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How Pakistan’s ISI Supports The Taliban

From a surprisingly surprised New York Times:

Afghan Strikes by Taliban Get Pakistan Help, U.S. Aides Say

March 26, 2009

WASHINGTON — The Taliban’s widening campaign in southern Afghanistan is made possible in part by direct support from operatives in Pakistan’s military intelligence agency, despite Pakistani government promises to sever ties to militant groups fighting in Afghanistan, according to American government officials

Support for the Taliban, as well as other militant groups, is coordinated by operatives inside the shadowy S Wing of Pakistan’s spy service, the Directorate for Inter-Services Intelligence, the officials said. There is even evidence that ISI operatives meet regularly with Taliban commanders to discuss whether to intensify or scale back violence before the Afghan elections.

Details of the ISI’s continuing ties to militant groups were described by a half-dozen American, Pakistani and other security officials during recent interviews in Washington and the Pakistani capital, Islamabad. All requested anonymity because they were discussing classified and sensitive intelligence information.

The American officials said proof of the ties between the Taliban and Pakistani spies came from electronic surveillance and trusted informants. The Pakistani officials interviewed said that they had firsthand knowledge of the connections, though they denied that the ties were strengthening the insurgency.

American officials have complained for more than a year about the ISI’s support to groups like the Taliban. But the new details reveal that the spy agency is aiding a broader array of militant networks with more diverse types of support than was previously known — even months after Pakistani officials said that the days of the ISI’s playing a “double game” had ended…

Little is publicly known about the ISI’s S Wing, which officials say directs intelligence operations outside of Pakistan. American officials said that the S Wing provided direct support to three major groups carrying out attacks in Afghanistan: the Taliban based in Quetta, Pakistan, commanded by Mullah Muhammad Omar; the militant network run by Gulbuddin Hekmatyar; and a different group run by the guerrilla leader Jalaluddin Haqqani…

When the groups needed to replenish their ranks, it would be operatives from the S Wing who often slipped into radical madrasas across Pakistan to drum up recruits, the officials said.

The ISI support for militants extends beyond those operating in the tribal areas of northwest Pakistan. American officials said the spy agency had also shared intelligence with Lashkar-e-Taiba, the Pakistan-based militant group suspected in the deadly attacks in Mumbai, India, and provided protection for it

This article, which came out last Wednesday night, has not gotten nearly enough attention.

Especially given Mr. Obama’s subsequent announcement on Friday of his plans to increase aid to Pakistan dramatically.

Of course the ISI’s role in helping the Taliban is not really news. In fact, the ISI (and the now Sainted Benazir Bhutto) practically created the Taliban out of whole cloth.

But in light of these latest confirmations, it is hard not to see aid to Pakistan as also aid to the Taliban, however indirectly they receive it.

This article was posted by Steve on Saturday, March 28th, 2009. Comments are currently closed.

5 Responses to “How Pakistan’s ISI Supports The Taliban”

  1. DoctorRock says:

    What a shock! Corruption and duplicity in the Middle East? Next you’d have us believe the same of some of the Mexican authorities! But assuming there’s some truth to this, wouldn’t it be great if we had a vital counter-intelligence agency? Then we could use suspected double agents by feeding them bad information. Perhaps we could mislead them into committing great tactical blunders. At least we could create doubt and confusion in their ranks. Now here’s an occasion where our administration SHOULD look to the Soviets for a model! What would Comrade Putin do?

  2. Howard Roark says:

    Right on, Dr Rock! Too bad we don’t have a real commander-in-chief, though, who actually cares about our fighting men and women on the field. This wannabe in office is a man-boy who actually believes all of the leftist dribble about America being a big bully, and needs to be taken down a peg or two.

    He will send under-supported infantry on Somali-like operations that accomplish nothing but a splash of headlines for an afternoon. Then, when angry patriots like SFC Randall Shughart’s family confront him about his limp-wristed attempt to eradicate the Taliban/al-Qaeda/Pakistani threat, he will have a Clinton-like response of, “Why are they made at me? I didn’t kill the kid.” http://sweetness-light.com/archive/what-would-clinton-do

    While simultaneously sending in real men to kill Pakistani’s, he apologizes to the world for US missile defense systems in Poland and the Ukraine. Typical Orwellian doublespeak from an adolescent who has never led men.

  3. canary says:

    The Pakistans have been helping the Taliban since day 1 of 9/11, dancing in the streets. Pentagon officials have known for 8 years where Bin Laden is, and that Pakistan keeps letting him cross the border. Obama initially said we would not be involved in Afganistans rehabilitation, policitcs, and now Obama is creating another Iraq situation that he whined about for 6 years now. What a hypocrite.
    I do not trust Obama in protecting our troops. He sent back millions of bullet proof vests manufactures presented, and it is my opinion, that he would not mind the attrition of our troops, so he can build his own army. We may end up like these middle-eastern countries by the time Obama is through.
    And what about Obama and Hillary saying we should get oil for aiding these countries. Democrats can ask for things like that, while Republicans dare not.

    • canary says:

      correction: Obama and Hillary did suggest at least twice during campaigns that we should ask for oil if we were to remain helping Iraq. Next thing John Kerry is over there offering 5 billion dollars, and we are offering more money?

    • Rusty Shackleford says:

      Not so much hypocrite as he is an ignorant, arrogant bastard. Sitting on the sidelines watching is not the same as sitting in the hotseat, and in his case, BEING FORCED to make decisions.

      Unfortunately, and also very sadly, I have to go back and revisit one of my posts to caligirl where I said “this isn’t Vietnam”. But there are now some very “vietnam-esque” traits happening.

      Bo-Bo is about to become “the general”. After so many weeks of partying and jetting about like a rock star, it is slowly sinking in that the American public just might not see him as the responsible type, and like a true narcissist, he has to do some damage control.

      What better way than to “go talk to those general guys and open up a can of whoop-ass on the enemy….then they’ll HAVE to take me seriously.”

      Remember president Johnson and the way he kept getting our boys killed? The entire administration was responsible for a “war of escalation” with key strategic and tactical targets off-limits in order to preserve his political career. What Johnson failed to realize and Obama is a cookie-cutter copy of the same aspiration, is that you can’t have it both ways. They fail to realize that they are not the ones who should be running the battleplan.

      And, with Obama, there is nothing worse than having him micromanage anything having to do with the military. What I foresee is this:

      The generals will (once again, as with Vietnam) become hog-tied and hobbled by politically driven restrictions, thus resulting in more US soldiers killed.

      That equipment needed on the battlefield will not be forthcoming because the administration and Obama will want to show the public a scaling down of the military while at the same time declaring victory over and over in Afghanistan.

      Of all the money that is to be spent in the “stimu-loss” plan, none of it goes to military hardware.

      The fundamental problem is that this administration and the president all hate the military with a bile-boiling, gut-wrenching, core hatred. That kind of hatred can only come from years of being taught how to hate.

      And they, even if they were the most well-intentioned souls on the planet……they cannot escape themselves and their vile anger towards anything in uniform. So when generals ask for more equipment, they will get “how little can you take to get the job done?” and a repeat of generals who are afraid for their careers not cooperating with this pathetic administration.

      When the US went into Iraq in 1991, we won quickly, efficiently and that was as much a testimony to our military as it was to the fact that President Bush gave his generals the freedom to do as they saw fit to get the job done.

      Anytime the government intervenes in such things, it costs US lives. This is not to say there is a broader scope, which is something to the effect of a president saying what the objective is and allowing the generals to do so. But micromanaging and hand-picking targets is what happened in Vietnam and, some say, prolonged an operation way beyond its practical limit.

      I fear the same will happen here. Well, it’s beyond fear. That fear is realized simply by virtue of the president we have. Management is not his forte’. Denying that of himself, he will, naturally, find himself the best choice to “play army” and show everyone that he is a “masterful” tactician. After all, it works in politics, why not the battlefield, right?

      So in one, sad sense, it’s good that this administration lifted the ban on photographing caskets of soldiers’ remains being repatriated because the world is about to see what happens when a president of Obama’s ineptitude tries to run a war.

      I think Code Pink will then do an about face and want to skewer this anointed saintly prince among criminals.

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