So Much for that “Gutsy Call”… Bush Ordered Elite Forces Into Pakistan 2 Different Times
President George W. Bush made the same “gutsy call” to send US elite forces into Pakistan at least two different times during his presidency.
The Australian reported:
On a moonless night, US helicopters carrying a team of America’s most elite forces crossed the Afghanistan border into Pakistan in pursuit of one of the world’s most wanted terrorists.
Hovering over the compound, heavily armed US Navy SEALs scrambled expertly down ladders on to Pakistani soil as Pentagon officials in Virginia watched the events unfold by video link from a camera in an unmanned drone flying over the site.
But this did not happen last week, and the target was not Osama bin Laden.
It was 2006 and the man in the American’s sights was bin Laden’s al-Qa’ida deputy, Ayman al-Zawahiri, who is still believed to be hiding within or close to Pakistan’s tribal areas.
The little-known operation in Pakistan’s remote Bajaur Agency near the Afghan border, ultimately unsuccessful, is rarely talked about and was never publicly claimed by the US administration.
But what it reveals is that last Monday’s operation, which has sparked ferocious debate in Pakistan over national sovereignty, is far from the first time that elite USforces have mounted military operations on the ground in the nuclear-armed nation…
…The Navy SEAL operation in Bajaur Agency was first reported by The New York Times in 2008, which cited a former top CIA official as confirming the mission…
…He said yet another operation occurred in 2008 just over the Afghan border in South Waziristan, in which three US special operations officers raided a madrassa suspected of being used as a base from which insurgents were firing on coalition forces.
Rustam Shah Mohmand, a former chief secretary of the northwest frontier province and Tribal Areas Commissioner, also confirmed the fact that last week’s Navy SEALs raid was not the first on Pakistani soil.
And, it likely didn’t take Bush 5 months before he made the decision to run the operation.