US airstrikes now deep inside Pakistani territory

We have previously reported on the alleged US-Pakistani high-level agreement, according to which “the US government refuses to publicly acknowledge the [US missile] attacks [on Pakistani soil] while Pakistan’s government continues to complain noisily about the politically sensitive strikes”. The Associated Press now reports that “for the first time Wednesday, the missiles targeted militants beyond the tribal areas, deeper inside Pakistan”. What is more, Pakistani militants have caught on to the secret deal and are now threatening to retaliate by attacking Pakistani government targets. Taliban militant leader Hafiz Gul Bahadur has warned that he will abandon a 2006 peace treaty with the Pakistani military and that his men will “launch suicide attacks on foreigners and government targets unless the raids stop”. One of his representatives said on Thursday that “the Pakistani government is clearly involved in these attacks by American spy planes, so we will target government interests as well as foreigners”. The immediate US objective in launching airstrikes on Pakistani soil is to sabotage the intention of the Pakistani and Afghan governments to strike a deal with the Taliban. All three sides so far resist reverting to all-out war. But if the US strikes continue (which they probably will, even if Pakistan withdraws its current tacit consent), the US objectives are likely to be achieved. [JF]

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Expert news and commentary on intelligence, espionage, spies and spying, by Dr. Joseph Fitsanakis and Ian Allen.

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