Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Jalaluddin Haqqani, Ronald Reagan & Strategic Assets/Depths!

 ISLAMABAD: Chief of Army Staff Ashfaq Parvez Kayani in a statement termed the comments by chairman Joint Chief’s of Staff Committe Admiral Mike Mullen as ‘unfortunate’, and ‘not based on facts’. In the first official reaction to the slew of public statements made by various levels of the US administration against the ISI and suspected links between the Haqqani network and the Pakistan establishment, Kayani said that he had held a constructive meeting with Admiral Mullen in Spain last week. He termed the statements following that meeting as very disturbing. On the question of contacts with Haqqani network, Kayani said that Admiral Mullen knows well which countries are in contact with the Haqqanis. Singling out Pakistan as the chief protagonist is neither fair nor productive, he said. The COAS also categorically denied accusations that Islamabad or the GHQ was waging a proxy war. Kayani wished that the blame game and public statements would give way to a constructive and meaningful engagement bringing stability and peace to Afghanistan, an objective to which Pakistan was fully committed. Admiral Mike Mullen while addressing a Senate Armed Services committee on Thursday said called the Haqqani network a “veritable arm” of the Pakistani military intelligence organisation, the ISI. Mullen along with Defence Secretary Leon Panetta said that the ISI was engaged with the Haqqanis, using them as their proxies in Afghanistan, there by indirectly linking ISI to the attacks on the US embassy in Kabul on September 13. REFERENCE: Kayani terms Mullen's Haqqani accusations as "baseless" Published: September 23, 2011 

Corrigendum: The Picture above is not of Jalaluddin Haqqani but of (published in Daily Dawn Pakistan) Maulavi Younis Khalis: The guerrilla factions, which have been fighting Soviet occupation since December, 1979, this year for the first time chose a single chairman, Maulavi Younis Khalis. He led the delegation to meetings at the White House and with congressional supporters, and the group is scheduled to meet with Secretary of State George P. Shultz today. In his appeal Thursday at the White House for formal diplomatic recognition, Khalis told Reagan that the Afghan rebels "would like increased political support and recognition for our movement, consistent with the increased military achievement that we have on the battlefield." REFERENCE: Reagan Lauds United Afghan Resistance November 13, 1987|MELISSA HEALY | Times Staff Writer  (The other person is reportedly Zalmay Khalilzad Richard Holbrooke, USA, Taliban, Karzai, Zalmay Khalilzad & Narcotics 

CIA Operation CYCLONE, NWO, Afghanistan, Bush Senior, CIA Drug trafficking (1989)


RELATIONS between the US and Pakistan, which have been particularly fraught for much of this year, took an unprecedented dive last week following Adm Mike Mullen’s congressional testimony implicating the Inter-Services Intelligence directorate in the Haqqani network’s dramatic and deadly breach of security in what is deemed to be the safest part of Kabul. The siege was a thorough embarrassment for the US, challenging the idea that conditions in Afghanistan are steadily improving. It is instructive to recall that the Mujahideen never managed anything quite so dramatic during the Soviet occupation of the country — the era when Charlie Wilson, the Democratic congressman who made American support for the jihad his personal mission, described Jalaluddin Haqqani as “goodness personified”. Some of the inheritors of Wilson’s trigger-happy mentality are now willing to countenance an invasion of North Waziristan to eradicate the Haqqanis. Meanwhile, Pakistan, which has for years resisted American pressure to mount a military assault on North Waziristan, has busily been devoting its energies to denying the charge of complicity and decrying the “blame game”. However, Mullen, the retiring chairman of the joint chiefs of staff and a frequent visitor to Pakistan, could not possibly have been unaware of the gravity of his charge. It would have been hugely irresponsible to base it on hearsay. Reports suggest that the evidence consists of intercepted communications between the attackers and ISI representatives. The Pakistani denials have been equally vehement, but it’s not hard to discern a crucial difference of tone between statements from the civilian establishment and the military authorities. Of particular interest is Gen Ashfaq Kayani’s comment that the Americans are well aware of exactly which countries maintain contacts with the Haqqanis, implying that Pakistan isn’t the only one. It’s no doubt worth noting that a couple of years ago the US declined to formally declare the Haqqani network a foreign terrorist organisation, and there have been suggestions that the US would not be entirely averse to dealing with the Haqqanis under certain circumstances.  What’s more, claims by the Pakistani military that the group now operates mostly out of eastern Afghanistan have lately been corroborated by Jalaluddin’s son Sirajuddin Haqqani, who recently told Reuters: “Gone are the days when we were hiding in the mountains along the Pakistan-Afghanistan border. Now we consider ourselves more secure in Afghanistan.…” According to a report in The New York Times last week, “Over the past five years, with relatively few American troops operating in eastern Afghanistan, the Haqqanis have run what is in effect a protection racket for construction firms — meaning that American taxpayers are helping to finance the enemy network.” The report also speaks of a mini-state in Miramshah “with courts, tax offices and radical madressah schools producing a ready supply of fighters”, as well as real estate and car sales operations in Pakistan and smuggling and extortion activities. "But the group is not just a two-bit mafia,” the NYT claims. “It is an organised mafia using high-profile terrorist attacks on hotels, embassies and other targets to advance its agenda to become a power broker in a future political settlement. And, sometimes, the agenda of its patrons … the ISI.” The connection has long been alleged and never convincingly denied, although its exact nature remains speculative, with suggestions that it’s much murkier than a direct line of command. American angst at evidence of direct contacts during the Sept 13-14 attack, following suspicion of collaboration during previous terrorist assaults on the InterContinental Hotel last June and on the Indian embassy in Kabul three years ago, is unsurprising. Options for an effective response, however, are far less clear. Suspension of aid would send a message but may well provoke an undesirable reaction. Intensified drone strikes, too, are likely to be counterproductive. REFERENCE: The trouble with ‘strategic assets’ Mahir Ali (10 hours ago) Today 

Pakistan is not the only country "in touch" with the Alleged Haqqani network! What we have got here!

LONDON: The Afghan and US governments have recently made contact with insurgent group the Haqqani network, one of the most feared foes of Nato forces in Afghanistan, a British paper reported Thursday. The government of Afghan President Hamid Karzai took part in direct talks with senior members of the Haqqani group over the summer, said the Guardian daily, citing Pakistani and Arab sources. The United States, through a Western intermediary, has made indirect contacts over the past year, said the paper. Talks between the Haqqanis and both countries were extremely tentative, it added. The Haqqani network’s leadership is based in North Waziristan, in Pakistan’s tribal northwest, an area which has been targeted by a wave of US drone strikes in recent weeks. The group is loyal to the Taliban and has been blamed for some of the most deadly strikes in Afghanistan. It has close ties with foreign militant groups including Al-Qaeda. Asked whether talks involving Haqqani, Karzai and the US were taking place, a senior Pakistani official cited in the paper said “you wouldn’t be wrong” but refused to comment further. Western, Arab and Pakistani official sources cited in the paper said the Haqqanis believe a negotiated settlement is the most likely outcome of the Afghan conflict and do not want to be left out of any deal. Sirajuddin Haqqani, who has taken over military leadership of the Haqqani group from his father Jalaluddin, “realises he could be a nobody if he doesn’t enter the process,” said a diplomat involved in the discussions. REFERENCES: US and Afghan governments make contact with Haqqani insurgents Exclusive: US dealing with Haqqani clan – which has close ties to al-Qaida – through Western intermediary Julian Borger and Declan Walsh The Guardian, Thursday 7 October 2010  White House supporting Kabul contacts with Mullah Omar`s men By Our Correspondent October 7, 2010  

CIA - Operation Cyclone - Afghanistan in 80's


A specially equipped C-141 Starlifter transport carrying William Casey touched down at a military air base south of Islamabad in October 1984 for a secret visit by the CIA director to plan strategy for the war against Soviet forces in Afghanistan. Helicopters lifted Casey to three secret training camps near the Afghan border, where he watched mujaheddin rebels fire heavy weapons and learn to make bombs with CIA-supplied plastic explosives and detonators. During the visit, Casey startled his Pakistani hosts by proposing that they take the Afghan war into enemy territory -- into the Soviet Union itself. Casey wanted to ship subversive propaganda through Afghanistan to the Soviet Union's predominantly Muslim southern republics. The Pakistanis agreed, and the CIA soon supplied thousands of Korans, as well as books on Soviet atrocities in Uzbekistan and tracts on historical heroes of Uzbek nationalism, according to Pakistani and Western officials. "We can do a lot of damage to the Soviet Union," Casey said, according to Mohammed Yousaf, a Pakistani general who attended the meeting. Casey's visit was a prelude to a secret Reagan administration decision in March 1985, reflected in National Security Decision Directive 166, to sharply escalate U.S. covert action in Afghanistan, according to Western officials. Abandoning a policy of simple harassment of Soviet occupiers, the Reagan team decided secretly to let loose on the Afghan battlefield an array of U.S. high technology and military expertise in an effort to hit and demoralize Soviet commanders and soldiers. Casey saw it as a prime opportunity to strike at an overextended, potentially vulnerable Soviet empire. Eight years after Casey's visit to Pakistan, the Soviet Union is no more. Afghanistan has fallen to the heavily armed, fraticidal mujaheddin rebels. The Afghans themselves did the fighting and dying -- and ultimately won their war against the Soviets -- and not all of them laud the CIA's role in their victory. But even some sharp critics of the CIA agree that in military terms, its secret 1985 escalation of covert support to the mujaheddin made a major difference in Afghanistan, the last battlefield of the long Cold War. How the Reagan administration decided to go for victory in the Afghan war between 1984 and 1988 has been shrouded in secrecy and clouded by the sharply divergent political agendas of those involved. But with the triumph of the mujaheddin rebels over Afghanistan's leftist government in April and the demise of the Soviet Union, some intelligence officials involved have decided to reveal how the covert escalation was carried out. The most prominent of these former intelligence officers is Yousaf, the Pakistani general who supervised the covert war between 1983 and 1987 and who last month published in Europe and Pakistan a detailed account of his role and that of the CIA, titled "The Bear Trap." This article and another to follow are based on extensive interviews with Yousaf as well as with more than a dozen senior Western officials who confirmed Yousaf's disclosures and elaborated on them. U.S. officials worried about what might happen if aspects of their stepped-up covert action were exposed -- or if the program succeeded too well and provoked the Soviets to react in hot anger. The escalation that began in 1985 "was directed at killing Russian military officers," one Western official said. "That caused a lot of nervousness." One source of jitters was that Pakistani intelligence officers -- partly inspired by Casey -- began independently to train Afghans and funnel CIA supplies for scattered strikes against military installations, factories and storage depots within Soviet territory.

The attacks later alarmed U.S. officials in Washington, who saw military raids on Soviet territory as "an incredible escalation," according to Graham Fuller, then a senior U.S. intelligence official who counseled against any such raids. Fearing a large-scale Soviet response and the fallout of such attacks on U.S.-Soviet diplomacy, the Reagan administration blocked the transfer to Pakistan of detailed satellite photographs of military targets inside the Soviet Union, other U.S. officials said. To Yousaf, who managed the Koran-smuggling program and the guerrilla raids inside Soviet territory, the United States ultimately "chickened out" on the question of taking the secret Afghan war onto Soviet soil. Nonetheless, Yousaf recalled, Casey was "ruthless in his approach, and he had a built-in hatred for the Soviets." An intelligence coup in 1984 and 1985 triggered the Reagan administration's decision to escalate the covert progam in Afghanistan, according to Western officials. The United States received highly specific, sensitive information about Kremlin politics and new Soviet war plans in Afghanistan. Already under pressure from Congress and conservative activists to expand its support to the mujaheddin, the Reagan administration moved in response to this intelligence to open up its high-technology arsenal to aid the Afghan rebels. Beginning in 1985, the CIA supplied mujaheddin rebels with extensive satellite reconnaissance data of Soviet targets on the Afghan battlefield, plans for military operations based on the satellite intelligence, intercepts of Soviet communications, secret communications networks for the rebels, delayed timing devices for tons of C-4 plastic explosives for urban sabotage and sophisticated guerrilla attacks, long-range sniper rifles, a targeting device for mortars that was linked to a U.S. Navy satellite, wire-guided anti-tank missiles, and other equipment. The move to upgrade aid to the mujaheddin roughly coincided with the well-known decision in 1986 to provide the mujaheddin with sophisticated, U.S.-made Stinger antiaircraft missiles. Before the missiles arrived, however, those involved in the covert war wrestled with a wide-ranging and at times divisive debate over how far they should go in challenging the Soviet Union in Afghanistan. REFERENCE: Anatomy of a Victory: CIA's Covert Afghan War By: Steve Coll, 'Washington Post', July 19, 1992(c) 'Washington Post', 1992. Posted for Fair Use Only  Anatomy of a Victory: CIA's Covert Afghan War; $2 Billion Program Reversed Tide for Rebels Series: CIA IN AFGHANISTAN Series Number: 1/2 

Roots of the Rebellion

In 1980, not long after Soviet forces invaded Afghanistan to prop up a sympathetic leftist government, President Jimmy Carter signed the first -- and for many years the only -- presidential "finding" on Afghanistan, the classified directive required by U.S. law to begin covert operations, according to several Western sources familiar with the Carter document. The Carter finding sought to aid Afghan rebels in "harassment" of Soviet occupying forces in Afghanistan through secret supplies of light weapons and other assistance. The finding did not talk of driving Soviet forces out of Afghanistan or defeating them militarily, goals few considered possible at the time, these sources said. The cornerstone of the program was that the United States, through the CIA, would provide funds, some weapons and general supervision of support for the mujaheddin rebels, but day-to-day operations and direct contact with the mujaheddin would be left to the Pakistani Inter-Services Intelligence agency, or ISI. The hands-off U.S. role contrasted with CIA operations in Nicaragua and Angola. Saudi Arabia agreed to match U.S. financial contributions to the mujaheddin and distributed funds directly to ISI. China sold weapons to the CIA and donated a smaller number directly to Pakistan, but the extent of China's role has been one of the secret war's most closely guarded secrets. In all, the United States funneled more than $ 2 billion in guns and money to the mujaheddin during the 1980s, according to U.S. officials. It was the largest covert action program since World War II. In the first years after the Reagan administration inherited the Carter program, the covert Afghan war "tended to be handled out of Casey's back pocket," recalled Ronald Spiers, a former U.S. ambassador to Pakistan, the base of the Afghan rebels. Mainly from China's government, the CIA purchased assault rifles, grenade launchers, mines and SA-7 light antiaircraft weapons, and then arranged for shipment to Pakistan. Most of the weapons dated to the Korean War or earlier. The amounts were significant -- 10,000 tons of arms and ammunition in 1983, according to Yousaf -- but a fraction of what they would be in just a few years. Beginning in 1984, Soviet forces in Afghanistan began to experiment with new and more aggressive tactics against the mujaheddin, based on the use of Soviet special forces, called the Spetsnaz, in helicopter-borne assaults on Afghan rebel supply lines. As these tactics succeeded, Soviet commanders pursued them increasingly, to the point where some U.S. congressmen who traveled with the mujaheddin -- including Rep. Charles Wilson (D-Tex.) and Sen. Gordon Humphrey (R-N.H.) -- believed that the war might turn against the rebels. The new Soviet tactics reflected a perception in the Kremlin that the Red Army was in danger of becoming bogged down in Afghanistan and needed to take decisive steps to win the war, according to sensitive intelligence that reached the Reagan administration in 1984 and 1985, Western officials said. The intelligence came from the upper reaches of the Soviet Defense Ministry and indicated that Soviet hard-liners were pushing a plan to attempt to win the Afghan war within two years, sources said. The new war plan was to be implemented by Gen. Mikhail Zaitsev, who was transferred from the prestigious command of Soviet forces in Germany to run the Soviet war in Afghanistan in the spring of 1985, just as Mikhail Gorbachev was battling hard-line rivals to take power in a Kremlin succession struggle. REFERENCE: Anatomy of a Victory: CIA's Covert Afghan War By: Steve Coll, 'Washington Post', July 19, 1992(c) 'Washington Post', 1992. Posted for Fair Use Only  Anatomy of a Victory: CIA's Covert Afghan War; $2 Billion Program Reversed Tide for Rebels Series: CIA IN AFGHANISTAN Series Number: 1/2 

Cracking the Kremlin's Strategy

The intelligence about Soviet war plans in Afghanistan was highly specific, according to Western sources. The Soviets intended to deploy one-third of their total Spetsnaz forces in Afghanistan -- nearly 2,000 "highly trained and motivated" paratroops, according to Yousaf. In addition, the Soviets intended to dispatch a stronger KGB presence to assist the special forces and regular troops, and they intended to deploy some of the Soviet Union's most sophisticated battlefield communications equipment, referred to by some as the "Omsk vans" -- mobile, integrated communications centers that would permit interception of mujaheddin battlefield communications and rapid, coordinated aerial attacks on rebel targets, such as the kind that were demoralizing the rebels by 1984. At the Pentagon, U.S. military officers pored over the intelligence, considering plans to thwart the Soviet escalation, officials said. The answers they came up with, said a Western official, were to provide "secure communications [for the Afghan rebels], kill the gunships and the fighter cover, better routes for [mujaheddin] infiltration, and get to work on [Soviet] targets" in Afghanistan, including the Omsk vans, through the use of satellite reconnaissance and increased, specialized guerrilla training. "There was a demand from my friends [in the CIA] to capture a vehicle intact with this sort of communications," recalled Yousaf, referring to the newly introduced mobile Soviet facilities. Unfortunately, despite much effort, Yousaf said, "we never succeeded in that." "Spetsnaz was key," said Vincent Cannistraro, a CIA operations officer who was posted at the time as director of intelligence programs at the National Security Council. Not only did communications improve, but the Spetsnaz forces were willing to fight aggressively and at night. The problem, Cannistraro said, was that as the Soviets moved to escalate, the U.S. aid was "just enough to get a very brave people killed" because it encouraged the mujaheddin to fight but did not provide them with the means to win. Conservatives in the Reagan administration and especially in Congress saw the CIA as part of the problem. Humphrey, the former senator and a leading conservative supporter of the mujaheddin, found the CIA "really, really reluctant" to increase the quality of support for the Afghan rebels to meet Soviet escalation. For their part, CIA officers felt the war was not going as badly as some skeptics thought, and they worried that it might not be possible to preserve secrecy in the midst of a major escalation. A sympathetic U.S. official said the agency's key decision-makers "did not question the wisdom" of the escalation, but were "simply careful." In March 1985, President Reagan signed National Security Decision Directive 166, and national security adviser Robert D. McFarlane signed an extensive annex, augmenting the original Carter intelligence finding that focused on "harassment" of Soviet occupying forces, according to several sources. Although it covered diplomatic and humanitarian objectives as well, the new, detailed Reagan directive used bold language to authorize stepped-up covert military aid to the mujaheddin, and it made clear that the secret Afghan war had a new goal: to defeat Soviet troops in Afghanistan through covert action and encourage a Soviet withdrawal. REFERENCE: Anatomy of a Victory: CIA's Covert Afghan War By: Steve Coll, 'Washington Post', July 19, 1992(c) 'Washington Post', 1992. Posted for Fair Use Only  Anatomy of a Victory: CIA's Covert Afghan War; $2 Billion Program Reversed Tide for Rebels Series: CIA IN AFGHANISTAN Series Number: 1/2 

New Covert U.S. Aid

The new covert U.S. assistance began with a dramatic increase in arms supplies -- a steady rise to 65,000 tons annually by 1987, according to Yousaf -- as well as what he called a "ceaseless stream" of CIA and Pentagon specialists who traveled to the secret headquarters of Pakistan's ISI on the main road near Rawalpindi, Pakistan. There the CIA specialists met with Pakistani intelligence officers to help plan operations for the Afghan rebels. At any one time during the Afghan fighting season, as many as 11 ISI teams trained and supplied by the CIA accompanied the mujaheddin across the border to supervise attacks, according to Yousaf and Western sources. The teams attacked airports, railroads, fuel depots, electricity pylons, bridges and roads, the sources said. CIA and Pentagon specialists offered detailed satellite photographs and ink maps of Soviet targets around Afghanistan. The CIA station chief in Islamabad ferried U.S. intercepts of Soviet battlefield communications. Other CIA specialists and military officers supplied secure communications gear and trained Pakistani instructors on how to use it. Experts on psychological warfare brought propaganda and books. Demolitions experts gave instructions on the explosives needed to destroy key targets such as bridges, tunnels and fuel depots. They also supplied chemical and electronic timing devices and remote control switches for delayed bombs and rockets that could be shot without a mujaheddin rebel present at the firing site. The new efforts focused on strategic targets such as the Termez Bridge between Afghanistan and the Soviet Union. "We got the information like current speed of the water, current depth of the water, the width of the pillars, which would be the best way to demolish," Yousaf said. In Washington, CIA lawyers debated whether it was legal to blow up pylons on the Soviet side of the bridge as opposed to the Afghan side, in keeping with the decision not to support military action across the Soviet border, a Western official said. Despite several attempts, Afghan rebels trained in the new program never brought the Termez Bridge down, though they did damage and destroy other targets, such as pipelines and depots, in the sensitive border area, Western and Pakistani sources said. The most valuable intelligence provided by the Americans was the satellite reconnaissance, Yousaf said. Soon the wall of Yousaf's office was covered with detailed maps of Soviet targets in Afghanistan such as airfields, armories and military buildings. The maps came with CIA assessments of how best to approach the target, possible routes of withdrawal, and analysis of how Soviet troops might respond to an attack. "They would say there are the vehicles, and there is the [river bank], and there is the tank," Yousaf said. CIA operations officers helped Pakistani trainers establish schools for the mujaheddin in secure communications, guerrilla warfare, urban sabotage and heavy weapons, Yousaf and Western officials said. The first antiaircraft systems used by the mujaheddin were the Swiss-made Oerlikon heavy gun and the British-made Blowpipe missile, according to Yousaf and Western sources. When these proved ineffective, the United States sent the Stinger. Pakistani officers traveled to the United States for training on the Stinger in June 1986 and then set up a secret mujaheddin Stinger training facility in Rawalpindi, complete with an electronic simulator made in the United States. The simulator allowed mujaheddin trainees to aim and fire at a large screen without actually shooting off expensive missiles, Yousaf said. The screen marked the missile's track and calculated whether the trainee would have hit his airborne target. Ultimately, the effectiveness of such training and battlefield intelligence depended on the mujaheddin themselves; their performance and willingness to employ disciplined tactics varied greatly. Yousaf considered the aid highly valuable, although persistently marred by supplies of weapons such as the Blowpipe that failed miserably on the battlefield. At the least, the escalation on the U.S. side initiated with Reagan's 1985 National Security Directive helped to change the character of the Afghan war, intensifying the struggle and raising the stakes for both sides. This change led U.S. officials to confront a difficult question that had legal, military, foreign policy and even moral implications: In taking the Afghan covert operation more directly to the Soviet enemy, how far should the United States be prepared to go? REFERENCE: Anatomy of a Victory: CIA's Covert Afghan War By: Steve Coll, 'Washington Post', July 19, 1992(c) 'Washington Post', 1992. Posted for Fair Use Only  Anatomy of a Victory: CIA's Covert Afghan War; $2 Billion Program Reversed Tide for Rebels Series: CIA IN AFGHANISTAN Series Number: 1/2 

Zbigniew Brzezinski to Jihadists- Your cause is right!


Gust L. Avrakotos, 67, the CIA agent in charge of the massive arming of Afghan tribesmen during their 1980s guerrilla war against the Soviets, died of complications from a stroke Dec. 1 at Inova Fairfax Hospital. He was a McLean resident. Mr. Avrakotos, who ran the largest covert operation in the agency's history, was dubbed "Dr. Dirty" for his willingness to handle ethically ambiguous tasks and a "blue-collar James Bond" for his 27 years of undercover work. In the 1980s, he used Tennessee mules to bring hundreds of millions of dollars in automatic weapons, antitank guns and satellite maps from Pakistan to the mujaheddin. Working with former congressman Charles Wilson (D-Tex.), Mr. Avrakotos eventually controlled more than 70 percent of the CIA's annual expenditures for covert operations, funneling it through intermediaries to the mujaheddin. As a result, the tribesmen drove the Soviets out of Afghanistan, and the long Cold War shuddered toward an end. Those weapons later were used in the fratricidal war in Afghanistan before the Taliban took control. Critics noted that those weapons probably were still in use, both in support of and against U.S. troops, when the United States went to war in Afghanistan in 2001. Mr. Avrakotos, whose thermonuclear approach to internal politics twice led him to coarsely insult the CIA's European division director, lost his position just as the Stinger antiaircraft missile launchers downed the first Soviet gunships. He was transferred to an African assignment and retired shortly thereafter, in 1989. Mr. Avrakotos remained obscure until 2003, when "60 Minutes" producer George Crile published "Charlie Wilson's War," a best-selling description of how Wilson and Mr. Avrakotos strong-armed Congress and the bureaucracy into supporting the cause of the mujaheddin. He may become still better known: Tom Hanks has bought the rights to turn the book into a movie. Mr. Avrakotos was born in Aliquippa, Pa., the son of Greek immigrants, and attended Carnegie Institute of Technology until family finances forced him to leave after two years. He worked in a local steel mill, then sold beer and cigarettes to ethnic taverns throughout western Pennsylvania, learning to banter with the first-generation immigrants from eastern and central Europe. He returned to college and graduated from the University of Pittsburgh. He joined the CIA in 1962, just after it began recruiting agents from beyond its Ivy League training grounds. Because he spoke Greek, he was assigned to Athens. While he was there, a military junta overthrew the democratic, constitutional government, and Mr. Avrakotos became the chief liaison to Greek colonels. Their fascist regime fell in 1974, and the November 17 terrorist group assassinated the CIA's station chief. CIA renegade Philip Agee, who had exposed the Athens station chief's name, six months later revealed Mr. Avrakotos as well, and the Greek press vilified him for his role in the regime. He left Greece in 1978. But he could not get another decent assignment with the CIA, Crile wrote, because his superiors considered him too uncouth for promotion. A second-generation, working-class Greek American with a profane tongue and bare-knuckle character, Mr. Avrakotos never quite felt at home in the polished WASP world of the CIA's elite. So when the intelligence scandals of the 1970s resulted in a purge of agents in 1977, and most were first- or second-generation Americans, Mr. Avrakotos felt betrayed by the organization. Not one to let bygones be bygones, Mr. Avrakotos once showed a photograph of a colleague who crossed him to an old Greek woman and requested that she put a curse on him. He eventually found a position with the Middle East desk at the CIA and worked his way into a position as section chief of the area that includes Afghanistan. He was made a member of the elite Senior Intelligence Service in 1985 and received the Intelligence Medal of Merit in 1988. "Throughout his Afghan tour, Avrakotos did things on a regular basis that could have gotten him fired had anyone chosen to barge into his arena with an eye toward prosecuting him. But then Avrakotos was not just lucky. He was brutally worldly wise, keenly aware of the internal risks he was taking. And so he always made it difficult for anyone to get him, should they try," Crile wrote. Backed by Wilson's appropriations acumen, Mr. Avrakotos purchased so many weapons that he had to buy a special ship to move containers of them to Karachi. He badgered the Saudi Arabian government to keep a secret commitment to match U.S. funds to the mujaheddin and intimidated Sen. Gordon J. Humphrey (R-N.H.) into quieting his criticism of the CIA. He batted away a proposal by Oliver North and Richard Perle to set up loudspeakers in the mountains to entice Soviets to defect. He shopped in Egypt for wheelbarrows and bicycles rigged as bombs. It was illegal to provide sniper rifles to foreigners, so he redefined the weapons as "individual defensive devices . . . long-range, night-vision devices with scopes." But it was after he filed a memo warning against North's arms-for-hostages scheme that came to be known as Iran-contra that his career ascent ended, and he was reassigned to Africa. He retired from the CIA in 1989, then worked for TRW in Rome and for News Corp., for whom he began a business intelligence newsletter, working in Rome and McLean. He returned to work on contract for the CIA from 1997 until 2003. His marriage to Judy Avrakotos ended in divorce. A granddaughter died in 2004. Survivors include his wife of 19 years, Claudette Avrakotos of McLean; a son from his first marriage, Gregory Avrakotos of Melbourne Beach, Fla.; a sister; and two granddaughters. REFERENCE: CIA Agent Gust L. Avrakotos Dies at Age 67 By Patricia Sullivan Washington Post Staff Writer Sunday, December 25, 2005



American counterinsurgency practice rests on a number of assumptions: that the decisive effort is rarely military (although security is the essential prerequisite for success); that our efforts must be directed to the creation of local and national governmental structures that will serve their populations, and, over time, replace the efforts of foreign partners; that superior knowledge, and in particular, understanding of the 'human terrain' is essential; and that we must have the patience to persevere in what will necessarily prove long struggles... Counterinsurgency (COIN) is the blend of comprehensive civilian and military efforts designed to simultaneously contain insurgency and address its root causes. Unlike conventional warfare, non-military means are often the most effective elements, with military forces playing an enabling role. COIN is an extremely complex undertaking, which demands of policy makers a detailed understanding of their own specialist field, but also a broad knowledge of a wide variety of related disciplines. COIN approaches must be adaptable and agile. Strategies will usually be focused primarily on the population rather than the enemy and will seek to reinforce the legitimacy of the affected government while reducing insurgent influence.  Courtesy: Major A.H AMIN (Retired),Tank Corps (Pakistan Armed Forces) AMERICAN COUNTERINSURGENCY

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