US Drone Attacks: Making Pakistan More Unstable
The latest drone strike occurred on Tuesday in North Waziristan, and it will unquestionably bring the tense relationship between Pakistan and the United States closer to a breaking point. It was the first US drone strike in Pakistan this year. The last criminal blunder committed by the US military happened in November 2011, when an air strike killed 24 Pakistani troops along the Afghan border. According to the Pakistani intelligence service, ISI, Tuesday’s drone attack killed four militants, three of them Arabs.
After the blotched US air strike of November 26, Pakistan retaliated by shutting down US supply routes to Afghanistan, and expelled US personals at the Shansi air base which the United States used as a base to remotely operate drones targeting Pakistani Taliban near the border with Afghanistan. Tuesday’s attack is “more than a crime, it is a mistake” committed by the Obama administration, it will only help the cause of the Taliban and reinforce the already strong anti-American sentiment in Pakistan.
Since his election in 2008, President Obama’s track record has been to expend the war in Afghanistan to Pakistan, and by doing so has turned an already unstable country into a quickly ticking time bomb. It is the concept well defined by the term AfPak, which by its very definition made Pakistan part of the military operations in Afghanistan. In 2011 alone, there were around 65 US drone strikes in Pakistan. The 2009 Nobel Peace prize winner’s weapon of choice is the drone which Washington views as “critical in its global fight against Al-Qaeda”. Despite claims of the contrary made by the Obama administration, human rights organizations, both in Pakistan and abroad, have condemned drone strikes and have all reported heavy civilian casualties as a consequence of drone attacks.
If mistakes, such as the relentless drone attacks in Pakistan, are made by the very top of the food chain in Washington, crimes and misdeeds are also committed on a regular basis by the US military on the ground. On Wednesday, a video surfaced showing US troops urinating on the corpses of Taliban fighters in Afghanistan. US defense secretary Leon Panetta, condemned the action of US troops on Thursday.
“I have seen the footage, and I find the behavior depicted in it utterly deplorable. Those found to have engaged in such conduct will be held accountable to the fullest extent,” said Panetta.
However, despite the promise of a probe, the damage has been done. This video will increase anti-Americans sentiments not only in Afghanistan, but also in Pakistan and, at large, in the Muslim world.