The CIA's use of mercenaries to fight covert wars is an essential component of US foreign policy as old as the CIA itself. It effectively evades the Constitutional requirement that only Congress may declare war, as well as effectively concealing the vast majority of these "interventions" from public view. In fact the American pubic was largely unaware of these secret CIA wars prior to the Iran Contra hearings in 1987, when we learned that Reagan and the CIA were funding an illegal war against Nicaragua, via the secret sale of weapons to Iran, an enemy nation. Later during the Soviet occupation of Afghanistan (1979-89), the CIA funding and training of Mujahideen freedom fighters led by Saudi businessman Tim Osman (his CIA name -- most Americans know him as Osama bin Laden) was also well-publicized.
The CIA Covert War in Balochistan
In 2006, a series of exposes were published in the Pakistani and Asian press regarding covert CIA support for the separatist movement in Balochistan, a western Pakistan province bordering Afghanistan. Owing to fragile US-Pakistan relations, it's a subject the government of Pakistan only discusses behind closed doors. The bizarre reality that the US is financing both sides in Pakistan's war on terror (the US provides the F-16 jets the Pakistani military uses to bomb Baloch villages in Balochistan) puts the government of Pakistan in an extremely embarrassing position. See
However the recent arrest (and release) of CIA/Xe (Blackwater) operative Raymond Davis has emboldened retired Pakistani military and ISI (Pakistani intelligence) officers to speak openly about secret CIA support for the Baloch separatist movement and their concerns that Pakistan, not Afghanistan, is the real target of Obama's war on terror:
A March 1 speech to the Assembly by Pakistan prime minister Gilani accusing "hostile external elements" of supporting the insurgency in the province of Balochistan is probably even more significant. (See http://tribune.com.pk/story/125602/baloch-insurgency-funded-from-abroad-pm/)
If Pakistan is an Ally, Why Are We Trying to Break Up Their Country?
Owing to Balochistan's strategic importance as an energy transit route, its people have long served as pawns for major world powers. The Balochi are an ethnic group belonging to the larger Iranian peoples and speak dialects distantly related to Kurdish. In the 19th century the Persian (precursor to Iran) and British empire divided up Baluchistan (spelled with a "u" prior to becoming a Pakistan province in 1970) into three main parts: Northern or Afghan Baluchistan, which became part of Afghanistan; Western or Iranian Baluchistan, which became part of Iran, and Eastern or Central Baluchistan, which up until 1948 was an autonomous, semi-independent state west of Pakistan.