Pakistan’s Decision to Shoot Down America’s Drones: Prelude to an All Out US-Pak War?
By Prof Michel Chossudovsky
Global Research, December 12, 2011
12 December 2011
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Remember Pearl Harbor, remember the Gulf of Tonkin…

Throughout history, America has sought to provoke its enemies into ‘initiating a war”, with a view to justifying the launching of an all out out war using the pretext of “self defense”.

America’s war on Pakistan is already de facto. It is a war of stealth. The “war on terrorism” allegedly directed against Al Qaeda, the illusive “outside enemy” (created by the CIA) is is an obvious smokescreen.

What is required is to portray Pakistan as “the aggressor” rather than the victim of US military aggression.

US military planners have examined all possible scenarios. Military escalation is on the drawing board of the Pentagon.

US “counter-terrorism” operations are carried out with a view to inciting the enemy as well as triggering a process of military escalation.  

Is the objective of the drone attacks to provoke a response by the Pakistani military, thereby justifying  a formal declaration of war by the US and its allies? 

In this regard, the recent decision taken by Pakistan to “shoot down any US drone that intrudes its airspace as per new directives”, could be the prelude to an all out war between Pakistan and US-NATO forces. 

Pakistan’s defence policy states that:  “Any object entering into our airspace, including US drones, will be treated as hostile and be shot down,” 

“The policy change comes just weeks after a deadly NATO attack on Pakistani military checkpoints killed 24 Pakistani soldiers, prompting Pakistani officials to order all US personnel out of a remote airfield in Pakistan.

The government had told the United States to vacate the Shamsi airbase by December 11. The Frontier Corps took control of the Shamsi airbase on Saturday evening after most US military personnel left, sources said.

Chief of the Army Staff Gen Ashfaq Pervaiz Kayani had issued multiple directives since the November 26 NATO attack, which included orders to shoot down US drones, senior military officials confirmed to NBC News.

It was unclear whether orders to fire upon incoming US drones were part of the initial orders. The Pakistani airbase had been used by US forces, including the CIA, to stage elements of a clandestine US counter-terrorism operation to attack militants linked to al Qaeda, the Taliban and Haqqani network, using unmanned drone aircraft armed with missiles. Since 2004, US drones have carried out more than 300 attacks inside Pakistan. (See\12\12\story_12-12-2011_pg1_5)

In the wake of this incident, “Pakistan has closed supply routes that allow U.S. and coalition military convoys to cross into Afghanistan”. Also of significance, on December 11, Pakistan took possession of the Shamsi air base in Balochistan on the the border with Iran. While the base was leased to the United Arab Emirates (UAE), it had been used by US air force personnel.

The downing of a US drone would be used by Washington as a propaganda ploy. 

It would contribute to triggering a “useful wave of indignation” across America. It would be heralded by the US Congress as an act of aggression, as an encroachment in the conduct of America’s “War on Terrorism”. Pakistan would be accused of “siding with the terrorists”, thereby providing Washington with a justification to intervene.

The broader repercussions of this staged confrontation between the US and Pakistan must be understood. 

US-NATO military deployments in Afghanistan and Pakistan are coordinated with ongoing war plans and covert operations directed against Iran. They also have a bearing on relations between the US and China.

It should be noted that in a recent meeting of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO), Moscow called for Pakistan to become a full member of the SCO. Pakistan has the status of an Obsever in the SCO.

Military confrontation in Pakistan could contribute to a process of military escalation in the broader Middle East Central Asia South Asia region.  

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