings are harnessed to finance the industrial effort, leaving little domestic capital to purchase the output. China must export accordingly. Read the rest of this entry »

, , ,

No Comments

The Myth of the End of Terrorism

This is a report from STRATFOR:

By Scott Stewart

In this week’s Geopolitical Weekly, George Friedman discussed the geopolitical cycles that change with each generation. Frequently, especially in recent years, those geopolitical cycles have intersected with changes in the way the tactic of terrorism is employed and in the actors employing it.

The Arab terrorism that began in the 1960s resulted from the Cold War and the Soviet decision to fund, train and otherwise encourage groups in the Middle East. The Soviet Union and its Middle Eastern proxies also sponsored Marxist terrorist groups in Europe and Latin America. They even backed the Japanese Red Army terrorist group. Places like South Yemen and Libya became havens where Marxist militants of many different nationalities gathered to learn terrorist tradecraft, often instructed by personnel from the Soviet KGB or the East German Stasi and from other militants.

The Cold War also spawned al Qaeda and the broader global jihadist movement as militants flocking to fight the Soviet troops who had invaded Afghanistan were trained in camps in northern Pakistan by instructors from the CIA’s Office of Technical Services and Pakistan’s Inter-Services Intelligence directorate. Emboldened by the Soviet withdrawal from Afghanistan, and claiming credit for the subsequent Soviet collapse, these militants decided to expand their efforts to other parts of the world. Read the rest of this entry »

, , , , , , ,

No Comments

Jihadist Opportunities in Syria

From STRATFOR:

By Kamran Bokhari

In an eight-minute video clip titled “Onward, Lions of Syria” disseminated on the Internet Feb. 12, al Qaeda chief Ayman al-Zawahiri expressed al Qaeda’s support for the popular unrest in Syria. In it, al-Zawahiri urged Muslims in Turkey, Iraq, Lebanon and Jordan to aid the Syrian rebels battling Damascus. The statement comes just days after a McClatchy report quoted unnamed American intelligence officials as saying that the Iraqi node of the global jihadist network carried out two attacks against Syrian intelligence facilities in Damascus, while Iraqi Deputy Interior Minister Adnan al-Assadi said in a recent interview with AFP that Iraqi jihadists were moving fighters and weapons into neighboring Syria.

Al Qaeda’s long-term goal has been to oust Arab governments to facilitate the return of a transnational caliphate. Its tactics have involved mainly terrorism intended to cause U.S. intervention in the region. Al Qaeda has hoped such interventions would in turn incite popular uprisings that would bring down the Arab regimes, opening the way for the jihadists to eventually take power. But the jihadist network’s efforts have failed and they have remained a marginal player in the Arab world. By addressing Syria, al Qaeda hopes to tap into the past year of Arab unrest, a movement in which it played little to no part. Read the rest of this entry »

, , , , , , , , , , ,

No Comments

Afghanistan: Moving Toward a Distant Endgame

From STRATFOR:

By George Friedman

U.S. Defense Secretary Leon Panetta suggested last week that the United States could wrap up combat operations in Afghanistan by the end of 2013, well before the longstanding 2014 deadline when full control is to be ceded to Kabul. Troops would remain in Afghanistan until 2014, as agreed upon at the 2010 Lisbon Summit, and would be engaged in two roles until at least 2014 and perhaps even later. One role would be continuing the training of Afghan security forces. The other would involve special operations troops carrying out capture or kill operations against high-value targets.

Along with this announcement, the White House gave The New York Times some details on negotiations that have been under way with the Taliban. According to the Times, Mullah Mohammad Omar, the senior-most leader of the Afghan Taliban, last summer made overtures to the White House offering negotiations. An intermediary claiming to speak for Mullah Omar delivered the proposal, an unsigned document purportedly from Mullah Omar that could not be established as authentic. The letter demanded the release of some Taliban prisoners before any talks. In spite of the ambiguities, which included a recent public denial by the Taliban that the offer came from Mullah Omar, U.S. officials, obviously acting on other intelligence, regarded the proposal as both authentic and representative of the views of the Taliban leadership and, in all likelihood, those of Mullah Omar, too. Read the rest of this entry »

, , , ,

No Comments

A Deadly U.S. Attack on Pakistani Soil

A Deadly U.S. Attack on Pakistani Soil is republished with permission of STRATFOR.

By Nate Hughes

In the early hours of Nov. 26 on the Afghan-Pakistani border, what was almost certainly a flight of U.S. Army AH-64 Apache attack helicopters and an AC-130 gunship killed some two dozen Pakistani servicemen at two border outposts inside Pakistan. Details remain scarce, conflicting and disputed, but the incident was known to have taken place near the border of the Afghan provinces of Kunar and Nangarhar and the Mohmand agency of Pakistan’s Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA). The death toll inflicted by the United States against Pakistani servicemen is unprecedented, and while U.S. commanders and NATO leaders have expressed regret over the incident, the reaction from Pakistan has been severe.

Claims and Interests

The initial Pakistani narrative of the incident describes an unprovoked and aggressive attack on well-established outposts more than a mile inside Pakistani territory — outposts known to the Americans and ones that representatives of the NATO-led International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) had visited in the past. The attack supposedly lasted for some two hours despite distressed communications from the outpost to the Pakistani military’s general headquarters in Rawalpindi. Read the rest of this entry »

, , , , ,

No Comments

Most of the U.S. Troops Killed in Afghanistan were killed on Pakistan Border

“Pakistan objected furiously when a NATO airstrike along its border with Afghanistan killed 24 Pakistani soldiers on Nov. 26, while NATO claimed the attack came after a U.S.-Afghan patrol came under fire.

Now a report discloses that the overwhelmingly majority of U.S. combat deaths in Afghanistan have in fact come along that border.

The CNS News report shows that a total of 1,527 American troops have died while engaged in combat in Afghanistan, and 1,089 of them — 71 percent — died in the 10 Afghan provinces that border Pakistan.

That compares to 438 combat deaths in all of Afghanistan’s other 24 provinces.

Including non-combat deaths, 1,168 Americans have died in Afghanistan’s border provinces as of Nov. 30, according to CNS News.

Since President Barack Obama took office in January 2009, at least 1,172 U.S. soldiers have died in Afghanistan, accounting for 67 percent of the total casualties in the 10-year-long war.”

http://news.newsmax.com/?Z64RXWnaQC2Q4C4lvtUUD3ESzXbfxfvAZ

, ,

No Comments

Pakistan, Russia and the Threat to the Afghan War

Pakistan, Russia and the Threat to the Afghan War is republished with permission of STRATFOR.

By George Friedman

Days after the Pakistanis closed their borders to the passage of fuel and supplies for the NATO-led war effort in Afghanistan, for very different reasons the Russians threatened to close the alternative Russia-controlled Northern Distribution Network (NDN). The dual threats are significant even if they don’t materialize. If both routes are cut, supplying Western forces operating in Afghanistan becomes impossible. Simply raising the possibility of cutting supply lines forces NATO and the United States to recalculate their position in Afghanistan.

The possibility of insufficient lines of supply puts NATO’s current course in Afghanistan in even more jeopardy. It also could make Western troops more vulnerable by possibly requiring significant alterations to operations in a supply-constrained scenario. While the supply lines in Pakistan most likely will reopen eventually and the NDN likely will remain open, the gap between likely and certain is vast.

The Pakistani Outpost Attack

The Pakistani decision to close the border crossings at Torkham near the Khyber Pass and Chaman followed a U.S. attack on a Pakistani position inside Pakistan’s tribal areas near the Afghan border that killed some two-dozen Pakistani soldiers. The Pakistanis have been increasingly opposed to U.S. operations inside Pakistani territory. This most recent incident took an unprecedented toll, and triggered an extreme response. The precise circumstances of the attack are unclear, with details few, contradictory and disputed. The Pakistanis have insisted it was an unprovoked attack and a violation of their sovereign territory. In response, Islamabad closed the border to NATO; ordered the United States out of Shamsi air base in Balochistan, used by the CIA; and is reviewing military and intelligence cooperation with the United States and NATO. Read the rest of this entry »

, , , , ,

No Comments

Marine Medal of Honor Recipient Sues Defense Giant BAE After Sniper Scope Fight

“Marine Sgt. Dakota Meyer is perhaps this country’s best-recognized war hero, a man who risked his life over and over again to save his buddies from a Taliban ambush. That’s why he’s the only living Marine to be awarded the Medal of Honor — the nation’s highest award for valor — for his actions in Afghanistan or Iraq.

It’s undoubtedly one reason why the defense giant BAE Systems hired Meyer after he left the Corps.

Then, BAE considered selling high-tech sniper rifle scopes to the Pakistani military. Meyer objected, given Islamabad’s um, unambiguous relationship with the terrorists and militants based in Pakistan. Then he quit. Suddenly, Meyer’s former bosses at BAE started calling the war hero “mentally unstable” and a drunk.

“We are taking the best gear, the best technology on the market to date and giving it to guys known to stab us in the back,” Meyer wrote to his supervisor…

http://www.wired.com/dangerroom/2011/11/bae-dakota-meyer/?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+wired%2Findex+%28Wired%3A+Index+3+%28Top+Stories+2%29%29

, , , , ,

No Comments

Special Operations In Afghanistan

From USA Today:

In Afghanistan, commanders say, Special Forces have become an indispensable component of a strategy that involves killing the enemy in places where no one else can, and acting as ambassadors, protectors and instructors to Afghans who have expressed a desire to free themselves of militants and overlords.

, , , , ,

No Comments

Taliban Killed In Small Battle

From The Washington Post:

The fighting lasted less than two hours, ending by about 8:30 p.m. No U.S. troops were killed. A spokesman for the Paktika governor said that 50 to 60 insurgents were killed.

The U.S. outpost has become a favorite target for Haqqani network insurgents based in Pakistan, who exploit the porous border to attack Americans. It was at least the third major attack on the base in a little more than a year.

, , ,

No Comments

US forces ‘massing on Afghanistan-Pakistan border’

By Dean Nelson

US forces are massing on the Pakistan border in eastern Afghanistan amid reports of an imminent drone missile offensive against fighters from the feared Haqqani Network, a Taliban faction which operates from safe havens in Pakistan’s North Waziristan Agency, Pakistan Army sources have confirmed.
US forces ‘massing on Afghanistan-Pakistan border’

The scale of the American build-up, including helicopter gunships, heavy artillery and hundreds of American and Afghan troops, caused panic in north Waziristan where tribal militias who feared they could be targeted gathered in the capital Miranshah to coordinate their response.

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/asia/afghanistan/8834040/US-forces-massing-on-Afghanistan-Pakistan-border.html

, , , ,

No Comments

Adm. Mullen Calls Out Pakistan

From: Stars and Stripes

In 43 years, Adm. Mike Mullen, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, the son of a Hollywood publicist, has graduated from the U.S. Naval Academy, deployed to Vietnam, commanded an aircraft carrier strike group and the Second Fleet, detoured through Harvard Business School and become the nation’s highest-ranking naval officer.

… But it is what Mullen did last week that may be most remembered: He called out Pakistan.
In his last words to Congress, Mullen accused the Pakistan government of aiding terrorist attacks against U.S. troops and for “choosing to use violent extremism as an instrument of policy.”
When White House officials distanced themselves from Mullen’s strong words, the chairman held firm.

More

, , , , , , ,

No Comments

The Evolution of a Pakistani Militant Network

The Evolution of a Pakistani Militant Network is republished with permission of STRATFOR.

By Sean Noonan and Scott Stewart

For many years now, STRATFOR has been carefully following the evolution of “Lashkar-e-Taiba” (LeT), the name of a Pakistan-based jihadist group that was formed in 1990 and existed until about 2001, when it was officially abolished. In subsequent years, however, several major attacks were attributed to LeT, including the November 2008 coordinated assault in Mumbai, India. Two years before that attack we wrote that the group, or at least its remnant networks, were nebulous but still dangerous. This nebulous nature was highlighted in November 2008 when the “Deccan Mujahideen,” a previously unknown group, claimed responsibility for the Mumbai attacks.

While the most famous leaders of the LeT networks, Hafiz Mohammad Saeed and Zaki-ur Rehman Lakhvi, are under house arrest and in jail awaiting trial, respectively, LeT still poses a significant threat. It’s a threat that comes not so much from LeT as a single jihadist force but LeT as a concept, a banner under which various groups and individuals can gather, coordinate and successfully conduct attacks. Read the rest of this entry »

, , , , , , , ,

No Comments

Al Qaeda’s No. 2 Killed in Pakistan, U.S. Official Says

By MARK MAZZETTI
WASHINGTON — “A drone operated by the Central Intelligence Agency killed al Qaeda’s second-ranking figure in the mountains of Pakistan earlier this month, American and Pakistani officials said on Saturday, further damaging a terror network that appears significantly weakened since the death of Osama bin Laden in May.

An American official said that a drone strike on Aug. 22 killed Atiyah Abd al-Rahman, a Libyan who in the last year had taken over as al Qaeda’s top operational planner. Mr. Rahman was in frequent contact with Bin Laden in the months before the terror leader was killed on May 2 by a team of Navy Seals, intelligence officials have said.”

http://www.nytimes.com/2011/08/28/world/asia/28qaeda.html?_r=1

 

, ,

No Comments