Speculation Over: US offers Pakistan $2 billion in military aid: Clinton

Discussion in 'Pakistan' started by LETHALFORCE, Oct 21, 2010.

  1. LETHALFORCE

    LETHALFORCE Moderator Moderator

    Joined:
    Feb 16, 2009
    Messages:
    20,539
    Likes Received:
    6,539
    US takes up Pakistan military wish-list

    http://www.spacewar.com/reports/US_takes_up_Pakistan_military_wish-list_999.html
    The United States said Tuesday it was in talks with Pakistan about new military assistance as part of a partnership against Islamic extremism, in a step sure to trigger unease in India.
    The United States and Pakistan on Wednesday open their latest "strategic dialogue," an initiative by President Barack Obama's administration to show Pakistan's skeptical public it is ready to take up its concerns.

    Frank Ruggiero, the US deputy special representative on Pakistan and Afghanistan, said the Pentagon and the Pakistani military have been talking about a framework for security assistance.

    "We specifically worked with the Pakistanis over the summer to identify what would be the types of military equipment and so on," Ruggiero told reporters. "That will be a topic of discussion at the strategic dialogue."

    The US Congress last year approved a five-year, 7.5 billion-dollar package for Pakistan aimed at building schools, infrastructure and democratic institutions in hopes of denting the appeal of Islamic extremists.

    Pakistan's powerful military initially voiced misgivings, saying the aid came with too many conditions. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton in March promised to work on a "multi-year security assistance package."

    Pakistan was once the chief supporter of Afghanistan's Taliban regime but switched sides after the September 11, 2001 attacks, becoming the front-line US partner in the war against Islamic extremist groups.

    India has begrudgingly accepted US civilian aid to Pakistan but voiced fears over military help, which it fears would target India instead of Islamists. India and Pakistan have fought three full-fledged wars since independence in 1947.

    Obama next month pays his first visit to India, hoping to show the world's largest democracy that he wants a deeper relationship and is not preoccupied by Pakistan and China.

    Ruggiero said the United States considered its ties with India and Pakistan to be "distinct bilateral relationships."

    "The United States committed to a strategic dialogue with the government of Pakistan, a strategic partnership, and we also have a strategic relationship with the government of India," he said.

    The United States has hailed Pakistan's commitment to fighting its homegrown Taliban, including launching a major offensive in its tribal areas.

    But New Delhi has pressed for Pakistan to do more against anti-Indian extremists such as those linked to the bloody 2008 assault on Mumbai. A recent White House report to Congress also faulted Pakistan for avoiding direct conflict with Afghanistan's Taliban, in an apparent attempt to preserve influence in the neighboring country.

    "I think we see an unprecedented level of cooperation from the Pakistanis in taking on insurgents," White House spokesman Robert Gibbs said.

    "That having been said, throughout this process and throughout these meetings this week, there will be opportunities for us to detail for the Pakistanis what more must be done," Gibbs said.

    The three-day strategic dialogue culminates Friday in talks between Clinton and Pakistani Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi. Pakistan's army chief General Ashfaq Kayani will also take part and hold talks at the Pentagon.

    Qureshi, speaking Monday at Harvard University, said that Pakistan was committed to joining the United States "to destroy the terrorist cancer that threatens all of civilization."

    "But we are first and foremost, like every nation on earth, committed to preserving our national interest," Qureshi said
     
  2.  
  3. Parthy

    Parthy Air Warrior Senior Member

    Joined:
    Aug 18, 2010
    Messages:
    1,313
    Likes Received:
    145
    And now, the wish-list will be based on Indian border... Well known US dual role in similar to its interest in C130J sale to CHINA... :angry_1:
     
  4. Tshering22

    Tshering22 Sikkimese Saber Senior Member

    Joined:
    Aug 20, 2010
    Messages:
    4,404
    Likes Received:
    2,783
    Location:
    Gangtok, Sikkim, India
    Now this is getting nasty. On one hand they talk about comprehensive strategic dialogue and sales of military equipment to India and on the other hand they talk about exporting weapons to China and giving military aid to Pakistan that will be used against us. They know it and they're using it still. I think we need to re-consider our Iran stand and further engage with them economically and strategically using the same pathetic excuse US uses for their engagements with Pakistan and China. It would perhaps give them a lesson on how it feels to be two-timed for once.
     
  5. Agantrope

    Agantrope Senior Member Senior Member

    Joined:
    Nov 1, 2009
    Messages:
    1,247
    Likes Received:
    68
    :emot15::emot15::emot15::emot15::emot15:

    Oh my beauty, this is absolute beauty

    US-India -> Startegic Military realtionship ie in layman terms, to buy their arms and feed their cos
    US-Pak -> GIve them the weapon to fight, ie in lay terms, use it and give it back to them

    It seems in the modern world US is first country to read full arthasastra.

    8 more days to november, I feel this is Game Over, before it starts :emot180:
     
  6. maomao

    maomao Veteran Hunter of Maleecha Senior Member

    Joined:
    Apr 7, 2010
    Messages:
    4,497
    Likes Received:
    4,142
    Time and again I have suggest that GOI and its cronies should move away from American boot-licking. Moreover, they should try and source their requirements from other sources. US can never be trusted it is a plutonic fact, members of US administration have always been short-sighted and self-seeking, we also have to take into account that there are a huge number of pro-pakistan administrators, civil-servants, senators and security-agents in and outside the govt., who belong to the cold war-era and still like to see themselves propagating age old alliances which have no meaning in todays goe-political scenario. Pakistan will keep on fooling and milking US like conniving milkman who milks a cow, and obtuse US administrators will keep on flushing their "Tax Payers" money down the drain (pakistan).
     
    Last edited: Oct 22, 2010
  7. LETHALFORCE

    LETHALFORCE Moderator Moderator

    Joined:
    Feb 16, 2009
    Messages:
    20,539
    Likes Received:
    6,539
    This is why many allies are questioning Usa, look at the reactions of allies like Turkey,japan,s korea etc. By the time obama is done he will have destroyed NATO alliance,lost all allies except pakistan, sold out USA to china and turned it into acsecond rate subservient bankrupt power good job obummer.
     
  8. The Messiah

    The Messiah Bow Before Me! Elite Member

    Joined:
    Aug 25, 2010
    Messages:
    10,788
    Likes Received:
    4,552
    Where is that blade buy who thinks we will achieve salvation by becoming puppets of usa ?
     
  9. maomao

    maomao Veteran Hunter of Maleecha Senior Member

    Joined:
    Apr 7, 2010
    Messages:
    4,497
    Likes Received:
    4,142
    You mean Blade Guy not "Buy", for a moment I thought we have started buying even Blades to support US economy. This govt. and its mentally slave and corrupt politicians will do anything to please US and fill their own kitties. :)
     
    Last edited: Oct 23, 2010
  10. Armand2REP

    Armand2REP CHINI EXPERT Veteran Member

    Joined:
    Dec 17, 2009
    Messages:
    10,397
    Likes Received:
    2,314
    India buys US weapons, who in turn use that money to ship them to Pakistan.
     
  11. Rage

    Rage DFI TEAM Stars and Ambassadors

    Joined:
    Feb 23, 2009
    Messages:
    5,408
    Likes Received:
    968
    Dogs. That is what the United States are.

    $2 billion of public money, plied down a sh&thole to fund and arm the world's largest crazy military against a nation they're trying to hedge up against a future superpower. Obviously, the incentive to buy American is now so much greater. I've got to give it to the Yanks: they know how to be Machiavellian in their int'l politics.

    The deal is still subject to Congressional ratification. So we can hope the US-INPAC sits up and takes notice.

    And the deal is a five-year package. Which leaves more room for ups and downs.

    The Pakistani Army though, inept as ever, can not even hold on to territory it has won. Here's a report from Congress in Sept. this year:

    http://www.fas.org/man/eprint/wh-afpak.pdf


    Zalmay Khalizad got it right when he said, 'Get tough on Pakistan', or "face the consequences":

    http://www.nytimes.com/2010/10/20/opinion/20khalilzad.html?_r=1&scp=2&sq=zalmay khalilzad&st=cse
     
  12. maomao

    maomao Veteran Hunter of Maleecha Senior Member

    Joined:
    Apr 7, 2010
    Messages:
    4,497
    Likes Received:
    4,142
    US offers Pakistan $2 billion in military aid: Clinton



    S
    WASHINGTON: The United States announced a $2 billion military aid package for Pakistan on the final day of the latest US-Pakistan strategic dialogue.

    The aid pledge, announced by Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton, provides a long-term US security commitment along the lines of the five-year, $7.5 billion civilian aid package approved by Congress last year. Unlike previous military aid approved on a yearly basis, this is a five-year package. The aid will pay for equipment needed in counter-insurgency and counter-terror operations, among other things.

    Secretary Clinton also once again urged Pakistan to reform its tax system to yield more funds for flood relief and other needs from its wealthy.

    “Now, reforming Pakistan’s tax system is one area in which tough decisions will have to be made, because it will serve a broad, double purpose,” she said.

    “A broader tax base will mean more funding for roads, bridges, power plants, and airports, all essential elements of a growing economy.” Expanding the tax base, she added, would demonstrate to the international community that all segments of Pakistani society were willing to do their own part to rebuild their own country.

    The proposed military aid package is subject to congressional approval but Secretary Clinton said the Obama administration would work with Congress for the $2 billion military aid package.

    The package covers a five-year period – from 2012 to 2016. Pakistan is likely to get $300 billion in fiscal 2010-11, which began on Oct 1. It will receive $350 million in the next fiscal year.

    The yearly pledges constitute an increase in the roughly $1.5 billion in military aid approved in 2005, which expired this year.

    US military and civilian funding for Pakistan totalled more than $3.5 billion over the last year, according to congressional estimates.

    Pakistan also receives hundreds of millions of dollars a year from the so-called Coalition Support Fund, which reimburse Pakistan for its military operations against militants, could face future cuts.

    The United States, however, has not made any reimbursement to Pakistan since May 27; the Pentagon is reviewing the requests. The US reimbursed Pakistan $1.3 billion between January and May for Pakistani operations conducted in 2008 and 2009, but has not paid for operations in 2010. Announcing the military aid package, Secretary Clinton declared that the United States had full confidence in Pakistan’s commitment to the anti-terrorist fight.

    “I want to say publicly what many of us have said privately: the United States has no stronger partner when it comes to counter-terrorism efforts against the extremists who threaten us both than Pakistan,” she said. “We recognise and appreciate the sacrifice and service that the men and women, particularly the soldiers of the military in Pakistan, have made in order to restore order and go after those who threaten the very institutions of the state of Pakistan.”

    In a joint media appearance before the plenary meeting of the three-day US-Pakistan Strategic Dialogue, Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi expressed irritation over US insinuations that Pakistan’s effort against extremism was lacking.

    Pakistan, he said, had sustained 30,000 civilian deaths in recent years in a “daily fare of suicide bombings” and other attacks. Seven-thousand Pakistani soldiers and police have lost their lives in the struggle – more than combined Nato losses in Afghanistan, Mr Qureshi added.

    “Nonetheless, it unfortunately seems easy to dismiss Pakistan’s contributions and sacrifices. There are still tongue-in-cheek comments, even in this capital, about Pakistan’s heart not really being in this fight,” he said. “We do not know what greater evidence to offer than the blood of our people. Madame Secretary, we are determined to win this fight.”

    Defence ministers and military chiefs of the two countries and cabinet members from both sides attended the plenary session.

    Secretary Clinton also made a strong commitment to the Counter-insurgency Capability Fund assistance, aimed at meeting ground requirements in the war against extremists.

    Foreign Minister Qureshi pointed out that Pakistan would not “allow any space” to terrorists on its territory, and that “there can be no distinction between good and bad terrorists”, an apparent response to US criticism that while Islamabad targeted the Pakistani Taliban, it did not go after those who operated across the border in Afghanistan.

    While expressing gratitude for US flood relief efforts, Mr Qureshi complained about a “deafening silence” by world leaders about some 100 recent deaths in a crackdown by Indian security forces on protesters in occupied Kashmir.
    And he said he hoped for a more assertive US role on Kashmir and other South Asian issues when President Obama visited India early next month.

    Secretary Clinton assured Pakistan that the United States continued its support for the rehabilitation of the flood victims as the country moves towards long-term recovery.

    She said that during the three-day talks, the two sides also deliberated upon some of “the toughest problems” confronting them.

    “So we are tackling some of the toughest problems. Nothing is being swept under the rug. And I have to say I am so impressed by the quality of our engagement from both the government and the people of Pakistan,” she said.

    Although she did not identify these tough problems, the US media reported that the Obama administration had made it clear that it expects Islamabad to do more in the fight against militants.

    http://www.dawn.com/wps/wcm/connect...billion-dollars-in-military-aid-clinton-ss-04
     
  13. Ray

    Ray The Chairman Defence Professionals Moderator

    Joined:
    Apr 17, 2009
    Messages:
    43,118
    Likes Received:
    23,543
    Location:
    Somewhere
    I fail to understand why the Indian governance is so dependent on the US.

    A bit of warming up with China will do the trick! ;)
     
  14. Agantrope

    Agantrope Senior Member Senior Member

    Joined:
    Nov 1, 2009
    Messages:
    1,247
    Likes Received:
    68
    Rage, We have no rite to see others or order to do what we want or what we want. This game is cruel one. This is their true colour. We have no other options left to use. Instead of balming others we can piss over them in the Nuke liability yet again :D
     
  15. Armand2REP

    Armand2REP CHINI EXPERT Veteran Member

    Joined:
    Dec 17, 2009
    Messages:
    10,397
    Likes Received:
    2,314
    There is one option... stop buying US arms. Should send them a message.
     
  16. ajtr

    ajtr Veteran Member Veteran Member

    Joined:
    Oct 2, 2009
    Messages:
    12,038
    Likes Received:
    715
    What? No closing reception for the Pakistani delegation?

    Posted By Josh Rogin Friday, October 22, 2010 - 6:53 PM Share
    So you've got dozens of Pakistani officials holding intensive meetings at the State Department all week, hammering out details on cooperation and trading views on points of contention. Then finally, at the end, everybody gathers in the Benjamin Franklin room at the State Department for some nice snacks, some friendly speeches, and a happy send off, right? Not this time.

    There was no standard farewell reception for the Pakistani delegation after this week's Strategic Dialogue sessions at the State Department. Your humble Cable guy, who just adores the savory parmesan flan, carrot and apricot fritters with vanilla-apricot chutney, Argentinean pulled chicken, petite lamb burgers, samosas, and sesame-encrusted salmon that are sometimes served at Foggy Bottom, was personally disappointed that there would be no formal send off. Not to pour salt in the wound, but the Indians got a reception, didn't they?

    So what happened? Well, as it turns out, both sides decided it just wasn't a great idea.

    One State Department official told The Cable that Special Representative Richard Holbrooke had proposed a reception when planning the week's dialogue agenda but that Secretary of State Hillary Clinton didn't approve the idea.

    State Department spokesman P.J. Crowley told The Cable that Clinton had a meeting she couldn't move that conflicted with the 4:00 PM reception time. He didn't specify what that meeting was, and it was not on her daily public schedule.

    "The secretary ran into a scheduling conflict. We raised it with the Pakistanis. And there was a mutual agreement to cancel the reception," Crowley said.

    The Pakistanis did not appear to be particularly perturbed by the cancellation. Our Pakistani sources said they were totally fine with skipping the reception, especially since Clinton wasn't going to be there. This way, Pakistani officials could board a 7 pm flight back to Islamabad and return to the mountain of work awaiting them there.

    We're also told privately by officials on both sides that pictures of Pakistani leaders partying with a bunch of Americans would not have been a great public relations moment for the Pakistani government, considering that the country is still reeling from the flood disaster and the Pakistani press is eager to find any reason to criticize its civilian leaders.

    As with most aspects of the U.S.-Pakistan relationship, the significance of this non-event is in the eye of the beholder. For some we talked to, this was a total non-story, just an example of another thing that didn't make it onto Clinton's ridiculously busy schedule. Others, however, saw it as a slight -- that Clinton didn't want to do the ‘grip ‘n grin' with the Pakistanis and a signal that the Obama team wanted to drive home the message that they are unhappy with Islamabad's cooperation these days.

    What's clear is that there was a lot of positive interaction this week between the U.S. and Pakistani governments, and that most actors on both sides genuinely want to see relations continue to improve. While President Obama delivered a direct message to top Pakistani officials Wednesday, calling on Pakistan to provide more help in fighting the Taliban, we're told by multiple officials that he couched his message in praise for the government's actions on other fronts and expressed genuine sympathy for the country's current flood predicament.

    At the same time, there's an underlying tension on both sides of the relationship as differences on several specific issues pile up: The Obama administration doesn't know how to convince the Pakistani military to speed up its timeline for going after groups in North Waziristan, and the Pakistani military doesn't know why they should take on such a huge risk, especially if peace talks between the Taliban and the Afghan government are gaining momentum, and the United States is preparing to leave Afghanistan.

    Some in the administration are also feeling some buyer's remorse after working hard to secure billions of dollars in aid for Pakistan, which they feel is not appreciated. But many Pakistani officials see the aid as ultimately too little to compensate for the cost of the decisions Washington is asking them to take and far too little to solve the core problems plaguing their country.

    The Pakistani leadership still views its relationship with the United States as transactional -- based on short-term deal making, rather than long-term friendship. Of course, that's exactly what the Obama administration is trying to change with structures such as the Strategic Dialogue. But that effort still has a ways to go.

    "The Pakistani point of view is, ‘exactly what's being invested in the long term?'" explained Shuja Nawaz, director of the South Asia Center at the Atlantic Council. He said that so little of the money from the Kerry-Lugar Pakistan aid bill has been delivered that the effect had been minimal.

    Nawaz is concerned that, unless the Obama administration is able to resolve some of the pressing issues facing the U.S.-Pakistani relationship, there will be little desire for future meetings of this kind.

    "The fact that [the Strategic Dialogue meetings] are still taking place is a very good thing," said Nawaz. "But unless there are some immediate results, I doubt it will go on. If it's seen like a futile endeavor, both sides are going to find ways to not be present at the highest level."

    Pakistani Ambassador Husain Haqqani did hold a very classy, tasteful reception at his residence Thursday evening, which several Pakistani and U.S. officials attended, including new U.S. Ambassador Cameron Munter and senior State Department official Robin Raphel. The buffet of Pakistani delicacies was delicious.
     
  17. Pintu

    Pintu New Member

    Joined:
    Mar 22, 2009
    Messages:
    12,076
    Likes Received:
    327
    Nothing but Obama's option to keep us under pressure , better stop inking some US Defence deals , and go from alternative sources like Russia, Israel, EU or France, reject Mid-Air refueling tanker from Boeing. Also I agree with Agantrope, the game is very 'cruel' one.

    This may work some how.

    Regards
     
  18. Pintu

    Pintu New Member

    Joined:
    Mar 22, 2009
    Messages:
    12,076
    Likes Received:
    327
    http://www.google.com/hostednews/af...ocId=CNG.5fca53d45e63867a717bba99eb385591.1f1

    US seeks to boost CIA presence in Pakistan: report

    (AFP) – 2 hours ago

    WASHINGTON — The United States is trying to expand a secret CIA operation designed to eliminate radical Islamic militants' havens located in Pakistan near the Afghan border, The Wall Street Journal reported.

    Citing unnamed senior officials, the newspaper said that in recent weeks the administration of President Barack Obama had asked Pakistan to allow additional Central Intelligence Agency officers and special operations military trainers to enter the country to intensify pressure on militants.

    The requests have so far been rebuffed by Islamabad, which remains extremely reluctant to allow a larger US ground presence in Pakistan, the report said.

    On Friday, the United States made a new bid to improve its uneasy war partnership with Pakistan by offering a two-billion-dollar arms package but warned it will not tolerate human rights abuses.

    The five-year assistance plan satisfies a key request of Pakistan's influential military, which assists the US military in Afghanistan and was initially uneasy about a US shift to civilian assistance.

    Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said Friday that the US administration would ask Congress to approve two billion dollars in military aid from 2012 to 2016, replacing an earlier five-year package that expired.

    The number of CIA personnel in Pakistan has grown substantially in recent years, The Journal said. But the exact number is highly classified.

    According to the paper, there are currently about 900 US military personnel in Pakistan, 600 of which are providing flood relief and 150 of which are assigned to the training mission.

    A senior Pakistani official said relations with the CIA remain strong but Islamabad continues to oppose a large increase in the number of American personnel on the ground, The Journal said.
     
  19. Pintu

    Pintu New Member

    Joined:
    Mar 22, 2009
    Messages:
    12,076
    Likes Received:
    327
    http://economictimes.indiatimes.com...-at-Indias-expense-US/articleshow/6797463.cms

    23 Oct, 2010, 10.14AM IST,PTI
    Relations with Pakistan not at India's expense: US

    WASHINGTON: As it announced a whopping $2.29 billion in new military aid to Pakistan despite India's concerns in this regard, the US has said its ties with Islamabad do not come at the expense of India and vice-versa.

    "This is a subject (India's concerns about US military assistance to Pakistan) that comes up in all of our discussions with high-level Indian officials. It comes up in all of our discussions with high-level Pakistani officials," US State Department spokesman P J Crowley told reporters when asked about New Delhi's concerns on the issue.

    "We continue to provide the same message to both countries. This is not a zero-sum proposition. Our assistance to Pakistan does not come at the expense of India, and our relationship with India does not come at the expense of Pakistan," he said.

    Less than a month ago, India's Defence Minister A K Antony in his meetings with US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and Defence Secretary Robert Gates had expressed his concerns that US military aid to Pakistan normally ends up being used against India.

    Clinton yesterday announced a new USD 2 billion security assistance package for Pakistan, as she pushed Islamabad to take stronger action against terrorists within the country, thus ignoring India's concerns.

    She also announced another 29 million aid to Pakistan in International Military Education and Training (IMET), thus increasing the total aid package to USD 2.29 billion.

    "This is a subject (India's concerns about US military assistance to Pakistan) that comes up in all of our discussions with high-level Indian officials. It comes up in all of our discussions with high-level Pakistani officials," State Department spokesman P J Crowley told reporters when asked about India's concerns in this regard.

    "We continue to provide the same message to both countries. This is not a zero-sum proposition. Our assistance to Pakistan does not come at the expense of India, and our relationship with India does not come at the expense of Pakistan," he said.

    Crowley, however, dodged the question on if there is any safeguard in the aid package to prevent Pakistan from diverting the money from counter-insurgency or counter- terrorism purposes.

    "Well, all countries are sovereign, but by the same token, we've tailored this package we believe to improve training and equipping that is focused on our counter- insurgency programmes," he said.
     
  20. Pintu

    Pintu New Member

    Joined:
    Mar 22, 2009
    Messages:
    12,076
    Likes Received:
    327
    http://economictimes.indiatimes.com...an-US-tells-Islamabad/articleshow/6785619.cms

    21 Oct, 2010, 11.55AM IST,IANS
    India isn't a threat to Pakistan, US tells Islamabad

    WASHINGTON: The US on Wednesday reiterated that it has clearly told Islamabad that "existential threat to Pakistan is not India; the existential threat to Pakistan involves extremism within its own borders".

    It also said that Pakistan, India and Iran can play a "constructive role" in a regional solution to Afghanistan.

    "We have made no secret of the fact that we've told Pakistan clearly that we believe that the existential threat to Pakistan is not India; the existential threat to Pakistan involves extremism within its own borders," State Department spokesman P.J. Crowley told reporters Wednesday.

    On Afghanistan, he said: "We are supporting an Afghan-led process. We recognise that ultimately, the solution in Afghanistan involves effective military action, but also involves political reconciliation."

    "But to the extent that the solution to Afghanistan does involve a regional solution, we recognize that Pakistan, India, Iran, other countries have an interest in a stable Afghanistan and can play a constructive role."

    Crowley's comments came as US and Pakistani officials began three days of strategic talks covering a wide range of issues, including defence, economic, agricultural and infrastructure development, as well as building government institutions.

    Asked if the reported $2 billion new military assistance package for Pakistan would set off an arms race with India, he said: It's not about an arms race. We have had discussions with Pakistan to build up their capabilities, but also how to direct those capabilities."

    The US, he said, "wants to make sure that Pakistan is playing a constructive role in the region and is establishing an appropriate and constructive relationship with Afghanistan going forward."

    "Afghanistan is sovereign. It has a right to chart its own future," Crowley said. "But it will also, we recognise, have relationships with its neighbours, which will include Pakistan, which will include India, which will include Iran, and will include other countries."

    "And so we are in dialogue with all of these countries to try to build effective, sustainable relationships across the region."

    "We believe that there the potential for cooperation certainly outweighs what might be perceptions s about competition in the region," he said. "We want to see a stable, peaceful region, and a significant part of that involves helping to shape a stable, peaceful Afghanistan."

    Crowley noted that Pakistan has made progress with military campaigns in the border regions of Swat and South Waziristan but added the US wants additional focus on North Waziristan.

    "Clearly while we've seen aggressive action by Pakistan in recent months, more does need to be done," he said. "There are still safe havens within its territory that need to be addressed."
     
  21. ajtr

    ajtr Veteran Member Veteran Member

    Joined:
    Oct 2, 2009
    Messages:
    12,038
    Likes Received:
    715
    U.S. Seeks Wider CIA Role in Pakistan

    U.S. Seeks Wider CIA Role in Pakistan

    Efforts to Intensify Targeting of Taliban on Pakistani Soil Have Been Rebuffed by Islamabad
    WASHINGTON—The U.S. is pushing to expand a secret CIA effort to help Pakistan target militants in their havens near the Afghan border, according to senior officials, as the White House seeks new ways to prod Islamabad into more aggressive action against groups allied with al Qaeda,

    The push comes as relations between Washington and Islamabad have soured over U.S. impatience with the slow pace of Pakistani strikes against militants who routinely attack U.S.-led troops in Afghanistan. President Barack Obama has said he will begin to withdraw troops from Afghanistan in July, increasing the urgency to show progress in the nine-year war against the Taliban.

    The U.S. asked Pakistan in recent weeks to allow additional Central Intelligence Agency officers and special operations military trainers to enter the country as part of Washington's efforts to intensify pressure on militants.

    The requests have so far been rebuffed by Islamabad, which remains extremely wary of allowing a larger U.S. ground presence in Pakistan, illustrating the precarious nature of relations between Washington and its wartime ally.

    The number of CIA personnel in Pakistan has grown substantially in recent years. The exact number is highly classified. The push for more forces reflects, in part, the increased need for intelligence to support the CIA drone program that has killed hundreds of militants with missile strikes. The additional officers could help Pakistani forces reach targets drones can't.

    There are currently about 900 U.S. military personnel in Pakistan, 600 of which are providing flood relief and 150 of which are assigned to the training mission.

    A senior Pakistani official said relations with the CIA remain strong but Islamabad continues to oppose a large increase in the number of American personnel on the ground.

    The Obama administration has been ramping up pressure on Islamabad in recent weeks to attack militants after months of publicly praising Pakistani efforts. The CIA has intensified drone strikes in Pakistan, and the military in Afghanistan has carried out cross-border helicopter raids, underlining U.S. doubts Islamabad can be relied upon to be more aggressive. Officials have even said they were going to stop asking for Pakistani help with the U.S.'s most difficult adversary in the region, the North Waziristan-based Haqqani network, because it was unproductive.

    The various moves reflect a growing belief that the Pakistani safe havens are a bigger threat to Afghan stability than previously thought.

    When senior Pakistani officials visited Washington this week, Obama administration officials signaled they are willing to push for a long-term military aid package. But they also have made clear to Pakistani officials they expect tangible results, and they threatened that current cash payments to Pakistan could be reduced if things don't improve in tribal areas such as North Waziristan.

    The current efforts to expand CIA presence are meant to expand intelligence collection and facilitate more aggressive Pakistani-led actions on the ground. Some U.S. officials, however, remain hopeful that Islamabad will allow a greater covert presence that could include CIA paramilitary forces.

    Given Pakistan's objections to U.S. ground troops, using more CIA paramilitary forces could be a "viable option," said a government official. "That gives them a little bit of cover," the official added, referring to the Pakistanis.

    U.S. officials said a stronger U.S-Pakistan intelligence partnership would not be a substitute for closer working relationship with the military's special operation forces.

    Much of the on-ground intelligence in Pakistan is gathered by the country's Inter-Services Intelligence agency. Some U.S. officials believe Pakistan wants the U.S. to remain dependent on the ISI for that intelligence.

    While the Obama administration has been focused on North Waziristan, officials said there also is a need for Pakistani operations in the southern city of Quetta and the surrounding province of Baluchistan. The U.S. hopes that if it can develop precise information on militant leaders, it could entice the Pakistan government to arrest some top members of the Quetta Shura, the ruling council of the Afghan Taliban movement.

    Some officials are hopeful that Islamabad will reverse course and grant the additional CIA and military visas in the coming days. The Pakistani government has in the past used its control over visas to express displeasure with U.S. policy and limit the number of Americans who can work in the country.

    Tensions remain between the Pakistan military and the U.S. military in Afghanistan, especially after a series of cross border raids by NATO in recent weeks.

    In September, the CIA stepped up the pace of drone strikes in Pakistan, in part to counter suspected terrorism plots in western Europe as well as cross-border attacks by the Haqqani network. The stepped-up activity by the CIA has received little criticism from Pakistan, and tacit support from the government.

    CIA Director Leon Panetta, who visited Islamabad late last month, said ISI has been "very cooperative," playing down tensions over U.S. allegations that elements of the intelligence agency were helping the Haqqanis and other militant groups fighting the U.S. "We're getting good cooperation," Mr. Panetta said.

    Pakistani officials believe the CIA is better able to keep details of its operations largely out of the public eye, although the agency's drone program has received widespread attention and is enormously unpopular with the Pakistani public.

    U.S. military forces on the ground remain a red line for Islamabad. A senior Pakistani official said if the Pakistan public became aware of U.S. military forces conducting combat operations on Pakistani territory, it would wipe out popular support for fighting the militants in the tribal areas. Whether covert CIA forces would cross that line however, remains an open question.
     

Share This Page