Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Intel Council Warned Against Raids in Pakistan

By Gareth Porter

"The National Intelligence Council, the U.S. intelligence community's focal point for estimating future developments, warned the George W. Bush administration last month that a decision to launch commando raids by U.S. troops against al-Qaeda-related targets in Pakistan's Northwest Frontier region would carry a high risk of further destabilizing the Pakistani military and government, according to sources familiar with the intelligence community's response to the issue.

That blunt warning was conveyed to the White House in an oral briefing by a top official of the NIC two or three weeks ago, according to Philip Giraldi, former operations officer and counter-terrorist specialist in the CIA Directorate of Operations, who maintains contacts with the intelligence community......

The Pakistani military reacted to the U.S. raid last week by citing the danger that it would provoke new attacks by militants in the frontier area. The New York Times quoted the spokesman for the Pakistani military, Gen. Athar Abbas, as warning that, because of the killing of civilians, there is now a greater risk that tribesmen who have supported the Pakistani soldiers and opposed the Taliban in the past will shift their loyalties out of anger.

"Such actions are completely counterproductive and can result in huge losses, because it gives the civilians a cause to rise against the Pakistani military," Abbas was quoted as saying.

According to Pakistan's leading daily newspaper, Dawn, Pakistan's National Security Council received an intelligence report in June 2007 on the "Talibanization" of the region, which cited "the presence of foreign forces in Afghanistan" and the "growing feeling among Muslims that they are under attack" as factors contributing to the "growing insurgency" in the region. "

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