Monday, November 15, 2010


Members of the 11th Reconnaissance Squadron from Indian Springs, Nev., perform pre-flight checks on the Predator unmanned aerial vehicle prior to a mission, in this 2001 file photo shot at an undisclosed location. US drones like this one are being used in bombing raids over the North Waziristan tribal area in Pakistan. Reuters/U.S. Air Force/Handout/File

Insurgent forces have been following classic guerrilla tactics in the AfPak theater – moving north and making unprecedented gains throughout northern Afghanistan when Petraeus attacked them in the south.
If Petraeus’ all-out push to attack North Waziristan were to succeed, therefore, the jihadists would have only one direction in which to move: east into Pakistan's major cities where they have already established strong and growing networks, launched increasing attacks, and are safe from not only drone strikes but Pakistani military interference: "'The who's who of extremism is present in Karachi," said Faisal Ali Subzwari, a Sindh government minister. ‘There are many areas where police and (paramilitary) Rangers cannot even dare to enter. It is a safe haven for those who want a hiding place,'" McClatchy has also reported.
The more Petraeus succeeds in Afghanistan, in short, the more he will lose in Pakistan. And the more he loses in Pakistan the more the U.S. will move into the realm of the unthinkable.
Woodward reports that during Obama’s March 2009 review, Defense Secretary Robert Gates asked review coordinator Bruce Riedel whether he had looked for a "silver bullet" to try and force the Pakistani military to go after Taliban sanctuaries. Reidel said, “they had looked at the extreme option of invading Pakistan, and, of course, immediately dismissed it.
Invading a country that possessed dozens of nuclear weapons would be something beyond madness. Everyone agreed."
If it is "beyond madness" to invade Pakistan, why is it any more rational to allow General Petraeus to continue policies that may well make an unthinkable invasion the only alternative to allowing its nuclear weapons to fall into hostile hands? Were President Obama to rein in or fire Petraeus it could indeed jeopardize his 2012 reelection. But he owes it to his nation to try, before it is too late.
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Fred Branfman, the editor of “Voices From the Plain of Jars: Life Under an Air War” (Harper & Row, 1972), exposed the U.S. secret air war while living in Laos from 1967 to 1971.

Source: Alternet Title Images: Page 1, 2, 3 & 4 

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