United States is “one major attack” away from unilateral action against Pakistan

NY Times: Grinning for the camera, the suicide bomber fondly patted his truckload of explosives. “We will defeat these crusader pigs as they have invaded our land,” he declared as he revved the engine.

The camera followed the truck to an American base in southern Afghanistan, where it exploded with a tangerine dust-framed fireball that punched a hole in the perimeter wall. Other suicide bombers leapt from a second vehicle and swarmed through the breach. The crackle and boom of violence filled the air.

The video, documenting a June 1 assault on Camp Salerno near the border with Pakistan, was released in the past week as a publicity blitz by the group behind the attack: theHaqqani network, a Taliban affiliate whose leaders shelter in Pakistan.

Even as the United States begins a large-scale troop withdrawal from Afghanistan, the Salerno attack, acknowledged at the time only in terse official statements, and others like it have cemented the Haqqani network’s standing as the most ominous threat to the fragile American-Pakistani relationship, officials from both countries say.

The two countries are just getting back on track, after months of grueling negotiations that finally reopened NATO supply routes through Pakistan. Pakistan’s spy chief, Lt. Gen. Zahir ul-Islam, is scheduled to arrive in Washington this week for talks with the Central Intelligence Agency, in an early sign of a new reconciliation.


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