The Sound of Terror: Phenomenology of a Drone Strike
Opponents of drone strikes say they violate international law and have caused unacknowledged civilian deaths. Proponents insist they actually save the lives of both U.S. soldiers, who would otherwise be deployed in dangerous ground operations, and of civilians, because of the drone’s capacity to survey and strike more precisely than combat. If the alternative is a prolonged and messy ground operation, the advantage of drone strikes in terms of casualties is indisputable, and it is not my intention to dispute it here.
But the terms of this debate give a one-sided view of both the larger financial and political costs of drones, as well as the less than lethal but nonetheless chronic and intense harm continuous strikes wage on communities. [more inside]
Inside the Nanga Parbat Murders
— One of the worst massacres in mountaineering history happened this summer in Pakistan. Will it happen again?
from Outside Online
, July 30, 2013 (more details in Climbers Recount Murder on Famous Pakistan Peak
at National Geographic
and Chilling Accounts of Nanga Parbat Massacre
). One Pakistani Taliban
group claimed the attack was retribution for a U.S. drone strike that killed Wali-ur-Rehman
on May 29, 2013. After a dangerous investigation
by Pakistani Army forces and local police, 20 perpetrators
by August 19, 2013.
The Permanent War
(video). "This project, based on interviews with dozens of current and former national security officials, intelligence analysts and others, examines evolving U.S. counterterrorism policies and the practice of targeted killing." Part 1: Plan for hunting terrorists signals U.S. intends to keep adding names to kill lists.
Part 2: A CIA veteran transforms U.S. counterterrorism policy.
Part 3: Remote U.S. base at core of secret operations. [more inside]
Living Under Drones: Death, Injury and Trauma to Civilians From US Drone Practices in Pakistan.
An extensive new study
(PDF) by human rights lawyers from Stanford and NYU
examines the impact of drone strikes on civilians in Pakistan, including the strategic effectiveness
of the policy as well as the psychological impact
on those living in constant fear
that they might come under attack. [Via]
was one of the deadliest
months in Afghanistan, for both civilians
and soldiers. The death toll was increased by so-called 'green-on-blue'
attacks by members of the Afghan National Army
forces on ISAF and US
forces. [more inside]
"Hundreds of Kashmiri militants who left home as young men two decades ago have begun to return, middle-aged and disillusioned. What happens to them now?
"What's that buzzing sound?" Foreign Policy's
third annual War Issue focuses on what it calls "Barack Obama's Secret Wars," including My Drone War
, in which a Pakistani journalist for Newsday
and the NYT
describes what drone warfare looks and sounds like from the ground; The Obama Doctrine
, which argues drone warfare is a failing strategy in both Yemen and Pakistan; The Evolution of Drone Warfare: A Photo History, 1917-2010
, and more
. The package also includes two takes on cyberwar - Cyberwar is still more hype than hazard
and Cyberwar Is Already Upon Us
- along with a lot of interesting links
The Pakistanis Have A Point: Sure they can be infuriating, not to mention duplicitous, paranoid and self-pitying. But you try being a U.S. ally.
-Bill Keller, NYTimes Magazine [more inside]
Secrecy defines Obama’s drone war.
"Since September, at least 60 people have died in 14 reported CIA drone strikes in Pakistan’s tribal regions. The Obama administration has named only one of the dead, hailing the elimination of Janbaz Zadran, a top official in the Haqqani insurgent network, as a counterterrorism victory. The identities of the rest remain classified, as does the existence of the drone program itself. Because the names of the dead and the threat they were believed to pose are secret, it is impossible for anyone without access to U.S. intelligence to assess whether the deaths were justified." [more inside]
Mohammed el Gorani, the youngest prisoner held at Guantánamo, has written a memoir
of his time there, the lead up to his imprisonment, and subsequent release years later.
The Ally From Hell.
"Pakistan lies. It hosted Osama bin Laden (knowingly or not). Its government is barely functional. It hates the democracy next door. It is home to both radical jihadists and a large and growing nuclear arsenal (which it fears the U.S. will seize). Its intelligence service sponsors terrorists who attack American troops. With a friend like this, who needs enemies?" [Via]
Why Development Aid won't solve Radicalism
"The data revealed four findings
that undermine common wisdom about support for militancy in Pakistan...Overall, the findings suggest that arguments tying support for militancy to individuals’ socioeconomic status -- and the policy recommendations that often flow from this assumption -- require substantial revision."
"After Navy SEALs killed Osama bin Laden, the White House released a photo of President Barack Obama and his Cabinet inside the Situation Room, watching the daring raid unfold. Hidden from view, standing just outside the frame of that now-famous photograph was a career CIA analyst
" - The man who hunted Osama bin Laden
"Davis didn’t have time to ponder their motives. The intersection of Jail and Ferozepur roads was packed with cars, bicycles, rickshaws, and pedestrians; the motorcycle pulled around his car and stopped just ahead of it. Shamshad, on the back of the bike, turned. He raised his pistol. He cocked it.
" [Black Ops and Blood Money
It might be instructive to ask ourselves how we would be reacting if Iraqi commandos landed at George W. Bush's compound, assassinated him, and dumped his body in the Atlantic (after proper burial rites, of course). Uncontroversially, he is not a “suspect” but the “decider” who gave the orders to invade Iraq -- that is, to commit the “supreme international crime differing only from other war crimes in that it contains within itself the accumulated evil of the whole” (quoting the Nuremberg Tribunal) for which Nazi criminals were hanged: in Iraq, the hundreds of thousands of deaths, millions of refugees, destruction of much of the country and the national heritage, and the murderous sectarian conflict that has now spread to the rest of the region. Equally uncontroversially, these crimes vastly exceed anything attributed to bin Laden.
There is Much More to Say
by Noam Chomsky.
"This is the retaliation for the killing of Osama bin Laden
" - At least 70 Killed at military training centre in North-West Pakistan. Pakistan Taliban claim responsibility.
"Uniforms have been stolen in the past for this kind of thing."
An update on the investigation into the Mumbai terrorist attacks of November 2008. (Previously
The Year of the Drone: An Analysis of U.S. Drone Strikes in Pakistan, 2004-2010
(PDF). "Our study shows that the 114 reported drone strikes in northwest Pakistan from 2004 to the present have killed between 830 and 1,210 individuals, of whom around 550 to 850 were described as militants in reliable press accounts, about two-thirds of the total on average. Thus, the true civilian fatality rate since 2004 according to our analysis is approximately 32 percent." [more inside]
Pakistan in Peril.
"The relative calm in Iraq in recent months, combined with the drama of the US elections, has managed to distract attention from the catastrophe that is rapidly overwhelming Western interests in the part of the world that always should have been the focus of America's response to September 11: the al-Qaeda and Taliban heartlands on either side of the border of Afghanistan and Pakistan." [Via]
Right at the Edge.
"The Taliban and Al Qaeda have established a haven in Pakistan’s tribal areas along the Afghan border. This is where the war on terror wil be fought – and possibly lost."
Pakistan’s Phantom Border.
"Pakistan is often called the most dangerous country on earth. Increasingly, its people would agree. Despite nearly $6 billion in U.S. military aid for the border region since 9/11, the Taliban, al-Qaeda, and homegrown terrorist groups have eroded the border with Afghanistan, inflicting a steady toll of suicide bombings. Going where few Westerners dare—from Taliban strongholds to undercover-police headquarters—the author sees what’s tearing the country apart."
The Long War Journal.
Regardless of your politics, the aggregation of info is useful, and the chief blogger doesn't seem to have been mentioned on MeFi before.
The age of horrorism. On the eve of the fifth anniversary of 9/11, Martin Amis analyses - and abhors - the rise of extreme Islamism. In a penetrating and wide-ranging essay he offers a trenchant critique of the grotesque creed and questions the West's faltering response to this eruption of evil.
Innocent Victims in the War on Terror
Macedonian police gunned down seven innocent Pakistani and Indian illegal immigrants, then claimed they were terrorists, in a killing staged to show they were participating in the US-led war on terror. "It was a monstrous fabrication
to get the attention of the international community" (via Halfway Down the Danube
The Protean Enemy
by Jessica Stern
, Foreign Affairs, July/August 2003What accounts for al Qaeda's ongoing effectiveness in the face of an unprecedented onslaught? The answer lies in the organization's remarkably protean nature. Over its life span, al Qaeda has constantly evolved and shown a surprising willingness to adapt its mission. This capacity for change has consistently made the group more appealing to recruits, attracted surprising new allies, and -- most worrisome from a Western perspective -- made it harder to detect and destroy. Unless Washington and its allies show a similar adaptability, the war on terrorism won't be won anytime soon, and the death toll is likely to mount.
Other texts by Jessica Stern: How America Created a Terrorist Haven
, Pakistan's Jihad Culture
, Talking With Terrorists
. Classical Reference: Proteus
al queda and pakistan
an excellent interview supporting an excellent frontline presentation on al queda - is the US winning or losing the war on terrorism?
U.S. Consulate attacked in Karachi, Pakistan.
No one has claimed responsibility for the car bombing that has left 8 dead and another 40+ injured.
Robert Young Pelton, At first the media complains because they're not getting enough information, they're not being allowed to cover the war. Then when they get to know everything, after the 120-day window, nobody cares anymore. Because once they start spelling it out and saying, "Wait a second, these guys are all from Saudi Arabia and Pakistan. Why aren't we fighting a war in Saudi Arabia and Pakistan and Egypt? Why are they our allies?" And then those are the tough questions that never really get asked, because the public doesn't really care at that point.
Is disbelieving major news organization reports a neccessity to get the real
WSJ Reporter Daniel Pearl allegedly killed
I certainly hope the reports aren't true. By placing the international media under seige, the stakes of the "war" against terrorism will rise drastically.
General Musharraf of Pakistan gave an important address re: terrorism and Kashmir yesterday
He also banned 5 extremist groups. It seems have been fairly well received in both India
. Though the extremist sections of Pakistani polity attacked the speech, one hopes that the biggest deployment of troops on the Indo-Pakistan border since the 1971 war days will start to ease up now. (More inside)
Pakistan & Terrorism: The Evidence?
Well, finally a detailed account of what has actually been going on to create this particular mess. Or is it merely a biased indian opinion?
Pakistan Tells US It May Move Troops:
So what happens to the alliance against terrorism, and recalling 4,000 troops, do they seriously think in a war that number would make a difference, or is all of this a ploy to get the US to back Pakistan in the war against India.
Afghanistan Bombing Could Cause AIDS Explosion
Apparently, the war on terrorism and drugs could have a disastrous effect on Pakistan
All this talk of US retaliation is stirring even more waters
in Pakistan's religious instutions: "Now listen, American, and listen well," says Hussain Zaeef, 21. He reads from Page 12 of the manual: " 'Bomb their embassies and vital economic centers.' That's what I will do to you and your country. I will get your children. I will get their playgrounds. I will get their schools, too. I will get all of you."
Well, here we go.
Macau authorities have arrested five Pakistanis of (officially) overstaying their visas. They also may be (again, speaking officially here) robbery suspects. But about halfway down the page, we find this little three-liner:
''According to preliminary investigations, the documents seized [in the arrest] appear to contain instructions to attack American targets in the SAR and Macau in the case of an American attack on Afghanistan,'' the [government] source said.
Tough Times For Pakistan
Please read all the articles. These articles explain in detail what has been going on in Pakistan since the attacks on Tuesday.
Once again my country is facing a tough time to make a decision. To succumb to international pressure and help the BIGGEST bully (US) and in return face the wrath of internal bullies.
Last time Pakistan helped a US cause, we were left alienated to face the problems of Post-Afghan War era.
God Bless Pakistan.