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Oct 4th, 2010

Border Closure Heightens U.S., Pakistan Tensions

U.S. steps up drone attacks; militants attack stranded convoys


NATO tankers left open to attack in Pakistan (NBC Nightly News, Oct. 4, 2010) — After the Pakistani Taliban claimed responsibility for another brazen attack on fuel tankers supplying NATO forces, Pakistan authorities said Monday that protecting U.S. supply lines to Afghanistan is not their responsibility. NBC’s Ian Williams reports from Islamabad. (01:51)

By Chris Brummitt and Kimberly Dozier

October 4, 2010

ISLAMABAD — Hundreds of U.S. and NATO trucks carrying fuel and other supplies for troops in Afghanistan lie idle. Dramatic images of Taliban attacks on these convoys are splashed across front pages in this anti-American country with a U.S.-allied government.

Pakistan’s shutting of a key supply line for coalition troops in Afghanistan and the apparent ease with which militants are attacking the stranded convoys are shaking an already uncomfortable relationship between Washington and Islamabad.

The tension comes just as Washington is stepping up its shadow war on militants harbored in Pakistan’s border regions. CIA missile attacks, which have killed dozens of insurgents including some high-ranking al-Qaida operatives, are running at record levels — a sign of America’s impatience with Pakistan’s inaction in some parts of the frontier.

Although they are allies in the war against al-Qaida, the recent events are a reminder that the two countries’ long-term strategic interests are not always in synch. As next year’s date for the start of the U.S. drawdown from Afghanistan approaches, that gulf is only getting wider.

The U.S. seeks an Afghanistan free of Taliban fighters and wants Pakistan to help attacking them on its side of the border. Pakistan is hedging that when the Americans go home, the Taliban will still be a major power — and one friendly to its anti-Indian agenda — so wants to keep them as friends.

The U.S. has pressured Pakistan to strike not only its enemy, the Pakistani Taliban, but also Haqqani network militants who attack the U.S. on the Afghan side of the border.

The Pakistani government provides vital intelligence tips that help the CIA drone strikes. But such cooperation, to the extent that it becomes known in Pakistan, puts the government at risk for looking impotent in the eyes of its own people: A foreign power that many believe is an enemy of Islam is firing missiles and rockets on their territory.

In the most recent known strike, a U.S. missile killed five German militants taking shelter in a house in North Waziristan on Monday, intelligence officials said. That region has been named as the source of a European terror plot that has prompted American authorities to issue a travel advisory. One or more German citizens are reported to be linked to the plot. …

The Pakistanis closed the main NATO supply route last week to protest a NATO helicopter attack that killed three Pakistani border guards. NATO apologized for the attack, which it described as an act of self-defense. It was the third time in a less than a week that foreign forces had flown into Pakistani airspace.

There have been four attacks on stalled convoys since then — the latest one killing four people on Monday, underlining an uncomfortable reality: the Taliban and the Pakistan government’s interests are strangely aligned at present in seeking to punish the United States and NATO. …

Full story


Related reports on this site

Image: Oil tankers set on fire in Pakistan
Aaron Favila / AP

U.S. Supply Convoy Torched Again (Oct. 3, 2010)

Al-Qaida Plans Swarm Attacks (Oct. 2, 2010)

Pakistan Shuts U.S. Supply Line (Sept. 30, 2010)


FROM THE ARCHIVES: One Year Ago — October 4, 2009

Deadly Day for U.S. in Afghanistan


8 U.S. troops die in Afghanistan (NBC Nightly News, Oct. 4, 2009) — The fierce encounter resulted in the heaviest U.S. loss of life in a single battle since 2008. NBC’s Jim Miklaszewski reports. (02:55)

One year ago today, I reported that hundreds of insurgents armed with automatic rifles and rocket-propelled grenades nearly overran a U.S. outpost near the Afghanistan-Pakistan border, killing eight U.S. soldiers and capturing more than 20 Afghan security forces in the deadliest assault against U.S. troops in more than a year.


FROM THE ARCHIVES: Two Years Ago — October 4, 2008

A cropped version of the original undated image released last week, which allegedly shows North Korean leader Kim Jong-il posing with soldiers.
North Korean leader Kim Jong Il (Photo credit: AFP)

After the Primary Election: Day 25

Two years ago today, on the 25th day after losing my 2008 primary challenge against U.S. Rep. Michele Bachmann in Minnesota’s 6th Congressional District, in line with my focus on national security, I reported the killing of a senior al-Qaida in Iraq bombing mastermind, the withdrawal of Polish forces from Iraq, and North Korean leader Kim Jong Il’s first public appearance in more than a month amid speculation about his health.

5 Responses to “Simmering U.S.-Pakistan Tension”
  1. Immelman for Congress » Blog Archive » Obama Missile Strikes Continue Says:

    […] Simmering U.S.-Pakistan Tension (Oct. 4, 2010) […]

  2. Immelman for Congress » Blog Archive » Pakistan U.S. Supply Line Threat Says:

    […] Simmering U.S.-Pakistan Tension (Oct. 4, 2010) […]

  3. Immelman for Congress » Blog Archive » US Plan to Snatch Pakistan Nukes Says:

    […] Simmering U.S.-Pakistan Tension (Oct. 4, 2010) […]

  4. Immelman for Congress » Blog Archive » October 4, 2011 Says:

    […] Simmering U.S.-Pakistan Tension […]

  5. Immelman for Congress » Blog Archive » Pakistan Blocks U.S. Afghanistan Supply Line, Orders Drone Base Shuttered Says:

    […] Simmering U.S.-Pakistan Tension (Oct. 4, 2010 […]

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