Scott Horton comments on the new US military actions inside Pakistan:

What’s up? There is one plausible explanation for the latest friction: the Bush Administration has given orders to go all out–helicopter gunships, air strikes, predator drones, and ground-based forces–through the end of the year in an attempt to apprehend or kill Osama bin Laden and other senior Al Qaeda leaders.

Bin Laden and his deputy Ayman Al-Zawahiri have long been understood to be operating in a zone consisting of the Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA) of Northwest Pakistan and the immediately adjacent areas of Afghanistanprecisely where these incidents have occurred. [...]

The Bush Administration is hoping for an “October surprise” that will lift the tides of the Republican candidates just in time for Election Day. That explains why the extraordinary effort is undertaken now, and why the sensitivities of the U.S.-Pakistani relationship are being ignored.

We want to hear what you think about this article. Submit a letter to the editor or write to letters@theatlantic.com.