Panetta says Hellfire attacks will continue

Washington Post:

CIA Director Leon Panetta said yesterday that U.S. aerial attacks against al-Qaeda and other extremist strongholds inside Pakistan would continue, despite concerns about a popular Pakistani backlash.

"Nothing has changed our efforts to go after terrorists, and nothing will change those efforts," Panetta said in response to questions about CIA missile attacks, launched from unmanned Predator aircraft. Although he refused to discuss details of the attacks -- and the CIA will not confirm publicly that it is behind the strikes -- Panetta said that the efforts begun under President George W. Bush to destabilize al-Qaeda and destroy its leadership "have been successful."

"I don't think we can stop just at the effort to try to disrupt them. I think it has to be a continuing effort, because they aren't going to stop," Panetta said in his first news briefing since taking the job. The CIA has launched about three dozen Predator strikes in Pakistan since late last summer, two of them during the Obama administration.


This is a rare encouraging sign on the new administration's war effort. I think the attacks should be expanded to hit all Taliban units. They have said they are at war with us and we should return fire. One of the mistakes the Democrats made under the Clinton administration was ignoring Osama bin Laden's declaration of war. We should target all Taliban leaders and fighting units.


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