Dodge City Meets Pakistan
by Eric Margolis
Bob Woodward, the investigative reporter of Watergate fame, has a new book, Obama’s War, that gives new insights into the White House’s struggle over Afghan War policy.
Woodward’s most interesting revelation: the US Central Intelligence Agency is operating a secret, 3,000-man Afghan mercenary force whose mission is assassinating Taliban and al-Qaida fighters.
The hunter-killer force described by Woodward was set up to operate inside Pakistan, where US troops are officially not allowed to go. The mercenaries are mostly Afghan Tajiks, Uzbeks, and Hazara – all traditional enemies of the majority Pashtun – as well as renegades, common criminals, and mercenaries.
Their raids into Afghanistan’s tribal territory are sometimes coordinated with CIA’s intensifying drone attacks on Pakistani tribesmen that are causing heavy civilian casualties.
CIA also runs its own secret militias in southern Afghanistan and, reportedly, in Tajikistan and Uzbekistan.
We are also just receiving reports of a major US airstrike and special forces ground operation inside Pakistan. The target was the Haqqani guerilla network, a former major US ally during the 1980’s.