White House Sees Bin Laden Killing as Precedent

Unilateral Raids in Pakistan the New Normal?

The US raid that killed Osama bin Laden in Abbottabad came without any permission from the Pakistani government. Most people overlooked this given the nature of the target, and assumed the attack was a “special case.”

White House spokesman Jay Carney, however, suggested that this was a precedent-setting event, and that President Obama “reserves the right” to launch comparable attacks into Pakistan in the future.

“He made very clear during his campaign that that was his view,” Carney insisted, adding that he “feels that it was the right approach and continues to feel that way.” The move clearly didn’t set well with the Pakistani government, which already expressed concern about the incident.

The situation really was a “special case,” and analysts say it is unlikely that the Pakistani government will file an official complaint about this particular raid. If this is the “new normal” for President Obama, it could well do more harm to US-Pakistan relations.

Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is Senior Editor for Antiwar.com. He has 20 years of experience in foreign policy research and his work has appeared in The American Conservative, Responsible Statecraft, Forbes, Toronto Star, Minneapolis Star-Tribune, Providence Journal, Washington Times, and the Detroit Free Press.