Sunday, February 7, 2010

U.S. Military Deaths in Pakistan Should Surprise Nobody

Christina Lamb, writing for The Sunday Times of London, today, expressed her surprise that three American soldiers were among the dead in a suicide bombing in a Pakistan town, saying that this would reignite the fears of many Pakistanis that Washington was set on invading their country.

Barack Obama has banned the Bush-era term “war on terror” and dithered about sending extra troops to Afghanistan, but across the border in Pakistan, the US president has dramatically stepped up the covert war against Islamic extremists.

US airstrikes in Pakistan, launched from unmanned drones, are now averaging three a week, triple the number last year. “We're quietly seeing a geographical shift,” an intelligence officer said.

For the past month drones have pounded the tribal region of North Waziristan in apparent retaliation for the murder of seven CIA officers in Afghanistan by a Jordanian suicide bomber working with the Pakistani Taliban.

The discovery of the dead US soldiers revealed that America’s shadowy war in Pakistan not only involves drones but also small cadres of special operations soldiers.

But why should anyone be surprised? Obama promised during his campaign that he would target Pakistan in his administration's fight against the Taliban.

The story is getting some extensive play through a link on Drudge. But anyone following the campaign and this presidency would never have been caught off guard by this revelation.

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