Blackwater runs hi-tech dirty war in Pakistan
A recent investigation has uncovered a convergence of drone attacks, assassinations, ‘snatch and grab’ operations and intelligence gathering, launched from inside Pakistan and coordinated in part by the two private companies, Xe Services and Total Intelligence Solutions, formerly associated with the private security contractor, Blackwater.
In a recent article for the Nation magazine, journalist Jeremy Scahill exposed a web of covert dirty-war tactics involving Blackwater, the Central Intelligence Agency(CIA) and the US Joint Special Operations Command (JSOC). According to multiple well-placed sources, the military contractor, Xe, as well as a spin-off company, Total Intelligence Solutions (TSI), are providing intelligence for, planning and even carrying out drone bombings, kidnappings and assassinations. “The program puts Blackwater at the epicenter of a US military operation within the borders of a nation against which the US has not declared war,” Scahill says.
As Scahill’s investigation reveals, Blackwater secretly operates in Pakistan mainly through “rolling, no-bid contracts” with the JSOC. Unlike the CIA, which must gain congressional approval for covert operations, the JSOC, and hence Blackwater, does not. According to one of Scahill’s sources, the program through which Blackwater is involved is “so ‘compartmentalized’ that senior figures within the Obama administration and the US military chain of command may not be aware of its existence.”
According to the unnamed sources, Blackwater’s existences runs parallel to and is given cover by a CIA operation in the country. According to the report, many of the recent drone attacks with high civilian death tolls, thought to be carried out by the CIA, were coordinated by Xe and TSI. Of the known drone attacks in Pakistan between January of 2006 and April of 2009, 687 civilians have been killed. More worrisome, the Blackwater outfit in Karachi is said to help plan JSOC covert operations in neighboring Uzbekistan. Additionally, Blackwater is working for the Pakistani government on a subcontract basis, putting it “on the ground with Pakistani forces in counter-terrorism operations, including house raids and border interdictions.”
For months in Pakistan, rumors have swirled that Blackwater was carrying out operations in the country. Blackwater, Washington and the Pakistani state have all denied this is the case.
In 2001, the Pakistani military-state was an early supporter of Amerika’s crusade against ‘terrorism.’ This alienated the vast Pakistani masses, for whom radical Islam’s message of singling out the ‘Great Satan’ has since resonated. In 2006, a deal was struck between Washington and Islamabad which allowed the JSOC to operate in country under the conditions that if discovered the Pakistani state would deny giving permission and condemn the US for violating its sovereignty. The CIA and Blackwater is working behind-the-scenes to support the Pakistani state, which many analysts say could collapse, leaving a vast array of armaments, including nuclear weapons, into unknown hands.
The current government, led by President Asif Ali Zardari and traditionally-oppositional Pakistani People’s Party(PPP), came to power during the 2008 general elections. Unfortunately, the change of political actors has done little to alter the social conditions on the ground. Military supremacy in the country and US covert operations go on and the still-impoverished Pakistani masses rightly continue to view the state with great skepticism and disdain. Though the current PPP-led, civilian government may not have knowledge of Blackwater’s involvement, it doesn’t matter. The PPP, Pakistan’s ruling ‘center-left’ party, has become a foil for imperialism in the region while providing no social reforms, save neo-liberal ones, for the vast masses. Abandoning anti-imperialism and national salvation altogether, the secular ‘social democrats’ represented by the PPP are becoming understandably hated by the masses of Pakistan.
While Blackwater and the CIA are using Central Asia and elsewhere as their playground and the PPP and Western liberals offer cover to imperialism, the masses of the world are lining up against comprador regimes and the imperialist First World. Real revolutionaries are anti-imperialists. The struggle for a new world will not be carried through by becoming part of the system, as the effete PPP has proven, but by leading the movement against imperialism and its agents.