'Obama's Wars' reveals US hard-talk on Pak's deadly double game in war on terror

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Washington, Oct 12 (ANI): US journalist Bob Woodward's book "Obama's wars" has made a volley of startling revelations, including hot pursuit by 3,000 US troops inside Pakistani territory from the Afghan side, Pakistani airbases still being used for drone attacks, US not trusting the ISI, Zardari stating to CIA chief that civilian deaths did not worry him at all, and US plans of bombing 150 camps inside Pakistan if there was another attack in American territory.

The fact that Woodward was able to sit with top leaders in important meetings, and has been allowed to write things which were otherwise never released to the public, shows that the US leadership itself wanted to send clear messages about their intentions and plans, The News reported.

On page 52 of the book, Woodward has written that the DNI and the CIA chief gave Barack Obama, before he took oath as US president, a briefing, listing 14 highly classified covert actions, their nature and the written findings from Bush and other presidents.

According to the book, CIA head Michael Hayden disclosed that those 14 actions included lethal counter terrorism operations in 60 countries to stop terrorists worldwide, including drone attacks on camps anywhere.

When Obama inquired Hayden about the US' actions in Pakistan, "Hayden said 80 percent of America's worldwide attacks were there (in Pakistan). We own the sky. The drones take off and land at secret bases in Pakistan. Al-Qaeda is training people in the tribal areas who, if you saw them in the visa line at Dulles (Washington Airport), you would not recognise as potential threats," revealed Woodward.

Before Obama was inducted as president, Hayden also disclosed to him that besides drone attacks, the CIA had a 3,000 strong army of Counter Terrorism Pursuit Teams (CTPT) in Afghanistan, the book said.

Later, when the new CIA chief Leon Panetta and National Security Adviser Jim Jones were sent by Obama to Pakistan to talk to Zardari and Kayani after the failed Faisal Shahzad bombing at Times Square in New York, Panetta asked in frustration, "How can you fight a war and have safe havens across the border?" later adding, "It's a crazy kind of war."

Jones told Zardari and other top officials, "If, God forbid, Shahzad's SUV had blown up in Times Square, we wouldn't be having this conversation. The president would be forced to do things that Pakistan would not like. The president wants everyone in Pakistan to understand if such an attack connected to a Pakistani group is successful there are some things even he would not be able to stop. Just as there are political realities in Pakistan, there are political realities in the US. No one will be able to stop the response and consequences. This is not a threat, just a statement of political fact."

According to the book, Zardari replied that if the two nations were having a strategic partnership, such a crisis should draw them closer together rather than creating a divide between them.

"President Obama's only choice would be to respond, Jones said. There would be no alternative. The US can no longer tolerate Pakistan's a' la Carte approach to going after some terrorist groups and supporting, if not owning, others. You are playing Russian roulette. The chamber has turned out empty the past several times, but there will be a round in that chamber someday," Woodward continued reporting in the meeting.

"Jones did not reveal that an American response could entail a retribution campaign of bombing up to 150 known terrorist safe havens inside Pakistan," the investigative journalist added.

"You can do something that costs you no money," Jones said. "It may be politically difficult, but it's the right thing to do if you really have the future of your country in mind. And that is to reject all forms of terrorism as a viable instrument of national policy inside your borders."

Zardari said that Pakistan had "rejected it" but Jones begged to differ. He cited evidence of Pakistan support or toleration of Mulla Omar's Quetta Shura and the Haqqani network, the two leading Taliban groups killing US soldiers in Afghanistan.

"Just to be clear," the CIA director said, "the Times Square bomber, thank God, did not get enough training." His training in bomb making had been compressed. "But if that had gone off, perhaps hundreds, if not thousands, of Americans would've been killed."

Zardari said defensively, "It doesn't mean that somehow we're suddenly bad people or something. We're still partners," but both Jones and Panetta said "no" to this, pointing out that there might be no way to save the strategic partnership.

When Jones and Panetta met General Kayani privately, Jones told the army chief that the clock was starting now on all four of the requests. Obama wanted a progress report in 30 days.

"But Kayani would not budge very much. He had other concerns. "I'll be the first to admit, I'm India-centric," Woodward quoted him as saying. (ANI)

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