Nytt

President George Bush har undertegnet en ordre som tillater amerikanske spesialstyrker å utføre operasjoner inne på pakistansk territorium. Det er snakk om grenseområdene. Pakistanske myndigheter protesterer høylytt. Men kan det være avtalt spill?

Ingen pakistansk leder kan tillate at han blir sett på som en amerikansk nikkedukke. Å si høyt at USA kan operere på pakistansk territorium, er umulig. Derfor kan protestene være spill for galleriet, eller mer sannsynlig: pakistansk ledelse er splittet.

Det som har fått det til å renne over for amerikanerne, er at sikkerhetstjenesten ISI bruker jihad-militsene i sitt regionale spill hvor Afghanistan holdes i ubalanse.

Tre elementer utløste den nye amerikanske linjen. Det første var at Taliban og Al-Qaida gjenvant styrke i grenseområdene, det andre at de fikk operere fritt over grensen. De gangene pakistanerne fikk detaljert forhåndsvarsel om amerikanske operasjoner, ble planene forpurret av lekkasjer. USA måtte samtidig se på at allierte soldater mistet livet på grunn av raid over grensen.

Da det kom bevis for at ISI var aktivt involvert i terroraksjoner inne i Afghanistan, rant det over. Selv toppledelsen i Pakistan med den nye forsvarssjefen i spissen var klar over at ISI deltok i terrorbombingen av den indiske ambassaden i Kabul. Det var som de ville trekke en linje i sanden, sier en kilde.

Antiamerikansk presse vil fremstille den nye linjen som utslag av kjent amerikansk ta seg til rette-politikk. Men hvis påstandene om ISI stemmer, så er det Pakistan som driver et skittent spill.

«The situation in the tribal areas is not tolerable,» said a senior American official who, like others interviewed for this article, spoke on condition of anonymity because of the delicate nature of the missions. «We have to be more assertive. Orders have been issued.»

The new orders reflect concern about safe havens for Al Qaeda and the Taliban inside Pakistan, as well as an American view that Pakistan lacks the will and ability to combat militants. They also illustrate lingering distrust of the Pakistani military and intelligence agencies and a belief that some American operations had been compromised once Pakistanis were advised of the details.
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The stepped-up campaign inside Pakistan comes at a time when American-Pakistani relations have been fraying, and when anger is increasing within American intelligence agencies about ties between Pakistan’s Inter-Services Intelligence Directorate, known as the ISI, and militants in the tribal areas.

Analysts at the C.I.A. and other American spy and security agencies believe not only that the bombing of India’s embassy in Kabul, Afghanistan, in July by militants was aided by ISI operatives, but also that the highest levels of Pakistan’s security apparatus — including the army chief, Gen. Ashfaq Parvez Kayani — had knowledge of the plot.

«It’s very difficult to imagine he was not aware,» a senior American official said of General Kayani.

American intelligence agencies have said that senior Pakistani national security officials favor the use of militant groups to preserve Pakistan’s influence in the region, as a hedge against India and Afghanistan.

In fact, some American intelligence analysts believe that ISI operatives did not mind when their role in the July bombing in Kabul became known. «They didn’t cover their tracks very well,» a senior Defense Department official said, «and I think the embassy bombing was the ISI drawing a line in the sand.»

Men det vil ikke overraske om Pakistans ledelse er splittet i synet på å la USA rydde opp i grenseområdene. Pakistan greier det ikke selv.

A second senior American official said that the Pakistani government had privately assented to the general concept of limited ground assaults by Special Operations forces against significant militant targets, but that it did not approve each mission.

The official did not say which members of the government gave their approval.


Bush Said to Give Orders Allowing Raids in Pakistan