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'Beyond Madness': Obama's War on Terror Setting Nuclear-Armed Pakistan on Fire

Rather than seeking to stabilize Pakistan, General David Petraeus has been irresponsibly lighting matches with his shortsighted use of Special Forces and drone strikes.

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After destabilizing Pakistan at Centcom, however, Petraeus has made things even worse since becoming Afghan commander in June of this year. The NY Times reported:

Petraeus, has been pulling out all the stops (including) pressing the Central Intelligence Agency to ramp up Predator and Reaper drone operations in Pakistan. He has also, through the not-so-veiled threat of cross-border ground operations, put pressure on the Pakistani Army to pursue militants in the tribal areas even as the army has continued to struggle with relief from the catastrophic floods this summer.

Nothing symbolizes Petraeus' misplaced priorities more than the report in the same story that:

Petraeus has also, through the not-so-veiled threat of cross-border ground operations, put pressure on the Pakistani Army to pursue militants in the tribal areas even as the army has continued to struggle with relief from the catastrophic floods this summer.

Yes. Petraeus has pushed the Pakistani army to stop helping the millions of its own desperate people facing starvation, homelessness and disease so as to fight America's war in Afghanistan.

He is doing so through threats and bribes. On October 22 news agencies reported that the Obama administration offered $2.3 billion to the Pakistani military to attack tribal areas but also, according to the Wall Street Journal , “threatened that current cash payments to Pakistan could be reduced if things don’t improve in … North Waziristan.”

The same article also reported that Petraeus is pushing the Pakistani government to accept more clandestine U.S. military personnel in Pakistan – key to understanding Petraeus' recklessness. Knowing he cannot shore up a Karzai government he privately calls a "criminal syndicate" according to Woodward, he has instead turned to mass assassination. ABC News recently reported: "Petraeus said the number of counterterrorism, or precision special forces-type raids in Afghanistan, is three to four times as many as were conducted at the height of the surge in Iraq." David Ignatius, a strong admirer of “warrior-statesman” Petraeus, recently reported that the general is executing:

...a strategy whose biggest successes have come from hard-nosed counterterrorist tactics -- the midnight raid, kick-down-the-door ferocity of the Joint Special Operations Command ... According to one Special Forces operative, a recent review of operations Petraeus requested showed that 90 percent of the operational success in Afghanistan has come from 5 percent of the forces -- primarily those secret JSOC teams.

Petraeus is clearly pushing for Pakistani permission to increase clandestine U.S. Special Forces and U.S.-directed local assassination operations in Pakistan territory. Yet the Wall Street Journal once again makes clear that what Petraeus wants for Afghanistan threatens to destabilize Pakistan:

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.

Petraeus has clearly badly bungled in Pakistan, not only destabilizing its government but raising anti-American hatred to unprecedented heights. Newsweek recently reported, "In July, only 17 percent of Pakistanis held a favorable view of America, a number that's no doubt dropped since then."

The conflict between Petraeus and rationality in Pakistan will eventually reach its peak in coming months over his all-out attempts to pressure the Pakistani military into attacking North Waziristan, Pakistan's far northwest. Since the Pakistani military and government have been unable to secure Swat, an integral part of Pakistan, they will obviously be even less successful in remote North Waziristan. And what is even worse is that if U.S. and Pakistani attacks there were successful, it would only geometrically increase jihadist activity in Pakistan proper.

 
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