The government of Pakistan is angry at what it terms an American incursion within its territory that resulted in the death of 20 civilians including women and children. The attack occurred in a remote South Waziristan village. Pakistan officials claim three helicopter gunships and commandos were involved in a pre-dawn attack on a house in the village. Witnesses said troops entered the house of a local tribesman, opened fire, and threw a bomb into the house. Pakistan military officials said they had the right to retaliate against those who conducted the operation. Prime Minister Gilani termed the attack “cowardly” and “outrageous” and expressed his anger that US forces were conducting military operations within his nation without authorization of the Pakistan government.
There is no doubt Taliban and al-Qaeda forces operate within Pakistan territory. The issue that has yet to be adequately addressed is how best to deal with this situation. American military leaders want action, Pakistan government officials want to use negotiation. Until that difference is bridged this will not be an isolated incident.