U.S. Continuing Drone Strikes in Pakistan
With the world focused on the Iranian uprising right now, the Pakistan dilemma has slipped under the radar a bit. But it may not stay there for long. Here's the latest, from Longwarjournal.com:
The US carried out its second Predator airstrike inside South Waziristan today. Unmanned Predator aircraft killed 17 Taliban fighters in an attack near the headquarters for Pakistani Taliban leader Baitullah Mehsud.
The Predator strike aircraft fired three Hellfire missiles as Taliban fighters gathered for a funeral of Commander Sangeen, a leader in Baitullah's army in South Waziristan who was among six Taliban fighters killed in the first US airstrike earlier today.
The attack took place in the town of Makeen, a stronghold of Baitullah Mehsud, according to Geo News. The US has hit Taliban facilities in the Makeen region three times since June 14. The Pakistani Air Force has also launched several attacks in the region.
Read it all. These strikes have obviously hampered Al-Qaeda's operations in the region a great deal and have succeeded in taking out several of the group's top leaders. But I recently spoke to a security specialist (who has spent a good deal of time in the tribal regions) who said that he thinks the strikes are having a harmful long-term effect because they serve to turn the local population against America. That is likely so, but what other option do we have right now? I asked my contact, and he couldn't come up with any viable alternatives that woudl work in the short term. At the moment, I can't either. As usual, there are no easy answers when it comes to Pakistan.