Tag Archives: Senator Levin

Senator Doubts Pakistan Can Help In Afghanistan

Senator Carl Levin, chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee, cast doubt on the ability of the United States to succeed in routing Taliban and al-Qaeda militants who are in Pakistan. “I remain skeptical that Pakistan has either the will or the capability to secure their border, particularly between Baluchistan and southern Afghanistan.” However, the Obama plan for success in Afghanistan is predicated upon close cooperation with Pakistan forces in order to prevent militants from securing refuge in northwest areas of that country. Undersecretary of Defense for Policy, Michele Flournoy insisted: “the futures of the two countries are inextricably linked.”

Both Levin and John McCain said they remained doubtful Pakistan will be of great assistance although they support the Obama plan. Levin insisted: “you can make some progress in Afghanistan event though Pakistan does not succeed in addressing their religious extremist problem.”

Perhaps, Obama has a plan that will work without Pakistan, but so far few experts really believe it can succeed.

Congress Seeks Military Control Over Private Contractors

Congress is prepared to take new action ensuring the United States military exerts control over the actions of private contractors in Iraq and elsewhere. Sen. Carl Levin, chairman of the Senate Armed Service Committee, said Congress will insert such provisions in the 2008 defense spending bill. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice has already moved to implement new rules for private guards which will specify how and when they can use force in carrying out their duties. However, so far, she has not accepted the desire of many members of Congress that private contractors should be placed under control of the United States military. Levin was firm in insisting new language will be inserted into the defense spending bill, “whether she likes it or not.”

The entire matter of allowing private contractors to conduct their own war activities is a first in American history. The emergence of private war activities stems from the nation’s failure to implement a draft system if it desires engaging in wars. The private contractors today do work that was performed by members of the armed forces in World War II or Korea or Vietnam. No one ever heard any tales of erratic behavior on the part of Seabees in World War II. For some reason, they didn’t go around shooting civilians.