"The Pakistani Taliban have the capacity to launch bomb attacks, suicide attacks in all the major cities, and against all targets -- the army, the police, business, schools, etc," said Ahmed Rashid, author of "Descent into Chaos: The United States and the Failure of Nation Building in Pakistan, Afghanistan, and Central Asia."
"It's showing the government to be helpless, it's showing up the government's lack of policy, lack of strategy, and it's showing up the army also," Rashid said.
There is a great fear in Pakistan that the United States will become more aggressive in the tribal areas, launching its own major operations where it believes Pakistan's frontier corps is not battling hard enough to defeat the militants along the border.
The attack today came just days after Pakistan announced that during the holy month of Ramadan it would have a moratorium on military actions against militants in another tribal region, Bajour, which is north of South Waziristan.
Habib Khan Wazir, who lives near Angoor Ada, told The Associated Press he heard helicopters, followed by an exchange of fire.
"Later, I saw 15 bodies inside and outside two homes. They had been shot in the head," he said. "There was darkness at the time when the Americans came and killed our innocent people. ... We would have not allowed them to go back alive if they had come to our village in daylight."
Habibullah Khan contributed to this report.