Defense Secretary Finally Admits U.S. Is at War in Pakistan

Reports Spencer Ackerman on WIRED’s Danger Room

“We are fighting a war in the FATA, we are fighting a war against terrorism,” said Defense Secretary Leon Panetta on Wednesday, referring to the tribal areas of Pakistan that the U.S. has spent three years bombing heavily. Was that so hard to admit?

For years, it has been. Neither the Bush nor Obama administration has been forthright about the starkest fact of the recent war on terrorism: most of it takes place in western Pakistan. As CIA director and now Pentagon chief, Panetta has been one of the key architects of the accelerated drone-and-commando war the U.S. wages there in what amounts to an open secret. In 2009, the critical year in that acceleration, Danger Room boss Noah Shachtman started pressing the Obama administration for disclosure about a war the U.S. waged in all but name.

It may be late, but at least now it’s happened. The day after the U.S. claimed that its latest drone strike in tribal Pakistan killed al-Qaida’s second in command, Abu Yahya al-Libi, Panetta used the W-word to angrily dismiss the Pakistani government’s complaints about the U.S. infringing on its sovereignty. “We have made very clear that we are going to continue to defend ourselves,” Panetta said in New Dehli…


5 Comments on "Defense Secretary Finally Admits U.S. Is at War in Pakistan"

  1. Umm its not full out war yet, if anything they are training troops in the use of drones against skilled warriors for something much bigger. 

  2. Only Congress can declare war.

    • By Congress you mean
      the Military-Industrial-Bankster Complex?

      As far as I can tell
      they are the ones who declare the wars
      that are fought and endured by the tired, poor and huddled masses.

      • No, I mean Congress.

        It’s important to make sure everyone is clear on that, so that when we start dragging people to the wall and machine-gunning them,  there won’t be any questions as to why.

  3. The moment we found Osama Bin-Ladin there, hidden within our ally, the only proper response would have been to glass the sand with nuclear fire.

    We did not. Osama has been dead for a while.

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