US Drone Strikes And Bin Laden’s Killing: Turning Pakistan Into A Time-bomb

Today, more than 150 Pakistani Taliban attacked a military check point in North-Western Pakistan killing at least ten Pakistani soldiers. The bold attack occurred near the town of Makeen in South Waziristan, near the Afghan border. Lately, South Waziristan has seen a surge in strikes by US drones in the aftermath of the assassination of Bin Laden. The large attack today-which was carried out with rocket propelled grenade and heavy weapons- was the biggest conducted by the Taliban in several months. It has to be seen in the context of a retaliation by the Taliban for the increase of US drone strikes and Bin Laden’s killing conducted on May 2nd by US forces.

South Waziristan is described in US military and intelligence circles as the “most dangerous place on earth”. Washington is currently putting a great deal of pressure on the Pakistani government to take military action in those areas of Pakistan. The Obama administration wrongly believe that Bin Laden’s killing has created a momentum in favor of the United States and against Pakistan’s Taliban. Today’s attack indicates the exact opposite.

In his opinion piece, published in Le Monde Diplomatique, Chris Sands argues that, instead of being a “game changer”-as described by US policy makers and the US media- “Bin Laden’s dream lives on”.

“Sympathy for the insurgents is particularly easy to find in the Pashtun community, Afghanistan largest ethnic group. For many of them, Bin Laden’s role in the anti-Soviet struggle still marks him out for admiration. Speaking in Kabul, a resident of the eastern province of Khost said: ‘He left his house in the name of Islam and now he is a martyr. If one Osama dies, hundreds will rise up and hundreds of their friends will rise up’. NATO cannot win in Afghanistan. Even if al-Qaida and the Taliban were to be defeated in the short term, acts of retribution are inevitable. All it needs is for a young man who has lost a relative in a drone attack or an air strike to seek vengeance on the streets of Washington, Paris or London. Bin Laden’s dream is very much alive,” concludes Chris Sands in his editorial.




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