Pakistan: Now or Never?
Perspectives on Pakistan
A U.S. raid into Pakistan’s tribal areas in September, which produced much furore, was not the only time U.S. forces had gone inside Pakistan in pursuit of al Qaeda, according to a report by The New York Times.
The U.S. military has since 2004 used “broad, secret authority” to carry out nearly a dozen previously undisclosed attacks against al Qaeda and other militants in Syria, Pakistan and elsewhere, the newspaper said, citing American officials.
Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld signed a classified order with the approval of President George W. Bush in the spring of 2004, giving the military permission to attack al Qaeda networks anywhere in the world, including a sweeping mandate to conduct operations in countries not at war with the United States, it said.
One such attack was carried out by U.S. Navy Seals on a suspected militant compound in Pakistan’s Bajaur region in 2006, the newspaper said, quoting a former top CIA official. A remotely piloted Predator aircraft captured the operation on video in real-time and relayed it back to CIA headquarters in Virginia thousands of miles away.