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Obama’s deal with Karzai bans raids on al-Qaida bases in Pakistan

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  • Obama’s deal with Karzai bans raids on al-Qaida bases in Pakistan

    So we are staying why?

    Obama’s deal with Karzai bans raids on al-Qaida bases in Pakistan
    Published: 7:43 AM 05/04/2012
    By Neil Munro - The Daily Caller

    President Barack Obama has promised not to attack Pakistan-based al-Qaida leaders or fighters from bases inside Afghanistan.

    The surprising commitment effectively bars Obama and his successors from launching another nighttime helicopter raid like the one that that killed Osama bin Laden. That raid has proven to be Obama’s primary foreign-policy success because it killed bin Laden, scooped up much intelligence data and shocked Pakistan.

    Obama’s commitment will also end the use of secretive drone-attacks from Afghanistan. Those attacks have killed hundreds of al-Qaida leaders since the mid-2000s. They’ve also been very popular with U.S voters, and usually have had tacit Pakistan approval.

    The unadvertised provision is buried in the deal that Afghan president Hamid Karzai and Obama signed with much campaign-style fanfare May 1 in Kabul. It could provide a legal shield for Pakistani-based al-Qaida’s leaders, front-line fighters, terrorism-planners, allied terror-leaders, funders, terror bases and terror training-grounds.

    The United States further pledges not to use Afghan territory or facilities as a launching point for attacks against other countries,” says the provision, found in paragraph 6b of the eight-page deal.

    The deal was signed on the one-year anniversary of the bin Laden raid.

    Prior to the 9/11 attacks, al-Qaida had a network of leaders and training centers in Afghanistan, from where they trained and dispatched the 19 terrorists who killed 2,996 Americans on Sept. 11, 2001. The remnant of that infrastructure is in Pakistan and Yemen following years of attacks by U.S. forces.

    Some U.S. officials — but not the U.S. government — say Pakistani government agencies fund, train and protect several militant Islamic extremist groups in Pakistan. For example, U.S. prosecutors say the November 2011 attacks on a hotel and a Jewish center in Mumbai, India, were prepared and directed from Pakistan. That attack killed 164 people.

    Even though Al-Qaida wants to overthrow the Afghan government, Karzai likely signed the safe harbor deal to minimize conflicts with neighboring Pakistan and Iran, said Elliot Cohen, a national-security professor at John Hopkins University’s D.C.-based school of advanced international studies.

    “Karzai probably asked [for the clause], perhaps at the behest of Pakistan,” Cohen said. But its inclusion “is baffling,” he said.

    Pakistan’s government vigorously objected to the May 2011 bin Laden raid.

    The raid embarrassed its military and intelligence agencies, both of which claimed not to know that bin Laden’s hideout was a short distance from their primary officer-training school.

    If Obama pushed for the clause, Karzai likely would not have objected, Cohen said. “We’ve made it clear we’re headed for the exits, so why [upset the neighbors],” he said.

    Media reports say that the U.S. agencies have also launched multiple secret short-range raids and strikes against terror bases on the Pakistani side of the Pakistan-Afghan border. Obama’s new deal would also presumably stop those short-range raids into Pakistan.

    Once Obama leaves power, U.S. lawyers may try to argue their way past the section. For example, they might argue that attack on a jihadi base in Pakistan is not an attack on the country, but an attack on jihadis.

    Also, the deal does not bar the United States from attacking jihadi targets in Pakistan with missiles launched from aircraft, ships or submarines in the Indian Ocean. However, those raids could be considered a more blatant violation of Pakistan’s sovereignty than secretive short-range raids launched from U.S. bases in the Afghan mountains.

    The May 1 deal is titled “Enduring Strategic Partnership Agreement Between the United States of America and the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan.” Its main provision says U.S combat forces will leave Afghanistan by the end of 2014.

    However, the “enduring” part of the agreement is vague. It consists of a section that says the White House will ask Congress to send some aid to Afghanistan each year.

    The deal does allow a small force of U.S. commandos to stay in Afghanistan, at the approval of future Afghan governments. Karzai is slated to retire in 2014.

    Those remaining commando forces would be tasked to attacking al-Qaida groups inside Afghanistan.

    However, Obama and his deputies have indicated they would not necessarily oppose a role for al-Qaida’s main ally, the Taliban, in the Afghan government. If the Taliban is part of the Afghan government, it likely would veto any U.S. raids on al-Qaida in Afghanistan or in Pakistan.

    Read more: Bans Pakistan raids | Obama Karzai deal | Special forces | The Daily Caller
    To sit down with these men and deal with them as the representatives of an enlightened and civilized people is to deride ones own dignity and to invite the disaster of their treachery - General Matthew Ridgway

  • #2
    Why include a provision in an agreement which says otherwise...

    US to continue with its drone strikes Panetta

    Saturday, 05 May 2012 21:26
    PTI | Washington
    Hits: 84

    US to continue with its drone strikes Panetta

    Brushing aside Pakistan's objections, Defence Secretary Leon Panetta today said US will continue with its drone strikes.

    "The United States is going to defend itself under any circumstances," Panetta told PBS news in an interview, while responding to a question on drone strikes inside Pakistan.

    Though he did not specifically mention drones, his answers indicated that he was referring to the drone strikes.

    Asked if drone strikes will continue no matter what the Pakistani government desires and wants, Panetta said, "Well, you know, without referring to those specific operations because they still remain covert operations..."

    He was cut short by the anchor who said drone strikes were acknowledged recently by John Brennan, the top counter-terrorism advisor to the US President.

    "There was some acknowledgement of the fact that, you know, that they're used but the basic operations remain sensitive and they remain classified.

    "But let me just say this. We were attacked. The United States was attacked on 9/11. And we know who attacked us, we know that al-Qaeda was behind it, and we are going to do everything we can, use whatever operations we have to, in order to make sure that we protect this country and make sure that that kind of attack never happens again," Panetta said.The Defence Secretary said the US is on right path onAfghanistan."I think we're on the right path towards that goal. 2011 was really a turning point. In 2011 the Taliban was weakened significantly.

    They couldn't organise the kind of attacks to regain territory that they had lost, which is something they have done in the past. So they've been weakened," Panetta said.

    "Secondly, the Afghan army and police really developed a great capability. They were operational. They were involved in the battle and they were doing a great job and they continue to do a great job and provide security.

    "And thirdly, we're transitioning areas to Afghan security and control. Right now as we speak, 50 per cent of the Afghan population is under their security and under their control, and I'd say by late summer 75 per cent of their population will be under their security and control. So General Allen has done a great job. We're on the right course".

    But at the same time, Panetta said there are challenges in Afghanistan.

    "But let's not kid ourselves. There are going to be challenges. Taliban is resilient. They're going to be there, they're going to continue to attack. We do have problems obviously with Afghan corruption.

    "We've got to make sure that this continues on the right path, so I don't think we ought to take anything for granted. We're going to have to keep pushing to make this work," he said.
    To sit down with these men and deal with them as the representatives of an enlightened and civilized people is to deride ones own dignity and to invite the disaster of their treachery - General Matthew Ridgway