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Is U.S. “Counter-Terrorism” Pushing Pakistan to Brink?
WASHINGTON - July 14 - AP reports “Gen. David Petraeus, the outgoing U.S. commander in Afghanistan [and incoming CIA director], and his soon-to-be successor met with top military leaders in Pakistan on Thursday.” Meanwhile, the head of Pakistani intelligence, Lt. Gen. Ahmed Shuja Pasha, is in Washington, D.C. meeting with top U.S. officials.
FRED BRANFMAN, fredbranfman at aol.com
Branfman just wrote “Obama’s Secret Wars: How Our Shady Counter-Terrorism Policies Are More Dangerous Than Terrorism.” Branfman is best known for having exposed the U.S. and CIA secret war in Laos.
He said today: “Although packaged as involving only ‘surgical’ strikes, the U.S. ‘counter-terrorism strategy’ already involves tens of thousands of ‘special operations’ troops and thousands of drones in six Muslim countries — Afghanistan, Pakistan, Iraq, Libya, Somalia and Yemen. Seven thousand U.S. troops in Afghanistan and 3,000 in Iraq alone are engaged in round-the-clock assassinations.
“The Los Angeles Times reported on President Obama’s new ‘National Strategy for Counterterrorism’ released on June 29, writing that ‘John Brennan, President Obama’s counter-terrorism advisor, said in a speech that … [in Afghanistan and Pakistan] the U.S. has been delivering ‘precise and overwhelming force’ against militants [and] ‘there hasn’t been a single collateral death because of the exceptional proficiency, precision of the capabilities that we’ve been able to develop.’
“In Pakistan, perhaps the major laboratory for U.S. ‘counter-terrorism’ strategy to date, any success in killing 56 named ‘al-Qaeda leaders’ out of a total of 1,900 victims of drone attacks, which includes many civilians unlike Mr. Brennan’s delusional claims, must be weighed against the fact that U.S. policy has contributed to a vast increase in overall militant strength. U.S. drone strikes and pressure on the Pakistani military to attack tribal areas have driven many militants east into Karachi and the Punjabi heartland, vastly increasing their numbers and creating countless new potential suicide bombers, unifying militant groups and seeing incidents of reported terrorism quadruple from an annual average in 2004-8 of 470 to 1723 in 2009-10.
“U.S. ‘counter-terrorism’ has also increased a growing nuclear threat: U.S. ‘counter-terror’ drone strikes have contributed to 59 percent of Pakistanis — over 110 million people — now regarding the U.S. as their ‘enemy.’ This virulently anti-U.S. public opinion, according to former U.S. Ambassador Anne Patterson, is the main reason the Pakistani government has refused to cooperate with the U.S. in safeguarding its nuclear stockpile, the world’s fastest growing and least secure; increasing danger of a pro-extremist military coup. Although critics are correct in criticizing a corrupt and duplicitous Pakistani government and military, the incontrovertible fact is that the focus on U.S. ‘counter-terrorism’ is making the situation there far, far worse and increasing the likelihood of a coup that would be devastating to U.S. interests.”
Branfman’s previous articles include “WikiLeaks Exposes the Danger of Pakistan’s Nukes.”