Why The Next U.S. President Will Intensify Counterterrorism Attacks Inside Pakistan

America’s so-called war on terror is developing a new focus–the frequent violation of Pakistani sovereignty through the use of UAV attacks and rapid raids by U.S. Special Forces.  This focus will continue, no matter who is sitting in the White House come January.  And the contours of that policy are emerging here in the waning days of George W. Bush’s presidency.

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From “Mr. Ten Percent” to Mr. President: Zardari’s Shifting Fortunes

It is hard to decide whether the news of the victory of Asif Ali Zardari for the presidency of Pakistan should be celebrated as a victory for democracy, or be viewed as a cause for concern.  Better known as “Mr. Ten Percent” for allegedly receiving his cut from contractors doing business with the Pakistani government during the administration of his wife, Benazir Bhutto, his sudden prominence is only an historical accident.  Otherwise, he has been known as Benazir Bhutto’s “insignificant other.”  Zardari spent many years in jail, while his wife was in exile.  Throughout the stormy career of his wife, he largely stayed in the background.  As daughter of Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto, she was supposed to be the “daughter of destiny,” and was to become the Prime Minister of Pakistan.  However, her life was cut short when she was assassinated on December 29, 2007.


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Implications of Attacking Islamist Schools in Pakistan

The United States has carried out a missile attack on an Islamic School founded by Jalaluddin Haqqani, whom Washington describes as a “friend of Bin Laden.”  The speculations are that the missile attack was aimed at killing a number of Uzbek and Arab fighters who were reportedly using that school as a sanctuary.  However, the missile also struck Haqqani’s family home, killing his sister, sister-in-law and two nieces.  This is just a preliminary report on civilian casualties.


Haqqani is reportedly in poor health, but his son Sirajuddin Haqqani is reported to be leading the forces fighting the ISAF in Afghanistan.


From the U.S. vantage point, given the rising surge of the Taliban forces in Afghanistan, such a strike is clearly aimed at changing the tide of war in favor of the ISAF forces.  From the perspective of the fledgling civilian government of Pakistan, the continued U.S. missile attacks are going to raise the level of turbulence inside that country. 


We are told that the new Pakistani leadership is “quietly” in favor of the U.S. attack while publicly condemning it.  If true, that open secret–since it is being discussed in the Pakistani press as well–is likely to bring down the civilian government before too long.  In the Northwestern Frontier Province, the banners clamoring for “Go Musharraf” have already been replaced by the banners demanding “Go America, Go Zardari.”  And Asif Ali Zardari, a supposed pro-American leader, was sworn in as President only yesterday.