June 8, 2014


Taliban swapped for Bergdahl could be drone targets, Kerry indicates (Paul Lewis, 6/08/14, theguardian.com)

[K]erry told CNN the men were also being closed monitored by the US, which had "the ability to do things" if the terms of the arrangement with Qatar were violated. Although he did not overtly refer to drone strikes, he said the five men would be liable to be killed by the US if they returned to the ranks of the Taliban.

"I am not telling you they don't have the ability to go back and get involved [in the Afghan conflict]," he said. "But they also have an ability to get killed doing that. I don't think anybody should doubt the capacity of the United States of America to protect Americans."

Asked if that meant the US would kill the men, Kerry replied: "The president has always said he will do whatever is necessary in order to protect the United States of America ... so these guys pick a fight with us in the future, now, or at any time, at enormous risk. We have proven what we are capable of doing with the core al-Qaida in west Pakistan, Afghanistan."

The CIA is believed to have conducted more than 350 drone strikes in Pakistan since 2004, killing hundreds of al-Qaida-aligned fighters.

Meanwhile, the Taliban can do nothing.  Taking power anywhere would just make the targeting easier.

Posted by at June 8, 2014 3:40 PM

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