Internet Anthropologist Think Tank: Al-Qaeda's Pakistan PSYOP

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    Monday, October 08, 2007

    Al-Qaeda's Pakistan PSYOP

    Understanding Al-Qaeda's Pakistan PSYOP and Insurgency

    The Troubling Effectiveness of al-Qaeda's PSYOP On The Pakistani Army

    By Steve Schippert

    Conclusions ( CAPS ARE MINE: )

    The growing success of this long running al-Qaeda PSYOP

    ...makes it clear that the defeat of al-Qaeda and the elimination of their global headquarters in Pakistan will not come from Pakistani sources or initiative. As with so many other theaters in this global conflict, the initiative must again come directly from the United States. The American public and American political leaders must prepare themselves for the reality that, at this stage, defeating al-Qaeda in Pakistan most likely requires American boots on Pakistani soil.


    The continued disengagement from the fight by Pakistani military forces unwilling to combat terrorists and insurgents within their own country is indeed troubling. President Musharraf’s recent decision to fully disengage and withdraw his most capable combat forces from the Federally Administered Tribal Areas by January 2008 certainly does not bode well for continued distanced engagement or non-engagement by American forces. In the end, defeating al-Qaeda in Pakistan will require direct American military action on the ground. The alternative is to accept the consequences of a strengthening al-Qaeda insurgency that is gaining momentum....

    Going forward in the global conflict before us, it is important to acknowledge and understand that al-Qaeda is currently engaged in an Information Operation (IO) campaign inside Pakistan. This is in addition to its efforts to gain influence outside of Pakistan, particularly with Muslims in Europe, the Middle East and in the US. The primary target of the Pakistan campaign is the Pakistani military and it is driven by al-Qaeda’s accelerating insurgency inside Pakistan. Understanding how and why al-Qaeda has undertaken this effort allows decision makers greater understanding of al-Qaeda’s aims and equips them with a ‘lay of the land’ required to counter al-Qaeda’s message and objectives......

    Beyond Pakistan, Al-Qaeda seeks to – in part - influence American foreign policy through terrorist means. But within Pakistan, al-Qaeda has clearly and by specific design transformed from being simply a dangerous international terrorist group within Pakistan to a full-fledged internal insurgency against it. This transformation is represented through the efforts of al-Qaeda to acquire the armored assets of a state Army and its nuclear weapons, as well as the pursuit of land holdings to be integrated into the larger objective of creating an Islamic state to be ruled by a successor to the Prophet, a Khalifa or Caliph, nearly 1350 years after the last of the ‘rightly guided’ rulers.......


    Perhaps the best way to describe al-Qaeda’s Pakistan insurgency is to call it a “Death by a Thousand Cuts.” They have openly sought not only the assassination of Pervez Musharraf, but also the demise – or reconfiguration – of the Pakistani national government. In a strategy that has been executed with remarkable patience, al-Qaeda has gained acknowledged control of several sizable territories in Pakistan’s Federally Administered Tribal Areas.


    After defeating Pakistani forces on the battlefield, the Taliban-al-Qaeda alliance have secured various ‘peace accords’ replete with concessions from the Musharraf government. Effective control of North Waziristan, South Waziristan, Bajour and Swat have been ceded to them and Pakistani forces were – upon agreement – effectively withdrawn from the areas handed the Taliban-al-Qaeda alliance through the accords. The accords, no matter how presented by the Musharraf government, represented abject defeat.

    Al-Qaeda Insurgency: Destination - Islamabad

    Domination in these territories has allowed al-Qaeda the haven necessary to rebuild its training and planning infrastructure as well as replenish its human resources. After a few short weeks of basic military training, Taliban conscripts are sent in waves across the border to battle US and Coalition forces in Afghanistan.


    However, al-Qaeda has no designs on investing in regaining that territory. There are no resources for them there – and a more formidable, if reduced, military force to be reckoned with. One whose defeat of the terrorist group drove them into Pakistan’s border regions to begin with. Al-Qaeda’s designs are not back towards the west, but rather onward deeper into the heart of Pakistan.......

    The al-Qaeda Information Operation (IO) is designed to support the insurgency’s incremental march on Islamabad. The key to understanding the al-Qaeda IO and its insurgency goals is to understand how al-Qaeda primarily targets Pakistani Interior Ministry forces (police, constabularies and the Frontier Corps) for physical attack while targeting Pakistani regular army forces for influence and subversion.

    The persistent mention of Pakistani police forces – rather than Pakistani Army forces – is expected in any Pakistani Interior Ministry report, as the Police forces fall under the Interior. But Pakistani police forces also decidedly bear the brunt of al-Qaeda’s lethal attacks and not the Pakistani Army. It’s not that al-Qaeda and their indigenous Taliban allies cannot attack the Pakistani Army with expectations of success. They most certainly can and have. With bin Laden’s latest audio message delivering a combination invitation and ultimatum to Pakistani Army soldiers, al-Qaeda’s designs for the Pakistani Army are more clearly visible. The reason for attacking Pakistani police forces is two-fold and – in this writer’s view - also the most elusive and yet perhaps most important indicator of the ongoing al-Qaeda insurgency.

    First, the Interior Ministry is widely regarded as the one segment of the Pakistani government with unwavering loyalty to Musharraf, whom al-Qaeda has sought to assassinate several times. Unlike the military and the military’s intelligence arm (ISI), the Pakistani police forces, constabularies and Frontier Corps of the Interior Ministry do not have historical ties to Islamist groups such as Lashkar-e-Taiba, al-Qaeda and the Taliban. Interior Ministry loyalty to Musharraf makes their ranks logical targets for the Islamists who seek to kill and replace Musharraf atop an Islamist-run Pakistani government.

    Secondly, and most importantly, al-Qaeda at the same time seeks to avoid open bloody conflict with the Army. Not because it fears the deadly consequences of such a confrontation, but rather because al-Qaeda senior leadership wants the Pakistani military intact – for themselves. Ideally, they do not want to ultimately find Musharraf killed or oustered only to have the military splintered internally between pro-government and pro-al-Qaeda commanders. Al-Qaeda is executing an insurgency to gain control, not to touch off a civil war. UNLIKE IRAQ.

    In the end, al-Qaeda’s design is also to co-opt an intact military in order to gain command of a military force with the assets of a state (aircraft, armor, etc.) and direct control of Pakistan’s nuclear arsenal. Recent reports of defections of Pakistani military elements since bin Laden’s latest message to them indicates a level of success in the al-Qaeda IO campaign targeting them....


    Going forward, there are several key dates within the next 45 days to keep an eye on as they approach.

    • October 13-17 - While several legal petitions challenging the legality Musharraf’s candidacy (due to his concurrent service in the military as the Army Chief of Staff) have been dismissed, several still remain on the Pakistani Supreme Court’s docket. They have promised to rule by October 17. They are expected to rule in favor of Musharraf, and can also likely be expected to rule as late as possible.
    • October 18 - Former prime minister Benazir Bhutto announced that she will return to Pakistan from exile on this date. In self-exile to avoid prosecution on charges of corruption, Pervez Musharraf granted her immunity several days ago in as part of efforts to reach a power-sharing agreement.
    • November 15 - This is the day that Musharraf said that he will retire from the military and cede his post as Army Chief of Staff if he is re-elected and confirmed as Pakistan’s president. The election was won in parliament. It remains to be seen whether the Supreme Court will dismiss the challenges to his candidacy.
    • January ?? - The national elections for selecting a new parliament were announced by Musharraf to take place in January. Perhaps not coincidentally, he also announced that there will be no Pakistani Army troop deployments in the Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA) by January as well. These duties in the area largely controlled by the Taliban-al-Qaeda alliance will be handled exclusively by the Interior Ministry’s Frontier Corps and constabularies’ less-capable and less professional paramilitaries.
    • SOURCE



    Talibans Military Plans:

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    Anonymous Anonymous said...

    Consider this, too

    5:26 PM  

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