Thursday, January 14, 2009
As the US military becomes more confident in the effectiveness of its military gadgets, opening future wars may become more tempting with devastating long-term consequences.
Someday in the near future, soldiers will no longer have to risk life and limb booting down village doors in search of the enemy. Instead, unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV), “smart bombs” and mindless drones will be called in from some faraway command and control center, indiscriminately unleashing a deadly barrage of missiles at their target, before buzzing back to Camp Bravo without so much as a scratch.
In fact, it’s already happening.
Just this week, for example, Pakistani officials said “suspected” US missiles killed at least 10 “suspected” militants in the country’s North Waziristan tribal region, AP reported. That’s a lot of “suspected” activity for just one sentence.
The UAV attack, which hit a camp that had been formerly used as a religious school, is the eighth such missile strike in the volatile Afghan-Pakistan border zone in the last two weeks.
Since the start of the year, the US military has dramatically escalated its use of drone missile strikes in Pakistan, and this action, which occasionally leaves behind a trail of dead civilians, has sparked a backlash in the country.
The following is from an Associated Press news report, dated January 14:
“We have become used to the drone attacks, but now people are scared as they are coming every night,” said Israr Khan Dawar, a 17-year-old student in Mir Ali, a town in the militant-riddled North Waziristan region.
“More noise means they are flying lower, and that means an attack is more likely,” he added.
A UN investigator said the surge added to the need for the cloak of secrecy to be lifted from the CIA-run program, which has killed civilians as well as insurgents. Critics say the program does more harm than good because it fans anti-US sentiment and anger at Pakistan’s own government.
Full story here.