By Pepe Escobar
"United States President Barack Obama - even without being an expert on the Afghanistan-Pakistan theater - has got to be clever enough to see the surge there as a suicidal gambit. The problem is that he still seems to believe the war is winnable, and his newest definition for victory is to defeat al-Qaeda. Well, if that is the mission he must pursue, the key is Pakistan, not Afghanistan.....
Everyone's talking about US fighter jets and CIA Predator drones raising hell out of three secret Pakistani air bases - with Islamabad's complicit silence. But nobody talks about the "humint", or human intelligence, component of the US's covert war in Afghanistan, conducted by what the New York Times defines, with spectacular hypocrisy, as "military units operating outside the normal chain of command".
US special forces are part of this deadly mix. A recent UN report identifies these US commandos as the key culprits as far as the killing of Afghan civilians is concerned. Washington happens to identify similar outfits - if they operate under a different banner, or religion - as "terrorists".
In the case of this new American breed, it's fair to expect the Pentagon and the Washington establishment to sooner or later start calling them - in a sinister echo of recent Afghan past - "freedom fighters". "