Lifting the veil on conflict, culture and politics
The CIA is using smaller, advanced missiles – some of them no longer than a violin-case – to target militants in Pakistan’s tribal belt, according to the Washington Post.
The idea is to limit civilian casualties, the newspaper said quoting defence officials, after months of deadly missile strikes by unmanned Predator aircraft that has so burned Pakistan both in terms of the actual collateral damage and its sense of loss of sovereignty.
With the new missiles you are talking of precision unsurpassed in the history of warfare, U.S. officials say. Last month, a small CIA missile, weighing about 35 pounds, tore through the second floor of a house in Miram Shah, a town in South Waziristan.
The projectile exploded, killing a top al-Qaeda official and about nine other suspected terrorists, the newspaper said. The mud-brick house collapsed and the roof of a neighbouring house was damaged, but no one else in the town of 5,000 was hurt, according to U.S. officials who have reviewed after-action reports.
The people of Kandahar province have greater trust in the Taliban than in the local government and an overwhelming majority consider them to be our “Afghan brothers” according to a poll commissioned by the U.S. army ahead of an impending offensive in the Taliban’s spiritual capital.