Monday, December 21, 2009

I Can Safely Predict This Article In The Guardian Will Become The Most Blogged Piece In The Pakistani Blogosphere

A "senior U.S. official" says that American troops have conducted cross-border raids into Pakistani territory well before they were caught with their hand in the cookie jar in September 2008; to be precise, there had been three more between 2003 and 2008.
The military source said that was the fourth raid of previous years. Two of the others targeted Taliban and al-Qaida "high-value targets" near the border, while the third was to rescue a crashed Predator drone. He said that one of the capture raids succeeded, the other failed and the US sent elite soldiers to the downed Predator because they did not trust Pakistani forces. "People were afraid they would take the parts and reverse- engineer its components," he said.

Which is sort of funny, because that's exactly what happened to a drone shot down in September 2008, with the aid of China, if this post on the Insider Brief is to be believed.
December 7th - Insider Brief sources reported that Pakistan had successfully test flown a drone based on U.S. technology. The sources reported that the technology was drawn from a drone shot down in September 2008 and had been secretly shipped to China for study — in line with our expectations from last year — though I’m a little surprised at the gestation period. Reverse engineering a Predator drone and translating those learnings into a prototype in a little over a year seems ambitious, but may have been enabled by Chinese involvement and the fact that Pakistan already has an established UAV industry. The new drone likely has greater endurance, altitude, and range — notable limitations for Pakistani UAV technology in the past. A greater boon would be if the downed Predator drone from last year was a UCAV (capable of firing Hellfire missiles).

Anyway, to recap the article:

1. The U.S. has sent troops across the border without permission on numerous occasions. In most international security contexts, this act is referred to as "war".

2. Neither side trusts each other the slightest bit.

US generals say the army is playing a "double game", turning a blind eye to "Afghan Taliban" sheltering in Balochistan because it considers them strategic assets as part of a wider gambit to check Indian influence in Afghanistan.

The ISI official denied such links and accused the US of "scapegoating" Pakistan for its own failures. "During the past year there has been zilch actionable intelligence about the Quetta shura or Haqqani," he said. "If they are so sure Mullah Omar is in Quetta or Karachi, why don't they tell us where he is?"

3. And finally, the U.S. is now getting uppity about doing its own business in Balochistan:

Until now the US has heeded Pakistani objections to drone strikes in Balochistan. But that could change, if troop casualties mount, a former senior US official warned. "We could get tired and say 'you know what, we are sending in Predators to take out Mullah Omar and his gang in Quetta'. And then we'll see what happens."

"And then we'll see what happens." If ever there was a bumper sticker quote summing up American foreign policy in the post-Cold War age, I think we just found it.


takhalus said...

that last line by the yank sums it up nicely. Realistically is this any surprise, back in 1998 (i think? ) when the US tried to hit UBL, the GoP made a big push to try and get their hands on the drones.

You can say what you want GW Bush but he was willing to give the GoP far more room to manouvere. The Obama admin has shown time and time again they are losing patience with the general mess they have landed in and instead of reflecting on alternatives they are scapegoating.

Anon_for_a_good_reason said...

Do you seriously believe that US is deliberately not providing Pak with intel on Quetta Shura? Isnt it obvious that Pak intel would know more?
I see the same pattern of accusation that "US didnt take out Baittullah Mehsud when Pak had given US intel many times". Why do Pak need US Predator to take out Mehsud when it is in Pak's territory. Pak has plenty of all-weather day/night air-to-ground capability in terms of Cobra gunships armed with laser-homing missiles and PGM capable F-16s. A Pak UAV could lase the target and F-16s could drop a PGM from stand-off distance..No big deal. The Pak publicly asking for Predator is a BIG SCAM since MTCR doesnt allow tech transfer of armed-UAV/cruise/ballistic missiles. Its about time Pak ppl grow grey matter and ask questions to military which is scamming them from everything about bogus military operations,infinite faults of democracy and chasing non-existent enemies..

Anonymous said...

Another news is this:

"The Mumbai pictures of AK is a Bollywood Photoshop,just look at clean stylish cloth,clean floor.......where do you find this ONLY in movies".

Ahmed said...

While drone attacks have resulted in civilian casualties it should be noted that almost all high-profile targets are eliminated through these attacks which would otherwise escape in case of a ground assault .The use of predator drones should be limited on the basis of a calculated risk

Anon_for_a_good_reason said...

Interesting read..
Why Does Pakistan Hate the United States?

Anonymous said...

Jingoistic media...jingoistic reaction from naive bloggers...

Do you friggin' seriously believe these "sources" and "former military officials"? Dont you think the approach/stance of people currently in the job would be a whole lot more nuanced than the type shown in the article? What new does this article add apart from reinforcing stereotypes and conspiracy theories. And most importantly why inflamme ur passions 'cos of it. Of course do look at the facts of the matter seriously, but to generalise views of "former official" as indicative of foreign policy is too childish and lacks sound judgement. Utter BS.