Terrorist Proxy Fighting in the Middle East

ABC News is currently reporting that the U.S. government has been secretly funneling resources to Jundullah, a militant group affiliated with al-Qaeda, so that the group can carry out strikes against Iran.

A Pakistani tribal militant group responsible for a series of deadly guerrilla raids inside Iran has been secretly encouraged and advised by American officials since 2005, U.S. and Pakistani intelligence sources tell ABC News.

The group, called Jundullah, is made up of members of the Baluchi tribe and operates out of the Baluchistan province in Pakistan, just across the border from Iran.

It has taken responsibility for the deaths and kidnappings of more than a dozen Iranian soldiers and officials.

U.S. officials say the U.S. relationship with Jundullah is arranged so that the U.S. provides no funding to the group, which would require an official presidential order or “finding” as well as congressional oversight.

Normally when I read a report that is so heavily reliant on anonymous sources, I would counsel skepticism. However, this whole tactic is just so mind-bogglingly stupid and counterproductive that I can’t help but think that it’s something the Bush Administration is actually doing.

The enemy of your enemy isn’t always your friend. You would think that the Carter administration would have taught us that when their counterproductive strategy of supporting the Mujahideen against the Soviet Union led to the establishment of the Taliban and al Qaeda. Although I suppose I should look on the bright side–now Sylvester Stallone has a built in plot ready for the next Rambo movie to follow up on the pro-Mujahideen Rambo III.

Link via Kevin Drum, whose own post on the subject is worth a read.

FILED UNDER: Middle East, National Security, Terrorism, , , , , , ,
Alex Knapp
About Alex Knapp
Alex Knapp is Associate Editor at Forbes for science and games. He was a longtime blogger elsewhere before joining the OTB team in June 2005 and contributed some 700 posts through January 2013. Follow him on Twitter @TheAlexKnapp.

Comments

  1. Steve says:

    Except that Carter’s strategy was not counter productive. And when expanded by the Reagan administration, that same approach resulted in a strategic defeat for the USSR.

    Were the unintended consequences, IE Pakistan’s support of the Taliban to de-stabilize an already unstable Afghan government foreseeable? Hardly.

    Is this alleged action in support of Iranian dissidents wise? Hard to say, since we don’t have much information. In fact we don’t even have proof that it’s happening.

  2. Alex Knapp says:

    Were the unintended consequences, IE Pakistan’s support of the Taliban to de-stabilize an already unstable Afghan government foreseeable? Hardly.

    When you hire thugs to fight other thugs, and the first thugs take over, you should hardly be surprised that they continue to act like thugs.

    Is this alleged action in support of Iranian dissidents wise? Hard to say, since we don’t have much information.

    Well, if you think funneling money and resources to Sunni terrorist organizations with ties to al-Qaeda is a good idea, I’d love to hear an explanation as to why. Because I thought the whole purpose of the War on Terror was to STOP terrorists from getting access to money and resources.

  3. bob in fl says:

    Speaking of anonymous sources. Isn’t it just possible that those we are giving aid & comfort are not al Qaida, but only Sunnis? As we are seeing in Iraq, Sunni tribal leaders are fighting al Qaida insurgents.

    Even if they are not al Qaida, it is still a dumb idea.

  4. Tano says:

    Steve,

    Get with the program man. The part that Carter did led to the bad consequences. The part that Reagan did led to the good ones. Dont you understand how this is supposed to work?

    Y’know, like the way Reagan managed to solve the economic woes that plagued the seventies by solving the inflation problem – by having Paul Volcker as Fed chairman. Unlike Carter who so messed things up, including his appointment of Volcker.

  5. Alex Knapp says:

    Isn’t it just possible that those we are giving aid & comfort are not al Qaida, but only Sunnis?

    From what I’ve been reading, Jundullah is, at the very least, Taliban-aligned, with the goal of creating yet another ethnic state (Baloch-dominated) controlled by sharia law, opposed to the west, etc.

    Even if they are not al Qaida, it is still a dumb idea.

    Can’t argue with that.

  6. Anderson says:

    Were the unintended consequences, IE Pakistan’s support of the Taliban to de-stabilize an already unstable Afghan government foreseeable? Hardly.

    The particular bad consequences? Not foreseeable. *Some* sort of bad consequence? That’s a different story.

    Post-1979, it was not really possible to say that we couldn’t foresee bad results from helping Islamic fundamentalist militants overthrow a government, even a bad, Soviet-imposed gov’t.