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Leader
12 Dec 04,, 01:30
U.S. Launches New Afghanistan Offensive

Saturday, December 11, 2004

KABUL, Afghanistan — Some 18,000 American troops have started a winter offensive against Taliban rebels in Afghanistan, vowing to eliminate insurgents who could threaten parliamentary elections slated for the spring.

The U.S. military said Saturday that it hoped the new push, dubbed Lightning Freedom, would persuade insurgents to accept an amnesty offered by President Hamid Karzai that could stabilize the country and allow foreign troops to pull back.

"It's designed basically to search out and destroy the remaining remnants of Taliban forces who traditionally we believe go to ground during the winter months," spokesman Maj. Mark McCann said. "It's going on throughout the country of Afghanistan."

The operation was initiated after Karzai's inauguration Tuesday as the country's first democratically elected president, McCann said. He didn't know exactly when it began and gave no details of any specific moves against militant targets.

But Maj. Gen. Eric Olson, the No. 2 American commander here, told The Associated Press last month that the operation would include a redeployment to tighten security on the border with Pakistan and raids by special forces to snatch rebel leaders.

Protecting Afghanistan's young democracy has become the most urgent priority for American commanders frustrated by their failure to capture Al Qaeda leader Usama bin Laden, who disappeared after the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks in the United States.

The landmark Oct. 9 vote, which gave a landslide victory to Karzai, was free of the major violence threatened by Taliban diehards, who continue to fight on three years after being ousted from power. Attention is already turning to the more complex National Assembly election, slated for April.

The new military drive, which involves the entire 18,000-strong U.S.-led force here, also is aimed at persuading militants to take up an offer of amnesty from the American military and the Afghan government, McCann said.

Lt. Gen. David Barno, Olson's superior, told AP last week that if a large number of Taliban foot soldiers give up the fight in return for a promise that they can return to their villages, U.S. troop strength could be cut by next summer — once the parliamentary election is complete.

McCann said the military believes the operations "will establish security conditions that allow the parliamentary elections in the spring to occur with the same success" as October's vote.

Lightning Freedom represents a new phase, rather than any shift in strategy, and commanders will continue mixing combat operations with humanitarian actions, the spokesman said.

Compared with last winter, the United States has several thousand more troops strung out across the south and east, where insurgents are strongest.

McCann said the U.S. military will also help Afghan forces combat the country's booming drug industry by sharing intelligence, ferrying counter-narcotics units to and from raids, and rescuing them if they get into serious trouble.

Karzai says exploding cultivation of opium poppies, the source of most of the world's heroin, is now a bigger threat to the country than militants. Officials are vowing to arrest top smugglers and refiners next year.

However, the U.S. military is concerned that raids could lead to fresh political instability and will lend a hand to anti-drug raids "as long as they do not interfere with the coalition's primary missions" of defeating insurgents and fostering reconstruction, McCann said.

The number of so-called Provincial Reconstruction Teams — small military units tasked with supporting local authorities and carrying out small-scale relief and development projects — has also risen from five to 19 over the past year.

"It's not just about conducting combat operations. It's also about connecting with the people here," McCann said.

The new operation follows Lightning Resolve, a massive security operation begun in July to protect the October election, the first national vote since the fall of the Taliban in late 2001.

In previous winters, the U.S. military has mobilized one or two battalions for sweeps of particular regions, an approach which brought few visible results.

http://www.foxnews.com/printer_friendly_story/0,3566,141233,00.html

Sohail
12 Dec 04,, 11:40
Why USA don t lunch an offensive against Binori town mosque (Karachi, Pakistan), where all these taleban take their orders????

lulldapull
12 Dec 04,, 17:56
All them "lightening resolves" or operation "Quick Neocon Justice" God-damn :biggrin: :biggrin: :biggrin: :biggrin: :biggrin: :biggrin:

Man these Neocons wont get it, until one day that they end up getting it in the booty all over again! :biggrin:

The U.S. cannot and will not prevail in neither Afghanistan nor Iraq! :)

You can't impose your will on others! it hasn't worked in teh last 4 years, and it wont work in the next 50 yars, even if all the entire 3 million members of the U.S. military go over there and start killing ppl!

only the Afghans or the Iraqi's can change this situation, and the likelihood of that ever happening are extremely remote!

Ray
12 Dec 04,, 19:13
Every single hot AQ man is picked up in Karachi.

It is time to hunt in Karachi and stop wasting time and pretending.

Asim Aquil
12 Dec 04,, 21:51
Karachi is a developed city.

You can't have airstrikes in Karachi, but surgical operations of the troops are already underway. US should've been more involved in Wana, but by now they've almost already vanished off from Jacobabad airbase.

But I guess the US has its fair reasons. Seeing White skinned Soldiers in Karachi would mean a political suicide for Musharraf. They're instead training anti-terror squads, who've done to capture a lot of them. So I guess the best option for them is to provide spy Sat intelligence.

US offensives in Aghanistan cannot succeed till their airsupply isn't cut off from Pakistan. While there are at it, some stray missiles to take out Qazi, Fazlu n gang wouldn't hurt either. You'd find us very forgiving in such a case.

tarek
12 Dec 04,, 21:55
Well, well, Mr. Aqil - how now? Not citing how many AQ types arrested??

Perhaps it does not serve the interests of Pakistan to clean up - could it be??

Asim Aquil
12 Dec 04,, 22:04
Karachi earns more money than the rest of the Pakistan combined. Obviously its in our interests, increase investor's confidence, more FDI, more money for Karachi, so on.

I feel another conspiracy allegation.....

Leader
13 Dec 04,, 00:43
Every single hot AQ man is picked up in Karachi.

It is time to hunt in Karachi and stop wasting time and pretending.


Why USA don t lunch an offensive against Binori town mosque (Karachi, Pakistan), where all these taleban take their orders????

You mean start another "illegal" war?

Asim Aquil
13 Dec 04,, 00:59
You mean start another "illegal" war?
America's working with the local forces in Pakistan. They're helping us weed out these terror scums. Some arrests made in Karachi have been by the help of US forces.

Leader
13 Dec 04,, 01:13
America's working with the local forces in Pakistan. They're helping us weed out these terror scums. Some arrests made in Karachi have been by the help of US forces.

That's great, but I was referring mainly to Sohail who I believe would like us to go a bit further then "working with local forces."

Sohail
13 Dec 04,, 14:08
That's great, but I was referring mainly to Sohail who I believe would like us to go a bit further then "working with local forces."

man USA have enough interest to destroy this evil connection between ISI fags n dumPmullahs, u know the binori town s mosque is the local AQ HeadQ in Karachi. One tomahawk on this $hit n no more taliban n araanb in Karachi. But u r right Leader, it will be another grrrrreat mistake by USA. But a very good mistake. ;)

Nuke them all.

Asim Aquil
13 Dec 04,, 16:06
Dude you can't have missiles flying in Karachi. You need send in troops into these locations. Terrorists can be hidden anywhere, thats the hard truth.

Ray
13 Dec 04,, 17:22
I am sure that nuke stuff was said in jest.

Yet, the supercilious idea somewhere in this thread (don't have the time to check) that hunting down with troops means the US is most humourous, apart from being highly condescending. As if Pakistan has no Army or the Army is sub standard.

It is time people realise that Pakistan is not an Arab nation with useless soldiers who could be kicked around. They are better than many.

Those who have not seen the mountains of Asia should realise fancy word like 'sweep' or with a drop in the ocean in troops i.e. a battalion or two is as good as next to nothing!

lemontree
14 Dec 04,, 10:59
Well, well, Mr. Aqil - how now? Not citing how many AQ types arrested??

Perhaps it does not serve the interests of Pakistan to clean up - could it be??
Perhaps...you are right :)

tarek
14 Dec 04,, 17:56
Lemon

I don't know if I am right about this, but I am very suspicious when I look at the political developments in Pakistan -- The reform program is at a standstill, the so called take-off stage the economy was supposed to have reached, remains distant (v1 a much longer run with v2 untennable) - and then there is business of "reconcilliation" with BB and NS, while Mullah arrange rallies decrying not the gross inequalities in societies but rather the demonization of the US and the West in general, and the lionization of terrorists.

I really do believe that we have hit some kind of wall. The statement that Al-qaida is bigger than Al-Zawahiri and Osama is "curious".

Ray
15 Dec 04,, 05:11
Tarek,

While everything is not picture perfect for Pakistan, but this present govt in Pakistan apparently has achieved more than any of the previous civilian govt.

While reconciliation with BB and NS would be good for the stability of Pakistan to some extent, but they should not be allowed to be at the helm of affairs........as yet.

The economy has been hit not only in Pakistan but all over the world.

Ray
15 Dec 04,, 06:29
Tarek,

This is what Husain Haqqani is a Visiting Scholar at Carnegie Endowment for International Peace in Washington DC and Associate Professor of International Relations at Boston University. He served as adviser to Pakistani PMs Nawaz Sharif and Benazir Bhutto and as Pakistan’s ambassador to Sri Lanka has to say:



Beating the retreat on democracy
As long as General Musharraf remains a US ally, Bush’s attempts to bring democracy to the Middle East don’t look credible


HUSAIN HAQQANI

Husain Haqqani More than a year has gone by since President George W Bush declared promotion of democracy in the Muslim world as one of the key objectives of US foreign policy in the ‘greater Middle East’. The US went to war in Afghanistan and Iraq partly to create models for pluralist democracies for Muslim states.

Torn between the demands of realpolitik and its vision of changing the world, Bush’s team is consistently opting for compromises on both. The vision of a democratic Muslim world is being sacrificed to accommodate undemocratic Muslim rulers allied to the US. The gap between Washington’s pro-democracy rhetoric and pro-status quo policies is often illustrated best by America’s complex relationship with Pakistan’s military establishment. During the recent White House meeting between President Bush and General Musharraf, the American President spoke of the need for building democracy in the Palestinian territory but not for changing things in Pakistan. President Bush met Musharraf on a Saturday, dragging his entire foreign policy and national security team out of their homes over a weekend. This was ostensibly an acknowledgment of Pakistan’s key role in the war against terrorism and of Musharraf’s contribution in making that role possible.

Pretending that he was meeting a democratic leader, President Bush chose to define what a Palestinian democracy should look like. He called for “a world effort to help the Palestinians develop a state that is truly free: one that’s got an independent judiciary; one that’s got a civil society; one that’s got the capacity to fight off the terrorists; one that allows for dissent; one in which people can vote.” Most of those criteria are not met in Pakistan.

General Musharraf seized power in a coup, purged the Supreme Court, arbitrarily amended the constitution and has never stood for election in a contested campaign. It is true that General Musharraf allows a fair amount of dissent in Pakistan but that amounts to meeting one criterion out of the several set forth in President Bush’s definition of a Palestinian democracy. One understands that international relations cannot be subject purely to ideals, including the demand that all nations accept one system of governance. But for any foreign policy to be effective it must be credible. The Bush administration’s mantra of promoting democracy in the Muslim world is one of those policies that simply will not be credible if allies such as General Musharraf are allowed to redefine democracy. The United States will have to tone down its rhetoric of democracy promotion or at least find a balance between maintaining alliances of convenience and its stated higher moral purpose. The US could demand reform while retaining alliances dictated by strategic considerations. For example, I doubt if General Musharraf would have walked out of his alliance with the US if Bush had reminded him that he is not fulfilling conditions for democratic development.

President Bush’s reluctance to nudge General Musharraf on the subject of democracy is attributed to the US need for Pakistani cooperation, especially in the hunt for Osama bin Laden. But here too the law of diminishing returns appears to be in play. Musharraf is beginning to acknowledge that he and his intelligence services may not have the crucial role in finding bin Laden they have been assumed to have. ‘‘We don’t know where he is,’’ Musharraf said during his stopover in Washington, which was the latest in several mutually contradictory comments he has made on the subject.

According to the memoirs of General Tommy Franks, the CENTCOM commander at the time, Musharraf had told him soon after the beginning of American military operations in Afghanistan that Pakistani intelligence would know if and when bin Laden crosses the Afghan-Pakistan border. Then on December 24, 2001, General Musharraf told The China Daily: ‘‘Maybe he is dead because of all the operations that have been conducted, the bombardment of all the caves that have been conducted, there’s a great possibility that he may have lost his life there.’’ He also said, ‘‘He is not in Pakistan; that we are reasonably sure, we cannot be 100 per cent sure, but we have sealed the borders between Afghanistan and Pakistan’’ and stuck with the ‘‘he is dead’’ assertion through much of 2002. After that he repeatedly told interviewers that even if bin Laden was alive, he could not be in Pakistan. That position changed in an interview with the BBC on September 11, 2003. In that interview, General Musharraf said, ‘‘I feel that he is alive, yes because of the various information and intelligence that have come up now. But to guess whether he’s in Pakistan or Afghanistan, the possibility exists he is shifting places, shifting bases on both sides.’’ That reply was repeated several times until the middle of 2004. Only in September 2004 did Musharraf tell CNN, ‘‘I don’t know where he is. I wish I did.’’

Last week in Washington, the General was interviewed again by CNN. In that interview Musharraf conceded that he was ‘‘confused’’ about bin Laden’s whereabouts. From the definition of democracy to the likely hiding place of America’s most wanted terrorist, why is there significant confusion in the US-Pakistan alliance?

Husain Haqqani is a Visiting Scholar at Carnegie Endowment for International Peace in Washington DC and Associate Professor of International Relations at Boston University. He served as adviser to Pakistani PMs Nawaz Sharif and Benazir Bhutto and as Pakistan’s ambassador to Sri Lanka


However, note is was an advisor of BB and NS.

Notwithstanding, I still think things are better in Pakistan than before.

It will take time to clear the mess and chaos created by Gen Zia and pushing Pakistan into medieval times totally ruining Jinnah's concept of Pakistan. As sit will take time to sort oout the defalcation and 10% regime of BB and later NS.

It will take time, but it will one day be better than before.

Also, no matter what he says about Bush in this article, realpolitiks sometimes forces compromise. Time will tell how far the war on terror has been succcessful. I hope it will be successful one day.

It will be good for the subcontinent.