As long as the ideology underlying the Taliban’s existence — Islamic jihad — is not addressed forthrightly (in Pakistan and in the West), there will be plenty of others to fill Mehsud’s position. What one can hope for from such a single strike will come from evidence gathered, and the temporary disruption and disorientation of the Taliban in the area. “U.S. Official: ‘Strong Indications’ Pakistani Taliban Leader Baitullah Mehsud is Dead,” by Martha Raddatz, George Stephanopolous, and Nick Schifrin for ABCNews, August 6:
“There is strong indication” that Pakistani Taliban leader Baitullah Mehsud was killed in a CIA drone strike that targeted his second father-in-law’s house Wednesday, a senior administration official told ABC News.
“Efforts are underway to determine for certain whether it was Mehsud, but there are hopes that it is him,” the official said.
A Pakistani official confirmed the report but said they are awaiting 100 percent confirmation from DNA tests.
U.S. officials say they do not have physical evidence yet, but there are “indicators.” They hope to obtain, but will not necessarily rely on DNA tests.
The missile attack is also said to have killed at least three people, and Mehsud’s second wife is thought by U.S. and Pakistani officials to be among them.
Mehsud’s network is based in the remote region of South Waziristan in northwest Pakistan, where the Pakistani army has little control and the Taliban and senior members of al Qaeda consider a stronghold….