View Full Version : Special US unit can enter Pakistan at will to hunt Osama

11 Sep 06,, 05:32
Special US unit can enter Pakistan at will to hunt Osama

By Khalid Hasan

WASHINGTON: A special US unit now has the authority to go after Osama bin Laden inside Pakistan without having to seek permission first, according to two US officials.

A comprehensive report on the hunt for bin Laden run by the Washington Post on Sunday says that Lieutenant General Stanley A McChrystal, the commander of the Joint Special Operations Command (JSOC) operates on the understanding with Pakistan that US units will not enter Pakistan, except under extreme circumstances, and that Pakistan will deny giving them permission.

This is what happened in January 2006, when the JSOC troops clandestinely entered the village of Saidgai, two officials familiar with the operation said, and Pakistan protested.

“The authority,” one knowledgeable person said, “follows the target”: if the target is bin Laden, the stakes are high enough for McChrystal to decide any action on his own.

The JSOC has been given more resources from the National Security Agency and other intelligence agencies. President Bush recently directed the team to “flood the zone” or intensify the search for bin Laden. The resources of the special group in terms of personnel and materials were also increased. However, no one is certain where the “zone” is.

Gary Berntsen, the former CIA officer who led the first and last hunt for bin Laden at Tora Bora in December 2001, told the Post, “This could all end tomorrow.” One unsolicited walk-in, one tribesman seeking to collect the $25 million reward, one courier who would rather his kids grow up in the US, one dealmaker, “and this could all change,” he said.

A senior Pakistani intelligence official told the newspaper, “For technical intelligence ISI works hand in hand with the NSA (National Security Agency). The US assistance in building Pakistan’s capabilities for technical intelligence since 9/11 is superb.”

Since early 2002, the US is said to have stationed a small number of NSA and CIA personnel near where bin Laden may be hiding. They are embedded with counter terrorism units of the Pakistan army’s elite Special Services Group, according to senior Pakistani intelligence officials. The NSA and other specialists collect imagery and electronic intercepts that their CIA counterparts then share with the Pakistani units in the tribal areas and with Balochistan. But even with sophisticated technology, the local geography presents formidable obstacles.

The army lost its best source of intelligence in 2004, after it began raids inside the tribal areas. Scouts with blood ties to the tribes ceased sharing information for fear of retaliation. The report says: “Pakistani and US counter terrorism and military officials admit that Pakistan has now all but stopped looking for bin Laden. ‘The dirty little secret is, they have nothing, no operations, without the *****,’ one former counter terrorism officer said”.

Last week’s truce with the Taliban that calls on the insurgent Afghan group to end armed attacks inside Pakistan and to stop crossing into Afghanistan to fight the government and international troops has created unease in Washington.

According to the Post, “Pakistan will permit only small numbers of US forces to operate with its troops at times and, because their role is so sensitive politically, it officially denies any US presence. A frequent complaint from US troops is that they have too little to do. The same complaint is also heard from US forces in Afghanistan, where there were few targets to go after.” McChrystal has become the de facto leader of the hunt for bin Laden and developed a good working relationship with the CIA. He asks for targets from the CIA, and it tries to comply.

Since most of you are experts in the military and intelligence field I would like to get your thoughts on this and your answers to the following questions.

Does this mean Pakistan believes that OBL is in their territory?
How likely is it that OBL will be caught?
If he is indeed caught soon do you think it will have a significant impact on the elections? A possible boost to the Republicans?
Since the terror network has spread and now there a multiple organizations in play, if the US manages to capture OBL will it have any real impact in terms of reduced terror activity?
Sir Ray: Seems you were right on the ball with Mush's recent taliban peace strategy.

Thank you.:)

11 Sep 06,, 06:49
Sir Ray: Seems you were right on the ball with Mush's recent taliban peace strategy.

Well, as per the PDF, I am a RAW man seconded from the CIA, KGB, MI5 and Mossad and having the ears of all Presidents and Prime Ministers, Kings and Dictators of the world!

And also of the Admins and the Moderators of the WAB.

QED as per PDF!

11 Sep 06,, 16:33
who says US forces weren't already active in Pakistan??? covertly ofcourse.... they can fight a mini-war and I doubt the Pakistanis will even know about it considering their keenful eye on the border.... or lack there of...

11 Sep 06,, 17:39
Anyone who pays attention can tell you that Osama is in the Chitrol region of Pakistan, near the border with China. Plus Mullah Omar is hanging out in Quetta.