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