Best news in a long time

Predator drones making life miserable for Taliban, Al Qaeda.

The strikes have cast a pall of fear over an area that was once a free zone for Al Qaeda and the Taliban, forcing militants to abandon satellite phones and large gatherings in favor of communicating by courier and moving stealthily in small groups, they said.

The drones, operated by the C.I.A., fly overhead sometimes four at a time, emitting a beelike hum virtually 24 hours a day, observing and tracking targets, then unleashing missiles on their quarry, they said.

The strikes have sharpened tensions between the local tribesmen and the militants, who have dumped bodies with signs accusing the victims of being American spies in Miram Shah, the main town in North Waziristan, they said.

The impact of the drone strikes on the militants’ operations — on freedom of movement, ability to communicate and the ease of importing new recruits to replace those who have been killed — has been difficult to divine because North Waziristan, at the nether reaches of the tribal area, is virtually sealed from the outside world.

None of those interviewed would allow their names to be used for fear for their safety, and all were interviewed separately in a city outside the tribal areas. The supporters of the government worked in positions where they had access to information about the effects of the drone campaign.

Along with that of the militant, the accounts provided a rare window on how the drones have transformed life for all in the region.

9 Comments

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9 responses to “Best news in a long time

  1. Anonymous

    Fine. The more of these bastards we kill the better, as far as i’m concerned.

    But what happens when we leave? Or can we ever leave? Whatever happened to an “exit plan?”

    More than anything, I want our guys out of that hell-hole. Our government is giving us no indication of when or if that will ever happen.

    • That’s what I found so fascinating about the interview I heard yesterday with George Friedman (which I linked to) – his point was that we don’t necessarily have to “win” a war. The idea is to disrupt threats to our hegemony and prevent groups with interests adverse to our own from growing. Because you’re right – when we leave, all hell will break loose again but in Freidman’s view, that’s fine, so long as we accomplish what we want to now.

  2. gideon fountain

    Say, does Attorney General Jeffrey Holder know about these drone attacks? Do the drone operators read these guys their Miranda-rights on a speaker-phone P/A system, just before releasing the hell-fires? What is this, a war?? What happened to “innocent until proven guilty”, dammit!

  3. FlyAngler

    Gideon:

    The legal aspect of the drone war has been discussed widely on mil-blogger sites. The issue of due process is a real one and some have suggested that the complications of taking prisoners in the field (dropping a SpecOps team into unfriendly territory) and then incarcerating them (Gitmo, other country, etc.) may actually make the use of drones more likely.

    See some of the challenges discussed in this article:

    http://www.esquire.com/features/unmanned-aircraft-1109

  4. FlyAngler

    Chris:

    That the NY Grimes was able to find this story shows that even a blind dog can find the occaisional bone. The drone wars have been long followed by Bill Rogio at The Long War Journal, a great mil-blog dedicated to following the war against extreme jihad. A great round up of the metrics of the drone activity in Pakistan can be found here:

    http://www.longwarjournal.org/pakistan-strikes.php

    One thing worth noting, the increase in drone attacks under President Obama coincided with the attack that killed several CIA operatives in Afghanistan. Whatever the ethics of drones, someone got the WH to approve a much more active (and productive) role for drones after that attack.

  5. Hiram

    To Gideon Fountain, the unesteemed Attorney General’s name is Eric Holder. Geoffrey Holder can be seen advertising 7-Up at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3tAiEFhNHZk

  6. Priapus

    Havea nice day, you Muzzie freaks.

  7. Priapus

    Havea nice day, you Muzzie freaks. Why don’t you just go stone a woman instead.

  8. GWChase

    Well, here we go again – find a weapon that works and then decide we don’t want to use it cause it’s not fair to the other guys. Guess it’s better to have more casualties. The role of the drones is similar to that of the blimps in WW2. Long range, great loiter time, and a very capable payload.
    GW