Wednesday, May 07, 2008

He's back!

John Negroponte is now setting up death squads in Pakistan, according to the Asia Times.

The article says that mid-level Pakistani army officers are being trained and financed directly by the US to go after 'key figures' of the militants in the tribal areas. How this will be done in unspecified, it should be easier for Pakistani officers to infiltrate such groups than it would be for Americans, but that still doesn't mean it can be done effectively. And moving regular troops out of the border areas means leaving more space for militant operations.

While the Central American death squads did take out 'key figures' when possible, their main strategy was terrorizing villages that might give support to guerrillas. That will not be so simple in the wild areas of the Pakistan/Afghanistan border.

If true, this strategy also has far ranging implications for the Pakistani army. It undermines the chain of command, and as these officers move up in rank, will mean that the US will have 'underground' operatives at high levels (not excluding that they do already). I wonder what the new government of Pakistan thinks about all this?


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