US Special forces stationed in India, says Pentagon
|File Photo : During Yudh Abhyas 2010|
In a key disclosure top Pentagon commander has said US special forces teams are stationed in five South Asian countries including India as part of counter-terrorism cooperation with these nations.
These teams have been deployed by US Pacific Command as part of its effort to enhance their counter-terrorism capabilities, in particular in the maritime domain, said the Admiral Robert Willard – PACOM Commander.
During a Congressional hearing in response to a question on co-operation with India on counter-terrorism issues, Willard said “We have currently special forces assist teams – Pacific assist teams is the term – laid down inNepal, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, Maldives, as well as India,”
“We are working very closely with India with regard to their counter-terrorism capabilities and in particular on the maritime domain but also government to government, not necessarily DOD (department of defence) but other agencies assisting them in terms of their internal counter-terror and counterinsurgency challenges,”
Willard said, Pakistan based Lashkar-e-Taiba(Let) is a very dangerous organisation. It not only has very good operational security, but also a lot of international design in terms of their aspirations.
He said, “So it is a very important threat, and we’re working very closely with the nations in the region to help contain it,”
These were his answers to question from Congressman Joe Wilson as to what effort is being made to counter threat from Let.
Willard said that India and US are working together to contain Let, he said
“Responsible for many attacks in India, including the horrific attacks into Mumbai, LeT is headquartered in Pakistan, affiliated with al-Qaida and other VEOs, and contributes to terrorist operations in Afghanistan and aspires to operate against Asia, Europe and North America,”
He said US hosted Mumbai counter terrorist specialists for training exercises and exchanges throughout the US, together with capacity-building activities with South Asian partners are mainly focussed on containing Let and contributing to counter-terrorism self-sufficiency of the sub-regions militaries.
According to him apart from India, US PACOM has operational units in Srilanka, Nepal and Bangladesh in South East Asia.
source : TOI
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