Targeted killings in Pakistan and elsewhere : official U.S. policy now ?

November 2, 2009

One of the things U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton ran into last week during her trip to Pakistan was anger over attacks by unmanned “drone” aircraft inside Pakistan and along the border with Afghanistan.

 One questioner during an interaction with members of the public said the missile strikes by Predator aircraft amounted to “executions without trial” for those killed.  Another asked Clinton to define terrorism and whether she considered the drone attacks to be an act of terrorim like the car bomb that ripped through Peshawar that same week killing more than 100 people.

The people of Pakistan aren’t the only ones asking that question.  A top UN rights expert has swung the attention back on the drone programme, saying that the United States may be violating international law with the missile strikes.

Philip Aston, the Special Rapporteur on extradjudicial, summary or arbitary executions, said there could be circumstances under which the use of such techniques could be justified in international law, but Washington would have to show it followed appropriate precautions and accountability mechanisms.

The United States will have to be more upfront about its Predator war. “Otherwise you have the really problematic bottom line, which is that the Central Intelligence Agency is running a programme that is killing a significant number of people, and there is absolutely no accountability in terms of the relevant international law.”

There is little doubt now that targeted killing is official U.S. policy,  Jane Meyer argues in a detailed piece for the New Yorker.  What is worrying is that the embrace of the Predator programme has occurred with remarkably little public discussion, given that it represents a radically new and geographically unbounded use of state-sanctioned lethal force. “And because of the CIA program’s secrecy, there is no visible system of accountability in place, despite the fact that the agency has killed many civilians inside a politically fragile nuclear-armed country with which the U.S. is not at war,” Meyer writes.The drone programme, for all its successes, has stirred deep ethical concerns. Meyers quotes Michael Walzer, a political philosopher and author of the book “Just and Unjust Wars” that he is unsettled by the notion of an intelligence agency wielding such lethal power in secret. “Under what code does the CIA operate ?” he asks. “I don’t know. The military operates under a legal code, and it has judicial mechanisms. ”

He said of the CIA’s drone programe, “there should be a limited, finite group of people who are targets , and that list should be publicly defensible and available. Instead, it’s not being publicy defended. People are being killed, and we generally require some public justification when we go about killing people.”

The article is worth reading in full, but here some other parts that I found interesting :

- It took the CIA 16 missile strikes and 14 months before it killed Baitullah Mehsud, the leader of the Pakistan Taliban. During this hunt, between 207 and 321 additional people were killed, depending on which news accounts you rely upon.

-  During his first nine and half months in office, President Barack Obama has authorised as many CIA aerial attacks in Pakistan as George W. Bush did in his final three years, according to a study done by the New America Foundation. So far this year, the administration has sanctioned at least 41 CIA missile strikes inside Pakistan – a rate of approximately one bombing a week.

- At any given moment, the CIA has multiple drones flying over Pakistan, scounting for targets, according to a White House counter-terrorism official. There are actually so many drones in the area that sometimes arguments have broken out over which remote operators can claim which targets, provoking “command and control issues.”

- Only six of the 41 CIA drone strikes conducted by the Obama administration in Pakistan have targeted al Qaeda members. Eighteen were directed at Taliban targets in Pakistan and 15 were aimed specifically at Mehsud.  The tactical shift in the U.S. strikes has quieted some of the Pakistani criticism of the air strikes, although the bombings are still seen as undermining the country’s sovereignty.

Comments

What’s the alternative? Should we ask the Pakistanis to arrest these individuals and try them or extradite them?

’cause that’s worked so well in the past, right? Obama can just dial up Zardari and the Pakistani will rush out and grab Mullah Omar and put him on trial.

Posted by Keith | Report as abusive
 

Using terrorism as a proxy weapon against other countries itself is a violation of international law. Pakistan has been doing it for more than 20 years now in Indian soil. I do not understand why they are complaining about drone attacks that kill mostly known criminals when Pakistan trained militants go and kill hundreds of innocents in India. Shouldn’t they be fair? Why is a Pakistani life more precious than that of others?

 

The fact that US drones operate from within Pakistan, the fact that Pakistani government is aware of this… it is an implicit approval of US drone attacks. If Pakistan, wanted to stress its soverignity, it would have shut down the drones program operating from bases within its country. Calling them targetted killings is different than calling those strikes terrorism. It is akin to stating that a thief stealing from a thief is a bigger thief. I would call him Robin Hood.

Posted by Jerry | Report as abusive
 

Didn’t we get Baitullah Mehsud & other wanted terrorists due to these ‘target killings’? What other alternative do we have? Depend on the Pakistanis, who are still clearly shielding the likes of Mullah Omar & other Al Qaeda operatives? As Hillary bluntly & clearly stated in Pakistan, it’s almost impossible to trust & know what the Pakistanis are up to.

Posted by Mortal | Report as abusive
 

Pakistan created the Taliban, provided logistics, weapons, training and support to capture most of Afghanistan and literally ruled Afghanistan by proxy. Taliban ruled Afghanistan was going to give them a lot of “strategic depth.” One should ask which international law that Pakistan followed at that time. Pakistani military personnel were involved up to their necks inside Afghanistan, all the way up to the US bombing of Afghanistan in 2002. In fact close to 800 Pakistani military personnel and several militants were air lifted from Afghanistan as per Musharraf’s understanding with the US.

The Drone only knocked out Baitulla Mehsud. Does anyone think Pakistan would have finished him off? If they are so concerned about the soveriegnty of a nation, ask them what their militants were doing inside India and how Azad Kashmir is still under their rule.

 

What sovereignty? President Zardari calls these terrorists “non-state actors”. So definitely, state of Pakistan shouldn’t be worried about non-state matters.

Rather Pakistanis should plan how to spend the billions US aid!

Posted by Andy | Report as abusive
 

I think the Pakistanis can stop these drone attacks within 24 hrs if their govt. wants to. Just tell the US to stop operating from their territory. These are being undertaken with their active connivance, all the protestations of innocence are typical govt. double speak and intrigue against its own people.

The bigger question this article raises is what Colin Powell once famously referred to as ‘collateral damage’. The dividing line there between right and wrong is too thin to walk and needs much more analysis.

It is indeed politically correct to talk of killing innocent civilians as a genuine concern. On the other side of the coin though one can ask, as Hillary Clinton just did, why are criminals and terrorists roaming around freely in these areas? Isn’t it with total local official and civilian connivance? So while killing innocents is seen as criminal what about those that shelter criminals and proclaim innocence?

 

There’s a simple way to get around the Human Rights concerns. Declare the FATA a warzone. At that point US forces will not be obligated to arrest or detain someone anymore. They can then take out targets with due consideration to collateral damage. That way if civilians die because the militants hid among them, it’s the fault of the militants not the fault of US forces.

ps. It’s idiotic legal frameworks like this (where the rights of terrorists matter more than the rights of their victims) that makes the US sceptical about international forums like the UN and the World Court.

Posted by Keith | Report as abusive
 

“President Barack Obama has authorised as many CIA aerial attacks in Pakistan as George W. Bush did in his final three years”

and he gets the Nobel peace price for this?
CIA should stop being counter terrorism Air Force in the region. The Pakistani government should decide if it wants to assert its sovereignty in what way. Even if it means Pakistani interceptors shoot down the drones out of the sky do it. Unless the CIA is kicked out of the region nothing will improve. In my view both Al-Qaeda and CIA are two sides of the same coin. What they have done is turned Pakistan into a battleground of their war. Time to get done with this drone thing.

What other laws did US abide by? the torture camps in Guantanamo and Abu Ghraib prison abuses should be accounted for. How many US servicemen faced war crimes in the Hague? instead Nobel peace prizes are being showered upon their commander in chief. And this nation calls itself the most civilized nation of the world.

Posted by Umair | Report as abusive
 

Looking at the past week, one can see how resilient Pakistanis have become. Suffering numerous suicide bomb attacks and wide-spread military action, we are here yet again, still standing. But how long can we sustain ourselves at this current rate of demolition? How many times will we resist smacking the hammer on our own foot? Nowadays we seem to have become the offspring of Glenn Beck and the Republican Party. With a constant denial of the harsh reality and a love for misconstruing and fabricating baseless facts that just aim to maim the United States, we seem to be struggling. And when we struggle, we play the role of a secluded, spoilt child.

http://ahraza.wordpress.com/2009/11/03/t he-heart-desires-more/

 

Sorry, I have to post this story:

Bear kills militants in Kashmir (BBC news)
A bear killed two militants after discovering them in its den in Indian-administered Kashmir.

Even the animals are killing terrorists who trespass into their den.
Maybe this bear can hunt for Osama Bin Laden.

Posted by bulletfish | Report as abusive
 

AHR,

You are right. There’s not much difference actually between Fox News and a lot of the Pakistani press. Same deluded paranoia. Just a different audience.

Umair,

Protecting your sovereignty consists of a lot more than just phyical defence of territory from foreign drones. You want your sovereignty? How about developing your country so that you don’t need foreign aid. And how about actually enforcing your sovereignty on the ground in places like the FATA so that they aren’t breeding terrorists to harm the rest of the world.

If you don’t take care of our security interests in your backyard, don’t expect us (the west) to sitback and take it. The last time we trusted you to take care of business, we got 9/11, 7/11, Bali, etc. And then you turned around and blamed us. It was apparently our fault because we ‘abandoned’ the region after the Soviet Jihad. Well, you got your wish. We’re here to stay for awhile now. As long as Pakistan is Jihad Central, you can’t count on western forces being in your region and your country, operating overtly or covertly. The day you crack down on terrorism sincerely (as in without distinguishing between ‘good’ and ‘bad’ terrorists) is the day the foreigners will leave.

Posted by Keith | Report as abusive
 

If we actually wanted to win the war on terrorism we would take out Pakistans government and sieze their nukes while using B-52′s to reduce the mountains to rubble. Ditto in Iran. Let the Saudi’s know that if they don’t turn over all the Wahhabi Imams that we will no longer pay for their oil we will come and take it. Let the rest of the world wail about human rights, they have done nothing to stop the real murderers. Yes we can!

Posted by worddust | Report as abusive
 

@ AHR: Well said. Introspection is much needed in Pakistan.

@ Umair: It’s quite amusing when you talk about your military taking on the US & your interceptors shooting down the drones. I don’t think you’re that naive but you do seem to get carried away a lot.
Anyways, you guys didn’t care about your ‘sovereignty’ for decades, when NWFP & FATA was a lawless area ruled by thugs, criminals and was the hotbed for terror outfits training & planning terror plots but now when an attempt is being made to clean it up, you start screaming ‘breach of our sovereignty’. Your establishment needs to look up that word in the dictionary cuz’ I doubt that anybody really knows it’s meaning.
If an individual is sick with a fatal virus & refuses to get treated for it, nobody cares as long as that virus is non-infectious but if the virus is indeed infectious & endangers everyone, others will do whatever is necessary to get rid of the virus, whether the sick individual likes it or not. What the world thought to be non-infectious, was proven otherwise on 9/11 & hence it will be cleaned up whether you like it or not.

Posted by Mortal | Report as abusive
 

Keith you said:

“It was apparently our fault because we ‘abandoned’ the region after the Soviet Jihad. Well, you got your wish. We’re here to stay for awhile now.”

–>This is the funny statement. Pakistani’s like Umair and Mohammed Anjum keep blaming the soviet occupation and the U.S. for leaving, as the reason for terrorism. Now that NATO and the U.S. are there in Afghanistan, to actually cleanup their old mess, the Pakistani’s don’t want them there. If they were to perhaps leave again, the Paks will just simply turn around and point at the west…”see you left again”.

Mr. Pakistani, please speak coherently, do you want the west to stay or not? You can’t blame the west again and in the same breath say you want them to leave Afghanistan.

Umair and Anjum say both opposing things in the same breath. I don’t think Pakistani’s know what kind of Pakistan they want.

Posted by GW | Report as abusive
 

“If we actually wanted to win the war on terrorism we would take out Pakistans government and sieze their nukes while using B-52’s to reduce the mountains to rubble. Ditto in Iran. Let the Saudi’s know that if they don’t turn over all the Wahhabi Imams that we will no longer pay for their oil we will come and take it. Let the rest of the world wail about human rights, they have done nothing to stop the real murderers. Yes we can!
- Posted by worddust ”

–>Mr. Worddust….you will get no dissagreements on this post.

Posted by GW | Report as abusive
 

worddust writes: “If we actually wanted to win the war on terrorism we would take out Pakistans government and sieze their nukes while using B-52’s to reduce the mountains to rubble. Ditto in Iran.”

Slowly I see people are beginning to voice the same thing I have been saying. The events in the region are leading to that viewpoint. The real enemy is the Pakistani military. It is just that it is sitting on the legal side, while engaging mostly in activities that are considered illegal by international norms. It is not Pakistan the nation that is to blame. Pakistan, the nation has no nukes or terrorists. It is the Military that has them all and it has Pakistan in its hands. People should learn to make this distinction clear. How can a country do without a military? So this military has grown like a parasite from within that is eaten up the very root of the whole nation. The remedy is in breaking up this military. Let me list the reasons here.

1. It never allowed democracy to take roots in Pakistan by frequently staging coups and creating conditions ripe for such actions.

2. It never allowed the nation to progress while it held power. Instead it engaged in conflicts, local and global to project the image that it is fighting on behalf of its citizens.

3. It created terror networks to engage a bigger nation, knowing very well that these ventures are very expensive and will bleed Pakistan off its financial resources.

4. It has willingly participated in global super power conflicts to gain favors – the US turned a blind eye on its nuclear bomb development, it got weapons and training way beyond its needs, CIA trained its ISI, and money poured in from Western nations so long as Pakistani military placed itself in the convinient spot.

5. It injected Islamic radicalism into the military and the country as a whole that turned anyone who is not an orthodox Sunni Muslim into a heretic whose life is expendable.

6. It has taken most of the country’s budget allocations to buy lands, run factories and even invest in finances.

In all, a military has been doing what a business conglomerate would do. Pakistani military is run like a private army that holds a region hostage for its sustenance. It needs continued conflicts in the region to keep going.

To bring peace to this region, the US and its allies have to stop dancing around and do the right thing. Al Qaeda cut into Pakistani military’s ambitious regional plans in Afghanistan. Taliban was Pakistani military’s creation. But Al Qaeda took the cake and used it for its global objectives. That is one reason why Pakistani military has eagerly worked with the US in fishing out Al Qaeda terrorists, while it has kept most of the local terrorist groups like the LeT, HuJ, JuD, and even the Afghan Taliban untouched. Pakistani military, Al Qaeda and Taliban formed a love triangle.

It is time Obama made the right call. Blast this military monster out. Until it happens, there will be no peace in the region. Most Pakistanis have fallen victim to the propaganda and control of this military. Peace will return only when the right call is made. Bush missed that chance in 2001. He should never have made a deal with this evil monster.

 

Agha Haider Raza:
You are spot on. But would your countrymen listen to your simple Mantra of looking inside, not outside?
________________________________________ ________
Umair:
@CIA should stop being counter terrorism Air Force in the region. The Pakistani government should decide if it wants to assert its sovereignty in what way. Even if it means Pakistani interceptors shoot down the drones out of the sky do it. Unless the CIA is kicked out of the region nothing will improve.”

–But wasn’t CIA totally absent in this region for good 12 yrs and had no interference. At that time Pakistan undoubtedly was the “terrorist creator” force. What did Pakistan turn the place into? 100s of hard-to-pronounce terrorist organizations flourished in Afghanistan and Indians and Afghans dying of terrorism. Only Pakistan was peaceful perhaps, the rest of the world slowly but surely started feeling the fall outs of Pakistan’s presence in Afghanistan. CIA is the result of that.
Pakistan can think to intercept drones once Pakistan stops being dependent on US aid. Recently over Kerry-Luggar Bill, a US senator on the relevant committee told directly in the face of a pakistani diplomat that if Pakistan does not like the conditions of K-L bill, Pakistan can say NO to aid. Decision making of Pakistani leaders and generals is heavily constrained by their economic dependence on US. This is not new except for small gaps–US always poured money/aid in Pakistan. Why Pakistan is not independent is because the generals are not economists and do not know how to govern. The day Pakistanis start appreciating the need to have civilian control of Pakistan and self reliance will be the day when CIA or any other outside interference will be absent from here.

@Abh-Gharib: Abu-Gharib was shameful but was nothing when compared to the massacre of 2million of its own country people in E. Pakistan by Pakistani Army in 1971.

Posted by rajeev | Report as abusive
 

Terrorists or not; there must be a way to give public information on who teh targets are and what CIA/Americans are upto!

I don’t understand the west which preaches human rights is criminally absent in the matters concerning countries like Pakistan.

That said, Pakistani’s are beggars, they just need to be feeded with money.

The chinese and islamo arabs have been feeding them money to terrorise India.

The key problem is governance in this islamo radical country! The elite military gets dollars & the poor pakistani is left with an empty stomach!

Posted by Jaan | Report as abusive
 

Quoting Kamran Shafi (Dawn): “The bombing of Peshawar’s Meena Bazaar, a bazaar frequented by women and children, devastated me like nothing else could. These are the Mujahideen fighting the infidel, for God’s sake? Are the godfathers of these yahoos satisfied with their handiwork now that the whole country is aflame, or is there more ‘strategic death’ ahead for us?”

Posted by Mortal | Report as abusive
 

We are at war with al Queda and its leaders. The core of al Queda lives in Pakistan under Taliban protection, just as it did previously in Afghanistan. We invaded Afghanistan after 9/11, and the entire world, other than some Muslims, agree that we had the right to so in order to defend ourselves. Doesn’t that imply that we are also entitled to invade Pakistan in order to destroy the core of al Queda and to kill or capture Osama bin Ladin? The use of Predators may be wrong, but only because it is both ineffective at destroying al Queda and killing bin Ladin, and because it is secretly run by the CIA without a public legal framework. We, do in fact, have every right to use force to kill al Queda personnel, and the Taliban who extend to them a safe harbor, support and friendship, inside of Pakistan. But the use of the CIA to execute such action programs has ALWAYS proved to be fraught with counter-productive consequences. We shouldn’t do it. It would make more sense to send in troops and planes, and let the military get bin Ladin.

Posted by scaupus | Report as abusive
 

@Mauryan: “It is time Obama made the right call. Blast this military monster out. Until it happens, there will be no peace in the region”

Agreed. That’s certainly the right call but it’s going to be a long, hard & tenuous process. Just as the Pakistani military establishment bears a big chunk of the blame for feeding & breeding this monster of terrorism, successive US administrations, over the years bear a big chunk of the blame for feeding & breeding this monster called the Pak military. It’s quite clear that over the years this monster has become so powerful that today it controls the minds & hearts of average Pakistanis through a constant blast of their widespread propaganda machinery. I’ve seen Pakistanis point fingers at everyone & their grandmother but when it comes to their military establishment & their Generals, they just don’t wanna hear a thing. So, it’ll be a tough task to undo the damage done by decades of radicalization & widespread propaganda and to get the Pakistani people to see the true face of their military establishment. Without the support of the Pakistani people, it’ll be difficult to bring about the needed change.

Posted by Mortal | Report as abusive
 

With the amount of collateral damage from drone hits, hiring Blackwater is probably starting to look like a good option. Longer term, if the west has to pull out of the region before there’s peace, there’s always the Clinton option: declare Pakistan a state sponsor of terror and slap on the most draconian sanctions legally possible. The PA would drop off Bin Laden in gitmo in a week.

Posted by Keith | Report as abusive
 

To the person who says, “Pakistan created the Taliban…” You don’t know your history.. America created and supported the Taliban while Afghanistan was at war with Russia.. It has always been an evil terrorist group. But they weren’t considered terrorists when they fought Russia. Once they turned the same evil they were doing against Russia toward America and the West, they became terrorists.. SOUNDS LIKE DOUBLE STANDARD.

And to the person who says “Pakistan is clearly shielding” Mullah Omar or which ever terrorist you want to name, your argument is literally stupid.. If the Pakistani government doesn’t know where the al-Qaeda leaders are, then how are they shielding them?? If I think America, France, Germany, etc. are shielding terrorists because there are obviously al-Qaeda people in the countries, then my argument is flawed, because these countries don’t know who or where they are yet..

Posted by Michael | Report as abusive
 

Guys, whatever…
US keeps giving the tax payers $$$ to Pakistan
Pakistan keep telling on capture of Taliban areas
Taliban keep telling its a trap for Pakistani Army
And
We all keep discussing there here….
Any progress… hmmm increase in the AID$

Posted by sam | Report as abusive
 

I suppose we’d be better off if we just ignore the terrorists. Maybe they will go away.

 

Michael,

The last Soviet tanks left Afghanistan in 1989. Are you telling us that the Taliban today are the same ‘holy warriors’ who claimed to have brought down the USSR 20 years ago?

So men who were fit to fight in 1989 are still physically fit to fight 10 to 20 years later?

If these holy warriors could boot out the Red Army then why could they not collectively ask the USA to help rebuild the country?

Posted by bulletfish | Report as abusive
 

Mortal writes: “it’ll be a tough task to undo the damage done by decades of radicalization & widespread propaganda and to get the Pakistani people to see the true face of their military establishment. Without the support of the Pakistani people, it’ll be difficult to bring about the needed change.”

I think you have not understood the Pakistani mindset. These people have lived at the cross roads where big powers clashed. They have survived those horrendous years by switching their colors to match with those of the victors. Betrayal or backstabbing is the only way to survive there. All are descendants of victims of such conflicts in the past. Shock and awe will really work in their case. Most Pakistanis coming from the non-Pashtun regions are very different in nature. They are used to living off repeating a lie a thousand times. Right now they are reciting the mantra taught by their military because they know where the power is. If Taliban were to take them over entirely, you will find them switch side on the flick of a finger and support Islamic edicts, quick justice etc. If the American fire power decimates their military, you will see them blame that military for all its ills. These are very emotional people and have a tendency to fall apart very quickly if shaken hard. They are way far different from those who make up the FATA and NWFP regions where life has been hard all along. And those people are used to raiding the regions which make up the rest of Pakistan today. If the US and its allies bomb the Pakistani military into submission, trust me they will switch sides immediately. That is the way of survival in that region. They thump their chests loud. But if whacked, they will be singing your favorite songs. It is possible to reset this region.

 

bulletfish,

the fighters will change. the ignorant mentality won’t.. and killing ignorant people doesn’t work and never will..

you want to change people, get them an education.. it won’t work now, but will work in the next 30 years.. read the Book “Three Cups of Tea” and you will see how one man has changed entire societies in Pakistan.

Posted by Michel | Report as abusive
 

With regards to my previos post, if the Afghanistan mission does not succeed, then the UN should declare all NWFP and areas outside of Punjab as war zones, including Balochistan.

As a war zone, the U.S. can greatly increase its reach to destroy actionable targets, without needing permission or red tape.

After the war zones are cleared, it may be time to look at disintegrating these “war zones” away from Pakistan – Punjabistan, so that the U.S. and other western nations can effectively police these areas and the only way to do it is to annex them from Pakistan.

Posted by GW | Report as abusive
 

@With the amount of collateral damage from drone hits, hiring Blackwater is probably starting to look like a good option. Longer term, if the west has to pull out of the region before there’s peace, there’s always the Clinton option: declare Pakistan a state sponsor of terror and slap on the most draconian sanctions legally possible. The PA would drop off Bin Laden in gitmo in a week.
- Posted by Keith

Keith: This option will work only if US is ready to be serious. What you suggested is more like an across the table talk with pakistani establishment than begging them to pick gun against terrorists. Well 8 yrs is a longtime to learn what Pakistan really wants. What is US waiting for? I doubt US has the stomach to do so. It never could and never will because US has the habit of forgiving the criminals. Even if US has to leave in near future without finishing the business, it will come up with a story how Pakistanis have become good boys.

UN is inefficient and US has conflict of interest to honestly take care of the business. What big proof you want than the fact that while the world was supporting US in afghanistan, Bush Inc was thinking about Iraq within a week a after 9/11. Stupids took off to the deserts of Iraq. This gives pakistanis a valid reason to doubt US motives. The end game will tell how serious is Obama admn on this.

Hillary suspects A-Q leadership in pakistan and Pakistan knowing about it. How hard it is to arm twist them to get OBL/Mullah Omar/Jawahiri gang in Gitmo?

Posted by rajeev | Report as abusive
 

Anyone who has objections to drone attacks ought to come up with better solution also. Drones are doing a good job. I have a solution… Unilateral declaration for people not willing to fight and live peacefully gather in specially created camps and then free drone bombing all over places other than camps. Those who then oppose drone attacks should go and try to stop drone missiles in designated free drone bombing areas

Posted by Rohit | Report as abusive
 

Time to start bombing the eastern borders with Indian drones to eliminate the terrorist camps inside pakistan.Give it under the control of RAW let them fire at will as it is Pakistan is as incapable as it has been through out its history to confront India directly in a war.If they provoke this is the last time they’ll fight,because there’ll be no one alive in pakistan to fight next time.

Posted by Sai | Report as abusive
 

Sai writes: “Time to start bombing the eastern borders with Indian drones to eliminate the terrorist camps inside pakistan.Give it under the control of RAW let them fire at will as it is Pakistan is as incapable as it has been through out its history to confront India directly in a war.If they provoke this is the last time they’ll fight,because there’ll be no one alive in pakistan to fight next time.”

This is exactly what Pakistani army wants now. India will be their biggest savior. The US is slowly exposing their hidden face. At a time like this, a war with India will unite all of Pakistan, cause a nuclear war, drive of the US and its allies from this region. They Pakistan will cease to exist. But they will be happy to see that India too won’t exist. It is allright for them to to lose both eyes. But they want India to lose at least one of its eyes. This is the time to show maximum restraint and not fall into the trap they have been laying for us. They have tried with Mumbai attacks and it did not get the desired response from India. So there will be more coming. But India should hold back somehow and resist any temptation to step into the bear trap. If India gets into a war, it will cause so much confusion that Pakistan will use it to manipulate its way out of it. So allow them to fight their own people and self destruct. Do not be tempted to jump in and get a bloody face.

 

Rajeev,

I assure you that the Clinton option is not off the table. There have long been whispers in the hallways of buildings that matter that this is a good option for dealing with Pakistan. And I am willing to bet good money that if the mission in Afghanistan fails, the American attitude towards Pakistan will change overnight (well maybe a few nights till the last western soldier leaves the region). The frank talk from Hilary Clinton was a warning that the US is reaching its breaking point.

Pakistan is quickly reaching a decision point. They can make a sincere effort in the war on terror. And I mean sincere, not the selective war that they fight with some insurgent groups while letting the others go, or they can risk causing NATO’s failure in Afghanistan and becoming a pariah state on par with Ahmadinejad led Iran.

Posted by Keith | Report as abusive
 

Keith:

“I assure you that the Clinton option is not off the table.”

–The best thing will be Pakistan resets its foreign policy so as not to invite US’s wrath. On 1971 blog, there was this feeling from your and Myra’s personal interactions that Pakistani retired army generals feel that terrorism was a bad decision but PA is suspected to continue this even now and Musharraf is well known for his army officers running terrorist camps (some report I saw recently). I hope Kayani reverses this failed foreign policy (or Pak leaders) and rather than saying goody-goody stuff after retirement, he does something about it while in uniform.

Posted by rajeev | Report as abusive
 

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