Friday, September 30, 2011

Oil, Drugs & the Future of Afghanistan.

WASHINGTON, Sept 29: President Barack Obama and Uzbekistan’s leader Islam Karimov discussed on Thursday expanding US use of the Central Asian country as a supply route for troops in Afghanistan amid growing concern about the viability of Pakistan as a transit route. The White House said Mr Obama called President Karimov on Wednesday to congratulate the former Soviet republic on its 20th anniversary of independence and that the leaders talked about shared interests in a “secure and prosperous” Afghanistan. A senior Obama administration official said the use of Uzbek territory, which already serves as a key supply route for US war supplies, was an “important topic of discussion”. US senators have also made a clear push for improving ties with Uzbekistan so that more supplies can be moved to and from Afghanistan through the ‘Northern Distribution Network’. The Senate Appropriations Committee last week approved a bill that would allow the US to waive restrictions on aid to Uzbekistan if Secretary of State Hillary Clinton certifies this is needed to obtain access to Afghanistan. The restrictions had been placed over Uzbekistan’s human rights record. “We’re going to probably replace 50 per cent of what we ship into Afghanistan from Pakistan, to go through the northern route, Uzbekistan,” Senator Lindsey Graham said this week. — Reuters. REFERENCES: US discusses supply route with Uzbekistan From the Newspaper (14 hours ago) Today  James Montgomery Flagg (1877-1960) I Want You for the U.S. Army 

Uzbekistan Human Rights - Human Rights Concerns - Uzbekistan's disastrous human rights record worsened further in 2005 after a government massacre of demonstrators in Andijan in May. The government committed major violations of the rights to freedom of religion, expression, association, and assembly, and such abuses only increased after the May massacre. Uzbekistan has no independent judiciary, and torture is widespread in both pre-trial and post-conviction facilities. The government continues its practice of controlling, intimidating, and arbitrarily suspending or interfering with the work of civil society groups, the media, human rights activists, and opposition political parties. In particular, repression against independent journalists, human rights defenders, and opposition members increased this year. Government declarations of human rights reform, such as an announcement that the government will abolish the death penalty and the president's declaration of support for habeas corpus had no practical impact. REFERENCE: Uzbekistan Human Rights Human Rights Concerns  Annual Report: Uzbekistan 2011 Obama cozies up to Central Asian dictator by Justin Elliott Published in: September 17, 2011 

The presidential electoral campaign of Barack Obama in 2008, it was thought, “changed the political debate in a party and a country that desperately needed to take a new direction.”[1] Like most preceding presidential winners dating back at least to John F. Kennedy, what moved voters of all descriptions to back Obama was the hope he offered of significant change. Yet within a year Obama has taken decisive steps, not just to continue America’s engagement in Bush’s Afghan War, but significantly to enlarge it into Pakistan. If this was change of a sort, it was a change that few voters desired. Those of us convinced that a war machine prevails in Washington were not surprised. The situation was similar to the disappointment experienced with Jimmy Carter: Carter was elected in 1976 with a promise to cut the defense budget. Instead, he initiated both an expansion of the defense budget and also an expansion of U.S. influence into the Indian Ocean.[2]

As I wrote in The Road to 9/11, after Carter’s election

It appeared on the surface that with the blessing of David Rockefeller’s Trilateral Commission, the traditional U.S. search for unilateral domination would be abandoned. But…the 1970s were a period in which a major “intellectual counterrevolution” was mustered, to mobilize conservative opinion with the aid of vast amounts of money…. By the time SALT II was signed in 1979, Carter had consented to significant new weapons programs and arms budget increases (reversing his campaign pledge).[3] The complex strategy for reversing Carter’s promises was revived for a successful new mobilization in the 1990s during the Clinton presidency, in which a commission headed by Donald Rumsfeld was prominent. In this way the stage was set, even under Clinton, for the neocon triumph in the George W. Bush presidency. REFERENCE: Obama and Afghanistan: America’s Drug-Corrupted War by Prof Peter Dale Scott Global Research, January 1, 2010  Peter Dale Scott, a former Canadian diplomat and English Professor at the University of California, Berkeley, is a poet, writer, and researcher. 

Oil, Drugs & the Future of Afghanistan by Peter Dale Scott - Part 1 of 6


Zalmay Khalilzad Maulavi Younus Khalis & Ronald Reagan - Trans-Afghan pipeline woes - The US is also very much implicated in the resuscitation of the Trans-Afghan gas pipeline, TAP - despite the endless political mess in Afghanistan. Halliburton - after making a killing in Iraq - would be expected to be on board in Afghanistan. The Japanese-dominated Asian Development Bank (ADB) is also very much interested. Unocal still officially maintains that it has lost interest in the Trans-Afghan gas pipeline it abandoned in 1998. But it wouldn't say no to an oil pipeline following the same route. In a predictable move, the Bush administration appointed its pet Afghan, oil man Zalmay Khalilzad, as Washington's ambassador to Kabul. Khalilzad, born in Mazar-i-Sharif in northern Afghanistan but also pure University of Chicago right-wing material, has already worked with grand chess board master Zbigniew Brzezinski, former US national security advisor, and under Pentagon number two Paul Wolfowitz. It was Khalilzad - when he was a huge Taliban fan - who conducted the risk analysis for Unocal (Union Oil Company of California) for the infamous proposed $2 billion, 1,500 kilometer-long Turkmenistan-Afghanistan-Pakistan,TAP, gas pipeline. While Russian President Vladimir Putin has demonstrated keen interest in an Eurasian gas alliance, Turkmenistan's main concern is to free itself from dependence on the Center Trunkline which connects the whole Central Asian gas network to the Russian system. Afghanistan's Hamid Karzai, for his part, needs money from gas transit, and Pakistan President General Pervez Musharraf needs to keep strategic ties with Afghanistan. Once again, this is Pipelineistan as power politics. But TAP may reveal itself to be a hugely impractical proposition - basically because Afghanistan remains a country at war. Nobody for the moment wants to invest in TAP. Niyazov, Turkmenistan's unpredictable president, even had to court Russian gas giant Gazprom, which showed no interest. To top it all, nobody trusts Niyazov. Gazprom calculated that importing Turkmen gas is cheaper than developing remote Arctic and Siberian fields. So it looks for the moment that Russia's gas OPEC may be emerging as the winner. REFERENCE: Pipelineistan revisited By Pepe Escobar Central Asia Dec 25, 2003 

Oil, Drugs & the Future of Afghanistan by Peter Dale Scott - Part 2 of 6


Dec. 15, 1997 A Taliban delegation has visited Washington and was received by some State Department officials. The Talib delegation's meeting with U.S. Undersecretary of State for South Asia Karl Inderforth was arranged by the Unocal, which is eager to build a pipeline to pump gas from Turkmenistan to Pakistan via Afghan territory. "We made our position clear, namely that the pipeline could be useful for Afghanistan's rehabilitation, but only if the situation was settled there by political means", a State Department official said on condition of anonymity. He stated that the Taliban representatives were told that they should form "a broadly-based government together with their rivals before the ambitious project to build an oil and gas pipeline is launched". According to Taliban assessments, only one pipeline could yield almost $ 300 mm for rehabilitating the war-ravaged Afghanistan. The Taliban delegation included Acting Minister for Mines and Industry Ahmed Jan, Acting Minister for Culture and Information Amir Muttaqi, Acting Minister for Planning Din Muhammad, and recently appointed Taliban Permanent Delegate on the United Nations Mujahid. A State Department official described the talks as "open and useful". He said that they also touched on the production of opium and open poppy on the Taliban-controlled territory, human rights, treatment of women, and on America's attitude to the projected pipeline. Asked whether there could be problems for the U.S. government if it backed the commercial investments into a country, which is ruled by Islamic fundamentalists, who, according to western standards, are oppressing women, the State Department official said that any real "political settlement" would resolve this problem. In the meantime, Secretary of State Madeleine Albright described the Talib government only a month ago as something quite disgusting due to its policy of oppressing women. FOR FURTHER READING: Taliban visit Washington Volume 3, issue #6 - 25-02-1998 Read this US Government Declassified Documents. UN lifts sanctions on five former Taliban officials Wednesday, 27 Jan, 2010 Taliban leaders may join Afghan govt: US By Anwar Iqbal Tuesday, 26 Jan, 2010 Mullah Omar open to talks: Colonel Imam Tuesday, 26 Jan, 2010

Oil, Drugs & the Future of Afghanistan by Peter Dale Scott - Part 3 of 6


President George Bush recently boasted: "When I take action, I'm not going to fire a $2 million missile at a $10 empty tent and hit a camel in the butt. It's going to be decisive." President Bush should know that there are no targets in Afghanistan that will give his missiles their money's worth. Perhaps, if only to balance his books, he should develop some cheaper missiles to use on cheaper targets and cheaper lives in the poor countries of the world. But then, that may not make good business sense to the Coalition's weapons manufacturers. It wouldn't make any sense at all, for example, to the Carlyle Group—described by the Industry Standard as 'the world's largest private equity firm', with $12 billion under management. Carlyle invests in the defence sector and makes its money from military conflicts and weapons spending. Carlyle is run by men with impeccable credentials. Former US defence secretary Frank Carlucci is Carlyle's chairman and managing director (he was a college roommate of Donald Rumsfeld's). Carlyle's other partners include former US secretary of state James A. Baker III, George Soros, Fred Malek (George Bush Sr's campaign manager). An American paper—the Baltimore Chronicle and Sentinel—says that former President George Bush Sr is reported to be seeking investments for the Carlyle Group from Asian markets. He is reportedly paid not inconsiderable sums of money to make 'presentations' to potential government-clients. Ho Hum. As the tired saying goes, it's all in the family. Then there's that other branch of traditional family business—oil. Remember, President George Bush (Jr) and Vice-President Dick Cheney both made their fortunes working in the US oil industry. Turkmenistan, which borders the northwest of Afghanistan, holds the world's third largest gas reserves and an estimated six billion barrels of oil reserves. Enough, experts say, to meet American energy needs for the next 30 years (or a developing country's energy requirements for a couple of centuries.) America has always viewed oil as a security consideration, and protected it by any means it deems necessary. Few of us doubt that its military presence in the Gulf has little to do with its concern for human rights and almost entirely to do with its strategic interest in oil. Oil and gas from the Caspian region currently moves northward to European markets. Geographically and politically, Iran and Russia are major impediments to American interests. In 1998, Dick Cheney—then CEO of Halliburton, a major player in the oil industry—said: "I can't think of a time when we've had a region emerge as suddenly to become as strategically significant as the Caspian. It's almost as if the opportunities have arisen overnight." True enough. For some years now, an American oil giant called Unocal has been negotiating with the Taliban for permission to construct an oil pipeline through Afghanistan to Pakistan and out to the Arabian Sea. From here, Unocal hopes to access the lucrative 'emerging markets' in South and Southeast Asia. In December 1997, a delegation of Taliban mullahs travelled to America and even met US State Department officials and Unocal executives in Houston.At that time the Taliban's taste for public executions and its treatment of Afghan women were not made out to be the crimes against humanity that they are now. Over the next six months, pressure from hundreds of outraged American feminist groups was brought to bear on the Clinton administration. Fortunately, they managed to scuttle the deal. And now comes the US oil industry's big chance. REFERENCE: FRONTLINES War Is Peace The world doesn't have to choose between the Taliban and the US government. All the beauty of the world—literature, music, art—lies between these two fundamentalist poles. Arundhati Roy Magazine | Oct 29, 2001 

Oil, Drugs & the Future of Afghanistan by Peter Dale Scott - Part 4 of 6


America’s Addiction to Drug-Assisted War: Afghanistan the 1980s - It is hard to demonstrate the CIA, when unilaterally initiating a military conflict in Laos in 1959, foresaw the resulting huge increase in Laotian opium production. But two decades later this experience did not deter Brzezinski, Carter’s national security adviser, from unilaterally initiating contact with drug-trafficking Afghans in 1978 and 1979. It is clear that this time the Carter White House foresaw the drug consequences. In 1980 White House drug advisor David Musto told the White House Strategy Council on Drug Abuse that “we were going into Afghanistan to support the opium growers…. Shouldn’t we try to avoid what we had done in Laos?”[28] Denied access by the CIA to data to which he was legally entitled, Musto took his concerns public in May 1980, noting in a New York Times Op Ed that Golden Crescent heroin was already (and for the first time) causing a medical crisis in New York. And he warned, presciently, that “this crisis is bound to worsen.”[29] The CIA, in conjunction with its creation the Iranian intelligence agency SAVAK, was initially trying to move to the right the regime of Afghan president Mohammed Daoud Khan, whose objectionable policy (like that of Souvanna Phouma before him) was to maintain good relations with both the Soviet Union and the west. In 1978 SAVAK- and CIA-supported Islamist agents soon arrived from Iran “with bulging bankrolls,” trying to mobilize a purge of left-wing officers in the army and a clamp-down on their party the PDPA. The result of this provocative polarization was the same as in Laos: a confrontation in which the left, and not the right, soon prevailed.[30] In a coup that was at least partly defensive, left-wing officers overthrew and killed Daoud; they installed in his place a left-wing regime so extreme and unpopular that by 1980 the USSR (as Brzezinski had predicted) intervened to install a more moderate faction.[31] By May 1979 the CIA was in touch with Gulbuddin Hekmatyar, the mujahedin warlord with perhaps the smallest following inside Afghanistan, and also the leading mujahedin drug-trafficker.[32] Hekmatyar, famous for throwing acid in the faces of women not wearing burkas, was not the choice of the Afghan resistance, but of the Pakistani intelligence service (ISI), perhaps because he was the only Afghan leader willing to accept the British-drawn Durand Line as the Afghan-Pakistan boundary. As an Afghan leader in 1994 told Tim Weiner of the New York Times:

“We didn't choose these leaders. The United States made Hekmatyar by giving him his weapons. Now we want the United States to shake these leaders and make them stop the killing, to save us from them.”[33]

Robert D. Kaplan reported his personal experience that Hekmatyar was “loathed by all the other party leaders, fundamentalist and moderate alike.”[34] This decision by ISI and CIA belies the usual American rhetoric that the US was assisting an Afghan liberation movement.[35] In the next decade of anti-Soviet resistance, more than half of America’s aid went to Gulbuddin Hekmatyar, who soon became “one of Afghanistan’s leading drug lords.” Brzezinski was also soon in contact with Pakistan’s emissary Fazle ul-Haq, a man who by 1982 would be listed by Interpol as an international narcotics trafficker.[36] The consequences were swiftly felt in America, where heroin from the Golden Crescent, negligible before 1979, amounted in 1980 to 60 percent of the U.S. market.[37] And by 1986, for the first time, the region supplied 70 percent of the high-grade heroin in the world, and supplied a new army of 650,000 addicts in Pakistan itself. Witnesses confirmed that the drug was shipped out of the area on the same Pakistan Army trucks which shipped in "covert" US military aid.[38] Yet before 1986 the only high-level heroin bust in Pakistan was made at the insistence of a single Norwegian prosecutor; none were instigated by the seventeen narcotics officers in the U.S. Embassy. Eight tons of Afghan-Pakistani morphine base from a single Pakistani source supplied the Sicilian mafia "Pizza Connection" in New York, said by the FBI supervisor on the case to have been responsible for 80% of the heroin reaching the United States between 1978 and 1984.[39] Meanwhile, CIA Director William Casey appears to have promoted a plan suggested to him in 1980 by the former French intelligence chief Alexandre de Marenches, that the CIA supply drugs on the sly to Soviet troops.[40] Although de Marenches subsequently denied that the plan, Operation Mosquito, went forward, there are reports that heroin, hashish, and even cocaine from Latin America soon reached Soviet troops; and that along with the CIA-ISI-linked bank BCCI, "a few American intelligence operatives were deeply enmeshed in the drug trade" before the war was over.[41] Maureen Orth heard from Mathea Falco, head of International Narcotics Control for the State Department under Jimmy Carter, that the CIA and ISI together encouraged the mujahedin to addict the Soviet troops.[42] REFERENCE: Obama and Afghanistan: America’s Drug-Corrupted War by Prof Peter Dale Scott Global Research, January 1, 2010  Peter Dale Scott, a former Canadian diplomat and English Professor at the University of California, Berkeley, is a poet, writer, and researcher.
Oil, Drugs & the Future of Afghanistan by Peter Dale Scott - Part 5 of 6


Oil, Drugs & the Future of Afghanistan by Peter Dale Scott - Part 6 of 6

America’s Return in 2001, Again With the Support of Drug-Traffickers - The social costs of this drug-assisted war are still with us: there are said, for example, to be now five million heroin addicts in Pakistan alone. And yet America in 2001 decided to do it again: to try, with the assistance of drug traffickers, to impose nation-building on a quasi-state with at least a dozen major ethnic groups speaking unrelated languages. In a close analogy to the use of the Hmong in Laos, America initiated its Afghan campaign in 2001 in concert with a distinct minority, the Tajik-dominated Northern Alliance. In a closer analogy still, the CIA in 2000 (in the last weeks of Clinton’s presidency) chose as its principal ally Ahmad Shah Massoud of the Northern Alliance, despite the objection of other national security advisers that “Massoud was a drug trafficker; if the CIA established a permanent base [with him] in the Panjshir, it risked entanglement with the heroin trade.”[43] There was no ambiguity about the U.S. intention to use drug traffickers to initiate its ground position in Afghanistan. The CIA mounted its coalition against the Taliban in 2001 by recruiting and even importing drug traffickers, usually old assets from the 1980s. An example was Haji Zaman who had retired to Dijon in France, whom “British and American officials…met with and persuaded … to return to Afghanistan.”[44] In Afghanistan in 2001 as in 1980, and as in Laos in 1959, the U.S. intervention has since been a bonanza for the international drug syndicates. With the increase of chaos in the countryside, and number of aircraft flying in and out of the country, opium production more than doubled, from 3276 metric tonnes in 2000 (and 185 in 2001, the year of a Taliban ban on opium) to 8,200 metric tonnes in 2007. Why does the U.S. intervene repeatedly on the same side as the most powerful local drug traffickers? Some years ago I summarized the conventional wisdom on this matter:

Partly this has been from realpolitik - in recognition of the local power realities represented by the drug traffic. Partly it has been from the need to escape domestic political restraints: the traffickers have supplied additional financial resources needed because of US budgetary limitations, and they have also provided assets not bound (as the U.S. is) by the rules of war. … These facts…have led to enduring intelligence networks involving both oil and drugs, or more specifically both petrodollars and narcodollars. These networks, particularly in the Middle East, have become so important that they affect, not just the conduct of US foreign policy, but the health and behavior of the US government, US banks and corporations, and indeed the whole of US society.[45]

Persuaded in part by the analysis of authors like Michel Chossudovsky and James Petras, I would now stress more heavily that American banks, as well as oil majors, benefit significantly from drug trafficking. A Senate staff report has estimated “that $500 billion to $1 trillion in criminal proceeds are laundered through banks worldwide each year, with about half of that amount moved through United States banks.”[46] The London Independent reported in 2004 that drug trafficking constitutes "the third biggest global commodity in cash terms after oil and the arms trade."[47] Petras concludes that the U.S. economy has become a narco-capitalist one, dependent on the hot or dirty money, much of it from the drug traffic. As Senator Levin summarizes the record: "Estimates are that $500 billion to $1 trillion of international criminal proceeds are moved internationally and deposited into bank accounts annually. It is estimated half of that money comes to the United States"….

Washington and the mass media have portrayed the U.S. in the forefront of the struggle against narco trafficking, drug laundering and political corruption: the image is of clean white hands fighting dirty money from the Third world (or the ex-Communist countries). The truth is exactly the opposite. U.S. banks have developed a highly elaborate set of policies for transferring illicit funds to the U.S., investing those funds in legitimate businesses or U.S. government bonds and legitimating them. The U.S. Congress has held numerous hearings, provided detailed exposés of the illicit practices of the banks, passed several laws and called for stiffer enforcement by any number of public regulators and private bankers. Yet the biggest banks continue their practices, the sums of dirty money grows exponentially, because both the State and the banks have neither the will nor the interest to put an end to the practices that provide high profits and buttress an otherwise fragile empire.[48]

In the wake of the 2008 economic crisis, this analysis found support from the claim of Antonio Maria Costa, head of the UN Office on Drugs and Crime, that “Drugs money worth billions of dollars kept the financial system afloat at the height of the global crisis.” According to the London Observer, Costa

said he has seen evidence that the proceeds of organised crime were "the only liquid investment capital" available to some banks on the brink of collapse last year. He said that a majority of the $352bn (£216bn) of drugs profits was absorbed into the economic system as a result…. Costa said evidence that illegal money was being absorbed into the financial system was first drawn to his attention by intelligence agencies and prosecutors around 18 months ago. "In many instances, the money from drugs was the only liquid investment capital. In the second half of 2008, liquidity was the banking system's main problem and hence liquid capital became an important factor," he said.[49]REFERENCE: Obama and Afghanistan: America’s Drug-Corrupted War by Prof Peter Dale Scott Global Research, January 1, 2010  Peter Dale Scott, a former Canadian diplomat and English Professor at the University of California, Berkeley, is a poet, writer, and researcher. 

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Corrigendum: Jalaluddin Haqqani or Maulavi Younis Khalis.

Thanks to Mr. Khushal Arsala (an e-list friend) who corrected me on the picture of Maulavi Younis Khalis which I had culled from the internet wherein Khalis was shown as Jalaluddin Haqqani and yesterday's Dawn carried that picture and even Hamid Mir had shown that picture in Capital Talk (GEO TV) naming him as Haqqani whereas he was Maulavi Younis Khalis. - Jalaluddin Haqqani, Ronald Reagan & Strategic Assets/Depths! Corrigendum: The Picture above is not of Jalaluddin Haqqani but of (published in Daily Dawn Pakistan) Maulavi Younis Khalis: The guerrilla factions, which have been fighting Soviet occupation since December, 1979, this year for the first time chose a single chairman, Maulavi Younis Khalis. He led the delegation to meetings at the White House and with congressional supporters, and the group is scheduled to meet with Secretary of State George P. Shultz today. In his appeal Thursday at the White House for formal diplomatic recognition, Khalis told Reagan that the Afghan rebels "would like increased political support and recognition for our movement, consistent with the increased military achievement that we have on the battlefield." REFERENCE: Reagan Lauds United Afghan Resistance November 13, 1987|MELISSA HEALY | Times Staff Writer  (The other person is reportedly Zalmay Khalilzad Richard Holbrooke, USA, Taliban, Karzai, Zalmay Khalilzad & Narcotics  

WASHINGTON — President Reagan, meeting with leaders of the Afghan resistance movement Thursday, praised the fractious forces for uniting their efforts and pledged that U.S. support for the resistance "will be strengthened rather than diminished." Reagan, calling the resistance movement's greater internal unity a "political milestone," said it also has "made itself felt on the battlefield." "During the past 18 months, the moujahedeen fighting inside the country have improved their weapons, tactics and coordination," he said, resulting in "a string of serious defeats" for Soviet forces occupying Afghanistan. However, in spite of his praise, Reagan stopped short of granting the guerrillas the stronger political commitment they had sought, a promise to recognize them formally as a government in exile. Such a diplomatic step might hamper U.S.-Soviet relations in advance of the Dec. 7 summit meeting in Washington, several Administration and congressional sources suggested. Instead, sources said, the Administration placated the rebels with assurances that they will receive more sophisticated U.S.-made weapons that will allow them to step up their attacks against Soviet and government forces. The guerrilla factions, which have been fighting Soviet occupation since December, 1979, this year for the first time chose a single chairman, Maulavi Younis Khalis. He led the delegation to meetings at the White House and with congressional supporters, and the group is scheduled to meet with Secretary of State George P. Shultz today. In his appeal Thursday at the White House for formal diplomatic recognition, Khalis told Reagan that the Afghan rebels "would like increased political support and recognition for our movement, consistent with the increased military achievement that we have on the battlefield."

'Major Impediment' to Ties

Although the President refused that request, he pointedly faulted Moscow for failing to set a date for withdrawal of its forces, in spite of his personal appeals to Soviet leader Mikhail S. Gorbachev. "The Soviet presence is a major impediment to improved U.S.-Soviet relations, and we would like to remove it," Reagan said. "The Soviets should want to do so as well." The Administration told the Afghan guerrilla leaders that they will receive sophisticated U.S. arms after the periodic transfer of Stinger missiles this year, Administration and congressional sources say. The weapons, some of which have been specially designed, are expected to allow the rebels to launch assaults on garrisoned Soviet forces through the winter. Among the weapons soon to reach rebels in the field are long-range artillery, equipment to clear fields of land mines and rocket launchers designed to break through reinforced bunkers. Most of the equipment is designed to be stowed in backpacks or on mules, which the Afghan moujahedeen have received in large numbers from private American groups supplying humanitarian aid. Sources say the weapons bound for the rebels will allow them to take advantage of the Soviet forces' increasing isolation and their inability to take the offensive against the guerrillas in MI-24 Hind helicopter gunships. Sources said the rebels have been downing on average more than one Soviet helicopter per day using American Stinger and British Blowpipe missiles, and their successes have virtually grounded Soviet aircraft. REFERENCE: Reagan Lauds United Afghan Resistance November 13, 1987|MELISSA HEALY | Times Staff Writer 

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Jalaluddin Haqqani, Ronald Reagan & Strategic Assets/Depths!

 ISLAMABAD: Chief of Army Staff Ashfaq Parvez Kayani in a statement termed the comments by chairman Joint Chief’s of Staff Committe Admiral Mike Mullen as ‘unfortunate’, and ‘not based on facts’. In the first official reaction to the slew of public statements made by various levels of the US administration against the ISI and suspected links between the Haqqani network and the Pakistan establishment, Kayani said that he had held a constructive meeting with Admiral Mullen in Spain last week. He termed the statements following that meeting as very disturbing. On the question of contacts with Haqqani network, Kayani said that Admiral Mullen knows well which countries are in contact with the Haqqanis. Singling out Pakistan as the chief protagonist is neither fair nor productive, he said. The COAS also categorically denied accusations that Islamabad or the GHQ was waging a proxy war. Kayani wished that the blame game and public statements would give way to a constructive and meaningful engagement bringing stability and peace to Afghanistan, an objective to which Pakistan was fully committed. Admiral Mike Mullen while addressing a Senate Armed Services committee on Thursday said called the Haqqani network a “veritable arm” of the Pakistani military intelligence organisation, the ISI. Mullen along with Defence Secretary Leon Panetta said that the ISI was engaged with the Haqqanis, using them as their proxies in Afghanistan, there by indirectly linking ISI to the attacks on the US embassy in Kabul on September 13. REFERENCE: Kayani terms Mullen's Haqqani accusations as "baseless" Published: September 23, 2011 

Corrigendum: The Picture above is not of Jalaluddin Haqqani but of (published in Daily Dawn Pakistan) Maulavi Younis Khalis: The guerrilla factions, which have been fighting Soviet occupation since December, 1979, this year for the first time chose a single chairman, Maulavi Younis Khalis. He led the delegation to meetings at the White House and with congressional supporters, and the group is scheduled to meet with Secretary of State George P. Shultz today. In his appeal Thursday at the White House for formal diplomatic recognition, Khalis told Reagan that the Afghan rebels "would like increased political support and recognition for our movement, consistent with the increased military achievement that we have on the battlefield." REFERENCE: Reagan Lauds United Afghan Resistance November 13, 1987|MELISSA HEALY | Times Staff Writer  (The other person is reportedly Zalmay Khalilzad Richard Holbrooke, USA, Taliban, Karzai, Zalmay Khalilzad & Narcotics 

CIA Operation CYCLONE, NWO, Afghanistan, Bush Senior, CIA Drug trafficking (1989)


RELATIONS between the US and Pakistan, which have been particularly fraught for much of this year, took an unprecedented dive last week following Adm Mike Mullen’s congressional testimony implicating the Inter-Services Intelligence directorate in the Haqqani network’s dramatic and deadly breach of security in what is deemed to be the safest part of Kabul. The siege was a thorough embarrassment for the US, challenging the idea that conditions in Afghanistan are steadily improving. It is instructive to recall that the Mujahideen never managed anything quite so dramatic during the Soviet occupation of the country — the era when Charlie Wilson, the Democratic congressman who made American support for the jihad his personal mission, described Jalaluddin Haqqani as “goodness personified”. Some of the inheritors of Wilson’s trigger-happy mentality are now willing to countenance an invasion of North Waziristan to eradicate the Haqqanis. Meanwhile, Pakistan, which has for years resisted American pressure to mount a military assault on North Waziristan, has busily been devoting its energies to denying the charge of complicity and decrying the “blame game”. However, Mullen, the retiring chairman of the joint chiefs of staff and a frequent visitor to Pakistan, could not possibly have been unaware of the gravity of his charge. It would have been hugely irresponsible to base it on hearsay. Reports suggest that the evidence consists of intercepted communications between the attackers and ISI representatives. The Pakistani denials have been equally vehement, but it’s not hard to discern a crucial difference of tone between statements from the civilian establishment and the military authorities. Of particular interest is Gen Ashfaq Kayani’s comment that the Americans are well aware of exactly which countries maintain contacts with the Haqqanis, implying that Pakistan isn’t the only one. It’s no doubt worth noting that a couple of years ago the US declined to formally declare the Haqqani network a foreign terrorist organisation, and there have been suggestions that the US would not be entirely averse to dealing with the Haqqanis under certain circumstances.  What’s more, claims by the Pakistani military that the group now operates mostly out of eastern Afghanistan have lately been corroborated by Jalaluddin’s son Sirajuddin Haqqani, who recently told Reuters: “Gone are the days when we were hiding in the mountains along the Pakistan-Afghanistan border. Now we consider ourselves more secure in Afghanistan.…” According to a report in The New York Times last week, “Over the past five years, with relatively few American troops operating in eastern Afghanistan, the Haqqanis have run what is in effect a protection racket for construction firms — meaning that American taxpayers are helping to finance the enemy network.” The report also speaks of a mini-state in Miramshah “with courts, tax offices and radical madressah schools producing a ready supply of fighters”, as well as real estate and car sales operations in Pakistan and smuggling and extortion activities. "But the group is not just a two-bit mafia,” the NYT claims. “It is an organised mafia using high-profile terrorist attacks on hotels, embassies and other targets to advance its agenda to become a power broker in a future political settlement. And, sometimes, the agenda of its patrons … the ISI.” The connection has long been alleged and never convincingly denied, although its exact nature remains speculative, with suggestions that it’s much murkier than a direct line of command. American angst at evidence of direct contacts during the Sept 13-14 attack, following suspicion of collaboration during previous terrorist assaults on the InterContinental Hotel last June and on the Indian embassy in Kabul three years ago, is unsurprising. Options for an effective response, however, are far less clear. Suspension of aid would send a message but may well provoke an undesirable reaction. Intensified drone strikes, too, are likely to be counterproductive. REFERENCE: The trouble with ‘strategic assets’ Mahir Ali (10 hours ago) Today 

Pakistan is not the only country "in touch" with the Alleged Haqqani network! What we have got here!

LONDON: The Afghan and US governments have recently made contact with insurgent group the Haqqani network, one of the most feared foes of Nato forces in Afghanistan, a British paper reported Thursday. The government of Afghan President Hamid Karzai took part in direct talks with senior members of the Haqqani group over the summer, said the Guardian daily, citing Pakistani and Arab sources. The United States, through a Western intermediary, has made indirect contacts over the past year, said the paper. Talks between the Haqqanis and both countries were extremely tentative, it added. The Haqqani network’s leadership is based in North Waziristan, in Pakistan’s tribal northwest, an area which has been targeted by a wave of US drone strikes in recent weeks. The group is loyal to the Taliban and has been blamed for some of the most deadly strikes in Afghanistan. It has close ties with foreign militant groups including Al-Qaeda. Asked whether talks involving Haqqani, Karzai and the US were taking place, a senior Pakistani official cited in the paper said “you wouldn’t be wrong” but refused to comment further. Western, Arab and Pakistani official sources cited in the paper said the Haqqanis believe a negotiated settlement is the most likely outcome of the Afghan conflict and do not want to be left out of any deal. Sirajuddin Haqqani, who has taken over military leadership of the Haqqani group from his father Jalaluddin, “realises he could be a nobody if he doesn’t enter the process,” said a diplomat involved in the discussions. REFERENCES: US and Afghan governments make contact with Haqqani insurgents Exclusive: US dealing with Haqqani clan – which has close ties to al-Qaida – through Western intermediary Julian Borger and Declan Walsh The Guardian, Thursday 7 October 2010  White House supporting Kabul contacts with Mullah Omar`s men By Our Correspondent October 7, 2010  

CIA - Operation Cyclone - Afghanistan in 80's


A specially equipped C-141 Starlifter transport carrying William Casey touched down at a military air base south of Islamabad in October 1984 for a secret visit by the CIA director to plan strategy for the war against Soviet forces in Afghanistan. Helicopters lifted Casey to three secret training camps near the Afghan border, where he watched mujaheddin rebels fire heavy weapons and learn to make bombs with CIA-supplied plastic explosives and detonators. During the visit, Casey startled his Pakistani hosts by proposing that they take the Afghan war into enemy territory -- into the Soviet Union itself. Casey wanted to ship subversive propaganda through Afghanistan to the Soviet Union's predominantly Muslim southern republics. The Pakistanis agreed, and the CIA soon supplied thousands of Korans, as well as books on Soviet atrocities in Uzbekistan and tracts on historical heroes of Uzbek nationalism, according to Pakistani and Western officials. "We can do a lot of damage to the Soviet Union," Casey said, according to Mohammed Yousaf, a Pakistani general who attended the meeting. Casey's visit was a prelude to a secret Reagan administration decision in March 1985, reflected in National Security Decision Directive 166, to sharply escalate U.S. covert action in Afghanistan, according to Western officials. Abandoning a policy of simple harassment of Soviet occupiers, the Reagan team decided secretly to let loose on the Afghan battlefield an array of U.S. high technology and military expertise in an effort to hit and demoralize Soviet commanders and soldiers. Casey saw it as a prime opportunity to strike at an overextended, potentially vulnerable Soviet empire. Eight years after Casey's visit to Pakistan, the Soviet Union is no more. Afghanistan has fallen to the heavily armed, fraticidal mujaheddin rebels. The Afghans themselves did the fighting and dying -- and ultimately won their war against the Soviets -- and not all of them laud the CIA's role in their victory. But even some sharp critics of the CIA agree that in military terms, its secret 1985 escalation of covert support to the mujaheddin made a major difference in Afghanistan, the last battlefield of the long Cold War. How the Reagan administration decided to go for victory in the Afghan war between 1984 and 1988 has been shrouded in secrecy and clouded by the sharply divergent political agendas of those involved. But with the triumph of the mujaheddin rebels over Afghanistan's leftist government in April and the demise of the Soviet Union, some intelligence officials involved have decided to reveal how the covert escalation was carried out. The most prominent of these former intelligence officers is Yousaf, the Pakistani general who supervised the covert war between 1983 and 1987 and who last month published in Europe and Pakistan a detailed account of his role and that of the CIA, titled "The Bear Trap." This article and another to follow are based on extensive interviews with Yousaf as well as with more than a dozen senior Western officials who confirmed Yousaf's disclosures and elaborated on them. U.S. officials worried about what might happen if aspects of their stepped-up covert action were exposed -- or if the program succeeded too well and provoked the Soviets to react in hot anger. The escalation that began in 1985 "was directed at killing Russian military officers," one Western official said. "That caused a lot of nervousness." One source of jitters was that Pakistani intelligence officers -- partly inspired by Casey -- began independently to train Afghans and funnel CIA supplies for scattered strikes against military installations, factories and storage depots within Soviet territory.

The attacks later alarmed U.S. officials in Washington, who saw military raids on Soviet territory as "an incredible escalation," according to Graham Fuller, then a senior U.S. intelligence official who counseled against any such raids. Fearing a large-scale Soviet response and the fallout of such attacks on U.S.-Soviet diplomacy, the Reagan administration blocked the transfer to Pakistan of detailed satellite photographs of military targets inside the Soviet Union, other U.S. officials said. To Yousaf, who managed the Koran-smuggling program and the guerrilla raids inside Soviet territory, the United States ultimately "chickened out" on the question of taking the secret Afghan war onto Soviet soil. Nonetheless, Yousaf recalled, Casey was "ruthless in his approach, and he had a built-in hatred for the Soviets." An intelligence coup in 1984 and 1985 triggered the Reagan administration's decision to escalate the covert progam in Afghanistan, according to Western officials. The United States received highly specific, sensitive information about Kremlin politics and new Soviet war plans in Afghanistan. Already under pressure from Congress and conservative activists to expand its support to the mujaheddin, the Reagan administration moved in response to this intelligence to open up its high-technology arsenal to aid the Afghan rebels. Beginning in 1985, the CIA supplied mujaheddin rebels with extensive satellite reconnaissance data of Soviet targets on the Afghan battlefield, plans for military operations based on the satellite intelligence, intercepts of Soviet communications, secret communications networks for the rebels, delayed timing devices for tons of C-4 plastic explosives for urban sabotage and sophisticated guerrilla attacks, long-range sniper rifles, a targeting device for mortars that was linked to a U.S. Navy satellite, wire-guided anti-tank missiles, and other equipment. The move to upgrade aid to the mujaheddin roughly coincided with the well-known decision in 1986 to provide the mujaheddin with sophisticated, U.S.-made Stinger antiaircraft missiles. Before the missiles arrived, however, those involved in the covert war wrestled with a wide-ranging and at times divisive debate over how far they should go in challenging the Soviet Union in Afghanistan. REFERENCE: Anatomy of a Victory: CIA's Covert Afghan War By: Steve Coll, 'Washington Post', July 19, 1992(c) 'Washington Post', 1992. Posted for Fair Use Only  Anatomy of a Victory: CIA's Covert Afghan War; $2 Billion Program Reversed Tide for Rebels Series: CIA IN AFGHANISTAN Series Number: 1/2 

Roots of the Rebellion

In 1980, not long after Soviet forces invaded Afghanistan to prop up a sympathetic leftist government, President Jimmy Carter signed the first -- and for many years the only -- presidential "finding" on Afghanistan, the classified directive required by U.S. law to begin covert operations, according to several Western sources familiar with the Carter document. The Carter finding sought to aid Afghan rebels in "harassment" of Soviet occupying forces in Afghanistan through secret supplies of light weapons and other assistance. The finding did not talk of driving Soviet forces out of Afghanistan or defeating them militarily, goals few considered possible at the time, these sources said. The cornerstone of the program was that the United States, through the CIA, would provide funds, some weapons and general supervision of support for the mujaheddin rebels, but day-to-day operations and direct contact with the mujaheddin would be left to the Pakistani Inter-Services Intelligence agency, or ISI. The hands-off U.S. role contrasted with CIA operations in Nicaragua and Angola. Saudi Arabia agreed to match U.S. financial contributions to the mujaheddin and distributed funds directly to ISI. China sold weapons to the CIA and donated a smaller number directly to Pakistan, but the extent of China's role has been one of the secret war's most closely guarded secrets. In all, the United States funneled more than $ 2 billion in guns and money to the mujaheddin during the 1980s, according to U.S. officials. It was the largest covert action program since World War II. In the first years after the Reagan administration inherited the Carter program, the covert Afghan war "tended to be handled out of Casey's back pocket," recalled Ronald Spiers, a former U.S. ambassador to Pakistan, the base of the Afghan rebels. Mainly from China's government, the CIA purchased assault rifles, grenade launchers, mines and SA-7 light antiaircraft weapons, and then arranged for shipment to Pakistan. Most of the weapons dated to the Korean War or earlier. The amounts were significant -- 10,000 tons of arms and ammunition in 1983, according to Yousaf -- but a fraction of what they would be in just a few years. Beginning in 1984, Soviet forces in Afghanistan began to experiment with new and more aggressive tactics against the mujaheddin, based on the use of Soviet special forces, called the Spetsnaz, in helicopter-borne assaults on Afghan rebel supply lines. As these tactics succeeded, Soviet commanders pursued them increasingly, to the point where some U.S. congressmen who traveled with the mujaheddin -- including Rep. Charles Wilson (D-Tex.) and Sen. Gordon Humphrey (R-N.H.) -- believed that the war might turn against the rebels. The new Soviet tactics reflected a perception in the Kremlin that the Red Army was in danger of becoming bogged down in Afghanistan and needed to take decisive steps to win the war, according to sensitive intelligence that reached the Reagan administration in 1984 and 1985, Western officials said. The intelligence came from the upper reaches of the Soviet Defense Ministry and indicated that Soviet hard-liners were pushing a plan to attempt to win the Afghan war within two years, sources said. The new war plan was to be implemented by Gen. Mikhail Zaitsev, who was transferred from the prestigious command of Soviet forces in Germany to run the Soviet war in Afghanistan in the spring of 1985, just as Mikhail Gorbachev was battling hard-line rivals to take power in a Kremlin succession struggle. REFERENCE: Anatomy of a Victory: CIA's Covert Afghan War By: Steve Coll, 'Washington Post', July 19, 1992(c) 'Washington Post', 1992. Posted for Fair Use Only  Anatomy of a Victory: CIA's Covert Afghan War; $2 Billion Program Reversed Tide for Rebels Series: CIA IN AFGHANISTAN Series Number: 1/2 

Cracking the Kremlin's Strategy

The intelligence about Soviet war plans in Afghanistan was highly specific, according to Western sources. The Soviets intended to deploy one-third of their total Spetsnaz forces in Afghanistan -- nearly 2,000 "highly trained and motivated" paratroops, according to Yousaf. In addition, the Soviets intended to dispatch a stronger KGB presence to assist the special forces and regular troops, and they intended to deploy some of the Soviet Union's most sophisticated battlefield communications equipment, referred to by some as the "Omsk vans" -- mobile, integrated communications centers that would permit interception of mujaheddin battlefield communications and rapid, coordinated aerial attacks on rebel targets, such as the kind that were demoralizing the rebels by 1984. At the Pentagon, U.S. military officers pored over the intelligence, considering plans to thwart the Soviet escalation, officials said. The answers they came up with, said a Western official, were to provide "secure communications [for the Afghan rebels], kill the gunships and the fighter cover, better routes for [mujaheddin] infiltration, and get to work on [Soviet] targets" in Afghanistan, including the Omsk vans, through the use of satellite reconnaissance and increased, specialized guerrilla training. "There was a demand from my friends [in the CIA] to capture a vehicle intact with this sort of communications," recalled Yousaf, referring to the newly introduced mobile Soviet facilities. Unfortunately, despite much effort, Yousaf said, "we never succeeded in that." "Spetsnaz was key," said Vincent Cannistraro, a CIA operations officer who was posted at the time as director of intelligence programs at the National Security Council. Not only did communications improve, but the Spetsnaz forces were willing to fight aggressively and at night. The problem, Cannistraro said, was that as the Soviets moved to escalate, the U.S. aid was "just enough to get a very brave people killed" because it encouraged the mujaheddin to fight but did not provide them with the means to win. Conservatives in the Reagan administration and especially in Congress saw the CIA as part of the problem. Humphrey, the former senator and a leading conservative supporter of the mujaheddin, found the CIA "really, really reluctant" to increase the quality of support for the Afghan rebels to meet Soviet escalation. For their part, CIA officers felt the war was not going as badly as some skeptics thought, and they worried that it might not be possible to preserve secrecy in the midst of a major escalation. A sympathetic U.S. official said the agency's key decision-makers "did not question the wisdom" of the escalation, but were "simply careful." In March 1985, President Reagan signed National Security Decision Directive 166, and national security adviser Robert D. McFarlane signed an extensive annex, augmenting the original Carter intelligence finding that focused on "harassment" of Soviet occupying forces, according to several sources. Although it covered diplomatic and humanitarian objectives as well, the new, detailed Reagan directive used bold language to authorize stepped-up covert military aid to the mujaheddin, and it made clear that the secret Afghan war had a new goal: to defeat Soviet troops in Afghanistan through covert action and encourage a Soviet withdrawal. REFERENCE: Anatomy of a Victory: CIA's Covert Afghan War By: Steve Coll, 'Washington Post', July 19, 1992(c) 'Washington Post', 1992. Posted for Fair Use Only  Anatomy of a Victory: CIA's Covert Afghan War; $2 Billion Program Reversed Tide for Rebels Series: CIA IN AFGHANISTAN Series Number: 1/2 

New Covert U.S. Aid

The new covert U.S. assistance began with a dramatic increase in arms supplies -- a steady rise to 65,000 tons annually by 1987, according to Yousaf -- as well as what he called a "ceaseless stream" of CIA and Pentagon specialists who traveled to the secret headquarters of Pakistan's ISI on the main road near Rawalpindi, Pakistan. There the CIA specialists met with Pakistani intelligence officers to help plan operations for the Afghan rebels. At any one time during the Afghan fighting season, as many as 11 ISI teams trained and supplied by the CIA accompanied the mujaheddin across the border to supervise attacks, according to Yousaf and Western sources. The teams attacked airports, railroads, fuel depots, electricity pylons, bridges and roads, the sources said. CIA and Pentagon specialists offered detailed satellite photographs and ink maps of Soviet targets around Afghanistan. The CIA station chief in Islamabad ferried U.S. intercepts of Soviet battlefield communications. Other CIA specialists and military officers supplied secure communications gear and trained Pakistani instructors on how to use it. Experts on psychological warfare brought propaganda and books. Demolitions experts gave instructions on the explosives needed to destroy key targets such as bridges, tunnels and fuel depots. They also supplied chemical and electronic timing devices and remote control switches for delayed bombs and rockets that could be shot without a mujaheddin rebel present at the firing site. The new efforts focused on strategic targets such as the Termez Bridge between Afghanistan and the Soviet Union. "We got the information like current speed of the water, current depth of the water, the width of the pillars, which would be the best way to demolish," Yousaf said. In Washington, CIA lawyers debated whether it was legal to blow up pylons on the Soviet side of the bridge as opposed to the Afghan side, in keeping with the decision not to support military action across the Soviet border, a Western official said. Despite several attempts, Afghan rebels trained in the new program never brought the Termez Bridge down, though they did damage and destroy other targets, such as pipelines and depots, in the sensitive border area, Western and Pakistani sources said. The most valuable intelligence provided by the Americans was the satellite reconnaissance, Yousaf said. Soon the wall of Yousaf's office was covered with detailed maps of Soviet targets in Afghanistan such as airfields, armories and military buildings. The maps came with CIA assessments of how best to approach the target, possible routes of withdrawal, and analysis of how Soviet troops might respond to an attack. "They would say there are the vehicles, and there is the [river bank], and there is the tank," Yousaf said. CIA operations officers helped Pakistani trainers establish schools for the mujaheddin in secure communications, guerrilla warfare, urban sabotage and heavy weapons, Yousaf and Western officials said. The first antiaircraft systems used by the mujaheddin were the Swiss-made Oerlikon heavy gun and the British-made Blowpipe missile, according to Yousaf and Western sources. When these proved ineffective, the United States sent the Stinger. Pakistani officers traveled to the United States for training on the Stinger in June 1986 and then set up a secret mujaheddin Stinger training facility in Rawalpindi, complete with an electronic simulator made in the United States. The simulator allowed mujaheddin trainees to aim and fire at a large screen without actually shooting off expensive missiles, Yousaf said. The screen marked the missile's track and calculated whether the trainee would have hit his airborne target. Ultimately, the effectiveness of such training and battlefield intelligence depended on the mujaheddin themselves; their performance and willingness to employ disciplined tactics varied greatly. Yousaf considered the aid highly valuable, although persistently marred by supplies of weapons such as the Blowpipe that failed miserably on the battlefield. At the least, the escalation on the U.S. side initiated with Reagan's 1985 National Security Directive helped to change the character of the Afghan war, intensifying the struggle and raising the stakes for both sides. This change led U.S. officials to confront a difficult question that had legal, military, foreign policy and even moral implications: In taking the Afghan covert operation more directly to the Soviet enemy, how far should the United States be prepared to go? REFERENCE: Anatomy of a Victory: CIA's Covert Afghan War By: Steve Coll, 'Washington Post', July 19, 1992(c) 'Washington Post', 1992. Posted for Fair Use Only  Anatomy of a Victory: CIA's Covert Afghan War; $2 Billion Program Reversed Tide for Rebels Series: CIA IN AFGHANISTAN Series Number: 1/2 

Zbigniew Brzezinski to Jihadists- Your cause is right!

Gust L. Avrakotos, 67, the CIA agent in charge of the massive arming of Afghan tribesmen during their 1980s guerrilla war against the Soviets, died of complications from a stroke Dec. 1 at Inova Fairfax Hospital. He was a McLean resident. Mr. Avrakotos, who ran the largest covert operation in the agency's history, was dubbed "Dr. Dirty" for his willingness to handle ethically ambiguous tasks and a "blue-collar James Bond" for his 27 years of undercover work. In the 1980s, he used Tennessee mules to bring hundreds of millions of dollars in automatic weapons, antitank guns and satellite maps from Pakistan to the mujaheddin. Working with former congressman Charles Wilson (D-Tex.), Mr. Avrakotos eventually controlled more than 70 percent of the CIA's annual expenditures for covert operations, funneling it through intermediaries to the mujaheddin. As a result, the tribesmen drove the Soviets out of Afghanistan, and the long Cold War shuddered toward an end. Those weapons later were used in the fratricidal war in Afghanistan before the Taliban took control. Critics noted that those weapons probably were still in use, both in support of and against U.S. troops, when the United States went to war in Afghanistan in 2001. Mr. Avrakotos, whose thermonuclear approach to internal politics twice led him to coarsely insult the CIA's European division director, lost his position just as the Stinger antiaircraft missile launchers downed the first Soviet gunships. He was transferred to an African assignment and retired shortly thereafter, in 1989. Mr. Avrakotos remained obscure until 2003, when "60 Minutes" producer George Crile published "Charlie Wilson's War," a best-selling description of how Wilson and Mr. Avrakotos strong-armed Congress and the bureaucracy into supporting the cause of the mujaheddin. He may become still better known: Tom Hanks has bought the rights to turn the book into a movie. Mr. Avrakotos was born in Aliquippa, Pa., the son of Greek immigrants, and attended Carnegie Institute of Technology until family finances forced him to leave after two years. He worked in a local steel mill, then sold beer and cigarettes to ethnic taverns throughout western Pennsylvania, learning to banter with the first-generation immigrants from eastern and central Europe. He returned to college and graduated from the University of Pittsburgh. He joined the CIA in 1962, just after it began recruiting agents from beyond its Ivy League training grounds. Because he spoke Greek, he was assigned to Athens. While he was there, a military junta overthrew the democratic, constitutional government, and Mr. Avrakotos became the chief liaison to Greek colonels. Their fascist regime fell in 1974, and the November 17 terrorist group assassinated the CIA's station chief. CIA renegade Philip Agee, who had exposed the Athens station chief's name, six months later revealed Mr. Avrakotos as well, and the Greek press vilified him for his role in the regime. He left Greece in 1978. But he could not get another decent assignment with the CIA, Crile wrote, because his superiors considered him too uncouth for promotion. A second-generation, working-class Greek American with a profane tongue and bare-knuckle character, Mr. Avrakotos never quite felt at home in the polished WASP world of the CIA's elite. So when the intelligence scandals of the 1970s resulted in a purge of agents in 1977, and most were first- or second-generation Americans, Mr. Avrakotos felt betrayed by the organization. Not one to let bygones be bygones, Mr. Avrakotos once showed a photograph of a colleague who crossed him to an old Greek woman and requested that she put a curse on him. He eventually found a position with the Middle East desk at the CIA and worked his way into a position as section chief of the area that includes Afghanistan. He was made a member of the elite Senior Intelligence Service in 1985 and received the Intelligence Medal of Merit in 1988. "Throughout his Afghan tour, Avrakotos did things on a regular basis that could have gotten him fired had anyone chosen to barge into his arena with an eye toward prosecuting him. But then Avrakotos was not just lucky. He was brutally worldly wise, keenly aware of the internal risks he was taking. And so he always made it difficult for anyone to get him, should they try," Crile wrote. Backed by Wilson's appropriations acumen, Mr. Avrakotos purchased so many weapons that he had to buy a special ship to move containers of them to Karachi. He badgered the Saudi Arabian government to keep a secret commitment to match U.S. funds to the mujaheddin and intimidated Sen. Gordon J. Humphrey (R-N.H.) into quieting his criticism of the CIA. He batted away a proposal by Oliver North and Richard Perle to set up loudspeakers in the mountains to entice Soviets to defect. He shopped in Egypt for wheelbarrows and bicycles rigged as bombs. It was illegal to provide sniper rifles to foreigners, so he redefined the weapons as "individual defensive devices . . . long-range, night-vision devices with scopes." But it was after he filed a memo warning against North's arms-for-hostages scheme that came to be known as Iran-contra that his career ascent ended, and he was reassigned to Africa. He retired from the CIA in 1989, then worked for TRW in Rome and for News Corp., for whom he began a business intelligence newsletter, working in Rome and McLean. He returned to work on contract for the CIA from 1997 until 2003. His marriage to Judy Avrakotos ended in divorce. A granddaughter died in 2004. Survivors include his wife of 19 years, Claudette Avrakotos of McLean; a son from his first marriage, Gregory Avrakotos of Melbourne Beach, Fla.; a sister; and two granddaughters. REFERENCE: CIA Agent Gust L. Avrakotos Dies at Age 67 By Patricia Sullivan Washington Post Staff Writer Sunday, December 25, 2005



American counterinsurgency practice rests on a number of assumptions: that the decisive effort is rarely military (although security is the essential prerequisite for success); that our efforts must be directed to the creation of local and national governmental structures that will serve their populations, and, over time, replace the efforts of foreign partners; that superior knowledge, and in particular, understanding of the 'human terrain' is essential; and that we must have the patience to persevere in what will necessarily prove long struggles... Counterinsurgency (COIN) is the blend of comprehensive civilian and military efforts designed to simultaneously contain insurgency and address its root causes. Unlike conventional warfare, non-military means are often the most effective elements, with military forces playing an enabling role. COIN is an extremely complex undertaking, which demands of policy makers a detailed understanding of their own specialist field, but also a broad knowledge of a wide variety of related disciplines. COIN approaches must be adaptable and agile. Strategies will usually be focused primarily on the population rather than the enemy and will seek to reinforce the legitimacy of the affected government while reducing insurgent influence.  Courtesy: Major A.H AMIN (Retired),Tank Corps (Pakistan Armed Forces) AMERICAN COUNTERINSURGENCY

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Jalaluddin Haqqani & CIA's Phoenix Program in Vietnam

Admiral Mullen's candid and stunning testimony that directly links Pakistan's intelligence service, ISI, to recent attacks on NATO forces and the U.S. Embassy in Afghanistan puts America and Pakistan on a collision course. Why are the ISI and the Pakistani Army making such risky moves? What is the calculation in the generals’ minds? Short answer is, they believe we are on the run in Afghanistan and they want to push us out faster. Mullen has been Pakistan’s strongest advocate inside the White House situation room since President Obama took office in 2009. He prudently argued for patience and tolerance with the ISI’s duplicity for years, rightly stressing Pakistan’s critical importance on many vital issues like the nuclear-arms race, counterterrorism, and the Afghan war. This makes his remarks linking ISI to the Afghan Taliban’s Haqqani network attacks on our forces this month all the more stunning. Mullen labeled the Haqqani Taliban a “veritable arm” and “proxy” of the ISI. Afghan sources have said the Taliban suicide team that attacked our embassy was in constant contact by cell phone with their masters back in Pakistan during the firefight. REFERENCE: Why Pakistan Is Getting Cocky Sep 23, 2011 1:21 PM EDT Pakistan’s Army and intelligence service are behaving ever more provocatively—with potentially drastic ramifications for the war in Afghanistan. Bruce Riedel on the ISI’s psyche.  

Let us revisit US History and Bag of Dirty Tricks all over the place particularly in Vietnam

From Left: United States Air Force; Robert Young Pelton; Mike Wintroath/Associated Press; Adam Berry/Bloomberg News - From left: Michael D. Furlong, the official who was said to have hired private contractors to track militants in Afghanistan and Pakistan; Robert Young Pelton, a contractor; Duane Clarridge, a former C.I.A. official; and Eason Jordan, a former television news executive. Contractors Tied to Effort to Track and Kill Militants - KABUL, Afghanistan — Under the cover of a benign government information-gathering program, a Defense Department official set up a network of private contractors in Afghanistan and Pakistan to help track and kill suspected militants, according to military officials and businessmen in Afghanistan and the United States. The official, Michael D. Furlong, hired contractors from private security companies that employed formerC.I.A. and Special Forces operatives. The contractors, in turn, gathered intelligence on the whereabouts of suspected militants and the location of insurgent camps, and the information was then sent to military units and intelligence officials for possible lethal action in Afghanistan and Pakistan, the officials said. While it has been widely reported that the C.I.A. and the military are attacking operatives of Al Qaeda and others through unmanned, remote-controlled drone strikes, some American officials say they became troubled that Mr. Furlong seemed to be running an off-the-books spy operation. The officials say they are not sure who condoned and supervised his work. REFERENCE: Contractors Tied to Effort to Track and Kill Militants By DEXTER FILKINS and MARK MAZZETTI Published: March 14, 2010 A version of this article appeared in print on March 15, 2010, on page A1 of the New York edition. ALSO READ : The headline read like something you might see in the conspiracy-minded Pakistani press: "Contractors Tied to Effort to Track and Kill Militants." But the story appeared in Monday's New York Times, and it highlighted some big problems that have developed in the murky area between military and intelligence activities. The starting point for understanding this covert intrigue is that the U.S. military has long been unhappy about the quality of CIA intelligence in Afghanistan. The frustration surfaced publicly in January in a report by the top military intelligence officer in Kabul, Maj. Gen. Michael T. Flynn, that began: "Eight years into the war in Afghanistan, the U.S. intelligence community is only marginally relevant to the overall strategy." REFERENCE: Outsourcing intelligence By David Ignatius Wednesday, March 17, 2010

1954: CIA’s Phoenix Program Establishes Secret Units : Under the Phoenix Program, the CIA creates and directs a secret police ostensibly run by the South Vietnamese. Its objective is to destroy the Viet Cong’s infrastructure. During the course of the program’s existence, the secret police units, operating as virtual death squads, are implicated in burnings, garroting, rape, torture, and sabotage. As many as 50,000 Vietnamese are killed. [Pilger, 1986, pp. 274; Valentine, 2000 Sources: Ralph McGehee, Anthony Herbert] The most decorated American soldier of the war, Lieutenant Colonel Anthony Herbert, will later recall in his book, Soldier, “They wanted me to take charge of execution teams that wiped out entire families and tried to make it look as though the VC themselves had done the killing.” [Pilger, 1986, pp. 274]

The CIA Phoenix Project - Part - 1


The Vietnam War ranks among the most bizarre episodes of this century. And no part of it was more insanely conceived and executed than the Phoenix program. ''The Phoenix Program,'' by Douglas Valentine, documents the results of an unseemly liaison between impotent military tactics and money-logged technology. According to those who formulated it, this monster child with its computer brain and assassin's instinct would make the Vietcong wither from within. Not by attacking guerrillas in the field, but by destroying infrastructure - a term, as Mr. Valentine explains, used to refer to ''those civilians suspected of supporting North Vietnamese and Vietcong soldiers. . . . Central to Phoenix is the fact that it targeted civilians, not soldiers.'' ''Infrastructure'' was the hobgoblin of the Central Intelligence Agency and the State Department. The military mouthed the word - a shopworn mantra - only to pacify the safari-suited civilians who actually ran the war. For the military dreamed of head-on assaults; it was the civilians who blathered on about infrastructure. The intention of the planners who devised Phoenix was to ''neutralize'' this infrastructure - which meant, in practice, to kill, capture or coerce into defection those figures identified as belonging to it. So out into the countryside went teams of accountants and case officers, Vietnamese assassins and their American counterparts, with bags and bags of money, the whole effort tethered to a computer in the United States Embassy in Saigon. And from the embassy came reports again and again that the program was working. Body count became our most important product. The bodies turned out to be just about anyone who got in the way, sometimes even genuine, certifiable ''infrastructures.'' The Phoenix program became a playground for the demented fringes of both American and Vietnamese society. It was a brothel for both blood lust and printout lust, featuring a weird crew of characters: grizzled Army officers, bespectacled accountants and bloodless computer modelers. It had its own air force, training camps and interrogation centers. Torture chambers, if you like. It is the stuff of both awful history and glorious black comedy. It needs to be chronicled by an A. J. P. Taylor or an Evelyn Waugh, or both - not by Douglas Valentine. Mr. Valentine - the author as well of ''The Hotel Tacloban,'' about life in a Japanese prisoner of war camp - has written as turgid and dense and often incomprehensible a book as I have ever had the misfortune to open. Somewhere in those almost 500 gray pages there is stuff of great importance: examples of human folly, courage, stupidity and greed. Mr. Valentine handles these epic themes as so much fodder from a database - not unlike the paper end of the Phoenix program itself. He has interviewed scores of participants in Phoenix, but instead of putting the interviews into some kind of historical (or even logical) framework - it's called editing - he has simply transcribed them. And if Phoenix acted like Phoenix talked, then the American intervention in Vietnam was even more inept than those of us who were witnesses believed. Here is a typical eye-glazing example: ''Said Dillard: 'Well, I am a military man, and I have a job to get done.' And from that day on the Field Police and their Public Safety advisers were the Phoenix program's scapegoats in the Delta. At their expense Dillard achieved peace between the CIA and MACV in the Delta. He convinced the CIA that by sharing its information, military resources could be used against the VCI. In exchange for supporting the CIA's attack on the VCI, the military benefited from CIA intelligence on the location of main force enemy units. That translated into higher body counts and brighter careers. ' 'I could do what I wanted within the guidelines of the Phoenix program,' Doug Dillard said with satisfaction, 'which to me was the overall coordination of the units that existed in the Delta to destroy the infrastructure.' With his regional reaction force ready and raring to go, Dillard mounted regional Phoenix operations on the Ward mini-cordon and search technique. '' 'At the province level we had almost daily involvement with the CIA's province adviser and SEAL team PRU adviser,' Dillard explained. 'This was either trying to help them get resources or going over the potential for operations.' '' The words don't inform; they simply take up space. The most cogent sentences in the book come from Bruce Palmer, a retired general who commanded the Ninth Infantry Division in Vietnam in 1968. General Palmer, perhaps wisely, chose to communicate with Mr. Valentine by letter rather than tape recorder. '' 'My objection to the [Phoenix] program,' he wrote in a letter to the author, 'was the involuntary assignment of U. S. Army officers to the program. I don't believe that people in uniform, who are pledged to abide by the Geneva Conventions, should be put in the position of having to break those laws of warfare.' '' General Palmer sounds like a thoughtful man with a belief in the power of the simple declarative sentence. Perhaps he should have written the book. REFERENCE: Body Count Was Their Most Important Product By MORLEY SAFER; Morley Safer is a co-editor of ''60 Minutes'' and the author of ''Flashbacks: On Returning to Vietnam.'' Published: October 21, 1990 THE PHOENIX PROGRAM By Douglas Valentine.

The CIA Phoenix Project - Part - 2


It's not uncommon these days to hear talk of "lessons" learned in Vietnam and their application to current U.S. conflicts. Unfortunately, most observers have ignored the uniqueness of the Vietnam War, picking and choosing the lessons learned there with little regard for their application to the present. This is particularly true with the current buzz over the "clear and hold" concept, which has gained popularity in some circles. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice invoked it during Senate testimony in October, and columnist David Ignatius reported in his Nov. 4 op-ed that many Army officers are reading historian Lewis Sorley's book "A Better War," which argues that the United States could have prevailed in Vietnam if the military had used Gen. Creighton Abrams's ideas earlier in the war. This simplistic notion may resonate in Washington, but it means little to troops on the ground. Marines in Fallujah or soldiers in Baghdad or near the Syrian border will tell you that they have been "clearing" areas for more than a year now, but "holding" them is a different matter. That takes a lot of troops, not small teams. So much for simple lessons from Vietnam. But for better or worse, Vietnam is the most recent example of American counterinsurgency -- and our longest -- so it would be a mistake to reject it because of its complex and controversial nature. Stripped to essentials, there are three basic lessons from the war. All must be employed by any counterinsurgency effort, no matter what shape it takes. First, there must be a unified structure that combines military and civilian pacification efforts. In Vietnam that organization was called CORDS, for Civil Operations and Rural Development Support. Formed in 1967, it placed the disjointed and ineffective civilian pacification programs under the military. This was accomplished only at the insistence of President Lyndon Johnson, who took an active interest in seeing the pacification process function smoothly under a single manager: Gen. William Westmoreland. CORDS gave the pacification effort access to military money and personnel, allowing programs to expand dramatically. In 1966 there were about 1,000 advisers involved in pacification, and the annual budget was $582 million; by 1969 that had risen to 7,600 advisers and almost $1.5 billion. This rapid progress was possible only because of CORDS's streamlined system under Defense Department control. In Afghanistan, the provincial reconstruction teams have viewed CORDS as a model, but there is no truly integrated system yet. In Iraq, the old Coalition Provisional Authority suffered from the same problems that caused the formation of CORDS, in particular a dual chain of command that failed to coordinate military and civilian efforts. Not enough has been done since the CPA's dissolution in 2004 to integrate nation-building into military planning. The second lesson involves attacking the enemy's center of gravity. An insurgency thrives only if it can maintain a permanent presence among the population, which in Vietnam was called the Viet Cong infrastructure, or VCI. This covert presence used carrot and stick -- promises of reform and threats of violence -- to take control of large chunks of the countryside. U.S. planners were aware of VCI, but until 1968 only the CIA paid it much attention. Under CORDS, however, the United States implemented the much-maligned Phoenix program, which targeted VCI and resulted in the capture or killing (mostly capture) of more than 80,000 VCI guerrillas. Criticisms of Phoenix abound, and there were many problems with the system, but the fact is that a counterinsurgency plan that ignores the guerrilla infrastructure is no plan at all. The application of intelligence aimed at guerrillas' ability to live among the population is obvious. In Afghanistan, the Taliban are weak enough that their ability to influence the people is limited, but failure to watch them as they try to worm their way back into the villages will bring disaster later. In Iraq, the situation is different in that the guerrillas have not made a concerted effort to mobilize the people. A large part of the Sunni population seems to support the insurgency, but the guerrillas are not forming local shadow governments or attempting to establish their own political and economic programs. Still, it makes sense to aim intelligence directly at the guerrillas' recruiting process to try to disrupt it. Finally, it is crucial to form militias in order to raise the staff necessary to maintain a permanent government presence in dangerous areas. This is the only way "clear and hold" has any hope of working. Even an eventual U.S. troop strength of more than 500,000 and a similar number of South Vietnamese soldiers were not enough to take the countryside from the insurgents. But the early creation of a territorial militia helped return a government presence to the countryside. These militia members were recruited in villages and paid by the government; they lived in the areas where they operated, making it more difficult for the Viet Cong to settle among the population. Their numbers also reached 500,000, thanks partly to early participation by U.S. advisers. Although the militia's performance was sometimes lacking, overall it was an important part of the pacification program. In Afghanistan and Iraq the lack of government-controlled militias is a serious weakness, and the United States has not pushed for their formation. Militias exist in both countries, but they are often loyal to warlords (Afghanistan) or under the command of various ethnic or religious groups (Iraq). Their allegiance to the government is questionable. In the end America failed in Vietnam, and it is difficult to convince the public or policymakers that there is anything to learn from a losing effort. But the U.S. military did make important headway in pacification, and it would be foolish to let that experience slip away. Saigon's ultimate collapse was due to factors beyond the scope of counterinsurgency -- North Vietnam's large army and Washington's decision to allow it sanctuaries outside South Vietnam's borders were pivotal -- but the communist insurgency was badly hurt by pacification. In Afghanistan and Iraq none of these three lessons is being applied with any rigor, though there appears to be progress on the first two. But as one counterinsurgency expert told me, failure to employ all these basic tenets "doesn't mean you will lose the war, but you sure can't win." REFERENCE: Three Lessons From Vietnam By Dale Andrade Thursday, December 29, 2005 The writer is a historian and author of "Ashes to Ashes: The Phoenix Program and the Vietnam War." 

The CIA Phoenix Project - Part - 3


In Hong Kong, an agent of the U.S. Central Intelligence Agency slips into a railroad yard and checks the wear on ball hearings of freight cars coming in from China to try to spot unusual troop movements. Meanwhile, another agent goes to the Hong Kong central market and buys a large order of calf's liver from animals raised in China to run a lab test for radioactive fallout. In Eastern Europe, a CIA team tries to obtain a sample of a Communist party chief's urine. Purpose: to determine his state of health. The CIA did this successfully with Egypt's late King Farouk but failed recently with Yugoslavia's President Tito. THESE are only a few of myriad missions that the CIA has performed around the world. The agency is also constantly accused of fantastic James Bondian exploits that more often than not it has nothing to do with. The fact is that no nation can any longer accept Secretary of State Henry Stimson's bland dictum of 1929 that "gentlemen do not read other people's mail." In a nuclear-ringed globe, intelligence is more vital than ever. Nor can a world power automatically limit itself to such a passive role as mere information gathering; trying to influence events may at times be necessary. But it can no longer be done with the crudity and arrogance displayed in the Bay of Pigs invasion of 1961, or the attempt with the International Telephone and Telegraph Corp. to sow economic chaos in Chile in 1970. To harness the CIA's excesses and yet utilize its immense capabilities for keeping the U.S. abreast of world developments, the Nixon Administration has ordered the greatest reorganization in the agency's 25-year history. Cooperate. Reports TIME's Diplomatic Editor Jerrold Schecter, who has been keeping a watch on the CIA: "For the first time since its founding the CIA is undergoing a thorough shakeup of personnel and redirection of mission. The two main targets of U.S. intelligence activities continue to be the Soviet Union and China. But a rapidly developing détente with those countries has created different demands on the intelligence establishment. Along with traditional estimates of the missile and military capabilities of Communist countries, the White House is insisting on a new emphasis on assessments of their political and strategic intentions. The entire intelligence estimating process is being refined to include more stress on such developments as Soviet and Chinese grain outputs and computer advances." To chart this new direction. President Nixon has turned to a tweedy, pipe-smoking economist and military strategist, James R. Schlesinger, 44, who in February took over as director of the CIA. Aides quote Schlesinger as saying that "the entire intelligence community can produce a better product with a lower level of resources." In short, the nation's spy network should generate better intelligence for less money. Schlesinger has ordered the firing or forced retirement of 600 of the CIA'S 18,000 worldwide employees; 400 more are expected to go by year's end. His aim is to cut costs, eliminate marginal performers, and change the leadership of the agency. Among those who have gone are several of the long-entrenched top deputies of former CIA Director Richard Helms, who tended to favor the "operational men," or spies in the field, over the cerebral analysts, who ponder the intelligence and make policy recommendations. These two sides of the agency, traditionally separated, have orders to cooperate more. Paramilitary operations are being scaled down. In South Viet Nam, the CIA's role in the "Phoenix"—or counterterror—program has already been phased out. The program used CIA agents to advise the South Vietnamese in the "neutralization," or killing, of Viet Cong officials. Such covert activities are under the CIA'S deputy director of operations, currently William Colby, 53, a former ambassador who was in charge of pacification in Viet Nam from 1969 to mid-1971. Often called the agency's "dirty tricks department," Colby's section controls field agents who are involved in clandestine activities, including keeping a watch on the KGB (Soviet intelligence) and working with intelligence organizations in Western countries. But Colby's group is now placing new emphasis on such activities as getting early warnings of—and curbing—international terrorist operations and narcotics traffic. Through intercepts of communications, the CIA has discovered who ordered the killing of the U.S. and Belgian diplomats in Khartoum two months ago. It also knows the financial sources of the Black Septembrists, who carried out those assassinations, as well as the murders of Israeli athletes at the Munich Olympics. Rivalry. With the downgrading of cloak-and-dagger operations, one of Schlesinger's tasks will be the strengthening of the "leadership for the [intelligence] community as a whole," a recommendation that he himself urged on the President in 1971, when he was an assistant director of the Office of Management and Budget. Now, Schlesinger not only heads the CIA but also has ultimate responsibility for the Pentagon's Defense Intelligence Agency, which provides intelligence for the armed forces, and the National Security Agency, which directs spy planes, satellites and a vast communications-monitoring apparatus that cracks codes and gathers data from other countries. Schlesinger, as chairman of the Intelligence Resources Advisory Committee, will be taking a hard look at the combined $6.2 billion (some estimates put it as high as $8 billion) spent by the three agencies. Nearly half of the money goes for satellite reconnaissance and spy planes; about $750 million is budgeted to the CIA. Schlesinger also must watch out for a smoldering rivalry between the CIA and the DIA. The rivalry broke out in the open recently in the form of an article in the small (circ. 75,000) monthly magazine Army, written by Major General Daniel O. Graham last December—before he was picked by Schlesinger to be a member of his five-man Intelligence Resources Advisory Committee. Graham's article contended that the Pentagon should win back from the CIA primary responsibility for analyzing strategic military intelligence. To the embarrassment of military leaders, he conceded that in the past the Pentagon's estimates of Communist military potential were vastly overstated, and that the nation's decision makers rightly regarded those estimates as "self-serving, budget-oriented and generally inflated." But, he wrote, the Pentagon has so greatly reformed and improved its analysis in recent years that there will be no more "bad overestimates" like "bomber gaps," "missile gaps," and "megaton gaps." Aided by Graham, who will be the primary link between the CIA and the DIA, Schlesinger hopes to improve relations with the Pentagon. Under the able Richard Helms, CIA analysts had remained aloof from the military, and there were bitter battles between the CIA and DIA during the Viet Nam War over estimates of enemy infiltration and intentions. To increase accountability within the agency, Schlesinger has told CIA's analysts to sign all their intelligence reports. He hopes that bylines on the blue and white-covered CIA assessments will sharpen analyses and make the authors feel personally responsible for their assessments. Schlesinger seems just the man to shake up the CIA. A seasoned scholar, bureaucrat and Republican, he enjoys the confidence of President Nixon. He was graduated summa cum laude from Harvard ('50), later got his Ph.D. in economics there, taught at the University of Virginia, and was director of strategic studies at the Rand Corp. He joined the old Bureau of the Budget in 1969, and two years later was named chairman of the Atomic Energy Commission. His prodding of utility executives to pay more attention to environmental safeguards impressed the President. When industry leaders complained, Schlesinger told them: "Gentlemen, I'm not here to protect your triple-A bond ratings." While maintaining traditional secrecy about clandestine operations, Schlesinger is moving fast to lift the veil of conspiracy that has shrouded the agency. In an unprecedented move last month, he allowed a CIA agent, William Broe, the former chief of clandestine operations for the Western Hemisphere, to testify before a Senate subcommittee investigating the involvement of the CIA and the International Telephone and Telegraph Corp. in Chilean political affairs. As tough-minded as he is candid, Schlesinger leaves little doubt that he is determined to reform and redefine the CIA's role. Said he recently to an old CIA hand: "The trouble with this place is that it has been run like a gentleman's club—but I'm no gentleman." REFERENCE: THE CIA: The Big Shake-Up in a Gentlemen's Club Monday, Apr. 30, 1973,9171,907100-1,00.html,9171,907100-2,00.html,9171,907100-3,00.html

The CIA Phoenix Project - Part - 4


The Bush Administration has authorized a major escalation of the Special Forces covert war in Iraq. In interviews over the past month, American officials and former officials said that the main target was a hard-core group of Baathists who are believed to be behind much of the underground insurgency against the soldiers of the United States and its allies. A new Special Forces group, designated Task Force 121, has been assembled from Army Delta Force members, Navy seals, and C.I.A. paramilitary operatives, with many additional personnel ordered to report by January. Its highest priority is the neutralization of the Baathist insurgents, by capture or assassination. The revitalized Special Forces mission is a policy victory for Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld, who has struggled for two years to get the military leadership to accept the strategy of what he calls “Manhunts”—a phrase that he has used both publicly and in internal Pentagon communications. Rumsfeld has had to change much of the Pentagon’s leadership to get his way. “Knocking off two regimes allows us to do extraordinary things,” a Pentagon adviser told me, referring to Afghanistan and Iraq. One step the Pentagon took was to seek active and secret help in the war against the Iraqi insurgency from Israel, America’s closest ally in the Middle East. According to American and Israeli military and intelligence officials, Israeli commandos and intelligence units have been working closely with their American counterparts at the Special Forces training base at Fort Bragg, North Carolina, and in Israel to help them prepare for operations in Iraq. Israeli commandos are expected to serve as ad-hoc advisers—again, in secret—when full-field operations begin. (Neither the Pentagon nor Israeli diplomats would comment. “No one wants to talk about this,” an Israeli official told me. “It’s incendiary. Both governments have decided at the highest level that it is in their interests to keep a low profile on U.S.-Israeli coöperation” on Iraq.) The critical issue, American and Israeli officials agree, is intelligence. There is much debate about whether targeting a large number of individuals is a practical—or politically effective—way to bring about stability in Iraq, especially given the frequent failure of American forces to obtain consistent and reliable information there. Americans in the field are trying to solve that problem by developing a new source of information: they plan to assemble teams drawn from the upper ranks of the old Iraqi intelligence services and train them to penetrate the insurgency. The idea is for the infiltrators to provide information about individual insurgents for the Americans to act on. A former C.I.A. station chief described the strategy in simple terms: “U.S. shooters and Iraqi intelligence.” He added, “There are Iraqis in the intelligence business who have a better idea, and we’re tapping into them. We have to resuscitate Iraqi intelligence, holding our nose, and have Delta and agency shooters break down doors and take them”—the insurgents—“out.” A former intelligence official said that getting inside the Baathist leadership could be compared to “fighting your way into a coconut—you bang away and bang away until you find a soft spot, and then you can clean it out.” An American who has advised the civilian authority in Baghdad said, “The only way we can win is to go unconventional. We’re going to have to play their game. Guerrilla versus guerrilla. Terrorism versus terrorism. We’ve got to scare the Iraqis into submission.” In Washington, there is now widespread agreement on one point: the need for a new American approach to Iraq. There is also uniform criticism of the military’s current response to the growing American casualty lists. One former Pentagon official who worked extensively with the Special Forces command, and who favors the new military initiative, said, “We’ve got this large conventional force sitting there, and getting their ass shot off, and what we’re doing is counterproductive. We’re sending mixed signals.” The problem with the way the U.S. has been fighting the Baathist leadership, he said, is “(a) we’ve got no intelligence, and (b) we’re too squeamish to operate in this part of the world.” Referring to the American retaliation against a suspected mortar site, the former official said, “Instead of destroying an empty soccer field, why not impress me by sneaking in a sniper team and killing them while they’re setting up a mortar? We do need a more unconventional response, but it’s going to be messy.” Inside the Pentagon, it is now understood that simply bringing in or killing Saddam Hussein and his immediate circle—those who appeared in the Bush Administration’s famed “deck of cards”—will not stop the insurgency. The new Special Forces operation is aimed instead at the broad middle of the Baathist underground. But many of the officials I spoke to were skeptical of the Administration’s plans. Many of them fear that the proposed operation—called “preëmptive manhunting” by one Pentagon adviser—has the potential to turn into another Phoenix Program. Phoenix was the code name for a counter-insurgency program that the U.S. adopted during the Vietnam War, in which Special Forces teams were sent out to capture or assassinate Vietnamese believed to be working with or sympathetic to the Vietcong. In choosing targets, the Americans relied on information supplied by South Vietnamese Army officers and village chiefs. The operation got out of control. According to official South Vietnamese statistics, Phoenix claimed nearly forty-one thousand victims between 1968 and 1972; the U.S. counted more than twenty thousand in the same time span. Some of those assassinated had nothing to do with the war against America but were targeted because of private grievances. William E. Colby, the C.I.A. officer who took charge of the Phoenix Program in 1968 (he eventually became C.I.A. director), later acknowledged to Congress that “a lot of things were done that should not have been done.” The former Special Forces official warned that the problem with head-hunting is that you have to be sure “you’re hunting the right heads.” Speaking of the now coöperative former Iraqi intelligence officials, he said, “These guys have their own agenda. Will we be doing hits on grudges? When you set up host-nation elements”—units composed of Iraqis, rather than Americans—“it’s hard not to have them going off to do what they want to do. You have to keep them on a short leash.” The former official says that the Baathist leadership apparently relies on “face-to-face communications” in planning terrorist attacks. This makes the insurgents less vulnerable to one of the Army’s most secret Special Forces units, known as Grey Fox, which has particular expertise in interception and other technical means of intelligence-gathering. “These guys are too smart to touch cell phones or radio,” the former official said. “It’s all going to succeed or fail spectacularly based on human intelligence.” A former C.I.A. official with extensive Middle East experience identified one of the key players on the new American-Iraqi intelligence team as Farouq Hijazi, a Saddam loyalist who served for many years as the director of external operations for the Mukhabarat, the Iraqi intelligence service. He has been in custody since late April. The C.I.A. man said that over the past few months Hijazi “has cut a deal,” and American officials “are using him to reactivate the old Iraqi intelligence network.” He added, “My Iraqi friends say he will honor the deal—but only to the letter, and not to the spirit.” He said that although the Mukhabarat was a good security service, capable, in particular, of protecting Saddam Hussein from overthrow or assassination, it was “a lousy intelligence service.” The official went on, “It’s not the way we usually play ball, but if you see a couple of your guys get blown away it changes things. We did the American things—and we’ve been the nice guy. Now we’re going to be the bad guy, and being the bad guy works.” Told of such comments, the Pentagon adviser, who is an expert on unconventional war, expressed dismay. “There are people saying all sorts of wild things about Manhunts,” he said. “But they aren’t at the policy level. It’s not a no-holds policy, and it shouldn’t be. I’m as tough as anybody, but we’re also a democratic society, and we don’t fight terror with terror. There will be a lot of close controls—do’s and don’ts and rules of engagement.” The adviser added, “The problem is that we’ve not penetrated the bad guys. The Baath Party is run like a cell system. It’s like penetrating the Vietcong—we never could do it.” The rising star in Rumsfeld’s Pentagon is Stephen Cambone, the Under-Secretary of Defense for Intelligence, who has been deeply involved in developing the new Special Forces approach. Cambone, who earned a doctorate in political science from Claremont Graduate University in 1982, served as staff director for a 1998 committee, headed by Rumsfeld, that warned in its report of an emerging ballistic-missile threat to the United States and argued that intelligence agencies should be willing to go beyond the data at hand in their analyses. Cambone, in his confirmation hearings, in February, told the Senate that consumers of intelligence assessments must ask questions of the analysts—“how they arrived at those conclusions and what the sources of the information were.” This approach was championed by Rumsfeld. It came under attack, however, when the Administration’s predictions about Iraq’s weapons of mass destruction and the potential for insurgency failed to be realized, and the Pentagon civilians were widely accused of politicizing intelligence. (A month after the fall of Baghdad, Cambone was the first senior Pentagon official to publicly claim, wrongly, as it turned out, that a captured Iraqi military truck might be a mobile biological-weapons laboratory.) Cambone also shares Rumsfeld’s views on how to fight terrorism. They both believe that the United States needs to become far more proactive in combatting terrorism, searching for terrorist leaders around the world and eliminating them. And Cambone, like Rumsfeld, has been frustrated by the reluctance of the military leadership to embrace the manhunting mission. Since his confirmation, he has been seeking operational authority over Special Forces. “Rumsfeld’s been looking for somebody to have all the answers, and Steve is the guy,” a former high-level Pentagon official told me. “He has more direct access to Rummy than anyone else.” As Cambone’s influence has increased, that of Douglas Feith, the Under-Secretary of Defense for Policy, has diminished. In September, 2001, Feith set up a special unit known as the Office of Special Plans. The office, directed by civilians who, like Feith, had neoconservative views, played a major role in the intelligence and planning leading up to the March invasion of Iraq. “There is finger-pointing going on,” a prominent Republican lobbyist explained. “And the neocons are in retreat.” One of the key planners of the Special Forces offensive is Lieutenant General William (Jerry) Boykin, Cambone’s military assistant. After a meeting with Rumsfeld early last summer—they got along “like two old warriors,” the Pentagon consultant said—Boykin postponed his retirement, which had been planned for June, and took the Pentagon job, which brought him a third star. In that post, the Pentagon adviser told me, Boykin has been “an important piece” of the planned escalation. In October, the Los Angeles Times reported that Boykin, while giving Sunday-morning talks in uniform to church groups, had repeatedly equated the Muslim world with Satan. Last June, according to the paper, he told a congregation in Oregon that “Satan wants to destroy this nation, he wants to destroy us as a nation, and he wants to destroy us as a Christian army.” Boykin praised President Bush as a “man who prays in the Oval Office,” and declared that Bush was “not elected” President but “appointed by God.” The Muslim world hates America, he said, “because we are a nation of believers.” There were calls in the press and from Congress for Boykin’s dismissal, but Rumsfeld made it clear that he wanted to keep his man in the job. Initially, he responded to the Times report by praising the General’s “outstanding record” and telling journalists that he had neither seen the text of Boykin’s statements nor watched the videotape that had been made of one of his presentations. “There are a lot of things that are said by people in the military, or in civilian life, or in the Congress, or in the executive branch that are their views,” he said. “We’re a free people. And that’s the wonderful thing about our country.” He added, with regard to the tape, “I just simply can’t comment on what he said, because I haven’t seen it.” Four days later, Rumsfeld said that he had viewed the tape. “It had a lot of very difficult-to-understand words with subtitles which I was not able to verify,” he said at a news conference, according to the official transcript. “So I remain inexpert”—the transcript notes that he “chuckles” at that moment—“on precisely what he said.” Boykin’s comments are now under official review. Boykin has been involved in other controversies as well. He was the Army combat commander in Mogadishu in 1993, when eighteen Americans were slain during the disastrous mission made famous by Mark Bowden’s book “Black Hawk Down.” Earlier that year, Boykin, a colonel at the time, led an eight-man Delta Force that was assigned to help a Colombian police unit track down the notorious drug dealer Pablo Escobar. Boykin’s team was barred by law from providing any lethal assistance without Presidential approval, but there was suspicion in the Pentagon that it was planning to take part in the assassination of Escobar, with the support of American Embassy officials in Colombia. The book “Killing Pablo,” an account, also by Mark Bowden, of the hunt for Escobar, describes how senior officials in the Pentagon’s chain of command became convinced that Boykin, with the knowledge of his Special Forces superiors, had exceeded his authority and intended to violate the law. They wanted Boykin’s unit pulled out. It wasn’t. Escobar was shot dead on the roof of a barrio apartment building in Medellín. The Colombian police were credited with getting their man, but, Bowden wrote, “within the special ops community . . . Pablo’s death was regarded as a successful mission for Delta, and legend has it that its operators were in on the kill.” “That’s what those guys did,” a retired general who monitored Boykin’s operations in Colombia told me. “I’ve seen pictures of Escobar’s body that you don’t get from a long-range telescope lens. They were taken by guys on the assault team.” (Bush Administration officials in the White House, the State Department, and the Pentagon, including General Boykin, did not respond to requests for comment.) Morris Busby, who was the American Ambassador to Colombia in 1993 (he is now retired), vigorously defended Boykin. “I think the world of Jerry Boykin, and have the utmost respect for him. I’ve known him for fifteen years and spent hours and hours with the guy, and never heard him mention religion or God.” The retired general also praised Boykin as “one of those guys you’d love to have in a war because he’s not afraid to die.” But, he added, “when you get to three stars you’ve got to think through what you’re doing.” Referring to Boykin and others involved in the Special Forces planning, he added, “These guys are going to get a bunch of guys killed and then give them a bunch of medals.” The American-Israeli liaison on Iraq amounts to a tutorial on how to dismantle an insurgency. One former Israeli military-intelligence officer summarized the core lesson this way: “How to do targeted killing, which is very relevant to the success of the war, and what the United States is going to have to do.” He told me that the Americans were being urged to emulate the Israeli Army’s small commando units, known as Mist’aravim, which operate undercover inside the West Bank and Gaza Strip. “They can approach a house and pounce,” the former officer said. In the Israeli view, he added, the Special Forces units must learn “how to maintain a network of informants.” Such a network, he said, has made it possible for Israel to penetrate the West Bank and Gaza Strip organizations controlled by groups such as Hamas, and to assassinate or capture potential suicide bombers along with many of the people who recruit and train them. On the other hand, the former officer said, “Israel has, in many ways, been too successful, and has killed or captured so many mid-ranking facilitators on the operational level in the West Bank that Hamas now consists largely of isolated cells that carry out terrorist attacks against Israel on their own.” He went on, “There is no central control over many of the suicide bombers. We’re trying to tell the Americans that they don’t want to eliminate the center. The key is not to have freelancers out there.” Many regional experts, Americans and others, are convinced that the Baathists are still firmly in charge of the insurgency, although they are thought to have little direct connection with Saddam Hussein. An American military analyst who works with the American-led Coalition Provisional Authority in Baghdad told me he has concluded that “mid-ranking Baathists who were muzzled by the patrimonial nature of Saddam’s system have now, with the disappearance of the high-ranking members, risen to control the insurgency.” He added that after the American attack and several weeks “of being like deer in headlights,” these Baathists had become organized, and were directing and leading operations against Americans. During an interview in Washington, a senior Arab diplomat noted, “We do not believe that the resistance is loyal to Saddam. Yes, the Baathists have reorganized, not for political reasons but because of the terrible decisions made by Jerry Bremer”—the director of the C.P.A. “The Iraqis really want to make you pay the price,” the diplomat said. “Killing Saddam will not end it.” Similarly, a Middle Eastern businessman who has advised senior Bush Administration officials told me that the reorganized Baath Party is “extremely active, working underground with permanent internal communications. And without Saddam.” Baath party leaders, he added, expect Saddam to issue a public statement of self-criticism, “telling of his mistakes and his excesses,” including his reliance on his sons. There is disagreement, inevitably, on the extent of Baathist control. The former Israeli military-intelligence officer said, “Most of the firepower comes from the Baathists, and they know where the weapons are kept. But many of the shooters are ethnic and tribal. Iraq is very factionalized now, and within the Sunni community factionalism goes deep.” He added, “Unless you settle this, any effort at reconstruction in the center is hopeless.” The American military analyst agreed that the current emphasis on Baathist control “overlooks the nationalist and tribal angle.” For example, he said, the anti-coalition forces in Falluja, a major center of opposition, are “driven primarily by the sheikhs and mosques, Islam, clerics, and nationalism.” The region, he went on, contains “tens of thousands of unemployed former military officers and enlistees who hang around the coffee shops and restaurants of their relatives; they plot, plan, and give and receive instructions; at night they go out on their missions.” This military analyst, like many officials I spoke to, also raised questions about the military’s more conventional tactics—the aggressive program, code-named Iron Hammer, of bombings, nighttime raids, and mass arrests aimed at trouble spots in Sunni-dominated central Iraq. The insurgents, he told me, had already developed a response. “Their S.O.P.”—standard operating procedure—“now is to go further out, or even to other towns, so that American retribution does not fall on their locale. Instead, the Americans take it out on the city where the incident happened, and in the process they succeed in making more enemies.” The brazen Iraqi attacks on two separate American convoys in Samarra, on November 30th, provided further evidence of the diversity of the opposition to the occupation. Samarra has been a center of intense anti-Saddam feelings, according to Ahmed S. Hashim, an expert on terrorism who is a professor of strategic studies at the U.S. Naval War College. In an essay published in August by the Middle East Institute, Hashim wrote, “Many Samarra natives—who had served with distinction in the Baath Party and the armed forces—were purged or executed during the course of the three decades of rule by Saddam and his cronies from the rival town of Tikrit.” He went on, “The type of U.S. force structure in Iraq—heavy armored and mechanized units—and the psychological disposition of these forces which have been in Iraq for months is simply not conducive to the successful waging of counter-insurgency warfare.” The majority of the Bush Administration’s manhunting missions remain classified, but one earlier mission, in Afghanistan, had mixed results at best. Last November, an Al Qaeda leader named Qaed Salim Sinan al-Harethi was killed when an unmanned Predator reconnaissance aircraft fired a Hellfire missile at his automobile in Yemen. Five passengers in the automobile were also killed, and it was subsequently reported that two previous Predator missions in Yemen had been called off at the last moment when it was learned that the occupants of suspect vehicles were local Bedouins, and not Al Qaeda members. Since then, an adviser to the Special Forces command has told me, infighting among the various senior military commands has made it difficult for Special Forces teams on alert to take immediate advantage of time-sensitive intelligence. Rumsfeld repeatedly criticized Air Force General Charles Holland, a four-star Special Forces commander who has just retired, for his reluctance to authorize commando raids without specific, or “actionable,” intelligence. Rumsfeld has also made a systematic effort to appoint Special Forces advocates to the top military jobs. Another former Special Forces commander, Army General Peter Schoomaker, was brought out of retirement in July and named Army Chief of Staff. The new civilian Assistant Secretary for Special Operations in the Pentagon is Thomas O’Connell, an Army veteran who served in the Phoenix program in Vietnam, and who, in the early eighties, ran Grey Fox, the Army’s secret commando unit. Early in November, the Times reported the existence of Task Force 121, and said that it was authorized to take action throughout the region, if necessary, in pursuit of Saddam Hussein, Osama bin Laden, and other terrorists. (The task force is commanded by Air Force Brigadier General Lyle Koenig, an experienced Special Forces helicopter pilot.) At that point, the former Special Forces official told me, the troops were “chasing the deck of cards. Their job was to find Saddam, period.” Other Special Forces, in Afghanistan, were targeting what is known as the A.Q.S.L., the Al Qaeda Senior Leadership List. The task force’s search for Saddam was, from the beginning, daunting. According to Scott Ritter, a former United Nations weapons inspector, it may have been fatally flawed as well. From 1994 to 1998, Ritter directed a special U.N. unit that eavesdropped on many of Saddam Hussein’s private telephone communications. “The high-profile guys around Saddam were the murafaqin, his most loyal companions, who could stand next to him carrying a gun,” Ritter told me. “But now he’s gone to a different tier—the tribes. He has released the men from his most sensitive units and let them go back to their tribes, and we don’t know where they are. The manifests of those units are gone; they’ve all been destroyed.” Ritter added, “Guys like Farouq Hijazi can deliver some of the Baath Party cells, and he knows where some of the intelligence people are. But he can’t get us into the tribal hierarchy.” The task force, in any event, has shifted its focus from the hunt for Saddam as it is increasingly distracted by the spreading guerrilla war. In addition to the Special Forces initiative, the military is also exploring other approaches to suppressing the insurgency. The Washington Post reported last week that the American authorities in Baghdad had agreed, with some reluctance, to the formation of an Iraqi-led counter-terrorism militia composed of troops from the nation’s five largest political parties. The paramilitary unit, totalling some eight hundred troops or so, would “identify and pursue insurgents” who had eluded arrest, the newspaper said. The group’s initial missions would be monitored and approved by American commanders, but eventually it would operate independently. Task Force 121’s next major problem may prove to be Iran. There is a debate going on inside the Administration about American and Israeli intelligence that suggests that the Shiite-dominated Iranian government may be actively aiding the Sunni-led insurgency in Iraq—“pulling the strings on the puppet,” as one former intelligence official put it. Many in the intelligence community are skeptical of this analysis—the Pentagon adviser compared it to “the Chalabi stuff,” referring to now discredited prewar intelligence on W.M.D. supplied by Iraqi defectors. But I was told by several officials that the intelligence was considered to be highly reliable by civilians in the Defense Department. A former intelligence official said that one possible response under consideration was for the United States to train and equip an Iraqi force capable of staging cross-border raids. The American goal, he said, would be to “make the cost of supporting the Baathists so dear that the Iranians would back off,” adding, “If it begins to look like another Iran-Iraq war, that’s another story.” The requirement that America’s Special Forces units operate in secrecy, a former senior coalition adviser in Baghdad told me, has provided an additional incentive for increasing their presence in Iraq. The Special Forces in-country numbers are not generally included in troop totals. Bush and Rumsfeld have insisted that more American troops are not needed, but that position was challenged by many senior military officers in private conversations with me. “You need more people,” the former adviser, a retired admiral, said. “But you can’t add them, because Rummy’s taken a position. So you invent a force that won’t be counted.” At present, there is no legislation that requires the President to notify Congress before authorizing an overseas Special Forces mission. The Special Forces have been expanded enormously in the Bush Administration. The 2004 Pentagon budget provides more than six and a half billion dollars for their activities—a thirty-four-per-cent increase over 2003. A recent congressional study put the number of active and reserve Special Forces troops at forty-seven thousand, and has suggested that the appropriate House and Senate committees needed to debate the “proper overall role” of Special Forces in the global war on terrorism. The former intelligence official depicted the Delta and seal teams as “force multipliers”—small units that can do the work of much larger ones and thereby increase the power of the operation as a whole. He also implicitly recognized that such operations would become more and more common; when Special Forces target the Baathists, he said, “it’s technically not assassination—it’s normal combat operations.” ♦ REFERENCE: Annals of National Security Moving Targets Will the counter-insurgency plan in Iraq repeat the mistakes of Vietnam? by Seymour M. Hersh December 15, 2003 

The CIA Phoenix Project - Part - 5


The CIA's Vietnam Histories - Newly-Declassified CIA Histories Show Its Involvement in Every Aspect of the Indochina War National Security Archive Electronic Briefing Book No. 283 Posted - August 26, 2009 For more information contact: John Prados - 202/994-7000