Mattis: NATO Might Drop Ally Pakistan For "Connections With Terrorist Groups"

Defense Secretary James Mattis told a Senate Armed Services Committee hearing on Tuesday that Pakistan might be dropped by the United States as a NATO ally due to its support for the Taliban and other terrorist organizations. Currently, Pakistan is formally designated as a major non-NATO ally (MNNA) - a defense relationship which confers military and financial benefits but does not automatically imply a mutual defense pact.

During the hearing which covered a wide range of national security issues, Mattis was asked if the US would consider revoking Pakistan's status, and responded, "I'm sure it will be."  The firm but not completely unexpected response which is sure to add tensions to the already shaky US-Pakistan alliance came after Mattis stated in his opening remarks that, "we will firmly address Pakistan's role. NATO's demands need to be heard and embraced in Islamabad."

Mattis along with Marine Corps General Joseph Dunford, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, testified that they view Pakistan's main spy agency, Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) as an enabler of terrorism in Central Asia. General Dunford said, “It is clear to me that the ISI has connections with terrorist groups.”

Image source: Andrew Harnik, via The Middletown Press/AP 

President Trump himself recently singled out longtime US ally Pakistan as a "safe haven to agents of chaos, violence and terror" when he announced a new plan for ramping up US anti-terror actions in Afghanistan back in August. Trump specifically blamed Pakistan for harboring Taliban leaders and other radical Islamic allies like the Haqqani network, which has long been leading insurgences against US and NATO forces in Afghanistan. 

Pakistani Foreign Minister Khawaja Asif recently warned Washington against using Pakistan as a "scapegoat" for US failures in America's 16-year long war in Afghanistan. Pakistan sees its role as a key regional US partner against terrorism, and consistently points out that it has suffered tens of thousands of casualties from terrorist attacks since joining the US campaign after 9/11. But US officials have pointed to Pakistan's consistent willingness to "look the other way" when it comes to the extremist groups that have long operated in its territory. Famously, Osama bin Laden himself was found to have been living comfortably in Abbottabad not far from Pakistan's premier military academy.

Lawmakers were also briefed Tuesday that the thousands of additional US troops President Trump has ordered to Afghanistan - about 3,500 to augment the roughly 11,000 currently there - will cost over $1 billion a year, bringing the Pentagon's annual expense of its Afghan operation to a whopping $12.5 billion annually. 

The White House has sold the plan as a necessary long term counter terror measure with a general advisory mandate in a region long seen as the epicenter of global terrorism, but has adamantly downplayed any talk of nation building in Afghanistan. Along with al-Qaeda, the Taliban, and the Haqqani network, a branch of the Islamic State is also on the rise in the country since 2015. 

In the midst of the briefing by America's top military officers, Senator John McCain repeatedly chastised Mattis and Dunford for not bringing a clear vision of the new Afghan strategy, saying, “We want to be your partners, but this committee will not be a rubber stamp for any policy or president." And added, "unfortunately, we still have far more questions than answers about this new strategy.” But lost on McCain and other lawmakers (or more likely well known and willfully suppressed), which better explains the question of "how we got here", is the deeper issue of the origins of these terror groups which the panel acknowledged are in cahoots with Pakistan intelligence.

The birth of Sunni Islamic terror groups like the Haqqani network, the Taliban, and al-Qaeda are rooted in  'Operation Cyclone' - the 1980's CIA program to arm Afghan and Arab mujahideen fighters against the Soviet Union in Central Asia. The now well-known and exhaustively documented program produced the original Frankenstein of global jihad that spawned an entire generation of veteran terrorists, and it is the previously US-sponsored jihadi gift that keeps on giving.

In what was probably the first ever US government classified report to identify Osama Bin Laden as a terrorist threat, a 1993 paper (now declassified) called The Wandering Mujahidin: Armed and Dangerous admitted the increasingly global "jihadist movement" was spawned from "US support of the mujahidin."

The report produced by the State Department's Bureau of Intelligence and Research noted that the “support network that funneled money, supplies, and manpower to supplement the Afghan mujahidin” in the war against the Soviets, “is now contributing experienced fighters to militant Islamic groups worldwide,” and concluded the following:

The alleged involvement of veterans of the Afghan war in the World Trade Center bombing [February 1993] and the plots against New York targets are a bold example of what tactics some former mujahidin are willing to use in their ongoing jihad. US support of the mujahidin during the Afghan war will not necessarily protect US interests from attack.

So ironically, when Pakistan's foreign minister repeatedly tells the US to stop exclusively scapegoating Pakistani intelligence for the jihadist menace, there is more truth in his words than meets the eye. The Inter-Services Intelligence agency was but one of many US partners (Saudi Arabia and Egypt were other big ones) the US joined with in funding and supplying the original jihad which helped to leave the entire region in shambles and which spawned future generations of terrorists.

Comments

giovanni_f khnum Wed, 10/04/2017 - 05:35 Permalink

Three swamp creatures, one with a brain tumor, the other two suffering from a gut-wrenching Viagra-overdose hangover, discussing as to whether the brutal Russian facebook attack against our Western civilization qualifies as equivalent to a nuclear first strike on American soil and should be answered accordingly.

In reply to by khnum

Jim in MN giovanni_f Wed, 10/04/2017 - 09:29 Permalink

If Pakistan is brought to heel, the war in Afghanistan could be substantially reduced.Once that happens, and the ISIS mop-up is completed, guess what?World peace.The biggest secret of the 21st century and we are discussing it ONLY here, at ZH.Should we call it the populist peace dividend, or the Chinese peace dividend?Now there's a discussion worth having.  Oh also what to do with all the money saved from defense drawdowns.(that's why it's a secret)(but it's a big reason the markets keep going up)  

In reply to by giovanni_f

HowdyDoody giovanni_f Wed, 10/04/2017 - 06:12 Permalink

The US has dropped Pakistan in favor of India which was down for a Chinese port in the OBOR project. India has been bought/coerced into agreeing to US military occupation. This is just a US attempt to block the Chinese projects. Pakistan is still the only access route for Afghanistan so the US may just pretend to fight Pakistan 'terrorism' (which the US was fine with until it wasn't).

In reply to by giovanni_f

Fireman Wed, 10/04/2017 - 04:35 Permalink

/* Style Definitions */
table.MsoNormalTable
{mso-style-name:"Table Normal";
mso-tstyle-rowband-size:0;
mso-tstyle-colband-size:0;
mso-style-noshow:yes;
mso-style-priority:99;
mso-style-qformat:yes;
mso-style-parent:"";
mso-padding-alt:0in 5.4pt 0in 5.4pt;
mso-para-margin-top:0in;
mso-para-margin-right:0in;
mso-para-margin-bottom:10.0pt;
mso-para-margin-left:0in;
line-height:115%;
mso-pagination:widow-orphan;
font-size:11.0pt;
font-family:"Calibri","sans-serif";
mso-ascii-font-family:Calibri;
mso-ascii-theme-font:minor-latin;
mso-fareast-font-family:"Times New Roman";
mso-fareast-theme-font:minor-fareast;
mso-hansi-font-family:Calibri;
mso-hansi-theme-font:minor-latin;}

/* Style Definitions */
table.MsoNormalTable
{mso-style-name:"Table Normal";
mso-tstyle-rowband-size:0;
mso-tstyle-colband-size:0;
mso-style-noshow:yes;
mso-style-priority:99;
mso-style-qformat:yes;
mso-style-parent:"";
mso-padding-alt:0in 5.4pt 0in 5.4pt;
mso-para-margin-top:0in;
mso-para-margin-right:0in;
mso-para-margin-bottom:10.0pt;
mso-para-margin-left:0in;
line-height:115%;
mso-pagination:widow-orphan;
font-size:11.0pt;
font-family:"Calibri","sans-serif";
mso-ascii-font-family:Calibri;
mso-ascii-theme-font:minor-latin;
mso-fareast-font-family:"Times New Roman";
mso-fareast-theme-font:minor-fareast;
mso-hansi-font-family:Calibri;
mso-hansi-theme-font:minor-latin;}
NATO, North Amerikan Terror Organ; that limp appendage dangling from the Pedophile Politburo in Natostan capital of USSA's flaccid vassal Brussels, seat of the infamous albeit collapsing EUSSR wants to be the global gangster sidekick of the Pentacon thugs but just doesn't want to pay to play. Will the Germans get suckered for a third time into a global war for their anglozionazi bankster masters and the Washing town thugocracy?  Nah...they finally seem to have figured it and STASI agent "Erika" out as the I$I$ "backed" Saudi Mercan IOU petroscrip toilet paper dollah gets flushed from the global Ponzi sewer of the Potemkin Village (idiot) Mercan "economy" of slaughter for profit of the zero 1%. The Pedophile Politburo in Natostan sewer Brussels, cracking fortress of the old new world order will do whatever they can to continue the globalist abomination of the EUSSR against the wishes of most Europeons. Does it really matter what these unelected, drunken pedophiles attempt to do at this stage even as the Franco mob in Madrid disgrace themselves by bullying Catalonia in a battle the Franco fascists cannot win (this time) and little Manny Macron begins to grasp the reality that Führerin Merkel is dead meat and will NOT be leading Germany very much longer even if she manages to cobble a contradictory rag tag coalition of political freaks together. (After Gert Wilders big shake up in Holland 6 months ago the Dutch still haven't got a government, though you would never know that if you were watching the presstitute media). So Manny Macron's Rothschild "dream" of German riot police flattening French labor will not be happening after all and the Great French German axis of power shift a la Paris and Berlin Reich was no more than little Manny's wet dream after all. Urupp is dead and the more migrants they import from the USSA'S serial judaic wars the more the totalitarian EUSSR will unravel. As soon as the €urodollah tanks along with its Siamese twin, the Saudi Mercan I$I$ "backed" dollah, both totalitarian anti democratic hulks will sink under the waves together. 

archie bird Fireman Wed, 10/04/2017 - 07:45 Permalink

Dang...I thnk you've created a new language.My take on this whole "Pakistan may be our new enemy" thing is a little different.  I think Trump figured out the "Awan Bros ISI spy ring" in Congress courtesy of Hillary/Obama/DWS and is now disbanding it...or getting ready to 'play poker'. 

In reply to by Fireman

Gorgeous Fireman Wed, 10/04/2017 - 19:41 Permalink

Not sure what you just said, but I think it's true...and it sounds nice.  ...that limp appendage dangling from the Pedophile Politburo in Natostan capital of USSA's flaccid vassal Brussels,...petroscrip toilet paper dollah gets flushed from the global Ponzi sewer. You've got some seriously florid prose.  But keep it coming.  I might bum some of those pearls myself.

In reply to by Fireman

vollderlerby WTFUD Wed, 10/04/2017 - 05:42 Permalink

If we go with RjH's approach, there won't be any hearts and minds. I'm all for wiping that shitstain off the map. Nothing good has ever come out of Pakistan.  I disagree that Pakistan is the new Syria.  What's Syria done to anyone outside of Syria until the assholes in the Pentagon decided Russia can't have ANY footprint in that region at all?  Exactly, nothing.  And Pakistan? Let's see, they installed the Wahabi fucking Taliban in Afghanistan, they have nukes and likely have shared their nuke tech with rogue states, their economy is failing with close to 200 million mostly muslim assholes looking for a purpose, all great stuff.  I say turn their sand into glass and use it as a giant solar power plant.

In reply to by WTFUD

BritBob Wed, 10/04/2017 - 04:59 Permalink

Mattis should also keep his eye on Spain -Ceuta: an unofficial Russian naval ‘base’ in the Strait of Gibraltar?Right-wing groups in the US and UK criticize frequent stopovers in the Spanish enclave(El Pais, March 2016)Spanish Guardia Civil vessel Rio Cedena twice tried to disrupt the visit by ballistic missile sub USS Florida as it was approaching the British Overseas Territory on the southern tip of Spain.According to the Sun, the incident has caused outrage among senior officials in Gibraltar with one 'top source' saying: 'This is not only a very dangerous game for the Spanish to play but it is unbecoming of a NATO ally to treat the US Navy with such contempt.'(Daily Mail 6 May 2016) Looks like Spain will try and play the Gibraltar card  (A worthless sovereignty claim): Effectively Ceded to Britain 3 times!Gibraltar – Spanish Myths and Agreements (1 pg):https://www.academia.edu/34608739/Gibraltar_Spanish_Myths_and_Agreement… is an important NATO base. 

TeraByte Wed, 10/04/2017 - 05:02 Permalink

/* Style Definitions */
table.MsoNormalTable
{mso-style-name:"Table Normal";
mso-tstyle-rowband-size:0;
mso-tstyle-colband-size:0;
mso-style-noshow:yes;
mso-style-priority:99;
mso-style-qformat:yes;
mso-style-parent:"";
mso-padding-alt:0in 5.4pt 0in 5.4pt;
mso-para-margin-top:0in;
mso-para-margin-right:0in;
mso-para-margin-bottom:10.0pt;
mso-para-margin-left:0in;
line-height:115%;
mso-pagination:widow-orphan;
font-size:11.0pt;
font-family:"Calibri","sans-serif";
mso-ascii-font-family:Calibri;
mso-ascii-theme-font:minor-latin;
mso-fareast-font-family:"Times New Roman";
mso-fareast-theme-font:minor-fareast;
mso-hansi-font-family:Calibri;
mso-hansi-theme-font:minor-latin;}
Tell me, whom you socialize with and I tell you, who you are. Topping charts of US friends are fundamentalist Islamic tyrannies and Israel, so foreign politics can never go wrong, because our national interests and theirs are parallel to 100%

Byte Me Wed, 10/04/2017 - 05:53 Permalink

"will cost over $1 billion a year, bringing the Pentagon's annual expense of its Afghan operation to a whopping $12.5 billion annually. "

I almost expected Dr Evil to get attribution for this codswallop.

Aristofani Wed, 10/04/2017 - 06:03 Permalink

Well I guess all the zH anti-government idealogues will be pleased to see that if there is a government that should be minimal, it is the US one. The corruption, hypocrisy and idiocy of it's goverment knows no bounds.

me or you Wed, 10/04/2017 - 06:12 Permalink

Pakistan an important hub for Chinese Silk Road... It looks like Americans are targeting all countries which soon will be part of this important corridor. 

any_mouse Wed, 10/04/2017 - 06:15 Permalink

Pakistan and ISI were our brothers against Soviet Union back in the day. Hooked USA up with bin Laden and the world of the mujaheddin.

Until we need you again, Pakistan.

MK ULTRA Alpha Wed, 10/04/2017 - 06:21 Permalink

During ghetto organizer Obama, Pakistan got a free ride. Obama US/Pakistan relation was for a high funding level. It is good aid to Pakistan is being cut to zero. Pakistan is allied with China against India. India has more to offer in a two way US/India alliance. India is a strategic counter to China in Indian ocean etc. Iran is a major player in Afghanistan. US funding of 12.5 billion will grow to 20 billion in less than 3 years. US is trying to box in Iranians. Expect a major global war and a US draft within next three years. US doesn't have enough forces for all requirements and US feels it needs to ship out snowflakes, antifa, neoliberal communist, Trannies, KKK, neo-Nazis etc. to the four corners of the world. All conditions will be wavered, obese, sex change, convicts, drug convictions etc. all will be wanted and needed in a fake emergency to get rid of conflict inside USA. Watch and remember you were told to get ready, I know how the military thinks.

Brazen Heist Wed, 10/04/2017 - 06:48 Permalink

“It is clear to me that the ISI has connections with terrorist groups.”I'm getting fucking sick of the empire and its self-righteous bullshit.Yeah and my response is: “It is clear to me that the CIA has connections with even more terrorist groups.”The ISI doesn't support the kind of terrorists the CIA likes.Fuck off Deep State, you're attempts at trying to sound any better than Pakistan are falling on deaf ears.