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Thread: US plan to improve Afghan intelligence operations branded a $457m failure

  1. #151
    Senior Contributor Oracle's Avatar
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    Military force can't bring peace to Afghanistan: Pakistan

    Yes. Please continue to use the terrorism discourse.

  2. #152
    Turbanator Senior Contributor Double Edge's Avatar
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    Sounds dicey

    Controversial US Plan of Reviving Afghan Militias concerns UN | CRSS | Nov 20 2017

    Afghan strongmen have already begun vying for influence over the US-proposed militia program that diplomats fear will undermine Afghan Government and lead to abuse. As Afghan Government struggles to stem Taliban insurgency and shore up its dwindling security forces, the US military is turning to a controversial solution long known to stoke unrest and exploitation: the local militias. Its aim, according to a Nato proposal circulated among embassies, will be to stabilise areas cleared by the regular security forces and establish law & order. Yet some worry that the force will amplify existing rivalries and be difficult to regulate. As it is, the national army, which will oversee the new force, is already fraught with poor leadership.

    International donors, including the UN, have warned against such plans and lobbied the Afghan president to reject the US proposal. They say the new militias resemble the Afghan Local Police, a force notorious for grave human rights abuses and destabilising villages by undermining the central government.

    The so-called Afghan National Army Territorial Force, essentially self-defence units of locally recruited men serving in their own villages, will be piloted with 1,000 men, once Afghan president Ashraf Ghani approves the proposal, and will eventually number some 20,000, officials say.
    Last edited by Double Edge; 22 Nov 17, at 13:46.

  3. #153
    Turbanator Senior Contributor Double Edge's Avatar
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    More religious outfits crawling out of the woodwork. This time its the Barelevis. The PA has badly burnt its hands with deobands and wahhabis already. Let's see where this experiment in political islam leads

    Pakistan government calls in army after police, Islamists clash | Reuters | Nov 25 2017

    Tehreek-e-Labaik is one of two new ultra-religious political movements that have risen up in recent months and seem set to play a major role in elections that must be held by summer next year, though they are unlikely to win a majority.

    Tehreek-e-Laibak was born out of a protest movement lionizing Mumtaz Qadri, a bodyguard of the governor of Punjab province who gunned down his boss in 2011 over his call to reform strict blasphemy laws.

    The party won a surprisingly strong 7.6 percent of the vote in a by-election in Peshawar last month.
    Last edited by Double Edge; 29 Nov 17, at 01:55.

  4. #154
    Turbanator Senior Contributor Double Edge's Avatar
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    Protesting and demonstrating is a business like any other.

    The chief instigating the protests, Mulla Kaddim Rizvi was paid Rs.21 cr to disperse after the law ministers resignation and not ask for the dissolution of govt

    His sit in lasted 21 days. Not a bad haul

    The protesters only get Rs.1000 for their trouble

  5. #155
    Turbanator Senior Contributor Double Edge's Avatar
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    Why are Barelvis wielding new political influence in Pakistan? | IE (op-ed) | Dec 01 2017

    One reason the military establishment is now relying on Barelvi groups is because the previous “assets” have now become a liability. Pakistan faces continuous pressure from the international community for not acting against terror groups like Hafiz Saeed’s Jamaat-ud-Dawa, or its previous incarnation, the Lashkar-e-Toiba. By using the Barelvi groups, over an issue as sensitive as blasphemy, the military establishment might be preparing alternative assets to be deployed against their political rivals in Pakistan.

    The public perception after the crackdown against protestors is overwhelmingly anti-PML(N), while the Pakistan military has gained more sympathy for refusing the act against them. The stage has now been set for the PML(N) exit in the elections next year
    Final coup de grace delivered after the judicial coup against Nawaz

    When General Qamar Bajwa reportedly refused to deploy the military to disperse the protestors, saying “they are our people”. Now that a deal has been struck between the government and the protestors with the arbitration of an ISI Major General, and Law minister Zahid Hamid has resigned, several questions arise: why did an ISI General act as an arbitrator between the government and protestors? If the government was willing to accept the protestors’ demand, why wait for three weeks? Perhaps, the military pressurized the government to accept the protestors’ demands.

    The deal itself has been subject to severe criticism by various quarters, with leading commentators describing it as “surrender”. Unfortunately, such deals were struck with the likes of TTP leaders Mullah Fazlullah in Swat and Nek Muhammad in Waziristan, but ultimately, the state had to launch military operations against them.

    If one was to learn from those experiences, accepting the demands of an outlawed group is acknowledging them as stakeholders, which only worsens the situation. With this deal as well, the government conformed to the outrageous demands of a small group of protestors – setting another very bad precedent.

    Now that someone’s faith is subject to suspicion by a mob, it is clear the mob won’t stop with Zahid Hamid. According to some reports, Punjab Law minister Rana Sanaullah needs to testify his belief in the finality of Prophethood in front of some clerics. If this continues, no one even with a slightly dissenting opinion will be able to live peacefully in Pakistan.
    Last edited by Double Edge; 01 Dec 17, at 18:16.

  6. #156
    Turbanator Senior Contributor Double Edge's Avatar
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    Morale appears good

    South Asia Strategy Provides 'Path to Win' in Afghanistan, Commander Says | NATO RS | Nov 29 2017

    By Jim Garamone DoD News, Defense Media Activity
    WASHINGTON, Nov. 28, 2017 — The new permissions available thanks to the South Asia strategy mean the campaign is on the "path to a win," the commander of NATO's Resolute Support mission and U.S. forces in Afghanistan told Pentagon reporters today.

    President Donald J. Trump announced the strategy during a speech at Fort Myer, Virginia, in August.

    Speaking via satellite from his headquarters in Afghanistan's capital of Kabul, Army General John Nicholson emphasized that the strategy is strictly conditions-based, not time-based.

    "We will be here until the job is done," the general said. "The U.S. approach aligns with the NATO approach. … War is a contest of wills. The president has left no doubt in terms of our will to win."

    Goal: Negotiated Reconciliation

    In Afghanistan, the goal is reconciliation through a negotiated settlement lowering the level of violence, Nicholson said. Afghanistan and the coalition will use three forms of pressure to make this happen, he added: military pressure, diplomatic pressure and social pressure.

    Afghan security forces will apply the military pressure, the general told reporters, aided by coalition advisors and air assets. That pressure will increase in the next year as new Afghan capabilities come on line and as U.S. and coalition advisers embed with smaller units, he said.

    Meanwhile, he said, Afghan and coalition officials will apply diplomatic pressure on the enablers of the Taliban and the Haqqani networks, and social pressure will be applied through elections over the next two years. If done credibly, Nicholson said, these pressures will enhance the legitimacy of the government in the eyes of the people.

    "In the face of this pressure, the Taliban cannot win," Nicholson said. "Their choices are to reconcile, live in irrelevance, or die."

    The United States and coalition must realign resources and to execute this strategy, the general said. "I'd point out that the military effort is necessary but, by itself, not sufficient for success," he said. "We must work together with all of the parts of the U.S. government and the coalition in order to be successful."

    Striking Taliban Revenue Stream

    Operations under the new permissions have already begun, as Afghan and coalition forces struck the source of the Taliban's finances: the narcotics trade.

    "In just over three days' worth of operations, the Afghan 215th Corps, their special forces commandos, their air force, in close cooperation with U.S. forces, removed between $7 million and $10 million of revenue from the Taliban's pocketbook," Nicholson said. "And the overall cost to the drug trafficking organizations approached $48 million. So these strikes were just the first step in attacking the Taliban's financial engine, and they will continue."

    Nicholson said the Taliban have evolved into a criminal or narco-insurgency. "They are fighting to defend their revenue streams," he said. "They have increasingly lost whatever ideological anchor they once had. They fight to preserve and expand their sources of revenue. This includes narcotics trafficking, illegal mining, taxing people throughout Afghanistan, kidnapping and murder for hire: all criminal endeavors."

    The general noted that Afghan forces have stepped up. "We fought most of this year, through Aug. 21, at the lowest level of U.S. force and capability, and, therefore, the highest level of risk, in our 16-year war in Afghanistan," he said. "Yet, in spite of that, the Taliban strategy was not successful. It was essentially defeated by the Afghans."

    In face of this, the Taliban have reverted to guerilla war, while Afghan forces have become more capable. Nicholson noted that Afghan President Ashraf Ghani often says the Afghans own the fight, and are proud to. "They are willing to fight and die for their future, their country, their families," the general added. "And in so doing, they're not only fighting on behalf of themselves, but they are fighting against the terrorists who have threatened our homeland and the homelands of our allies as well."

    Finally doing something about drugs, ie what funds the Taliban. One of the biggest failings that Vikram Sood pointed out.

    What is amazing is that it required new permissions. Huh! Couldn't do anything against Taliban drug financing until Trump showed up ?
    Last edited by Double Edge; 02 Dec 17, at 01:07.

  7. #157
    Turbanator Senior Contributor Double Edge's Avatar
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    Huff and puff then blow the house down

    'If Pakistan doesn't act, we'll ensure terror safe havens don't exist', says CIA's director | TOI | Dec 04 2017

    The CIA director said that the US defence secretary on his visit today will ask Pakistan nicely, first, to erase safe havens

    If Pakistan still doesn't act, the CIA chief said they will take action to erase terror sanctuaries in Pakistan

    Mattis arrives in Islamabad today where he's expected to hold talks with senior Pakistani military and government leaders

    Oddly, Mattis himself took a less confrontational approach. He said he wouldn't "prod" Pakistan because he expects it to keep its promise that it will act against harbouring terrorists.

    "That's not the way I deal with issues. I believe that we [can] work hard on finding common ground and then we work together," said Mattis to reporters en route to Pakistan, according to VOA.
    Last edited by Double Edge; 06 Dec 17, at 04:26.

  8. #158
    Turbanator Senior Contributor Double Edge's Avatar
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    Pak pushback. Bluster or not, the pressure is building

    PAF can shoot down any drone violating Pakistani airspace, says air chief | Tribune | Dec 07 2017

    In his talk the air chief referred to the Kamra airbase attack back in 2012. Had to refresh myself about that one

    Terrorists attack Kamra air base: • Nine attackers dead • Plane damaged | Dawn | Aug 16 2012

    KAMRA, Aug 16: Militants armed with rocket-propelled grenades and automatic weapons carried out a brazen attack under cover of darkness on the Minhas base of the Pakistan Air Force at Kamra before dawn on Thursday. Eight militants were eliminated during the gunbattle that raged for hours after the raid while one soldier also lost his life.

    The Tehrik-i-Taliban Pakistan claimed responsibility for the assault.

    Its spokesman Ehsanullah Ehsan said by telephone from an undisclosed location: “We are proud of this operation. Our leadership had decided to attack Kamra base a long time ago”.

    The Taliban said planes at the base were being used to kill its fighters.

    Ehsan dedicated the attack to the late Al Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden and claimed the militants had destroyed three aircraft and killed at least 12 soldiers.

    The militants moved through a nearby village under cover of darkness and climbed a 2.7-metre wall strung with barbed wire to break into the base at around 2am, the PAF spokesman said. Some were wearing military uniforms.

    The assault cast doubts over the government’s assertions that military operations in Swat and the tribal areas had blunted militants’ capability to conduct daring assaults.

    Security forces opened fire after militants strapped with suicide bombing vests approached aircraft hangars, prompting other militants to fire rocket-propelled grenades from outside the base’s walls, the spokesman told reporters.

    Base commander Air Commodore Mohammad Azam, who led the operation against the attackers, was shot in the shoulder, but was in stable condition, said Group Captain Tariq Mahmood.

    Witnesses said the attackers came round the back, scaling the wall and exploiting Lailatul Qadr, the holiest night of Ramazan, remained undetected as long as possible.

    “Most of the men (from the village at the back) were in mosques,” local resident Athar Abbas said.

    “I heard three or four explosions. There was heavy gunfire also,” he said.

    “It appears that the militants arrived using a village track and climbed over the wall.” Captain Tariq Mahmood said.

    About an hour after guns fell silent at the base, a series of small explosions were heard as the PAF detonated bombs planted by the militants.

    The Minhas base is adjacent to the Pakistan Aeronautical Complex, a major air force research and development centre. The JF-17 fighter plane, jointly developed with China, is built at the facility.
    I remember the PNS Mehran attack
    Last edited by Double Edge; 08 Dec 17, at 18:54.

  9. #159
    Turbanator Senior Contributor Double Edge's Avatar
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    Finding used copters for Kabul | The Hindu | Dec 21 2017

    In a bid to bolster Afghanistan's air capabilities, India is considering buying several second-hand Russian-made Mi35s for the Afghan National Defence Security Forces (ANDSF) from other countries, a move that signals closer cooperation between New Delhi and Moscow on Afghanistan, Indian and Afghan officials confirmed to The Hindu.

    The proposal comes after a request from the Ghani government, including during a visit to Delhi by Afghanistan's National Security Advisor Hanif Atmar in October, and follows several visits to Moscow by Indian officials to discuss the logistics.

    An Indian Defence Ministry team is also expected to travel to an East European country, possibly Serbia or Ukraine, that still operate Soviet-era aircraft, and an Afghan defence team is expected in Delhi "shortly" to follow up on the discussions, a diplomat said.

    Officials also said that there was heightened urgency for the helicopter transaction, as all seven of the old Mi-25/35 attack helicopters and Cheetal utility helicopters transferred by New Delhi to Kabul in 2015-2016, have been grounded and need repairs.

    Asked about the proposal, Afghanistan's Ambassador to India Shaida Mohammad Abdali said that he was "looking forward" to closer India-Russia cooperation that will benefit Afghanistan.

    “The Afghan forces are in a much better situation now and things will happen soon to help with the transition process [from Soviet-era to U.S. hardware]. India has been very helpful to fill the gap that exists for helicopters, as well as in getting the existing aircraft off the ground.”

    The helicopters and the promise to repair hardware for the ANDSF is part of a larger strategic tightrope India is walking, given traditional ties with Russia, and increasingly close ties with the United States as a part of U.S. President Donald Trump's South Asia policy.

    Effectively the plan will see New Delhi cooperating with Russia on military support for Afghanistan, with the U.S. on development support, and with Iran on trade cooperation for goods to Afghanistan.

    India is already training military officers including a batch of women officers at its military academies, and Afghan officials said they are hopeful that India would scale up the training for more "strategic-level" officers, as well as training the Medical corps of the ANDSF.

    Afghanistan is in the midst of a full transition from its old hardware, and Soviet–era generals, to U.S. hardware, and a next-generation NATO-model Army by 2022.

    By 2019, the ANDSF will begin to receive the first of a total 159 American Black Hawk helicopters, and the Mi-35 (Hind) series India is procuring will be integral to anti-terror operations in the country in the interim period.

  10. #160
    Turbanator Senior Contributor Double Edge's Avatar
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    Making all the right noises

    Pence visits Afghanistan, says U.S. will 'see this through' | Reuters | Dec 22 2017

    Echoing Trump’s comments when he unveiled the new strategy, Pence had sharp words for neighboring Pakistan, which he said had provided safe haven to the Taliban and other groups for too long.

    “Those days are over,” Pence said. Pakistan had much to gain from partnering with the United States, and much to lose by harboring “criminals and terrorists,” he said at Bagram.
    Still another month or so left to go before the Americans start to turn the heat up on the Paks

  11. #161
    Turbanator Senior Contributor Double Edge's Avatar
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    The unbearable cost of advocating peace | Daily Times | Dec 25 2017

    Something to think about. An intransigent PA means any peace efforts from either side are effectively stymied

  12. #162
    Senior Contributor Oracle's Avatar
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    Indian Army kills 3 Pakistani soldiers in cross border ops in J&K

    Kashmir’s pint-size ‘merchant of death’ Trali killed in encounter

    Pak BAT team kills 4 of ours, we kill 3 of theirs inside their territory, and a Pak sniper from inside our territory, and a JeM tango in Kashmir. The Pak Army is in no mood to listen to any sanctions or threats from the US, they're happy as they always were bloodletting. Army of coward psychopaths.
    Last edited by Oracle; 27 Dec 17, at 03:59.

  13. #163
    Turbanator Senior Contributor Double Edge's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Oracle View Post
    Indian Army kills 3 Pakistani soldiers in cross border ops in J&K

    Kashmir’s pint-size ‘merchant of death’ Trali killed in encounter

    Pak BAT team kills 4 of ours, we kill 3 of theirs inside their territory, and a Pak sniper from inside our territory, and a JeM tango in Kashmir. The Pak Army is in no mood to listen to any sanctions or threats from the US, they're happy as they always were bloodletting. Army of coward psychopaths.
    This would be the second cross border attack since the bigger raid ? so we are admitting in public now that we do this.

    As for militants killed since June that figure is approaching nearly 200. There will be no stopping despite the interlocutor assigned in October to mediate

    They might not be in any mood to stop but we're slowly upping the costs.

    As for US action, Seema Sirohi mentioned in Oct, to wait till Feb. I expect more drone attacks further into Pakistan thereafter. Which we will likely follow up with more tactical cross border attacks

    Publicly it will seem like the Paks are getting away but pay attention for results.

  14. #164
    Senior Contributor Oracle's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Double Edge View Post
    This would be the second cross border attack since the bigger raid ? so we are admitting in public now that we do this.
    Can't say for sure. I met a Para-SF guy (active combat duty) going home for vacations alongwith his wife and daughter. He didn't say much, but he did say that SFs actions are much more nowadays, than it used to be. That some get reported, many don't.

    Back in the days, only a handful of journalists had access to information this privy, now it's plastered all over the mainstream newspapers. The key thing is for the Pakmil to read Indian media, and re-think their strategy vis-a-vis India, that terrorism hasn't paid the dividends they were promised and there's no shortage of gays in hell.

    Quote Originally Posted by Double Edge View Post
    As for militants killed since June that figure is approaching nearly 200. There will be no stopping despite the interlocutor assigned in October to mediate
    Since January 1st, I think.
    Over 200 militants killed in J&K in 2017, highest in 7 years, says DGP Vaid

    Quote Originally Posted by Double Edge View Post
    They might not be in any mood to stop but we're slowly upping the costs.

    As for US action, Seema Sirohi mentioned in Oct, to wait till Feb. I expect more drone attacks further into Pakistan thereafter. Which we will likely follow up with more tactical cross border attacks

    Publicly it will seem like the Paks are getting away but pay attention for results.
    Upping the costs has resulted in terrorists and some Pakmil tangos getting neutralised. This is matching the enemy in body counts. Unless fire is stocked inside Pak, and their Generals start falling victims to terrorist attacks, PA will continue with their failed antics.

  15. #165
    Senior Contributor Oracle's Avatar
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    Trump puts 'lying, deceitful' Pakistan in crosshairs in first tweet of 2018

    The Tweet:
    The United States has foolishly given Pakistan more than 33 billion dollars in aid over the last 15 years, and they have given us nothing but lies & deceit, thinking of our leaders as fools. They give safe haven to the terrorists we hunt in Afghanistan, with little help. No more!
    The DG ISPR said last week that Pak would do no more. No more terrorism?

    Pakistan thinks US leaders are fools, only gave us 'lies and deceit': Donald Trump
    Last edited by Oracle; 01 Jan 18, at 17:30.

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