Homeland Security Watch

News and analysis of critical issues in homeland security

October 19, 2011

Afpak border operations: Top news over there but not much here

Filed under: Radicalization,Terrorist Threats & Attacks — by Philip J. Palin on October 19, 2011

I go to sleep and wake up earlier than most.   You know: healthy, wealthy and wise.  I’m about one-third there.

Just before I turned out the lights last night I noticed that many Pakistani and British media sources (perhaps echoing each other) were speculating about a major incursion of US forces into Pakistan to take on the Haqqani network.  I could not find any equivalent attention by major media in the US.  Most were focused on the Las Vegas debate.

But I was tired and self-indulgently decided it was a matter of time zones.  I went to sleep.

This morning, US Eastern Time, the most viewed story in The Telegraph (UK) is US Forces Massing on Afghan-Pakistan Border.

The lead story in Dawn, the Pakistani daily, is US Attack in North Waziristan Unlikely.

Likely or not, as of 0500 Eastern, still not much in the US media.   The very brief  AP story running in most US media does not suggest an impending cross-border operation.

Earlier this week NATO confirmed an operation code-named “Knife Edge” focused on the Haqqani network in the border region.

In the two hours since I first posted the Associated Press is reporting,

“Marine Gen. John Allen told The Associated Press that the “high-intensity, sensitive” operation that began in recent days was focused on the Haqqani group, a Pakistan-based militant network with ties to the Taliban and al-Qaida. The U.S. has been urging the Pakistanis to clamp down on the Haqqani fighters who are attacking Afghan and coalition forces and have been blamed for most of the high-profile attacks in the heart of Kabul. Allen would not discuss details of the operation, which began just days ago, saying only: “Every now and again, one of these organizations that has been able to manifest itself on this side of the border is going to have to get some special attention and that’s what’s happening now.”

I have no inside track to suggest which angle may be more accurate.  A major incursion across the border would be a huge step with extraordinary political implications.

But now that I’m awake,  it did seem worth highlighting for you the significant difference in attention being given the speculation… story… non-story… whatever.

I’ll be offline most of the rest of today (0739 Eastern Time).

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Comment by William R. Cumming

October 20, 2011 @ 8:24 am

Is it still official Pakistani policy that no US boots on the ground in that country? And did you see Davis of the killing of two Pakistanis and arrest had troubles stateside?

Comment by William R. Cumming

October 20, 2011 @ 10:19 am

And the op was launched just a Secretary of State issues strong warning to Pakistan over its toleration of terrorists?

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