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OpEdNews Op Eds    H3'ed 5/27/11

Escalating Tensions between Pakistan and the U.S.

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In a move that signals the increasing distrust between them, the Pakistan government has told the Obama administration to reduce the number of troops, (approximately 200) within the country and has ordered the closing of three military intelligence liaison centers located in Peshawar and Quetta, adjacent to the Afghanistan border.

These liaison centers called "fusion cells" were joint American/Pakistani satellite imagery sharing facilities that focused on and tracked movements of suspected Taliban forces that crossed into and out of Pakistan into Afghanistan and were used in aiding Pakistani military operations conducted against these Taliban groups.

Now in truth Pakistan has never taken to the idea of seriously going after the Taliban militarily. Pakistan, primarily the country's security forces (ISI) and their military were instrumental in aiding and abetting the Taliban to come to power in Afghanistan in the early 1990's after the Soviets withdrew their forces in 1989.

Thus the Taliban in Afghanistan became "clients" of the Pakistani's, who with a friendly government next door in Afghanistan, were quite content with the arrangement. In particular they suffered no terrorism from Taliban elements in their Pashtun areas and this "arrangement" let them focus and concentrate on their main concern and foe which is India.    

Then 9/11 happened and with the subsequent American invasion of Afghanistan a month later, the overthrow of Taliban government that harbored al Qaeda and Osama bin Laden within the country, Pakistan has had to play the "war on terror" game with the last two American administrations.

As Pakistan is beholden to the U.S. for billions in military aid and armaments, they must "appear" that they are "sincere" in their efforts to fight al Qaeda and now the Taliban to "satisfy" the Americans and "justify" the aid they receive from the U.S. It is a dangerous game for Pakistan as they have been forced (coerced?) into fighting Taliban elements at U.S. insistence in the Pakistani Tribal areas. Such actions have compromised their previous friendly relations with the Taliban who in turn have conducted retaliatory terrorist strikes against Pakistani government, civilian and military installations in Islamabad, Karachi and other non-Pashtun areas in the country.

Then there's the indignity (as the Pakistani's see it) of the U.S. clandestine mission to take out Osama bin Laden. The Navy SEAL team raid was conducted in complete secrecy with no prior notification to the Pakistani's and without their ability to detect and discover the SEALS mission until after bin Laden was killed, his body removed and buried at sea.

So the latest "moves" by Pakistan against their American partners (and sometime collaborators) must be seen as their idea of reasserting their sovereignty and independence of the U.S. but without cutting the "umbilical chord" completely.

And so the Pakistani's continue to play their Juggling act with the Americans.

Meanwhile the killing of bin laden hasn't lessened the thirst of the Obama administration to continue the war in Afghanistan or their missile strikes and drone attacks into Pakistan.

The "war on terror" drones on endlessly in Pakistan and Afghanistan with their peoples' suffering most of the casualties in America's mindless, unnecessary and endless "war".          

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