Monday, December 14, 2009

More Dithering? Saber Rattling? Serious Discussion?

Okay, what’s going on here? Are we about to call down Armageddon or aren’t we?

I think I need more information.

Senior US officials are pushing to expand CIA drone attacks into a major Pakistani city in an attempt to pressure the Islamabad government to pursue Taliban leaders based in the city of Quetta, The Los Angeles Times reported.


Senior U.S. officials are pushing to expand CIA drone strikes beyond Pakistan's tribal region and into a major city in an attempt to pressure the Pakistani government to pursue Taliban leaders based in Quetta.

The proposal has opened a contentious new front in the clandestine war. The prospect of Predator aircraft strikes in Quetta, a sprawling city, signals a new U.S. resolve to decapitate the Taliban. But it also risks rupturing Washington's relationship with Islamabad.

"If we don't do this -- at least have a real discussion of it -- Pakistan might not think we are serious," said a senior U.S. official involved in war planning.


Obama has endorsed an expansion of CIA operations in the country, approving the deployment of more spies and resources in a clandestine counterpart to the 30,000 additional U.S. troops being sent into Afghanistan.

But the push to expand drone strikes underscores the limits of the Obama offensive. The administration has given itself 18 months to show evidence of a turnaround in Afghanistan. But progress in Pakistan depends almost entirely on drone strikes and prodding a sometimes reluctant ally, which provides much of the intelligence to conduct the strikes, to do more.


Pakistan is not expected to hand over Mullah Mohammed Omar, the Taliban leader and longtime ally of Osama bin Laden who fled Afghanistan when U.S. forces invaded after the Sept. 11 attacks. Omar is believed to have used Quetta as a base from which to orchestrate insurgent attacks in Afghanistan.


"We keep hearing that there is a shadow government in Quetta, but we have never been given actionable intelligence," the Pakistani official said.

Pakistan is prepared to pursue Taliban leaders, including Omar, even when the intelligence is imprecise, the official said. "Even if a compound 1 kilometer by 1 kilometer is identified, we will go find him." But, he added, "for the past two years we haven't heard anything more."

  LA Times

Washington, Dec. 14 (ANI): Tension prevails among Obama administration officials over whether an unmanned aircraft strike in a city of 850,000 is a realistic option. Those in favour, including some military leaders, argue that attacking the Taliban in Quetta -- or at least threatening to do so-is critical to the success of the revised war strategy President Obama unveiled last week.

But others, including high-ranking U.S. intelligence officials, are more sceptical of employing drone attacks in a place that Pakistanis see as part of their country's core.

Pakistani officials, however, have warned that the fallout could be severe.

"We are not a banana republic. If the United States follows through, this might be the end of the road," a senior Pakistani official was quoted as saying on condition of anonymity.


Pakistan might not be a banana republic, but we are.

Washington, Dec. 14 (ANI): US President Barack Obama has opposed drone strikes in Pakistan’s Quetta city, saying that a surge in strikes in this region would only result in huge mass causalities, a US magazine has reported.

During an advisory committee meeting over the extension of drone strikes from the tribal areas to provincial capital, Obama favoured the opinion that this decision will be folly, unwise and will jeopardize civilian lives, The News reports.


Sources said the administration mulled over the surge in drone strike on Pakistan but no final decision could be reached. (ANI)

He may be opposing the attacks, but he sure laid it on thick in his Afghanistan speech that Pakistan is in our sights.

....but hey, do what you will anyway.


  1. m,
    More stuff I don't get.We continue to destabilize Pakistan, a state with nukes.We talk about AQ getting control of the nukes.
    Like the Pakistanis are just 3rd world stumblebums who are attracted by bright lights and shiny objects and not a professional military who's called the shots in that country since its independence. I'm not endorsing them, just saying man.

  2. i'm reading some opinions that the increase in soldiers in afghanistan is to have them near pakistan, given the nuke situation.

    speaking of AQ - i'm wondering where AQ Khan is in the current pakistan relations story.

  3. Ah yeah.I'd almost forgotten about that guy.I know he's close to a national hero there. If he lived here he'd be doing Ballpark Frank and Hanes underwear commercials.
    Hope you're safe and well man.


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