Jul 11 2008

Scoping Out Targets In Pakistan’s Tribal Region

Published by at 3:39 pm under All General Discussions,Pakistan

In an update to a post I did yesterday on what appears to be a ramping up of operations targeted at the Islamist extremists in the Pakistan Tribal region there are today reports of increased Predator and UAV operations in the area:

Pilotless U.S. drones armed with missiles have stepped up patrols over Pashtun villages on the Afghan-Pakistan border, hunting for Taliban and al Qaeda militants and fraying nerves below.

Pashtun villagers living on the frontier call them “buzzers”, and the aircraft have increasingly taken to the skies, causing sleepless nights and occasionally raining down death.

Residents of Bajaur, another militant-plagued region on the Afghan border, to the northeast of Waziristan, said drones flew overhead all night on Thursday.

“The sky is not safe, the earth is not safe, where should we go?” asked Jabbar Shah, a resident of Inayat Kalay village, about 10 km (6 miles) from the border.

“We don’t know when will they strike and who will they hit. It’s very worrying,” he said.

Well, the answer to this has been obvious for years now – don’t harbor terrorists who can launch attacks on US and allied forces and interests. In another report there is an interesting comment from a US commander in the region:

During a visit to Kabul this week, Admiral Michael Mullen said U.S. officials now believe that Pakistan’s Federally Administered Tribal Areas, called FATA, are attracting an increasing number of foreign fighters.

“There are clearly more foreign fighters in the FATA, than have been there in the past, and I wouldn’t get into any specifics. But what it really speaks to is that that’s a safe haven, that’s got to be eliminated for all insurgents – not just al Qaida,” Admiral Mullen said.

Coalition forces have responded with aggressive operations. American Marines have recaptured Taliban-held towns in Helmand province. Coalition and Afghan forces are pursuing militants operating near the Pakistani border, and occasionally firing at militants fleeing back into Pakistani territory.

I noted a months ago the US had made a very telling statement regarding this threat, calling it a “Clear and Present Danger“. This description means the US feels it has the right for preemptive strikes against a pending threat. I expected action sooner, but I have no visibility into the time tables and issues that dictate when action will come. Seems, possibly, it is coming soon.

3 responses so far

3 Responses to “Scoping Out Targets In Pakistan’s Tribal Region”

  1. crosspatch says:

    It is my opinion that if we publicly told both the President of Afghanistan and Pakistan that we will eradicate every opium poppy field with a 1000 mile radius unless bin Laden and Zawahiri are turned over, and demonstrate that on a rather significant piece of ground, we would have both of them in custody within a week.

  2. […] I noted reports of intensified UAV activity over the tribal regions, in what seemed to me to be gathering of a final target list in preparation […]

  3. […] articles on activities there as a continuation of my recent posts on the area (see here, here and here) which I will get to in a moment, but one article truly struck me and it was from Reuters: Former […]