Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Drones Gone Wild - LXIX


The ensuing hilarity of REAL blow back is perhaps best describ'd by Great Satan's rowdy cuz's down under yonder:

In terms of importance to the battle against terrorism, the killing of the notorious militant commander Ilyas Kashmiri in a US drone attack in Pakistan is not far behind the death of Osama bin Laden.

The hope must be that Islamabad will spare us a replay of its confected outrage over alleged violation of its national sovereignty when the al-Qa'ida leader was targeted.

Kashmiri was as bad as they come. An associate of Wall Street Journal reporter Daniel Pearl's kidnappers, he gained infamy when he decapitated an Indian soldier in Kashmir and posed for photos holding the head. As a member of Pakistan's Special Services Group in the 1980s, he trained militants battling the Soviets in Afghanistan. As leader of the Harkat-ul-Jihad-al-Islami jihadists allied to al-Qa'ida, he was linked to the 2008 assault on Mumbai, an onslaught against military headquarters in Rawalpindi and last month's siege of the Mehran naval base in Karachi. 

That he has now been killed in one of the Predator drone attacks that Islamabad, in public at least, has been up in arms about is a reflection of the value of those strikes and Washington's welcome determination to ignore Pakistan's carping over violations of national sovereignty and get on with a job Islamabad itself is failing to do.

The incontrovertible reality is that as long as Pakistan dickers and fails to confront the militants in the way it should, there will be no progress in the war in Afghanistan. The Durand Line border is artificial. Jihadists, when they want a respite from coalition onslaughts in Afghanistan, cross into Pakistan where they know they will remain untroubled by Islamabad's forces. That scenario is unsustainable. The US is right to ignore Pakistan's protests and continue the drone attacks which, since 2008 when they were launched by the Bush administration, have killed 1400 militants.

To mask its feebleness in dealing with terror, Pakistan complains that each such attack involves loss of civilian life and that this recruits new followers for the militants. There may be something in that, but that is Islamabad's problem. After their credentials as allies were brought into question when bin Laden was found in Abbottabad, Pakistani authorities must expect the US and its allies will pursue high-value targets such as Kashmiri. 

If they can't do the job themselves, they must let others do it for them.

Pic - "Pakistan thus finds itself under pressure from Great Satan to fight the militants, and under attack from the militants for waging Great Satan's war for it


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