Author Topic: U.S. studies options for Pakistan attack in event of catastrophic false flag  (Read 6420 times)

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Offline Optimus

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U.S. studies options for possible Pakistan attack: report
http://www.reuters.com/article/idUSTRE64S0CX20100529
WASHINGTON
Sat May 29, 2010 12:13am EDT

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - U.S. military leaders are reviewing options for a unilateral strike in Pakistan if there is a successful attack on American soil tied to the country's tribal areas, The Washington Post reported in its Saturday edition.

The newspaper said senior U.S. military officials stressed a possible strike would only be considered under extreme circumstances such as a catastrophic attack that convinced President Barack Obama that the campaign using CIA drone strikes is not working.

The officials said airstrikes would be the most effective option in reducing the threat posed by al-Qaeda and other groups, but the United States must be careful not to damage its military relationship with Pakistan to a point where it cannot be repaired.

CIA-operated drones have targeted Taliban figures in Pakistan's tribal areas and the group has vowed to avenge missile strikes that have killed some of its leaders.

The failed Times Square bombing on May 1 has revived international fears about Pakistan, a U.S. ally in the campaign against militancy. It also has forced the Obama administration to review how it would respond to a successful attack on U.S. soil.

U.S. authorities say Faisal Shahzad, a Pakistani-American, has admitted to the Times Square bomb attempt and has been cooperating with investigators since his arrest on May 3.

American and Pakistani authorities are likely scrambling for clues on whether those detained have ties to militants in Pakistan, who are bent on toppling the state and are violently opposed to the U.S. presence.
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Terror Plot Prompts U.S. to Weigh Military Option in Pakistan
http://www.foxnews.com/world/2010/05/29/report-weighs-military-option-pakistan/
Published May 29, 2010 | Associated Press

WASHINGTON -- The U.S. military is developing plans for a unilateral attack on the Pakistani Taliban in the event of a successful terrorist strike in the United States that can be traced to them, The Washington Post reports.

Planning for a retaliatory attack was spurred by ties between alleged Times Square bomber Faisal Shahzad and elements of the Pakistani Taliban, the Post said in an article posted on its website Friday night, quoting unidentified senior military officials.

The military would focus on air and missile strikes but also could use small teams of U.S. Special Operations troops currently along the border with Afghanistan, the Post said.

Airstrikes could damage the militants' ability to launch new attacks but also might damage U.S.-Pakistani relations.

The CIA already conducts unmanned drone strikes in the country's tribal regions. Officials told the Post that a U.S. military response would be considered only if a terrorist attacks persuaded President Barack Obama that the CIA campaign is ineffective.

A senior U.S. official told The Associated Press on Wednesday that Pakistan already has been told that it has only weeks to show real progress in a crackdown against the Taliban.

The U.S. has put Pakistan "on a clock" to launch a new intelligence and counterterrorist offensive against the group, which the White House alleges was behind the Times Square bombing attempt, according to the official.

U.S. officials also have said the U.S. reserves the right to strike in the tribal areas in pursuit of Osama bin Laden and other high-value targets.

At the same, the Obama administration is working to improve ties with Pakistani intelligence officials to head off attacks by militant groups, the Post reported.

Officials quoted by the Post and the AP requested anonymity because of the sensitivity surrounding U.S. military and intelligence activities in Pakistan.
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US Preps a Retaliatory Hit on Pakistan
White House readies its response should Taliban strike US soil

http://www.newser.com/story/90474/us-preps-a-retaliatory-hit-on-pakistan.html
By Polly Davis Doig| Posted 1 hour, 50 minutes ago

(Newser)  – The Times Square incident sent the White House scurrying to examine its options for a counterattack on Pakistan in the event of a successful strike on US soil, reports the Washington Post. The hit would be used only in extreme scenarios or if President Obama loses faith in the CIA's drone strikes, officials say, but the US is increasingly worried by the threat posed by the Pakistani Taliban.

The White House is simultaneously ramping up its outreach to Pakistani intelligence in a bid to prevent an attack in the first place. But as it weighs options, it's moved away from a "large, punitive response" to more surgical strikes. "We need to be circumspect in how we respond so we don't destroy the relationships we've built," one official tells the Post.
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Offline chris jones

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FF, the Pakys did it!!!!!!! Another invasion on the horrizon.........?

Offline stangrof

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Options studied for a possible Pakistan strike
« Reply #4 on: May 29, 2010, 11:07:26 am »
By Greg Miller
Washington Post Staff Writer
Saturday, May 29, 2010; A01

The U.S. military is reviewing options for a unilateral strike in Pakistan in the event that a successful attack on American soil is traced to the country's tribal areas, according to senior military officials.

Ties between the alleged Times Square bomber, Faisal Shahzad, and elements of the Pakistani Taliban have sharpened the Obama administration's need for retaliatory options, the officials said. They stressed that a U.S. reprisal would be contemplated only under extreme circumstances, such as a catastrophic attack that leaves President Obama convinced that the ongoing campaign of CIA drone strikes is insufficient.

"Planning has been reinvigorated in the wake of Times Square," one of the officials said.

At the same time, the administration is trying to deepen ties to Pakistan's intelligence officials in a bid to head off any attack by militant groups. The United States and Pakistan have recently established a joint military intelligence center on the outskirts of the northwestern city of Peshawar, and are in negotiations to set up another one near Quetta, the Pakistani city where the Afghan Taliban is based, according to the U.S. military officials. They and other officials spoke on the condition of anonymity because of the sensitivity surrounding U.S. military and intelligence activities in Pakistan.

The "fusion centers" are meant to bolster Pakistani military operations by providing direct access to U.S. intelligence, including real-time video surveillance from drones controlled by the U.S. Special Operations Command, the officials said. But in an acknowledgment of the continuing mistrust between the two governments, the officials added that both sides also see the centers as a way to keep a closer eye on one another, as well as to monitor military operations and intelligence activities in insurgent areas.

Obama said during his campaign for the presidency that he would be willing to order strikes in Pakistan, and Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton said in a television interview after the Times Square attempt that "if, heaven forbid, an attack like this that we can trace back to Pakistan were to have been successful, there would be very severe consequences."

Obama dispatched his national security adviser, James L. Jones, and CIA Director Leon Panetta to Islamabad this month to deliver a similar message to Pakistani officials, including President Asif Ali Zardari and the military chief, Gen. Ashfaq Kiyani.

Jones and Panetta also presented evidence gathered by U.S. law enforcement and intelligence agencies that Shahzad received significant support from the Pakistani Taliban.

The U.S. options for potential retaliatory action rely mainly on air and missile strikes, but could also employ small teams of U.S. Special Operations troops already positioned along the border with Afghanistan. One of the senior military officials said plans for military strikes in Pakistan have been revised significantly over the past several years, moving away from a "large, punitive response" to more measured plans meant to deliver retaliatory blows against specific militant groups.

The official added that there is a broad consensus in the U.S. military that airstrikes would at best erode the threat posed by al-Qaeda and its affiliates, and risk an irreparable rupture in the U.S. relationship with Pakistan.

"The general feeling is that we need to be circumspect in how we respond so we don't destroy the relationships we've built" with the Pakistani military, the second official said.

U.S. Special Operations teams in Afghanistan have pushed for years to have wider latitude to carry out raids across the border, arguing that CIA drone strikes do not yield prisoners or other opportunities to gather intelligence. But a 2008 U.S. helicopter raid against a target in Pakistan prompted protests from officials in Islamabad who oppose allowing U.S. soldiers to operate within their country.

The CIA has the authority to designate and strike targets in Pakistan without case-by-case approval from the White House. U.S. military forces are currently authorized to carry out unilateral strikes in Pakistan only if solid intelligence were to surface on any of three high-value targets: al-Qaeda leaders Osama bin Laden and Ayman al-Zawahiri, or Taliban chief Mohammad Omar. But even in those cases, the military would need higher-level approval.

"The bottom line is you have to have information about targets to do something [and] we have a process that remains cumbersome," said one of the senior military officials. "If something happens, we have to confirm who did it and where it came from. People want to be as precise as possible to be punitive."

U.S. spy agencies have engaged in a major buildup inside Pakistan over the past year. The CIA has increased the pace of drone strikes against al-Qaeda affiliates, a campaign supported by the arrival of new surveillance and eavesdropping technology deployed by the National Security Agency.

The fusion centers are part of a parallel U.S. military effort to intensify the pressure on the Taliban and other groups accused of directing insurgent attacks in Afghanistan. U.S. officials said that the sharing of intelligence goes both ways and that targets are monitored in both Afghanistan and Pakistan.

In the Peshawar fusion cell, which was set up within the last several months, Pakistanis have access to "full-motion video from different platforms," including unarmed surveillance drones, one official said.

The fusion centers also serve a broader U.S. aim: making the Pakistanis more dependent on U.S. intelligence, and less likely to curtail Predator drone patrols or other programs that draw significant public opposition.

To Pakistan, the fusion centers offer a glimpse of U.S. capabilities, as well as the ability to monitor U.S. military operations across the border. "They find out much more about what we know," one of the senior U.S. military officials said. "What we get is physical presence -- to see what they are actually doing versus what they say they're doing."

That delicate arrangement will be tested if the two sides reach agreement on the fusion center near Quetta. The city has served for nearly a decade as a sanctuary for Taliban leaders who fled Afghanistan in 2001 and have long-standing ties to Pakistan's powerful Inter-Services Intelligence directorate.

U.S. officials said that the two sides have done preliminary work searching for a suitable site for the center but that the effort is proceeding at a pace that one official described as "typical Pakistani glacial speed." Despite the increased cooperation, U.S. officials say they continue to be frustrated over Pakistan's slow pace in issuing visas to American military and civilian officials.

One senior U.S. military official said the center would be used to track the Afghan Taliban leadership council, known as the Quetta shura. But other officials said the main mission would be to support the U.S. military effort across the border in Kandahar, Afghanistan, where a major U.S. military push is planned.

Staff writers Greg Jaffe and Karen DeYoung contributed to this report.

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2010/05/28/AR2010052804854_pf.html
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Offline HAZMAT

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I swear to god if we invade another country illegally I am going to crack.

Offline bigron

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Options studied for a possible Pakistan strike

By Greg Miller
Washington Post Staff Writer
Saturday, May 29, 2010; A01
http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2010/05/28/AR2010052804854_pf.html


The U.S. military is reviewing options for a unilateral strike in Pakistan in the event that a successful attack on American soil is traced to the country's tribal areas, according to senior military officials.

Ties between the alleged Times Square bomber, Faisal Shahzad, and elements of the Pakistani Taliban have sharpened the Obama administration's need for retaliatory options, the officials said. They stressed that a U.S. reprisal would be contemplated only under extreme circumstances, such as a catastrophic attack that leaves President Obama convinced that the ongoing campaign of CIA drone strikes is insufficient.

"Planning has been reinvigorated in the wake of Times Square," one of the officials said.

At the same time, the administration is trying to deepen ties to Pakistan's intelligence officials in a bid to head off any attack by militant groups. The United States and Pakistan have recently established a joint military intelligence center on the outskirts of the northwestern city of Peshawar, and are in negotiations to set up another one near Quetta, the Pakistani city where the Afghan Taliban is based, according to the U.S. military officials. They and other officials spoke on the condition of anonymity because of the sensitivity surrounding U.S. military and intelligence activities in Pakistan.

The "fusion centers" are meant to bolster Pakistani military operations by providing direct access to U.S. intelligence, including real-time video surveillance from drones controlled by the U.S. Special Operations Command, the officials said. But in an acknowledgment of the continuing mistrust between the two governments, the officials added that both sides also see the centers as a way to keep a closer eye on one another, as well as to monitor military operations and intelligence activities in insurgent areas.

Obama said during his campaign for the presidency that he would be willing to order strikes in Pakistan, and Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton said in a television interview after the Times Square attempt that "if, heaven forbid, an attack like this that we can trace back to Pakistan were to have been successful, there would be very severe consequences."

Obama dispatched his national security adviser, James L. Jones, and CIA Director Leon Panetta to Islamabad this month to deliver a similar message to Pakistani officials, including President Asif Ali Zardari and the military chief, Gen. Ashfaq Kiyani.

Jones and Panetta also presented evidence gathered by U.S. law enforcement and intelligence agencies that Shahzad received significant support from the Pakistani Taliban.

The U.S. options for potential retaliatory action rely mainly on air and missile strikes, but could also employ small teams of U.S. Special Operations troops already positioned along the border with Afghanistan. One of the senior military officials said plans for military strikes in Pakistan have been revised significantly over the past several years, moving away from a "large, punitive response" to more measured plans meant to deliver retaliatory blows against specific militant groups.

The official added that there is a broad consensus in the U.S. military that airstrikes would at best erode the threat posed by al-Qaeda and its affiliates, and risk an irreparable rupture in the U.S. relationship with Pakistan.

"The general feeling is that we need to be circumspect in how we respond so we don't destroy the relationships we've built" with the Pakistani military, the second official said.

U.S. Special Operations teams in Afghanistan have pushed for years to have wider latitude to carry out raids across the border, arguing that CIA drone strikes do not yield prisoners or other opportunities to gather intelligence. But a 2008 U.S. helicopter raid against a target in Pakistan prompted protests from officials in Islamabad who oppose allowing U.S. soldiers to operate within their country.

The CIA has the authority to designate and strike targets in Pakistan without case-by-case approval from the White House. U.S. military forces are currently authorized to carry out unilateral strikes in Pakistan only if solid intelligence were to surface on any of three high-value targets: al-Qaeda leaders Osama bin Laden and Ayman al-Zawahiri, or Taliban chief Mohammad Omar. But even in those cases, the military would need higher-level approval.

"The bottom line is you have to have information about targets to do something [and] we have a process that remains cumbersome," said one of the senior military officials. "If something happens, we have to confirm who did it and where it came from. People want to be as precise as possible to be punitive."

U.S. spy agencies have engaged in a major buildup inside Pakistan over the past year. The CIA has increased the pace of drone strikes against al-Qaeda affiliates, a campaign supported by the arrival of new surveillance and eavesdropping technology deployed by the National Security Agency.

The fusion centers are part of a parallel U.S. military effort to intensify the pressure on the Taliban and other groups accused of directing insurgent attacks in Afghanistan. U.S. officials said that the sharing of intelligence goes both ways and that targets are monitored in both Afghanistan and Pakistan.

In the Peshawar fusion cell, which was set up within the last several months, Pakistanis have access to "full-motion video from different platforms," including unarmed surveillance drones, one official said.

The fusion centers also serve a broader U.S. aim: making the Pakistanis more dependent on U.S. intelligence, and less likely to curtail Predator drone patrols or other programs that draw significant public opposition.

To Pakistan, the fusion centers offer a glimpse of U.S. capabilities, as well as the ability to monitor U.S. military operations across the border. "They find out much more about what we know," one of the senior U.S. military officials said. "What we get is physical presence -- to see what they are actually doing versus what they say they're doing."

That delicate arrangement will be tested if the two sides reach agreement on the fusion center near Quetta. The city has served for nearly a decade as a sanctuary for Taliban leaders who fled Afghanistan in 2001 and have long-standing ties to Pakistan's powerful Inter-Services Intelligence directorate.

U.S. officials said that the two sides have done preliminary work searching for a suitable site for the center but that the effort is proceeding at a pace that one official described as "typical Pakistani glacial speed." Despite the increased cooperation, U.S. officials say they continue to be frustrated over Pakistan's slow pace in issuing visas to American military and civilian officials.

One senior U.S. military official said the center would be used to track the Afghan Taliban leadership council, known as the Quetta shura. But other officials said the main mission would be to support the U.S. military effort across the border in Kandahar, Afghanistan, where a major U.S. military push is planned.

Staff writers Greg Jaffe and Karen DeYoung contributed to this report.


Offline Optimus

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US conducts dry runs for unilateral strikes in Pakistan
http://www.dnaindia.com/world/report_us-conducts-dry-runs-for-unilateral-strikes-in-pakistan_1389956
Monday, May 31, 2010 2:02 IST

ISLAMABAD: In a clear indication that the US won’t stop at issuing threats of unilateral military action in Pakistan in case of serious attacks on its soil by terror groups sheltered in the country, the Afghanistan-based American forces have completed dry runs for such a strike.

The trial exercises are a rehearsal of a military’s combat skills without the use of live ammunition.

A few days back, the US had said it was considering unilateral retaliatory strikes against targets in Pakistan in case any terror strike on its soil was traced to the country.

While the US administration qualified the thinly-veiled threat, stating this would be contemplated under extreme circumstances, the fact that it is running out of patience with Pakistan is getting increasingly evident. Secretary of state Hillary Clinton had warned of “severe consequences” after the failed Times Square bombing.

The dry run is believed to be the next step for the US to convince Pakistan of the seriousness of its intent. According to Pakistani daily Dawn, the trial run did not involve US troops.

Instead, it projected computer simulations of such an attack with an assessment of a possible counterattack and of the potential resistance US troops will face if they entered Pakistani soil.

The newspaper said the Americans had informed Pakistan of their intention to conduct such an exercise before conducting the computer simulations. The Bush administration had planned live exercises close to the Pakistan border after the Mumbai attacks in November 2008 and conveyed its decision to Islamabad, the sources added.

This made then Pakistani national security adviser Mahmud Ali Durrani fly to Washington and convince the Americans that such exercises would not help the fight against terrorism. The Americans cancelled the exercise and received an assurance that Pakistan would do its best to prevent extremists from using its soil to attack other countries.

According to a diplomatic source quoted by Dawn, the American decision to once again explore the possibility of a unilateral military strike is not a threat. “It aims at convincing Pakistanis that now is the time to uproot extremists. A failure to do so may lead to an attack on US soil, which, in turn, could lead to an American military strike inside Pakistan.”

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- FOXNews.com
http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2010/05/30/mullen-pakistan-cooperation-afghanistan-bigger-concern-retaliation-attack/

 - May 30, 2010

Mullen: Pakistan Cooperation in Afghanistan Bigger Concern Than Retaliation for U.S. Attack



   The chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff said Sunday he is more concerned with Pakistani cooperation to contain the Taliban insurgency in Afghanistan than weighing military action against that country in retaliation for a terror attack in the U.S. emanating from there.

Appearing on "Fox News Sunday," Adm. Mike Mullen touched on four of the hottest spots on the planet -- Iran, North Korea, Afghanistan and Pakistan.

Mullen said he was pleased with the increase in Pakistani military assistance in the region as NATO forces fight Taliban and Al Qaeda soldiers who flood into Afghanistan from the porous Pakistani border.

But he would not say whether Pakistan has been put on notice that the United States would strike if a terror attack on the United States could be traced back to Pakistan.

Reports this weekend of contingency planning for a possible military strike followed news that the alleged attacker in the failed Times Square car bombing last month had ties to Pakistan.

"I mean, we're very concerned about that part of the world. We're very concerned about -- that's where Al Qaeda leadership lives. We know that. And we're working with Pakistan and, quite frankly, with Afghanistan to continue to put pressure on that leadership. And I wouldn't speak to any kind of details in terms of either plans or operations."

The chairman added that the NATO-led counterinsurgency effort in the Taliban stronghold of Kandahar is critical to success in Afghanistan. The Kandahar campaign is scheduled to begin next month and has been compared in importance to the overall war effort as Baghdad was during the U.S. surge in Iraq in 2007.

"I think Kandahar will give us very clear evidence of how this strategy is proceeding. It is the home of the Pashtun resistance. It is central to the insurgency. So I think success in Kandahar over the next many months is absolutely critical to the longer-term outcome in Afghanistan," Mullen said.

The chairman said he hopes that United Nations efforts will help stabilize Iran and North Korea, both of which are facing sanctions -- North Korea for sinking a South Korean submarine, killing 46 sailors, and Iran for violating international rules on developing highly enriched uranium.

North Korea denies that it sank the submarine and has threatened retaliation for any punitive action. But Mullen said North Korean leader Kim Jong Il tends not to stop after a single provocative move, and could be planning something else.

"The goal remains to certainly not have a conflict break out. That said, North Koreans committed, you know, a heinous act, if you will," he said. "And I'm concerned there's -- with Kim Jong-Il ... you know, there could be follow-on activities."

Mullen added that stability of North Korea after Kim's demise is a focal point for military planners.

However, it's up to President Obama to decide whether North Korea should go back on the State Department's list of nations that sponsor terrorism, he said. North Korea was removed from that list during the Bush administration as an incentive for cooperation, but Mullen said North Korea is a "known proliferator" that has been scolded by the United Nations.

As for a nuclear Iran, Mullen said he hasn't given a lot of thought about how to contain that situation, calling it a hypothetical concern that is left for political leadership to ponder. Intelligence estimates suggest Iran could have nuclear weapons in the next couple years.

"It's a longer-term concern. And when we -- if for some reason we ever got to that position, then I think we'd address that issue. I haven't spent a great deal of time on that up to this point," he said.

Mullen said that he is "hopeful" that preliminarily approved sanctions at the United Nations Security Council "actually get put into effect."

"I think it's very important in that regard because of the ability or the legitimacy in terms of moving forward and continuing to isolate Iran, as Iran continues to isolate itself. That said, the destabilizing impact of them achieving weapons capability, along with the destabilizing impact of striking them from whomever it came, is something I continue to be extremely concerned about," he said.