Pakistan: Now or Never?
Perspectives on Pakistan
Last week, the Pakistan Army said it had recovered the wreckage of an unmanned aerial vehicle in the South Waziristan region, but it didn’t identify the aircraft.
The United States military, which has stepped up flights of the Predator, its main unmanned aerial vehicle, on the Afghan-Pakistan border and into Pakistan in recent months, said none of its planes had gone down inside Pakistan. One of its aerial vehicles had crashed but that was in Afghanistan, about 60 miles west of the Pakistani border and U.S. forces had immediately recovered the aircraft.
So whose unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) was it that the Pakistan military found and why have they not revealed its identity? Tribesmen earlier said they had brought down the plane with fire, but the Pakistan military said there weren’t any bullet marks and it appeared to have crashed because of mechanical failure.
If it was a Predator and this is by no means certain, then you can narrow down the list to a small group of countriies. Predator-maker General Atomics Aeronautical Systems Inc. names the Italian Air Force, the Turkish army and the Royal Air Force (RAF) as customers of the Predator family of unmanned spy planes, besides the United States. All three have forces in Afghanistan but so far none has been known to fly missions into Pakistan.