"No-Go" Tribal Areas Became Basis for Afghan Insurgency Documents Show

Discussion in 'China' started by ejazr, Sep 13, 2010.

  1. ejazr

    ejazr Stars and Ambassadors Stars and Ambassadors

    Joined:
    Oct 8, 2009
    Messages:
    4,518
    Likes Received:
    1,378
    Location:
    Hyderabad and Sydney
    Click on link below to read all declassified documents

    "No-Go" Tribal Areas Became Basis for Afghan Insurgency Documents Show

    Washington, D.C., September 13, 2010 - Pakistani tribal areas where Osama bin Laden found refuge were momentarily open to the Pakistani Army when "the tribes were overawed by U.S. firepower" after 9/11, but quickly again became "no-go areas" where the Taliban could reorganize and plan their resurgence in Afghanistan, according to previously secret U.S. documents obtained through the Freedom of Information Act by the National Security Archive and posted today at The National Security Archive.

    The declassified documents describe the consequences of these events. According to U.S. Ambassador to Afghanistan Ronald E. Neumann, the 2005 Taliban resurgence in Afghanistan was a direct product of the “four years that the Taliban has had to reorganize and think about their approach in a sanctuary beyond the reach of either government." This had exponentially increased casualties as the Taliban adopted insurgency tactics successful in Iraq, including suicide bombings and the use of IEDs. Ambassador Neumann warned Washington that if the sanctuary in Pakistan were not addressed it would "lead to the re-emergence of the same strategic threat to the United States that prompted our OEF [Operation Enduring Freedom] intervention" in 2001.

    As current U.S. strategy increasingly pursues policies to reconcile or “flip” the Taliban, the document collection released today reveals Washington’s refusal to negotiate with Taliban leadership directly after 9/11. On September 13, 2001, U.S. Ambassador Wendy Chamberlin “bluntly” told Pakistani President Musharraf that there was “absolutely no inclination in Washington to enter into a dialogue with the Taliban. The time for dialog was finished as of September 11.” Pakistan, as the Taliban’s primary sponsor, disagreed. Pakistani Intelligence (ISI) Chief Mahmoud told the ambassador “not to act in anger. Real victory will come in negotiations… If the Taliban are eliminated... Afghanistan will revert to warlordism.”

    Regarding the apprehension of Osama bin Laden, the ISI Chief said it was "better for the Afghans to do it. We could avoid the fallout.” Mahmoud traveled to Afghanistan twice, on September 17, aboard an American plane, and again on September 24, 2001 to discuss the seriousness of the situation with Taliban leader Mullah Omar. Ambassador Chamberlin said that the negotiations were pointless since Mullah Omar “had so far refused to meet even one U.S. demand.” Chamberlin told Mahmoud his meetings with Omar were fine, but they “could not delay military planning.”

    Despite the hesitancy of the U.S. to negotiate in the wake of 9/11, documents published here today indicate there has been some success in reconciling low-level Taliban figures into the U.S.-supported Kabul regime. One program, PTS (Program for Strengthening Peace) had “six regional offices and reported that over 800 former fighters had joined the program as of December 2005.”

    The new materials also illustrate the importance of the bilateral alliance to leaders in both Islamabad and Washington. One cable described seven demands delivered to Pakistani Intelligence (ISI) Director Mahmoud by U.S. Deputy Secretary of State Richard Armitage two days after the attack, while another reported Pakistani President Musharraf’s acceptance of those requests “without conditions” the next day. However, the documents also reveal fundamental disagreements and distrust. While Pakistan denied that it was a safe haven for anti-American forces, a State Department Issue Paper for the Vice President claimed “some Taliban leaders operate with relative impunity in some Pakistani cities, and may still enjoy support from the lower echelons of Pakistan’s ISI.”

    Islamabad was concerned U.S. military activities in Afghanistan would produce a hostile regime in Kabul. Just weeks before the anti-Pakistan Northern Alliance took the capital city with U.S. assistance, in a signed memorandum Secretary of State Powell told President Bush, “Musharraf is pressing for a future government supportive of its interests and is concerned that the Northern Alliance will occupy Kabul.”

    The document collection published here today is part of a larger project at the National Security Archive to document the ongoing war in Afghanistan by obtaining U.S. government materials through the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA).

    Highlights of today's posting include:

    * September 13, 2001 – U.S. Deputy Secretary of State Richard Armitage gives Pakistani Intelligence (ISI) Chief Mahmoud a list of seven demands:
    o Stop al-Qaeda at the Border;
    o Provide the U.S. with Blanket Landing Rights to Conduct Operations;
    o Provide Territorial and Naval Access;
    o Provide Intelligence;
    o Publicly Condemn Terrorist Attacks;
    o Cut off Recruits and Supplies to the Taliban;
    o Break Diplomatic Relations with the Taliban and Help Us “Destroy Usama bin Ladin.”

    * September 14, 2001 – Pakistani President Pervez Musharraf accepts U.S. demands “without conditions.”

    * September 13 - 24, 2001 – Pakistan advocates negotiating with the Taliban to get Osama bin Laden. Wendy Chamberlin tells President Musharraf “There was absolutely no inclination in Washington to enter into a dialogue with the Taliban.”

    * September 14 – November 16, 2001 – Pakistan asks the U.S. to clarify if its counterterrorism mission is against the Taliban or just al-Qaeda and repeatedly asks the U.S. not to let the Northern Alliance take over Kabul. Throughout the 1990s the Northern Alliance was supported by foreign states opposed to the Taliban, including India.

    * September 17 – September 24, 2001 – Pakistani Intelligence (ISI) Chief Mahmoud flies to Afghanistan twice to meet Taliban leader Mullah Omar and discuss U.S. demands, al-Qaeda, and the future of Afghanistan. It is unclear if anything comes of these talks. President Musharraf replaces Mahmoud as ISI Chief in October 2001 and Pakistan and the U.S. move forward with military action against the Taliban and al-Qaeda.

    * Both Pakistani and American officials have doubts whether Pakistan has enough control over the Federally Administered Tribal Areas [FATA] to combat Taliban and al-Qaeda-allied forces active in the region. A Pakistani military official calls certain sections of FATA “no-go areas” for the Pakistani Army.

    * Pakistan denies anti-American forces are active within its territory, while the U.S. is certain “some Taliban leaders operate with relative impunity in some Pakistani cities, and may still enjoy support from the lower echelons of Pakistan’s ISI.”
     
  2.  
  3. neo29

    neo29 Senior Member Senior Member

    Joined:
    Dec 1, 2009
    Messages:
    1,284
    Likes Received:
    30
    Location:
    india
    How Pakistan protected Taliban against US post 9/11

    WASHINGTON: As "Taliban's primary sponsor" Pakistan protected and promoted its client every inch of the way in the immediate days after 9/11 resulting in undermining the US war on terror, newly declassified documents detailing exchanges at that time between Washington and Islamabad reveal.

    As current US strategy increasingly pursues policies to reconcile or "flip" the Taliban, the document collection released on Monday show Washington's refusal to negotiate with Taliban leadership directly after 9/11 and Pakistan's insistence of the relevance of group it nurtured in order to push for strategic depth in Afghanistan and thwart Indian influence.

    According to the documents, on September 13, 2001, US Ambassador Wendy Chamberlin "bluntly" told Pakistani President Musharraf that there was "absolutely no inclination in Washington to enter into a dialogue with the Taliban. The time for dialog was finished as of September 11."

    Pakistan, as the Taliban's primary sponsor, disagreed. Pakistani Intelligence ( ISI) Chief Mahmoud told the ambassador "not to act in anger. Real victory will come in negotiations... If the Taliban are eliminated... Afghanistan will revert to warlordism." Pakistan's primary concern was that the Northern Alliance, backed by other foreign powers in the region, including India, would return to power in Kabul.

    Pakistan also backed off from hunting down Osama bin Laden, with Mahmoud, who was present in Washington on 9/11 and later turned out to be a frontman for Taliban, telling the Americans it was "better for the Afghans to do it. We could avoid the fallout."

    As a result, Pakistani tribal areas where Osama bin Laden found refuge, which were momentarily open to the Pakistani Army when "the tribes were overawed by US firepower" after 9/11, quickly again became "no-go areas" where the Taliban could reorganize and plan their resurgence in Afghanistan, a commentary by the national Security Archive that accompanied the documents, notes.

    Consequently, according to US Ambassador to Afghanistan Ronald E. Neumann, the 2005 Taliban resurgence in Afghanistan was a direct product of the "four years that the Taliban has had to reorganize and think about their approach in a sanctuary beyond the reach of either government." This had exponentially increased casualties as the Taliban adopted insurgency tactics successful in Iraq, including suicide bombings and the use of IEDs.

    Neumann, the documents reveal, warned Washington that if the sanctuary in Pakistan were not addressed it would "lead to the re-emergence of the same strategic threat to the United States that prompted our OEF [Operation Enduring Freedom] intervention" in 2001.

    The policy to protect Taliban reached the highest levels of the Pakistani establishment, the documents show. In exchanges between September 14 and November 16, 2001 – Pakistan's military strongman Pervez Musharraf asks the US to clarify if its counterterrorism mission is against the Taliban or just al-Qaida and repeatedly asks the US not to let the Northern Alliance take over Kabul.

    The declassified documents also show that the state department, then headed by Colin Powell, batted hard for Pakistan despite suspicions in the US establishment about its bonafides in the war on terror. In a memo to President Bush, Powell notes that Musharraf's decision to ally with the US comes "at considerable political risk," as he has "abandoned the Taliban, frozen terrorist assets [and] quelled anti-Western protests without unwarranted force, " all dubious assumptions.

    Regarding Afghanistan, the secretary appears to push Islamabad's agenda, telling the president that Pakistan will want to protect its interests and maintain influence in Kabul. "Musharraf is pressing for a future government supportive of its interests and is concerned that the Northern Alliance will occupy Kabul," Powell notes.

    The disclosures came even as the White House began yet another review on Monday of its Af-Pak policy which has so far been based on several questionable premises, including undue sensitivity to Pakistan's extra-territorial ambitions and concerns mainly relating to its existential insecurity vis-à-vis India.

    In a read-out of the meeting presided over by President Obama, the White House indicated that reports of overtures to the Taliban may be overstated. Additional forces deployed in Afghanistan are now at the highest operational tempo to date, and are focused on challenging long-established Taliban strongholds, targeting Taliban leadership, training Afghan Security Forces, and supporting Afghan-led reintegration and local policing initiatives, the White House cited General Petraeus as emphasizing.

    Pakiban: How Pakistan protected Taliban against US post 9/11 - The Times of India
     
  4. neo29

    neo29 Senior Member Senior Member

    Joined:
    Dec 1, 2009
    Messages:
    1,284
    Likes Received:
    30
    Location:
    india
    Sancturies in Pak help revival of Taliban, al-Qaida post 9/11

    WASHINGTON: Pakistan's tribal areas, where Osama bin Laden found refuge, were momentarily open to its army when "the tribes were overawed by US firepower" after 9/11, but quickly again became "go" areas where Taliban could reorganize and plan their resurgence in Afghanistan, some of the declassified US documents have revealed.

    The documents, of the events following the immediate aftermath of 9/11, were released by the National Security Archive of the George Washington University.

    US ambassador to Afghanistan, Ronald E Neumann, said the 2005 Taliban resurgence in Afghanistan was a direct product of the "four years that the Taliban has had to reorganize and think about their approach in a sanctuary beyond the reach of either government."

    This had exponentially increased casualties as the Taliban adopted insurgency tactics in Iraq, including suicide bombings and the use of Improvised Explosive Devices (IEDs).

    Neumann warned Washington if the sanctuary in Pakistan were not addressed it would "lead to the re-emergence of the same strategic threat to the US that prompted our OEF [Operation Enduring Freedom] intervention" in 2001.

    "I believe that what we are seeing is largely the result of four years that Taliban has had to reorganize and think about their approach in a sanctuary beyond the reach of either Government," he wrote in a secret cable to Washington.

    "This will lead to the increasing violence this summer; it will lead to a long-term continuation of the insurgency as long as they can resupply from their current areas; and, if left unaddressed, it will also lead, to the re-emergence of the same strategic threat to the US that prompted our OEF intervention over 4 years ago," he warned.

    Another classified document, released today, which was meant as a policy paper for the then US vice-president, refutes the claims made by Pakistani officials that there is no terrorist safe haven in their country, The Issue Paper observes "some Taliban leaders operate with relative impunity in some Pakistani cities, and may still enjoy support from the lower echelons of Pakistan's ISI."

    But the "insurgency is not monolithic." Various insurgent groups such as the Taliban, al-Qaida, Hizb-i-Islami Gulbuddin (HiG) members, Haqqani and Jaish-i-Muslimeen have "varying agendas, and lack internal cohesion," it said.

    The paper describes Kabul's strategy for combating the insurgency as focusing "first on military action, second on the Taliban reconciliation process and third, improving relations and security cooperation with Pakistan."

    The document also discusses non-military means of combating the Taliban as the State Department concludes "the Afghan Government's program to reconcile lower and mid-level Taliban fighters has been moderately effective, but not yet realized its potential.

    Sancturies in Pak help revival of Taliban, al-Qaida post 9/11 - The Times of India
     
  5. ejazr

    ejazr Stars and Ambassadors Stars and Ambassadors

    Joined:
    Oct 8, 2009
    Messages:
    4,518
    Likes Received:
    1,378
    Location:
    Hyderabad and Sydney

Share This Page