Pakistani jets started to bomb the militant hideouts on Monday, January 20.
Islamabad’s share of Washington’s anti-al-Qaeda-type-organization drone program seems to have been premised on the idea that it was the least the west could do in its efforts to diminish the plans of its deeply anti-western and devolutional old enemy.
While drone strikes would take innocents along with targets, they impact would be much, much less than that of any other war fighting method beyond the unfeasible one of sending out a Frontier Corps posse to collect a villain.
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The purpose of this database is to provide as much information as possible about the covert U.S. drone program in Pakistan in the absence of any such transparency on the part of the American government. This data was collected from credible news reports and is presented here with the relevant sources. It was updated with information from the latest Pakistan strike, which occurred on December 25, 2013.
Drone Wars Pakistan: Analysis | The National Security Program – updated to 12/25/2013.
The above cited New America Foundation report notes a steep decline in drone strikes in Pakistan over the past four years, with about 125 operations launched in 2010 and fewer than about 30 in 2013.
The Top Story piece, with which this blog post has started, notes a part of the run-up to Pakistan’s deployment of air power in North Waziristan: “Pakistani officials say that some of those killed were involved in a January 19 attack on the country’s paramilitary troops in the northwestern city of Bannu, and a double suicide bombing on a Peshawar church in September last year, which killed more than 80 people.”
As such, the emerging war would seem to contain two dimensions of interest to most Pakistanis: reprisal for the deaths of innocents; defense and suppression of a force that would commit similar crimes repeatedly until it exclusively held the nation in subjugation.
Compared to this week’s developments, Washington’s drone war — a war vociferously criticized from the Far Left, and claimed it contribute to the growth in ranks of terrorists — starts to look in conflict terms like “lowest intensity conflict” (probably, mafia activity goes lower, but, bear with me, here are some headers from this week’s war in Pakistan):
Blast kills 20 soldiers in Pakistan, military says – World News – NBC – 1/19/2014; At least 13 killed, 24 hurt in bomb blast near Pakistan army HQ – World News – 1/19-20/2014 (the event appears to have taken place Monday morning in Pakistan but the story published in the west Sunday evening); More than 20 dead in Shi’ite pilgrim bus bomb in Pakistan | euronews, world news – 1/21/2014; Pakistan bombing is latest in wave of attacks on polio workers – latimes.com – 1/22/2014; Six Pakistani police officers are shot dead protecting Spanish cyclist | World news | theguardian.com – 1/22/2014.
What sovereign government charged with defending its people and the guests of its people would not rise to the occasion?
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Since May, F-16 multirole fighter jets have flown more than 300 combat missions against militants in the Swat Valley and more than 100 missions in South Waziristan, attacking mountain hide-outs, training centers and ammunition depots, Pakistani military officials said.
Pakistan has a problem even as its military prowess improves: it may dampen the brush fires set by the Taliban, but it would seem constitutionally incapable of removing either the motivating variables, however we may parse them, or the intellectual component and cover from which the Taliban design their strategy and tactics.
Instead of solving a security problem, flying jets against caves merely cycles it down to where it may simmer, bubble, and boil over again. Mix metaphors and call that a Sysiphean Hell. The Taliban roll out their program; the state rolls it back; the Taliban regroup, revive, and the state has to fuel its jets again for strikes within its own writ.
Top Taliban leader Asmatullah Shaheen Bhittani, who briefly headed the Tehreek e Taliban Pakistan after the death of Hakimullah Mehsud last November, 33 Uzbek nationals and three Germans, were among those killed in the night- long air strikes in North Waziristan Agency since Monday.
Islamabad will have to do more than remove immediate radical targets from the field as it seeks to secure the safety of the state’s woefully victimized and terrorized constituents.
Voice of a native son: Drones may be a necessary evil – 10/15/2012.
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