Crossfire War – RAPID FIRE NEWS=TEHRAN – KABUL – ISLAMABAD WATCH – Central Asia Theatre: Pentagon Determined to Waste More Resources by Committing More Units to Afghanistan Vacuum – Hezbollah Occupies More Villages in South Lebanon
Night Watch: NORTHWEST VACUUM – Washington and the Pentagon are determined to waste more resources, in the name of its war on terrorism, by committing more units to the military vacuum of Afghanistan, especially the wasteland tribal areas on Pakistan’s ill-defined, mirage northwest border. This continues to work to Tehran’s advantage as they have stated for years as long as Washington is fighting two wars, Iraq-Afghanistan, then the U. S. will never be able to attack them. Due to fear Washington continues to beat around the Iran bush and not attack the source of the Islamic fighters support, but to convince itself it is doing something substantial the Pentagon has engaged in overkill in Iraq-Afghanistan. Washington and Brussels (NATO headquarters) refuse to believe Afghanistan President Hamid Karzai’s recent description of NATO’s performance as a disaster and one that has constantly caused so many civilian deaths. [GULFTIMES]
The Gulf-Times/AFP report U. S. Secretary of Defense Robert Gates and Pentagon Chairman of Joint Chiefs of Staff Admiral Michael Mullen announced this shift of more forces to the Afghan/Pakistan border Wednesday. Mullen explained, “The bottom line is this: we are seeing a greater number of insurgents and foreign fighters flowing across the border with Pakistan unmolested and uninhibited. This movement needs to stop. We see this threat accelerating, almost becoming a syndicate of different groups who heretofore had not worked closely together.” Admiral Mullen recently met Pakistan’s government and military leaders with this proposal and would not give Pakistan’s response and I would not be surprised if the response was given in cold hatred. The officials may have said any action by Washington on Pakistan’s soil would be treated as an attack on Pakistan sovereignty and could be met with equal military force.
Islamabad is aware Secretary of Defense Gates has been warning the U. S. is willing to attack militant groups inside Pakistan and it would only lead to an increase of enemies the U.S. would have to face. Gates stated, “There is a real need to do something on the Pakistan side of the border to bring pressure to bear on the Taliban and some of those other violent groups.” Significantly he did not rule out the possibility of Washington, on its own, attacking tribal groups inside Pakistan and in his driven take charge reaction mental process Gates would not hesitate to do so and not as a message to the Taliban but to Pakistan. Washington is about to add Pakistan to its long lists of enemies as it continues its militaristic burning bridges foreign policy.
This should not be surprising since there was always a lot of mutual suspicion in Washington/Islamabad’s cooperation in the name of the war on terror. Pakistan agreed because it meant an arrival of new F-16s for its Air Force and Washington wanted desperately to put on a show of doing something against the mythical mastermind Osama bin Laden which Washington convinced itself could arrange flight school training and conducted the 9/11 attack on the World Trade Center and Pentagon.
Washington also knew the Taliban were supported by Pakistan to rule Afghanistan and though the rule was an embarrassment Islamabad never cut off contact completely. Even when the Taliban were defeated in 2001 Tehran stated they found some of them useful and that was obviously to keep the West, with its NATO forces showing off its power projection outside Europe, busy chasing the Jihad around the country as the UK/US continue to do in Iraq. So while Washington and the West make believe they are making significant gains against militant groups, the real center of the extremists support, Iran, is not attacked at all. That of course means a larger war than the West had planned.
Washington may also realize this new movement of fighters could not take place with Islamabad’s support and that is quite true. Tehran is also directly involved in training and establishing this new unity of diverse Islamic groups which include not only Afghan warlords but also Chechen and Arab members. So Iran will be pleased to hear U. S. commanders in Afghanistan are calling for 10,000 more troops in addition to the 36,000 the Pentagon already has stationed in the country. A senior military official said, “There is a very clear conscious effort to flow as much to Afghanistan as fast as we can get it there.” This is not just military units but it would include an immense support package of: military engineers, intelligence units, surveillance and reconnaissance assets, aviation assets and civil affairs units.
Mullen continued to justify this new commitment by saying, “One just has to look no further than the well-coordinated attack on Wanat outpost this weekend to see that the enemy has grown bolder, more sophisticated and diverse.” Nine U.S. soldiers were killed in that attack, the single greatest loss of U.S. units in three years and the remote outpost has since been abandoned. Mullen said the enemy fighters were trained in safe havens in Pakistan. Not only will these wave attacks increase but the Pentagon will be forced to attack the militant bases in Pakistan which will mean not only will Islamabad send more support to Islamic groups but it even increases the chance of Iran entering the conflict directly in support of Pakistan.
Tehran knows they are headed for direct war with the West this year anyway so if it begins in Afghanistan and in support of a strategic axis partner Pakistan-fine. The West’s military presence in any Islamic country or region automatically creates more Islamic unity.
Halta – As Tehran-Damascus reconfirm their regional strategic axis the Jerusalem Post reports Hezbollah, an extension of Iran’s military, continues to increase its presence in south Lebanon by occupying non-Shi’ite villages. First they buy the land then construct military positions for their Katyusha rockets. This report comes the same week there was another important meeting in Damascus between Iran Foreign Minister Manouchehr Mottaki and Syria Foreign Minister Walid Moallem and afterward Mottaki stated Tehran supports Syria’s recovery of the Golan Heights lost to Israel during the 1967 Six Day War. Tehran has established its regional influences by adopting the position of a government or political-radical groups they intend to use, in Syria’s case the Golan Heights and in the Palestinians case, statehood. None of which can be achieved peacefully so Tehran helps them to prepare for a war Iran will use not only to enter but to generate more Islamic extremism directed at any Islamic government with close relations with the West, especially Egypt President Hosni Mubarak. [JPOST]
As an interesting added dimension Lebanese are now complaining about receiving recorded phone calls from “The State of Israel” warning them not to support any Hezbollah attack or face “harsh retaliation” as in 2006. Lebanon’s National News Agency says the calls have been mostly sent to residents in the south, east and Beirut.