Two U.S. missile strikes hit Pakistan’s North Waziristan today, media outlets reported, the first to occur during Barack Obama‘s administration. CNN’s Reza Sayah noted, “This is perhaps a loud message by the new Barack Obama administration. Many people were very cautious what type of military strategy this administration would use in Pakistan’s tribal region. Would this administration continue the controversial U.S. missile strikes from those unmanned drones…on this Friday night we seem to have an answer, and it seems to be yes.” The first strike occurred around 5:15 pm Pakistan time, and reportedly killed 10 people. According to the Associated Press, “At least five of the dead were identified as foreign militants,” and most news agencies noted the area has been identified as a “safe haven for Al Qaeda and Taliban-linked militants.”
CNN also spoke with their Pentagon correspondent Barbara Starr, who confirmed that the strikes were perpetrated by unmanned drones, “most likely operated by members of the U.S. intelligence community.” She added that it is very likely that President Obama will continue this policy of U.S. strikes “with no hesitation.” Starr asserted, “Expect this first strike to be followed by additional ones.” CNN anchor Wolf Blitzer, on the “Situation Room” sat down with former President Musharraf today, who commented on this recent development. Musharraf told Blitzer, “Nobody in Pakistan is comfortable with the strikes across the border, public opinion is very against it…we have to find a way out…that satisfies [Pakistani] public opinion and is in line with our resolve to fight terrorism.”
I don’t know about you, but I was extremely disappointed to hear about today’s air strikes. Maybe the policy of “change” doesn’t apply to the U.S. approach to Pakistan. Maybe as Musharraf noted in the interview, “Policies don’t change with personalities…” What do you think?