Thursday, January 29, 2004

US to strike Pakistan?

Glenn and Drezner had this yesterday, but what the heck:

The Pentagon has drawn up contingency plans for a military strike inside Pakistan at Osama bin Laden’s al-Qaeda network, the Chicago Tribune newspaper reported on Wednesday citing military sources.

The daily said that the offensive could occur this year but the timing “would be driven by events in the region.”

The plan calls for the use of special operations forces, Army rangers and Army ground troops, and the deployment of a Navy aircraft carrier to the Arabian Sea, according to military sources.

It would involve thousands of US troops, many of them drawn from US forces already on the ground in Afghanistan, working with Pakistani troops, according to military planners.

A series of planning orders for the operation, which is referred to as the “spring offensive”, in internal military communications, were issued in recent weeks. The basic planning was supposed to have been finalised by January 21, according to the Tribune.

Interesting if true...however if it is true then the Tribune should be fined, or something. If this plan is carried out it would be the most unique operation carried out in decades (going in to another country with troops and air cover to take out a rouge element, then leaving swiftly). Could it be done without Musharraf's blessing?


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