What more do you need to know, America?
Was this last election ever a fooley for you or what?
Related: Slow Saturday Special: Obama's Shield
"US considers broadening attack on Taliban in Pakistan; Strikes would move beyond tribal areas" by David E. Sanger and Eric Schmitt, New York Times | March 18, 2009
WASHINGTON - President Obama and his national security advisers are considering expanding the American covert war in Pakistan far beyond the unruly tribal areas to strike at a different center of Taliban power in Baluchistan, where top Taliban leaders are orchestrating attacks into southern Afghanistan.
According to senior administration officials, two of the high-level reports on Pakistan and Afghanistan that have been forwarded to the White House in recent weeks have called for broadening the target area to reach the Taliban and other insurgent groups to a major sanctuary in and around the city of Quetta.
Mullah Muhammad Omar, who led the Taliban government that was ousted in the US-led invasion in 2001, has operated with near impunity out of the region for years, along with many of his deputies.
The missile strikes being carried out by CIA-operated drones have until now been limited to the tribal areas, and have never been extended into Baluchistan, a sprawling province that is under the authority of the central government, and which abuts the parts of southern Afghanistan where recent fighting has been the fiercest. There remains fear within the US government that extending the raids would worsen tensions. Pakistan complains that the strikes violate its sovereignty.
But some US officials say the missile strikes in the tribal areas have forced some leaders of the Taliban and Al Qaeda to flee south toward Quetta, making them more vulnerable. In separate reports, groups led by both General David H. Petraeus, commander of US forces in the region, and Lieutenant General Douglas E. Lute, a top White House official on Afghanistan, have recommended expanding US operations outside the tribal areas if Pakistan cannot root out the strengthening insurgency.
Many of Obama's advisers are also urging him to sustain orders issued last summer by President George W. Bush to in the tribal areas, continue Predator drone attacks against a wider range of targets and to conduct cross-border ground actions, using CIA and special operations commandos. Bush's orders also named as targets a wide variety of insurgents seeking to topple Pakistan's government. Obama has said little in public about how broadly he wants to pursue those groups....
"It is fair to say that there is wide agreement to sustain and continue these covert programs," said one senior administration official. Obama's top national security advisers, known as the Principals Committee, met yesterday to begin debating all aspects of Afghanistan-Pakistan strategy. Senior administration officials say Obama has made no decisions, but is expected to do so in coming days....
Another senior official cautioned that "with the targets now spreading, an expanding US role inside Pakistan may be more than anyone there can stomach."
As part of the same set of decisions, according to senior civilian and military officials familiar with the internal White House debate, Obama will have to choose from among a range of options for future US commitments to Afghanistan. His core decision may be whether to scale back US ambitions there and simply assure that it does not become a sanctuary for terrorist groups.
I've really had it with the war promoting garbage and mass-murder, can you tell?