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October 28, 2008

US expanding cross-border attacks; next up Iran?

After cross-border air and ground incursions into Pakistan earlier this year, which were reportedly authorised by an executive order signed in July, U.S. Special Forces/CIA raided a village compound 5 miles into Syrian territory late last week.  Ostensibly, they were in the search of high-value terrorists, but the daring cross-border operation killed several civilians including women and children, and it is still unclear if any al-Qai’da members are among the dead.
The assault might be an escalation of an announced strategy to widen the scope of operations in the region in search of “high-value al-Qai’da operatives previously beyond” the reach of U.S. forces. Similar to “pre-emptive strikes,” these cross-border operations undermine central concepts in international law, especially state sovereignty.
And this is particularly relevant to the Iranian-American community. Why? In the context of escalated ‘covert operations’ inside Iran (carried out by the CIA, in collaboration with radical Iranian militants), and Congress’ designation of the Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC) as a ‘terrorist entity’, there’s a chance the Bush administration might see an opportunity to challenge Iranian sovereignty, too.
Let’s just hope that President Bush doesn’t try to salvage his legacy by initiating a third war in eight years; after all, the ‘third time’s a charm’.

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