Foreign Policy Blogs

Key Militant Dead ?

Breaking news informs us that Taliban leader Baitullah Mehsud is “believed dead when a drone fired two Hellfire missiles along the Afghan border”. U.S. and Pakistani officials have yet to confirm the reports let alone acknowledge this as a triumph against Tehrik-e-Taliban, the organization Mehsud headed. Pakistani Interior Minister Rehman Malik expressed “cautious optimism” while the White House mentioned “strong indications” that the leader was killed. Tehrik-e-Insaaf under Mehsud’s leadership is said to have terrorized all walks of life in Pakistan with organized suicide bombings that killed soldiers, ISI, police and civilians. According to some estimates, Mehsud maintained command of up to 5,000 fighters (in 2007, before the increased offensive by Pakistani military and ISI forces) and question if obliterating him will be a significant blow to the organization given that a new leader is already in waiting. Also, these events further the debate on weather drone attacks are effective, worth the costs, and should be continued and if so, to what extent in Pakistan.



Zainab Jeewanjee

Zainab Jeewanjee is a graduate of the Denver University's Korbel School of International Service, where she received a Masters of International Relations with a concentration in U.S. Foreign & Security Policy. Her area of focus is U.S. - Pakistan relations and she completed a senior thesis entitled U.S. Foreign Policy to Pakistan: History of of Bilateral Cooperation from Partition Through the Cold War as an undergraduate at Santa Clara University. Zainab is also sales director at Silicon Valley based Follow her on Twitter @Zainyjee