Global News Journal

Beyond the World news headlines

from Afghan Journal:

‘Obama’s Wars’ and clandestine operations

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AFGHANISTAN

Bob Woodward's new book "Obama's Wars" is making waves for laying bare the policy divisions and the personality clashes within the administration over the U.S. President's Afghan policy. The author, according to the excerpts published by the New York Times and the Washington Post ahead of the book's release next week, exposes the colliding egos of senior political and military figures in even more stark detail than Rolling Stone's profile of General Stanley McChrystal that cost the U.S. commander his job.

But what may turn out to be even more explosive in the theatre where America's longest war is being waged is the revelation that the CIA is running a 3,000-strong Afghan army to carry out clandestine operations in not just Afghanistan, but more importantly over the border in Pakistan. The idea that an Afghan army is fighting al Qaeda and Taliban militants inside Pakistan is not something that Islamabad can tolerate easily. Or at least the public disclosure of it.

Firing missiles from unmanned U.S. drone aircraft patrolling over Pakistan's northwest region at a rate that has far outstripped the Bush administration's record is bad enough ; to now have a brigade-size paramilitary unit operating inside the country marks a significant expansion of the covert war that the Obama administration has waged there.

The Washington Post says Woodward characterizes this previously undisclosed Counter Terrorism Pursuit Teams as "elite, well-trained units that conduct highly sensitive covert operations into Pakistan as part of a stepped-up campaign against al-Qaeda and Afghan Taliban havens there." The New York Times advancer of the book says the "covert army" captures and kills Taliban fighters and seeks support in tribal areas.

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