USAs øverstkommanderende i Afghanistan, Stanley A. McChrystal, skriver i en hemmeligstemplet rapport at Pakistans etterretningstjeneste ISI og Qudsstyrken til Revolusjonsgarden i Iran, støtter Taliban i krigen mot ISAF og regjeringen i Kabul.
Taliban fighters in Afghanistan are being aided by «elements of some intelligence agencies,» Army Gen. Stanley A. McChrystal wrote in a detailed analysis of the military situation delivered to the White House earlier this month.
McChrystal went on to single out Pakistan’s Inter-Services Intelligence agency as well as the Quds Force of the Iranian Revolutionary Guard as contributing to the external forces working to undermine U.S. interests and destabilize the government in Kabul.
The remarks reflect long-running U.S. concerns about Pakistan and Iran, but it is rare that they have been voiced so prominently by a top U.S. official. McChrystal submitted his assessment last month, and a declassified version was published Sunday on the Washington Post website.
The criticism of Pakistan is a particularly delicate issue because of the United States’ close cooperation with Islamabad in pursuing militants and carrying out drone airstrikes in the nation’s rugged east.
«Afghanistan’s insurgency is clearly supported from Pakistan,» McChrystal wrote, adding that senior leaders of the major Taliban groups are «reportedly aided by some elements of Pakistan’s ISI.» The ISI has long-standing ties to the Taliban, but Pakistani officials have repeatedly claimed to have severed those relationships in the aftermath of the Sept. 11 attacks.
«There is a mixture of motives and concerns within the ISI that have accounted for the dalliances that have gone on for years» with insurgent groups, said Paul Pillar, a former senior CIA counter-terrorism official.
Iran has traditionally had an adversarial relationship with the Taliban, and McChrystal’s report says that Tehran has played «an ambiguous role in Afghanistan,» providing developmental assistance to the government even as it flirts with insurgent groups that target U.S. troops.
«The Iranian Quds Force is reportedly training fighters for certain Taliban groups and providing other forms of military assistance to insurgents,» McChrystal said in the report. The Quds Force is an elite wing of the Revolutionary Guard that carries out operations in other countries.
McChrystal did not elaborate on the nature of the assistance, but Iran has been a transit point for foreign fighters entering Pakistan. Experts also cited evidence that Iran has provided training and technology in the use of roadside bombs.
U.S. says Pakistan, Iran helping Taliban
Army Gen. Stanley A. McChrystal, the U.S. commander in Afghanistan, in particular cites the ISI and the Quds Force.