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Monday, November 28

On keeping Pakistan's NATO supply route

I don't bother to observe Halloween on October 31 because it's Halloween 365 days a year in Washington. We have fiends, real fiends, running amok here.

Thousands of NATO troops in Afghanistan have been maimed and killed because their lives are worth less than geostrategic games as far as the 'Get Russia' crowd in Washington and European capitals is concerned. Because of this factions in Washington -- including the U.S. Department of State and factions in the Pentagon -- still call for placating Pakistan's junta even in the face of overwhelming evidence that Pakistan's military/ISI has been supporting and even orchestrating attacks on NATO troops in Afghanistan.

Untold billions of dollars wasted and stolen because the Get Russia crowd would prefer NATO's ISAF supply convoys go through Pakistan rather than Russia-friendly countries in Central Asia.

Now, with their backs to the massive wall of evidence that American tax money is paying Pakistan's military/ISI to murder and maim Americans in Afghanistan, the fiends have the nerve to argue that Pakistan is too nuclear to be allowed to fail.

By God, there must be a way to cut the umbilical cord that ties the United States of America to Europe including the United Kingdom. The cord is strangling Americans. And the NATO alliance's ambitions against Russia are getting America's finest young men killed and maimed in Afghanistan for no good reason, and making the war in Afghanistan unwinnable for the United States.

The above is by way of introduction to the following quotes from a November 28, 2011 Associated Press report in TIME headlined Afghanistan: Fire from Pakistan Led to Attack:
NATO has built a stockpile of military and other supplies that could keep operations running at their current level for several months even with the two crossings closed, said a NATO official closely involved with the Afghan war, speaking on condition of anonymity because of the sensitivity of the matter.

NATO once shipped about 80 percent of its non-lethal supplies through Pakistan. It has reduced that proportion by going through Central Asia. It could send more that way, but that would make NATO heavily dependent on Russia at a time when ties with Moscow are increasingly strained.
Yes, thank you, we already know.

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Note to Pakistan's junta: Learn to listen when Leon Panetta speaks

From a September 15, 2011 Bloomberg report headlined U.S. says Kabul embassy hit by group tied to Pakistan’s army:
[U.S. Ambassador to Afghanistan] Ryan Crocker and U.S. Defense Secretary Leon Panetta said the Haqqani group also was behind the Sept. 10 truck-bomb attack on a U.S. base southwest of Kabul that injured 77 Americans. Panetta called the Haqqani group’s continued “safe haven” in Pakistan “unacceptable.”

“I’m not going to talk about how we’re going to respond,” Panetta told reporters. “I’ll just let you know we are not going to allow these kinds of attacks to go on.”

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Here we go again: "Pakistan denies"

Haven't returned to blogging but couldn't resist posting this report. See Beeb website for a good map of the region in question:
28 November 2011 Last updated at 02:31 ET
BBC

Pakistan denies firing provoked Nato border attack

Pakistan has denied reports that it opened fire first provoking the Nato air strike which killed 24 troops at a checkpoint on the Afghan border.

It follows claims by Afghan officials that Nato forces were retaliating for gunfire from the Pakistani side of the volatile border region on Saturday.
[...]
Pakistan reacted angrily to the attack, which took place at two remote border posts in Pakistan's tribal district of Mohmand in the early hours of Saturday morning. Several protests against Nato's actions have been held across the country.

Pakistan's Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani called it a "grave infringement of Pakistan's sovereignty" and officials responded by cutting key supply Pakistani lines to Nato in Afghanistan.

'Not true'

But unnamed Afghan officials quoted in The Wall Street Journal said that Saturday's attack was called in to shield Nato and Afghan forces who were under fire while targeting Taliban fighters. One official quoted in the paper says that Kabul believes the fire came from an army base.

"This is not true. They are making up excuses. What are their losses, casualties?" Pakistani army spokesman Maj-Gen Athar Abbas said in a text message in response to the allegations.

Maj Gen Abbas has also said that the raid went on for more than an hour and continued even after local commanders contacted Nato telling them to stop the strike, according to the Associated Press news agency.

Pakistani officials have consistently maintained that there had been no militant activity in the area, and most of the Pakistani soldiers were asleep. They also said Nato had the grid references of the posts and therefore should not have fired.
[...]
The night-time attack took place at the Salala checkpoint, about 1.5 miles (2.5 km) from the Afghan border, at around 02:00 on Saturday morning local time (21:00 GMT Friday).

The Pakistani army said helicopters and fighter aircraft hit two border posts, killing 24 people and leaving 13 injured. Local officials said the two posts were about 300m apart on a mountain top.

Military sources earlier told the BBC's Quentin Sommerville in Paktika province in Afghanistan that a US-Afghan special forces mission had been in the area, where they believed a Taliban training camp was operating.

They said the mission came under fire from a position within Pakistan, and they received permission from the headquarters of Nato's Isaf mission to fire back.
[...]

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Tuesday, November 1

Update

I'm still immersed in plowing through personal matters and having fun checking off long-neglected tasks as I complete them. At this rate, and with holidays coming up, I don't expect to return to blogging until the new year but I'll check in on December 1st to say hello if nothing else. And if turns out I've snatched enough time from my To-do list to write up an essay I'll publish it then.

Best regards to all,
Pundita

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