Tuesday, February 21, 2012

More Clandestine Operations in the Offing

More Clandestine Operations in the Offing
By Erick San Juan

According to President Barack Obama, the “tide of war is receding”….

Is it? Or is it because the Pentagon is now focused on a more covert kind of war in the offing?

In his article - Special Ops Now Defines the Pentagon's Expanding Wars by Danny Schechter (blogger and filmmaker) states that “William H. McRaven is an admiral in Obama’s Navy. He was a member of Seal Team 3, and oversaw the killing of Osama Bin Laden.

He’s the consummate Special Ops warrior and wants more special ops forces, more drones and, most significantly, more “autonomy” (read, power) to position “his” troops in more places. He is now lobbying to expand his “freedom” by building a bigger arsenal of undercover operatives under his command.

The admiral's proposal, the Times notes, “would also allow the Special Operations forces to expand their presence in regions where they have not operated in large numbers for the past decade, especially in Asia, Africa and Latin America.”

McRaven argues that “thickening the Special Operations deployments in these other regions would allow the United States to be ready to respond more rapidly to a broader range of threats.”

Special operations forces have already been deployed in over 75 countries, ranging from the Dominican Republic and Peru to the Philippines, Yemen, Somalia and central Asia.

The Philippines is not new to this Special Ops (as our country was mentioned in the news report ). We have the Joint Special Operations Task Force- Philippines (JSOTF-P), a unit that has been indefinitely embedded in southern Mindanao since 2002.

The JSOTF-P's stationing in Mindanao "is a prototype of the new kind of overseas basing that the US has introduced as part of its ongoing effort to realign its global basing structure," from a study made by Focus on the Global South.

Through the global war on terror (GWOT), it is much easier for Uncle Sam to justify these Special Ops to be stationed indefinitely in a country that is geostrategically located for their special covert operations.

Just recently, a news report from The Nation online cited that “The Pentagon used the Kashmir earthquake of 2005 to send operatives from the Joint Special Operations Command (JSOC) into Pakistan, reveals a new book.

"The JSOC has proven to be the most lethal weapon in the President’s arsenal.", as written by D.B Grady and Marc Ambinder in their just-published eBook The Command: Deep Inside the President’s Secret Army. President Obama and the Pentagon leadership have increasingly made Navy Seals from the JSOC their military tool of choice.

Furthermore – The authors of 'The Command' say that the US intelligence community “took advantage of the chaos to spread resources of its own” into Pakistan. Using valid US passports and posing as construction and aid workers, dozens of Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) operatives and contractors flooded in without the requisite background checks from Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) spy agency.”

The covert operation that was staged in Pakistan is similar to what had occurred particularly in Mindanao and we were ahead by three years. Unlike in Pakistan, the situation here is different, through the Visiting Forces Agreement, the JSOC established without much hassle the JSOTF-P. The main reason for the indefinite stay of the special ops in the south is for anti-insurgency. Translation - that is why we never solve the insurgency problem in Mindanao because if we do, the JSOTF-P will no longer be needed.

The mere fact that the ‘JSOC would allow the United States to be ready to respond more rapidly to a broader range of threats’ their presence here is more beneficial to them than to our country. That is why all this talk about helping us modernize our armed forces (with WWII vintage junk military equipments) and patrolling our air and sea territories are all “chubibo”. We are being taken for a ride here and worst, we have to pay for that ride. What a big bull....!

Our so-called leaders must open their eyes to such deception by some officials of Uncle Sam. Remember that we are strategically located both in the Asia-Pacific region and near the Indian Ocean. So, if there will be any eventualities in the Middle East and Asia, like the threat of conflict in Iran, we are very much in the cross hairs. Why? It’s the presence of the JSOTF-P, st....!

Finally, for us and for all the countries with JSOC in their midst, whether we like it or not, “A commitment to more special forces is a commitment to more imperial intervention, and specialized units operating above the law and beyond the law. It’s more secrecy in government with a constant danger of abuse. It promises more secrecy and manipulation,” from Danny Schechter.

Is the ongoing political turbulence which could be sinister be the quid pro quo, believed by many as part of the exchange deal like the Marcos martial rule? Lets be vigilant!

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