Buried at the end of this Wall Street Journal article on Admiral Mike Mullen’s infatuation with Pakistan (a topic worthy of a book in itself), are these two completely false paragraphs that claim Pakistan is conducting covert operations against al Qaeda, the Taliban, and the Haqqani Network based in North Waziristan:
Pakistan currently conducts “surgical” raids against militants in North Waziristan-home to the al Qaeda-linked Haqqani network-but has said a large-scale operation to clear the area of all military would threaten Islamabad’s ability to keep militants out of other areas it cleared previously.
Islamabad is willing to step up their surgical raids in North Waziristan if the U.S. provides them with more information about the location of militants they want removed, a senior Pakistan official said this week.
There is absolutely not one shred of evidence to back this up. None. Pakistani forces have not killed a single leader or senior operative of al Qaeda, the Taliban, the Haqqani Network, the Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan, the Islamic Jihad Group, the Eastern Turkistan Islamic Party, the Lashklar-e-Jhangvi, the Lashkar-e-Taiba, the Jaish-e-Mohammed, the Harakat-ul-Mujahideen, the Harkat-ul-Jihad-i-Islami, the Fedayeen-i-Islam, etc., based in North Waziristan. The only “surgical raids” being carried out in North Waziristan are done by the unmanned US Predators and Reapers.
In the interview, Admiral Mullen describes Pakistan’s counterinsurgency efforts against the Taliban and al Qaeda in Swat and South Waziristan as “heroic.” Yet there is nothing remotely heroic in Pakistani officials making false claims about Pakistan’s efforts to take on terrorist sanctuaries in North Waziristan. In the ranks of the US military, there is a term for those who pump up their exploits at the expense of those fighting alongside them: blue falcon.
Bill Roggio is a Senior Fellow at the Foundation for Defense of Democracies and the Editor of FDD’s Long War Journal.