U.S. Attacks in Pakistan Reach Record Levels

Thursday, September 16, 2010
Jalaluddin Haqqani (photo: EPA)
The United States has stepped up its unmanned aerial assaults in Pakistan this month, launching more missile attacks in September than during any other month since the use of drone aircraft began in 2004.
The Associated Press estimates there have been 12 strikes so far from unmanned aircraft in the Pakistani region of North Waziristan that have killed more than 50 people. The attacks have been concentrated around the town of Datta Khel near the border with Afghanistan. U.S. special forces, led by the Joint Special Operations Command, have also carried out an average of 1,000 raids a month in Afghanistan since May, also a record for what is now known as the Af-Pak War.
Although many Americans may be under the impression that the only enemies facing U.S. troops are the Taliban, the focus of the attacks in Pakistan has been insurgents led by Jalaluddin Haqqani and his son, Sirajuddin.
Jalaluddin Haqqani was once part of the CIA-backed mujahideen that fought against the Soviet occupation of Afghanistan in the 1980s, when he became an ally of Osama bin Laden and gained Saudi, American and Pakistani support. During the administration of President Ronald Reagan, the U.S. supplied Haqqani with Stinger missiles, tanks and other weapons. Although the Haqqanis are allied with the Taliban, they also have close, long-standing ties with the Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI), the Pakistani military’s leading intelligence agency.
-David Wallechinsky, Noel Brinkerhoff
Drones Target Border Region (by Asif Shahzad and Kimberly Dozier, Associated Press)


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