Why Pakistani Military Demands a Veto on Drone Strikes

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Gareth Porter: The new Pakistani demand for equal say over drone strikes marks the culmination of a long evolution in the Pakistani military’s attitude toward the drone war. Initially supportive of strikes that were targeting Al-Qaeda leaders, senior Pakistani military leaders soon came to realize that the drone war carried serious risks for Pakistan’s war against the Pakistani Taliban.

Ex-PM Says Taliban Offer Talks For Pullout Date

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Gareth Porter: The Taliban leadership is ready to negotiate peace with the United States right now if Washington indicates its willingness to provide a timetable for complete withdrawal, according to a former Afghan prime minister

What Is Sadr’s Game on Future U.S. Troop Presence?

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Gareth Porter: The big question looming over U.S.-Iraqi negotiations on a U.S. military presence after 2011 is what game Shi’a leader Moqtada al-Sadr is playing on the issue.

The Lies That Sold Obama’s Escalation in Afghanistan

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Gareth Porter: The Obama administration has relied heavily, of course, on the widespread impression that the Taliban regime was somehow mixed up with Osama bin Laden’s plotting the 9/11 attacks.

Despite Surge, Taliban Attacks, U.S. Casualties Soared

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Gareth Porter: Data on attacks by armed opposition forces and U.S. combat casualties since the U.S. troop surge in Afghanistan was completed last summer provide clear evidence that the surge and the increase in targeted killings by Special Operations Forces have failed to break the momentum of the Taliban.

Obama Leaves Door Open to Long-Term U.S. Afghan Combat

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Gareth Porter: Obama’s speech announcing that the 33,000 “surge” troops in Afghanistan will be withdrawn by “summer” 2012 indicates that he has given priority to the interests of the military and the Pentagon over concerns by key officials in his administration over the impact of the war’s costs on domestic socioeconomic needs.

Ninety Percent of Petraeus’s Captured “Taliban” Were Civilians

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Gareth Porter: The timing of Petraeus’s claim of Taliban fighters captured or killed, moreover, indicates that he knew that four out of five of those he was claiming as “captured Taliban rank and file” were not Taliban fighters at all.

U.S. Uses Peace Talks to Divide Taliban from Pakistan

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Gareth Porter: Senior Obama administration officials hope to use the talks to sow suspicion between the Taliban and their main ally, thus weakening the Taliban resolve to negotiate on a peace settlement only if the United States offers a timetable for troop withdrawal.

Obama Troop Surge Decision Ignored Pak-Taliban Ties

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Gareth Porter: The unilateral U.S. raid that killed Osama bin Laden created a spike in mutual recriminations between U.S. and Pakistani politicians, but their fundamental conflict of interest over Afghanistan was already driving the two countries toward serious confrontation.

After Bin Laden Hit, U.S. Aides Raise Dubious Hopes for Peace

President Obama with National Security Advisor Tom Donilon. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)

Gareth Porter: Barack Obama and top administration officials have taken advantage of the killing of Osama bin Laden to establish a new narrative suggesting the event will pave the way for negotiations with the Taliban for peace in Afghanistan.

U.S. Refusal of 2001 Taliban Offer Gave bin Laden a Free Pass

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Gareth Porter: When George W. Bush rejected a Taliban offer to have Osama bin Laden tried by a moderate group of Islamic states in mid- October 2001, he gave up the only opportunity the United States would have to end bin Laden’s terrorist career for the next nine years.

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