The PJ Tatler

Strategy Page: US had a huge military force ready to attack if Pakistan intervened in the bin Laden raid

I’d say this lends weight to the idea that Pakistan really didn’t know the SEALs were coming to get Osama: The US had assembled a war force to deal with things if the Pakistanis or elements of the Pakistani military/ISI found out about the raid and chose poorly in response to it.

The extent of those consequences have since been pieced together, from unclassified information. By May 2nd, the U.S. had assembled a huge naval and air force in the region, that was pointed at Pakistan. This force would attack any Pakistani troops or warplanes that went after the U.S. forces in the bin Laden compound, or who might be able to do so. The U.S. had assembled three aircraft carriers, hundreds of air force aircraft in Afghanistan and the Persian Gulf, and dozens of helicopters, and thousands of troops, in Afghanistan. Most of these troops didn’t know what they were alerted for. Such alerts happen all the time, often for no reason (as far as the troops are concerned.) But this time, as word of the bin Laden raid got out, it became obvious (at least to those who know how these things work) that the alerts throughout the region were to prepare for the possible need to quickly get the American raiders out, and destroy any Pakistani forces that sought to interfere.

So on May 2, the US might have gone to war with Pakistan. As it stands right now, we seem to be entering a kind of cold war with them.