Biden Indicates US Attacks in Pakistan Will Continue

New VP Won't Comment on Latest Strikes

by Jason Ditz, January 25, 2009

Answering questions about US policy with respect to its ongoing attacks in Pakistan, Vice President Joe Biden pointed reporters to President Obama’s comments during the campaign that “if there is an actionable target, of a high-level Al-Qaeda personnel, that he would not hesitate to use action to deal with that.”

As far as last week’s attacks in North and South Waziristan, which killed 22 people including a number of children, Biden declared that “I can’t speak to any particular attack. I can’t speak to any particular action. It’s not appropriate for me to do that.” Pakistan has repeatedly complained about the attacks, saying they undermine the nation’s efforts to isolate militant groups along the border region.

Between the election and the inauguration, the incoming Obama Administration often insisted it was inappropriate to talk about foreign policy issues. It was assumed, given President Obama’s insistence that “there’s been too much secrecy” in government, that the new administration would be at least somewhat more open with its assorted attacks. Yet every official asked about the killings has given the same refrain, so common during the Bush Administration: no comment.

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