U.S. Resumes Drone Strikes in Pakistan After Failed Peace Talks, Attack

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The U.S. has resumed drone strikes in Pakistan, ending a six-month moratorium that was put in place to facilitate peace talks between the Pakistani government and jihadist groups.

This week, Pakistan commenced Operation Zarb-e-Azb in North Waziristan, a tribal area in the country’s northwest frontier region that Islamist groups have used as a base to conduct operations in Pakistan and across the border in Afghanistan.

The military is seeking to root out rebels from groups that launched an attack on Jinnah International Airport in Karachi on June 8, 2014. All ten attackers died in the assault that left 18 others dead, including 11 security workers.

"The Pakistani government has peace agreements — even de facto alliances — with groups it considers the 'good Taliban'"Andrew Gripp, IVN contributor
In the first half of 2014, Pakistan held dialogues with the radical Islamist group Tehreek-e-Taliban (TTP), also referred to as the Pakistani Taliban. The Pakistani government regards the TTP as part of the “bad Taliban” because the group routinely launches attacks against Pakistani civilians and security personnel and aims to overthrow the government and replace it with a theocratic state.

Yet the Pakistani government has peace agreements — even de facto alliances — with groups it considers the “good Taliban,” including the Haqqani Network and the Gul Bahadar Group, both based in North Waziristan. These groups do not threaten the Pakistani government and instead aid the Afghan Taliban by coordinating attacks against American, international, and Afghan national forces.

Strong evidence suggests that agencies within the Pakistani government actively support the “good Taliban” as proxies in a long-term effort to engineer a Pashtun-dominated neighbor in Afghanistan once international forces withdraw — a policy referred to as “strategic depth.”

The U.S. does not subscribe to the “good Taliban,” “bad Taliban” distinction, since both factions are committed to thwarting Afghanistan’s movement toward democracy and to undermining international efforts to train a self-sufficient Afghan security force.

Talks between the government and the TTP stalled in early spring.

In April 2014, the TTP chose not to renew a 40-day ceasefire. In May, via a rare video statement, TTP leader Maulana Fazlullah effectively killed the prospects for peace when he declared that Pakistan must accept the “writ of Allah” and adopt the Taliban’s strict interpretation of shari’a. He also encouraged suicide attackers to prepare operations against “forces that transgress the limits set by God.”

The TTP, along with the Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan (IMU), claimed responsibility for the Karachi assault that occurred just weeks later.

Fazlullah, who became the TTP’s leader after a U.S. drone strike killed former head Hakimullah Mehsud in 2013, is a long-time enemy of Pakistan and the U.S.

Fazlullah battled the Pakistani military between 2007 and 2009 for control of the Swat Valley region. Though Fazlullah won autonomy in the region in 2009, he subsequently violated the terms of the peace agreement and invaded neighboring districts. At one point, his forces came within 60 miles of the capital Islamabad.

In 2012, Fazlullah ordered the assassination of several Pakistani schoolgirls for their “campaign against Islam & Shariah” and their indirect support of the “Murtad [infidel] army and Government of Pakistan.” Malala Yousafzai was one of the schoolgirls targeted following this injunction.

Fazlullah has also offered sanctuary to al-Qaeda. One of his former deputies, Ibn Amin, led a brigade of the al-Qaeda force called the Shadow Army, which is active across Afghanistan. The U.S. killed Amin in a drone strike in 2010.

The June 2014 drone strikes that ended the U.S.’s moratorium following the stillborn peace talks targeted both “good” and “bad” Taliban and Taliban-allied groups.

The first strike killed several Uzbeks who were alleged members of the IMU.

Hours later, on the morning of June 12, another strike killed several “good Taliban” members, including Haji Gul, a commander from the Haqqani Network, as well as commanders active in the Afghan Taliban. The strike destroyed vehicles carrying explosives that were likely being readied for deployment across the border in Afghanistan.

Photo Credit: AP

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42 comments
Joan McNulty Storey
Joan McNulty Storey

Despite reports to the contrary, the president is NOT just letting Al-Queda grow willy-nilly and is doing things quietly to protect the troops still over there. He just doesn't announce everything he is doing to the press just to appease the people who think we should still be over there.

Rose Townsley
Rose Townsley

WHY~ What is in Pakistan that needs our intervention? Don't we have other issues more important like Syria, Iraq, Russia?

Mark Carpenter
Mark Carpenter

We should use drones on ALL groups or nations who declare war or Jihad on America. The beatings should continue until they formally admit their mistake.

Mark Carpenter
Mark Carpenter

Patricia... Thanks for the weird waste of my time. Not sure what you believe in after reading that.

Mark Carpenter
Mark Carpenter

Martin lives on a unicorn ranch under a rainbow. He chases butterflies and eats lollipops when he's not drinking the Kool-Aid.

Mark Carpenter
Mark Carpenter

Democrats have been in control since 2007 actually. Where you are wrong Eric is war was voted on in a bipartisan manner. Dems like to pretend it was Just Bush and Cheny. Only Republicans are passing budgets. Dems are hiding their spending because Americans would blow a gasket.

Mel Collova
Mel Collova

do you have any idea how to deal with extemists? go figure

Erik Rubmesome
Erik Rubmesome

Enough already with war and drone strikes!!! Quit wasting taxpayer money!!!

Edward Theilmann
Edward Theilmann

One day in the not to distant future the other side is going to have drones and use them . Guess who they will be aimed at.

Kurt Blankenship
Kurt Blankenship

you're one of the only people on this thread that made a quantitative argument & sounded like you actually had a consciousness about it... I say 'thank you' - I found it un-nerving that many are blinded to the realities of the World & the different beliefs that are not our own. Having lived abroad & serving America's armed forces - I honestly know what the price for peace is...and, it's not as easy as some foolishly believe.

Rob Townsend
Rob Townsend

Kill'em all quickly, then let nature rebuild the middle east. Sick of the muslim/ jihadist crap spreading worldwide. They'll take over the world if not stopped soon. Suicide killers take out dozens, if not hundreds each time. Wipe the slate clean.

Tom Atkins
Tom Atkins

First Obama was against it, then he was for it, then he was against it, and now he is for it! Outside the context of a declared was against a legitimate country, it's a international crime. We will see a drone strike on US soil as a result of these reckless assassinations.

Stephen McDuffie
Stephen McDuffie

Eric well said. You deserve a drink of I could just reach through the screen

Eric Ridenour
Eric Ridenour

Good! Hey Stephen, I mean the politicians, not the people. We both know the politicians don't give a crap about our opinion!

Eric Ridenour
Eric Ridenour

I think we are friends wth al Queda now. Wait, that was last month...

Eric Ridenour
Eric Ridenour

That is an irrelevant comment to my statement, Lonna. Never said that wasn't true as well.

Patricia Bailey Hagmaier
Patricia Bailey Hagmaier

I have to agree with Martin McDowell to some degree. Yes, unfortunately war is a necessary evil even back before Christ was born, and war was a directive from God. However, this entire 10+ year war should have/could have been, fur the most part avoided. I believe that going to Afghanistan was necessary, however, Iraq WAS NOT and if Bush generation of political leaders had taken a couple of days to gallop back in history they just might have seen the outcome if they really studied Vietnam. Shi many ppl I've talked to cannot believe how closely related these two wars appear. Not every way is necessary, especially when financially we become indebted to CHINA. In ask of this that is the thing I find most ridiculous. If we had started pulling our ppl out before it came to that, focused our energy on alert finding Bin Laden, thing might off turned out quite differently. Honestly, I don't understand how or government and the ppl aren't demanding impeachment over this last mess with releasing 5 Taliban leaders, and I'm not naive enough to put all the blame on him. However, AT what point are we going to hold these public servicemen and women in the political arena accountable for the horrific mess they have created ask because one particular parties insistence on being right. Both sides are guilty in this horrific way and they ask should be held accountable. HERE'S AN IDEA: What if we take every representative, congressman/congresswoman, senator, President Bush and President Obamas pensions abd pay the debt off and they can go back to work and collect social security/Medicare just like the rest of us.

Brian Biesemeyer
Brian Biesemeyer

Wait, which ones are we helping this time? The government that hid Osama from us, or the Jihadist groups?

Allan Hampton
Allan Hampton

The Founders did not want a standing army. Article I, Section 8, Clause 1. The Congress shall have Power To ... Clause 11. To declare War, Clause 12. To raise and support Armies, but no Appropriation of Money to that Use shall be for a longer Term than two Years; Clause 13. To provide and maintain a Navy; * provide (furnish; supply) * maintain (keep in existence; sustain) 1.. Grants to Congress the power to provide and maintain a Navy. 2.. The Navy was (and is) as vital to our security as an air power is today. A full time Air Force would need to be part of the Navy, or a constitutional amendment is required. Clause 14. To make Rules for the Government and Regulation of the land and naval Forces; Clause 15. To provide for calling forth the Militia to execute the Laws of the Union, suppress Insurrections and repel Invasions; * Militia (An army composed of ordinary citizens rather than professional soldiers. A military force that is not part of a regular army and is subject to call for service in an emergency. The whole body of physically fit civilians eligible for military service.)

Lonna Buchanan
Lonna Buchanan

can't blame the Republicans........the Dems have been in office and "in charge" of this mess for the past 5 years

Irrianna Regole
Irrianna Regole

The sad part is, there's so little reporting on this, I didn't know they'd stopped. I'm glad they did, but the idea of it being so regular that we expect it's going on at all times is a terrifying reality.

Irrianna Regole
Irrianna Regole

Er, yes, the president of the US is the commander in chief as soon as he's sworn in. That's actually the title used quite often as a reference to the us pres... In fact, his themesong is "Hail to the Chief".

Irrianna Regole
Irrianna Regole

It's remarkable the answers this question usually gets.

Tim Mainord
Tim Mainord

Just wondering if we would have a problem if another country conducted drone strikes against our population?

bobconner
bobconner

One's got to wonder how much the Taliban in Pakistan have been emboldened by the activities of ISIS.  What a mess.  I'm betting the draw down of US military in Afghanistan is going to be making a U-turn, especially in light of the news this morning that the Pentagon is giving Obama a plan to reinsert special forces in Iraq; something I'd bet has already taken place.

Allan Hampton
Allan Hampton

Attack by what authority? Is a President Commander in Chief on election to office? NO! U.S. citizens best start voting out criminal Lawmakers. If you don't know what a criminal Lawmaker is or continue reelecting them then; “If you love wealth greater than liberty, the tranquility of servitude greater than the animating contest for freedom, go home from us in peace. We seek not your counsel, nor your arms. Crouch down and lick the hand that feeds you; May your chains set lightly upon you, and may posterity forget that you were our countrymen.” ― Samuel Adams Today arms are not for the purpose of correcting government nor were arms for that purpose in Adam's day. Today citizens only weapon to "correct" government is the ballot box.

Jesse Banke
Jesse Banke

uhhg, more "autonomous assassinations"

James Thompson
James Thompson

Sell the Pakistani's some Drones let them do their own dirty work . Be clear that if their problems spill over to the U.S. We will act accordingly .

Jack Moore
Jack Moore

Six months to re-arm and re-group, thanks to the Paki leadership. And we FELL for it???

Matt Ellison
Matt Ellison

No matter what one's opinion of Obama or either major party, it's unequivocal - Obama getting the Nobel Peace Prize was a sick, sick joke

Phillip Smith
Phillip Smith

Obama has to get the body count up for another peace prize.

Eric Ridenour
Eric Ridenour

Republicans here will cry about the budget one moment and ask for a trillion dollar war at the same time.