WASHINGTON — The Bush administration, deeply concerned about recent assassination attempts against Pakistan President Pervez Musharraf and a resurgence of Taliban forces in neighboring Afghanistan, is preparing a U.S. military offensive that would reach inside Pakistan with the goal of destroying Osama bin Laden’s Al Qaeda network, military sources said.
U.S. Central Command is assembling a team of military intelligence officers that would be posted in Pakistan ahead of the operation, according to sources familiar with details of the plan and internal military communications. The sources spoke on the condition they not be identified.
Yet a large-scale offensive by U.S. forces within the nuclear-armed Islamic republic could be political dynamite for Musharraf.
The army general, who took power in a bloodless coup in 1999, has come under growing political pressure from Islamic parties, and his cooperation with U.S. anti-terrorism efforts is widely unpopular among average Pakistanis. Nor can Musharraf count on the loyalty of all of Pakistan’s armed forces or its intelligence agency, members of which helped set up and maintain the Taliban in Afghanistan and are suspected of ties to militant Islamic groups.
Either the Trib is putting information on the front page which could be fatal to out troops, or they are printing disinformation designed to elicit a reaction in Pakistan.
The first theory would mean that they are dedicated to the story to the exclusion of all other concerns, including the lives of American troops. The second means that they are cooperating with our government to help win the War on Terror.
I know some reporters and I don’t think they would intentionally endanger the lives of American troops. But again, they’re Democrats. So who knows.