If Pakistan is an Ally, Why Are We Trying to Break Up Their Country?
After ten years of fighting unwinnable wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, many Americans recognize that the wars in the Middle East are really about oil and natural gas, rather than terrorism. Bush’s decision to invade Afghanistan (instead of Saudi Arabia – the 911 hijackers were Saudi) stemmed from the Taliban refusal to construct an Afghanistan pipeline transporting Turkmenistan oil to Pakistan and the Arabian sea (where it could be loaded onto US tankers). Likewise the decision to invade 17 months later (which had no connection whatsoever with 911 or Al Qaeda) seems linked to Saddam Hussein’s threat to crash the US dollar by trading Iraqi oil in Euros instead of dollars. Under Obama, the “war on terror” has shifted eastward to Pakistan. Yet there’s no reason to believe the strategic objectives for US military intervention in Pakistan are any different from the ones that led us to invade Afghanistan and Iraq – namely strategic control of energy resources.
Although the subject receives little attention in the US media, various Pentagon analysts have been quite public about the strategic importance of energy and mineral rich Balochistan (a Pakistan province bordering Afghanistan and comprising 44% of the country’s geographic area) as an energy transit route. Several aggressively promote the “balkanization” of Pakistan. “Balkanization” is a term widely attributed to Carter’s national security adviser Zbigniew Brzezinski in his 1998 book The Grand Chessboard. It was one actively pursued by the Pentagon and CIA under Clinton in breaking up the former Yugoslavia, enabling US access to oil, natural gas and mineral resources in the former Soviet republics of Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan, Kazakhstan and Tajikistan.
At present the immediate Pentagon/CIA goal is to create a Free Balochistan, which would incorporate the Pakistan province of Balochistan, a sizable swath of Iran that was originally part of independent Balochistan and part of Afghanistan. In fact since 2006, the Pentagon has made no secrete of their desire to Pakistan Balochistan (which has a strong separatist movement) secede from Pakistan to become a US client state (like Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan, Kazakhstan and Tajikistan). It has cropped up in speeches by Condi Rice, in articles published by military journals and Pentagon think tanks and in trainings of senior military officers at the National War Academy and NATO’s Defense College.
Redrawing the Middle East
Condi Rice’s 2006 speech about “redrawing the Middle East” received the most attention in the US: http://www.globalresearch.ca/PrintArticle.php?articleId=3882. The international press has been more interested in a 2006 article by Lt. Colonel Ralph Peters of the Pentagon’s Office of the Deputy Chief of Staff for Intelligence Armed Forces Journal. They are most concerned about a map he has drawn, which he has copyrighted, showing the Baloch areas of Afghanistan, Iran and Pakistan joined as Free Balochistan (and reducing the size of Pakistan by 50%). http://www.armedforcesjournal.com/2006/06/1833899
Robert Wirsing of the US Army think tank Strategic Studies Institute, has published a similar analysis:Baloch Nationalism and the Geopolitics of Energy Resources: Context of Separatism in Pakistan(http://www.strategicstudiesinstitute.army.mil/pdffiles/pub853.pdf). (other references regarding Pentagon strategy in Balochistan can be found in Alexander Achmatowicz’ guest post athttp://stuartbramhall.aegauthorblogs.com/2010/09/29/balochistan-the-place-to-watch/ )
Map of Free Balochistan © Ralph Peters 2006
Peters, Wirsing and other military strategists argue the primary benefits of establishing Free Balochistan as a US client state would be
securing Central Asian energy resources for the continental US.
blocking Chinese access to these resources (via the Chinese-built Gwadar Port in Gwadar, Pakistan – China’s chief conduit for Iranian oil).
destabilizing Iran (which also has a sizable Baloch population seeking independence).
Enter Our CIA Freedom Fighters
Ironically the CIA also seems to endorse this strategy, at least indirectly, in a report predicting that Pakistan will be a failed state by 2015 (http://intellibriefs.blogspot.com/2005/02/pak-will-be-failed-state-by-2015-cia.html). For obvious reasons, the report doesn’t spell out the critical role they intend to play in Pakistan’s demise, via their systematic efforts to destabilize the Pakistan government (e.g. using CIA agents like Raymond Davis to support Taliban and Al Qaeda terrorists) and separating off 50% of its territory as Free Balochistan.
Nevertheless, according to an explosive 2006 expose by investigative journalists at the London Institute of South Asia (http://www.lisauk.com/baluchistan.asp), this is exactly what the CIA has been doing since 2002, when it set up the first training camp to revive the Balochistan Liberation Army (BLA). The London Institute indicates the CIA is collaborating in this effort with RAW (Indian intelligence), who have extensive spy networks throughout Pakistan and Afghanistan, and RAD (Russian intelligence), who started the BLA in 1980 during the Soviet occupation of Afghanistan and provide most of the weapons.
To be continued, with a discussion of the history of Balochistan and the KGB role in the formation of the BLA.