Next Stop is Pakistan
by Wayne Madsen
October 10, 2011
Paraphrasing the old anti-Vietnam War song,
“And it’s one, two, three,
What are we fighting for ?
Don’t ask me, I don’t give a damn,
Next stop is Pakistan”
It does appear that for some Pentagon brass, including Defense Secretary Leon Panetta; the CIA under former U.S. Central Command and Afghanistan commander General David Petraeus; and top Republican and Democratic politicians that, indeed, Pakistanis next on the target list of nations that will soon be feeling the military muscle of the United States. Unlike other Muslim nations that have been subjected to U.S. military intervention, including Afghanistan, Iraq, Somalia, Yemen, and Libya, Pakistan’s ultimate prize for the West is its nuclear weapons arsenal…
A number of observers, including former senior figures with the Pakistani Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) agency, have made no secret of western contingency plans, which appear to be going active, to secure Pakistan’s nuclear weapons in order to eliminate the nation as a nuclear weapons power. The plans have been coordinated between the CIA, India’s Research and Analysis Wing (RAW) intelligence service, and Israel’s Mossad.
President Obama appears to have decided to ratchet up tensions with Pakistan after Pakistan’s President Asif Ali Zardari was apparently urged by Obama to attend the White House’s much-hyped Nuclear Security Summit in Washington in April 2010. Obama sent a personal letter to Zardari that was delivered to the Pakistani president’s office in Islamabad on February 16, 2010, along with a cover letter from U.S. ambassador to Pakistan Anne Patterson. The letter to Zardari was the subject of a leaked U.S. State Department “sensitive” cable dated February 17, 2010 from the U.S. embassy in Islamabad to the State Department. The cable references a previous February 10, 2010 cable from the White House to the embassy in Islamabad. The cable from Islamabad was copied to the CIA; the Joint Chiefs of Staff at the Pentagon; the U.S. Central Command (CENTCOM) in Tampa, Florida; U.S. consulates in Lahore, Peshawar, and Karachi – the sites of CIA stations in Pakistan – and the U.S. embassies in London and Kabul.
The cable from Islamabad to Washington stated:
(SBU) Post delivered the POTUS letter on the Nuclear Security Summit to the Office of President Asif Ali ZARDARI on February 16, with cover letter from Ambassador Anne Patterson. The Pakistanis have not yet confirmed to us whether ZARDARI will attend.
Zardari passed on attending the nuclear summit, opting to send Prime Minister Yusaf Raza Gilani is his place. Soon after, Washington began expressing alarm about links between Pakistan and Taliban elements in the nation’s North West Frontier Province, as well as in Afghanistan.