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Monday, October 8

Pakistan's false claim that U.S. drone strikes violate its sovereignty

I've made it clear in earlier posts that I think U.S. drone strikes in Pakistan are counterproductive, and for the very reasons that an anonymous writer, who's clearly a drone operator, cites to explain the Pakistani regime's willingness to put up with the strikes.  In Pakistan’s “Sovereignty” Canard at Gunpowder & Lead blog he writes:
By (proverbially) quacking and flapping their wings over sovereignty, they hope to distract the world, and more importantly their domestic population, from their willingness to clear the FATA skies for robots like me in exchange for weapons, food, and cash.
By entering into this exchange, the United States entangled itself ever more tightly with Pakistan while Pakistan's defense establishment made proxy war on American soldiers in Afghanistan.  I'm not sure the writer would disagree with my view.  He (I assume the writer is male) observes that sending him to "hunt bad guys in the FATA might be a strategic error."

And yet his arguments are absolutely devastating to Pakistan's claim that the drone strikes are violating its sovereignty -- and that they're helpless to stop the strikes.  The arguments are a must read for everyone who follows news on the Afghan War and U.S.-Pakistan relations -- and for those who're interested in the legal and ethical aspects of U.S. drone warfare in Pakistan. Thanks to Zenpundit blog for introducing me to this important essay.

Pakistan's leaders should have stuck to their decision after they threw the U.S. -- and the entire ISAF -- out of the country because that was the first decision they've ever made that showed integrity. Yet they'd created so many zombie militias that now they really are in a fix because several of those militias have turned on them. 

So it's not only weapons, food, and cash they want from the USA.  They want us to kill their worst enemies for them.  That desire should have been the means for the Obama administration to persuade Pakistan's military to cease and desist from its proxy war against ISAF troops and the Afghans.  But the ISAF countries wanted a cheap and quick way to remove their materiel from Afghanistan. 

So here we are today, still engaged in a bargain that represents a grave strategic error for the United States of America and continued deaths among American troops and Afghans.

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