Secret War

January 3, 2012

A revealing look at the CIA’s drone program in Pakistan and covert support for elements of the Taliban by the Pakistani military and its intelligence service, the ISI.

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The Covert Convert Behind the CIA’s Drone Program

“He presides over a campaign that has killed thousands of Islamist militants and angered millions of Muslims,” wrote The Washington Post’s Gregg Miller, in a rare profile of the head of the CIA’s Counterterrorism Center (CTC). “But he is himself a convert to Islam.”

Study Suggests Majority of Those Killed in Pakistan Drone Strikes Are Militants

A nearly-six-month-long investigation published by the Associated Press on Friday tracks with earlier studies that found 70 to 80 percent of those killed in CIA drone strikes in Pakistan are militants.

Pakistan Spy Chief’s Term Set to Expire Amidst Shaky Relations with U.S.

There’s no shortage of thorny issues currently facing Pakistan’s intelligence chief — and Lt. Gen. Ahmed Shuja Pasha’s term as director-general of the Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) is set to expire on March 18.

New Study Asserts Drone Strikes in Pakistan Target Rescuers, Funerals

CIA drone strikes in Pakistan have killed “dozens of civilians” who had gone to help rescue victims of drone strikes or were attending funerals for the victims of previous strikes, a new report by British and Pakistani journalists asserts.

Leaked NATO Report Alleges Pakistani Support for Taliban

The BBC reports today that a classified NATO report leaked to the news organization “fully exposes for the first time the relationship between the Pakistani intelligence service (ISI) and the Taliban.”

Is the Obama Administration Becoming More Transparent about Drones?

In a rare break with the usual silence regarding the CIA’s covert drone program, President Obama yesterday defended the controversial strikes that target suspected Al Qaeda and Taliban leaders abroad.

New Reports Say Al Qaeda Leader Killed in Recent Drone Strike

Sources now say the target of resumed U.S. drone strikes in Pakistan’s tribal areas was Aslam Awan, an “external operations planner” for Al Qaeda who was planning attacks against the West.

Drone Strikes Resume, Rumored To Kill Top Pakistani Militant

It’s an arresting sight: A Pakistani Taliban commander confidently rolls into a village in an American Humvee his forces have just captured. He turns to the journalists he has come to address and delivers a stark warning.

CIA Drone Program in Pakistan Reportedly “On Hold” as Relations Deteriorate

Drone strikes in Pakistan are “on hold” at the moment, U.S. intelligence officials involved in the CIA drone program told the Long War Journal Monday, out of fear the strikes would further harm the fragile relationship. But this isn’t the first time this has happened.

How the Drone War Plays Out in Pakistan’s Tribal Areas

Almost every single known U.S. drone strike in Pakistan has taken place in the country’s isolated, underdeveloped tribal areas. Off limits to most, evidence of America’s operations here is scant, but recently published photos of what appears to be the aftermath of the strikes raise important questions.

Making Sense of the Latest India-Afghanistan-Pakistan Drama

President Hamid Karzai’s provocative two-day trip to India this week continues to resonate across the subcontinent. His announcement of an unprecedented strategic partnership with India has put Pakistan on edge, with potentially significant consequences for the region.

A New, New Low in U.S.-Pakistan Relations

Last week, Joint Chiefs of Staff Adm. Mike Mullen set off a landslide when he testified before Congress that the Haqqani network – a group U.S. officials call the most deadly insurgent group in Afghanistan — was a “veritable arm” of Pakistan’s main intelligence agency, the ISI. How bad is this new, new low in U.S.-Pakistan relations?

JSOC Using Captured Militants to Analyze Intel

Last week the Washington Post published an investigation into the CIA’s operational shift to focus increasingly on “the cold counterterrorism objective of finding targets to capture or kill.” We talked to Stephen Grey about the expansion of the CIA’s counterterrorist apparatus and what it means, and discovered a significant development.

Top U.S. Officials Weigh In As Drone Debate Escalates

A controversial new report has reignited debate on the effectiveness of covert CIA drone strikes targeting Al Qaeda and Taliban militants in Pakistan’s tribal areas.

Interview: Dexter Filkins

Filkins has reported from Afghanistan and Pakistan for The New York Times and currently is a correspondent for The New … Continue reading

Dexter Filkins: We Don’t Know What Side the Pakistanis Are On

“I think where all these things become problematic — we’ve seen this time and again — is, frankly, we don’t know on any given time or day what side the Pakistanis are on.”

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