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Tuesday, July 24, 2007

The next war

Pakistan is definitely under the spotlight right now, both on this blog and in the foreign policy world of Washington.

Sunday, the president's homeland security adviser, Fran Townsend, told Fox News that the White House might use force against Pakistan:
WALLACE: If our enemies are regenerating their safe haven in Pakistan, under the Bush doctrine of preemptive military action to take out any threat, why aren't we doing everything we can — special operations forces, pilotless drones — why aren't we doing everything we can to take out that safe haven?

TOWNSEND: Well, Chris, just because we don't speak about things publicly doesn't mean we're not doing many of the things you're talking about...Job number one is to protect the American people, and there are no options that are off the table...I will say to you there are no options off the table. The president's committed to the most effective action that we can possibly take in the FATA [federally administered tribal area] to deny them the safe haven.
In January 2006, the U.S. attacked a village in Pakistan with Hellfire missiles in an alleged effort to kill al Qaeda's number two man, Ayman al-Zawahiri. It turned out that he wasn't there after all, though five women and five children were among the 18 to 25 dead.

Pakistan wasn't happy about the strike. The BBC:
"We cannot accept any action within our country which results in what happened over the weekend," Prime Minister Aziz told journalists in the capital, Islamabad.

"So the relationship with the US is important, it is growing, but at the same time such actions cannot be condoned."
An unwelcome missile strike is an act of war.

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