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Pakistan backed attacks on American targets, U.S. says

Posted by The Agonist on September 22nd, 2011

From our partners at The Agonist

Karen DeYoung | Washington | September 22

WaPo – The Obama administration for the first time Thursday openly asserted that Pakistan was indirectly responsible for specific attacks against U.S. troops and installations in Afghanistan, calling a leading Afghan insurgent group “a veritable arm” of the Pakistani intelligence service.

Last week’s attack on the U.S. Embassy in Kabul and a Sept. 10 truck bombing that killed five Afghans and wounded 77 NATO troops were “planned and conducted” by the Pakistan-based Haqqani network “with ISI support,” said Adm. Mike Mullen, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. The ISI is the Pakistani military’s Inter-Services Intelligence agency.

“The government of Pakistan and most especially the Pakistani army and ISI” have chosen “to use violent extremism as an instrument of policy” to maintain leverage over Afghanistan’s future, Mullen testified during a hearing of the Senate Armed Services Committee. Defense Secretary Leon E. Panetta also testified.

Mullen’s statement represented a sharp break with a long-standing administration policy of publicly playing down Pakistan’s official support for Taliban insurgents who operate from havens within its borders. U.S. officials have typically described Pakistan as a troublesome but valuable partner in the struggle against terrorism.

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