5 years, 6 months ago
The Captain’s Journal previously noted the likely Haqqani network connections to the attack on the U.S. Embassy in Kabul.
Now we have Admiral Mullen and Defense Secretary Panetta confirming that a spate of recent, deadly attacks against Americans in Kabul were the work of the Haqqani network with direct, Pakistani support:
Pakistan-based insurgents planned and conducted some of the major attacks in Afghanistan recently, including the one on the U.S. Embassy in Kabul last week, with the support of Pakistan’s intelligence service, senior U.S. defense officials told Congress on Thursday.
“The Haqqani network … acts as a veritable arm of Pakistan’s Inter-Services Intelligence agency,” Adm. Mike Mullen, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, said. “With ISI support, Haqqani operatives plan and conducted” a truck bomb attack that wounded more than 70 U.S. and NATO troops on Sept. 11, “as well as the assault on our embassy” two days later.
“We also have credible intelligence that they were behind the June 28th attack on the Intercontinental Hotel in Kabul and a host of smaller but effective operations,” he added.
Mullen’s statement to the Senate Armed Services Committee, together with remarks by Defense Secretary Leon Panetta to the panel, were the most specific in a week of strong administration criticism of Pakistan.
Lovely. Can someone please explain how the definition of an act of war came to have this apparent asterisk attached to it? If Pakistan had sent jets over the border to attack the U.S. Embassy in Kabul (which international law recognizes as a sovereign piece of U.S. territory), it would be war. But if Pakistan merely assists unlawful combatants to bomb and shoot up our embassy, it is something else entirely.
No one seems to want to put a name to it or to even speculate generally what the U.S. response to this act of war might be:
Both Mullen and Panetta resisted lawmakers’ attempts to describe what Sen. Carl Levin (D-Mich.), the chairman of the committee, called “the kind of options available to us to stop” Pakistani support for the insurgents and the “actions the administration is prepared to take” to ensure it.
“We’ve made clear that we are going to do everything we have to do to defend our forces,” Panetta said. “I don’t think it would be helpful to describe what those options would look like and what operational steps we might or might not face.”
The administration has insisted that Pakistan sever its ties with the insurgents, in particular the Haqqani forces based in the tribal region of North Waziristan, and supply all available intelligence on the group. Although senior administration officials have said they would prefer to work together with Pakistan against the group, they have indicated they are prepared to consider an expansion of drone strikes in the region, as well as surgical ground strikes, according to senior administration officials.
“The first order now,” Panetta told lawmakers, “is to put as much pressure on Pakistan as we can to deal with this issue.”
Levin noted that similar public pressure has continued for several years, and asked whether “Pakistan’s leaders are aware of what options are open to us, so they’re not caught by any surprise.”
“I don’t think they would be surprised by the actions that we might or might not take,” Panetta said.
Well, Pakistan is quaking in their boots I am sure. We are making it, “clear [to Pakistan] that we are going to do everything we have to do to defend our forces.”
Pakistan is not simply tugging on Superman’s cape. They are grabbing it and throwing it over Superman’s head and laughing their collective arses off. The lack of a firm and memorable response by the U.S. is going to invite even more brazen attacks, more dead Americans and the erosion of what little credibility the U.S. has left overseas. We are becoming that rich, doddering Uncle Sam who lavishes gifts on his nephews and nieces even while they hide his glasses and set up obstacles for him to trip over. Pathetic old man, but good for a few bucks and a laugh.