At a covert forward operating base run by the US Joint Special Operations Command (JSOC) in the Pakistani port city of Karachi, members of an elite division of Blackwater are at the center of a secret program in which they plan targeted assassinations of suspected Taliban and Al Qaeda operatives, “snatch and grabs” of high-value targets and other sensitive action inside and outside Pakistan. The Blackwater operatives also assist in gathering intelligence and help direct a secret US military drone bombing campaign that runs parallel to the well-documented CIA predator strikes, according to a well-placed source within the US military intelligence apparatus.
The source, who has worked on covert US military programs for years, including in Afghanistan and Pakistan, has direct knowledge of Blackwater’s involvement. He spoke on condition of anonymity because the program is classified. The source said that the program is so “compartmentalized” that senior figures within the Obama administration and the US military chain of command may not be aware of its existence.
Blackwater’s founder Erik Prince in a recent interview with Vanity Fair that claimed that Blackwater works with US Special Forces in identifying targets and planning missions. citing an operation in Syria..
The previously unreported program puts Blackwater at the epicenter of a US military operation within the borders of a nation against which the United States has not declared war. Officially, the United States is not supposed to have any active military operations in the country.
Blackwater is also working for the Pakistani government on a subcontract with an Islamabad-based security firm that puts US Blackwater operatives on the ground with Pakistani forces in counter-terrorism operations.. This arrangement allows the Pakistani government to utilize former US Special Operations forces who now work for Blackwater, while denying an official US military presence in the country.
Title: The Secret US War in Pakistan
Source: The Nation, November 23, 2009
Author: Jeremy Scahill
faculty Evaluator: Peter Phillips
Sonoma State University