U.S. War in Pakistan
Reprinted from The Worker, newspaper of the Workers Party, USA, May 21, 2009
On May 18 the UN refugee agency reported that more than 1.5 million people have been displaced from their homes in Pakistan this month, bringing the number of displaced persons in Pakistan to over 2 million. The rapidly escalating displacement is the immediate result of the massive military assault on the villages by nearly 15,000 Pakistani ground troops backed by helicopter gunships and warplanes. In early May the Pakistani military launched a full-scale assault on the Swat valley region as part of its program of destroying "safe havens" for insurgents. The ongoing offensive has already destroyed communities and an undetermined number of civilians have been killed.
These atrocities are part of the counterinsurgency war being waged by U.S. imperialism against the Pakistani people. In addition to targeting Pakistani villages with drone missiles, the U.S. also uses unmanned military aircraft to gather intelligence on the region. Secretary of Defense Gates and other U.S. officials have repeatedly called on Pakistan to escalate its military action against villages in the north and west of the country and U.S. military aid has been linked to Pakistan's success at "wiping out" insurgents.
After Pakistan launched its military assault this month, U.S. officials announced that 25-50 Special Forces will be deployed to two new training camps in Pakistan in order to train Pakistani paramilitaries. In addition, the Pentagon is asking Congress to allocate $400 million this year for a new "Pakistan Counterinsurgency Capability Fund" which would allow the U.S. military to more easily equip and train Pakistani forces.