International Call Renews U.S.-Pakistan Bilateral Military-to-Military Cooperation
February 11, 2017
The continued “necessity” of active military cooperation in Pakistan with the U.S. war program was confirmed on February 9 in a phone call which took place between Pakistan Chief of Army Staff General Qamar Javed Bajwa and U.S. Defense Secretary Jim Mattis.
Bajwa reassured the new U.S. Defense Secretary that the Pakistan Armed Forces would continue to be a part of U.S. imperialism's so-called “counter-terrorism” operations within Pakistan. And Mattis expressed specific thanks to Bajwa for backing American efforts to “defeat terrorism” in Khorasan Province.
Moreover, according to the Republican Party platform, continuance of Pakistan's current policy of punishing citizens enlisted by the U.S. in its so-called “war on terror,” would constitute a failure of the U.S. working relationship with Pakistan to “progress.”
In other words, Pakistan's government has been reminded of U.S. threats that it must actively participate in U.S. imperialism's war program if it doesn't want to become another of its targets.
Similarly, the Democratic Party platform calls for continued military action to “press both Afghanistan and Pakistan to deny terrorists sanctuary on either side of the border.”
The U.S. declaration of war on the world includes the demand that peoples everywhere must be willing to surrender their sovereignty in order to serve the aggressive, colonial aims of the U.S. monopoly capitalist class. In particular, the “Greater Middle East,” with its vast oil reserves and strategic location, remains one of the most prized parts of U.S. imperialism's world empire. By continuing to militarize the region and instigate war, U.S. imperialism (and its client Israel,) are creating new tragedies and great dangers for the people.
In the anti-war movement, Pakistan was widely recognized as an active front in U.S. imperialism's war program by 2007. Shortly after a February visit by then Vice-President Cheney to Afghanistan, U.S. military commanders revealed they had been “routinely” extending the war into Pakistan.
For example, Lieutenant General Douglas Lute told the Senate Armed Services Committee that U.S. forces on Afghanistan's eastern border routinely fired upon and pursued their “enemy” into Pakistan. The U.S. had also already been carrying out drone strikes under the separate command of the CIA since 2004.
88% of the 424 airstrikes since 2004 were ordered by Obama. Some 4,000 people have been killed by the airstrikes, including more than 200 children. 1,200-1,800 people have been injured. Next to none of the casualties have been members of the armed forces.
Many Pakistani politicians have denounced the extension of the U.S. war as violation of Pakistan's sovereignty. Repeated demonstrations of tens of thousands of people have taken place in response to the military's “agreement” to allow the CIA to carry out the military operations in Pakistan.