With drone attacks already up over threefold from 2007 the US desire to ramp up attacks inside Pakistan even further has run into another wall today as Pakistan’s Chief of Army Staff General Parvez Kayani announced that foreign forces would no longer be allowed to conduct missions inside of Pakistani territory. Gen. Kayani said the rules of engagement were well defined and did not permit coalition forces to operate in Pakistan.
The announcement comes just one week after US helicopters and ground troops attacked a small village in South Waziristan, killing at least 20 civilians according to one Pakistani official. The strike produced a myriad of harsh comments from Pakistani officials and days later the Pakistani government cut supply lines to NATO troops in Afghanistan, a move which Defense Minister Chaudhry Ahmed Mukhtar said would show “how serious we are”. Earlier this week, a drone strike against a school in North Waziristan which was reportedly carried out by the CIA killed at least 23.
This comes amid reports that the National Intelligence Council warned President Bush last month that attacks in Pakistan were liable to further destabilize Pakistan’s government and military. However, speaking before the House Armed Services Committee today, Defense Secretary Robert Gates and Joint Chiefs head Admiral Michael Mullen stressed the need for striking the “safe havens” of militants inside Pakistan, and recent activities suggest this strategy has won out despite the NIC’s warnings.