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Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Wider war: Afghan edition

For the first time since the "war on terror" began, the Karzai government in Afghanistan has threatened to attack Pakistan. The BBC reported Sunday:
Afghan President Hamid Karzai has threatened to send troops over the border into Pakistan to confront militants based there.

He said that when militants crossed over from Pakistan to kill Afghans and coalition troops, his nation had the right to retaliate in "self-defence"....

"Afghanistan has the right of self-defence. When they cross the territory from Pakistan to come and kill Afghans and to kill coalition troops it exactly gives us the right to go back and do the same."
Yusuf Raza Gilani, Pakistan's prime minister, replied:
"Neither do we interfere in anyone else's matters, nor will we allow anyone to interfere in our territorial limits and our affairs,"
If these threats aren't scary enough, just last week the U.S. launched another attack inside Pakistan. This time, however, the attack killed nearly a dozen Pakistani troops. The BBC again:
Pakistan's Prime Minister Yusuf Raza Gilani has condemned an air strike by Afghanistan-based US forces that Islamabad says killed 11 of its troops.

The incident took place inside Pakistan, near the border with Afghanistan.

The US military confirmed it had used artillery and air strikes after coming under fire from "anti-Afghan" forces.

...Pakistan's military called it a "completely unprovoked and cowardly act".
Incidentally, speaking of escalation, did you know the US currently has about 23,000 troops in Afghanistan -- part of a 53,000 troop NATO force. Apparently, we're heading to 32,000 troops in Afghanistan -- the largest deployment there since the war began.

Note: Type in first line corrected June 19.

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