US drone strikes in tribal areas boost support for Taliban

#1
From The Times
March 10, 2010
US drone strikes in Pakistan tribal areas boost support for Taleban

At least 55 strikes by unmanned drones have occurred since President Obama's inauguration. There were only 45 during the Bush era
Anthony Loyd, Peshawar

The deafening explosion rent the calm of the winter night. A house disappeared in a cloud of flame and dust, its thick earthen walls splaying into the street.

“We ran from our house to help but it was after curfew, and soldiers in a nearby post began to fire on us,” Amir Shah Jehn, 25, said. “So it wasn’t until morning that the bodies were pulled from the rubble and laid at the roadside. There were five dead: a three-month-old baby, the woman of the house, two young men and an Arab.”

It was November 2005. The strike on a house sheltering an Egyptian al-Qaeda commander, Abu Hamza Rabia, in the village of Hamzoni five miles (8km) outside Miran Shah, the capital of North Waziristan, was one of the first carried out by a Predator drone in Pakistani tribal areas.

“We didn’t know what happened back then,” said Amir, an alias he uses for security reasons. “But now it’s routine. There is the constant sound of drones. Sometimes up to seven are flying over us. We call them jasoos — spies.
More
http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/world/asia/article7055965.ece
 

seaweed

LE
Book Reviewer
#2
They got the Arab. Job done.
 
#3
It is widely agreed that the drone strikes have disrupted insurgent operations, complicated their communications and supply lines, and forced key leaders underground.

However, this comes at a price. Many of the displaced leadership have sought sanctuary in populated areas, spreading instability.
So I don't get this article. It's almost playing both sides of the fence here. Well the tactic is paying off but those naughty americans and their border excursions.

Why is it in every single article I read, AQ and Taliban has Carte Blanche to do as they please but in adopting their game gets the whistle?

Journos afraid to call them out because they know the US won't lop off their heads?
 
#5
And meanwhile the Taliban are busy winning hearts and minds by torture and murder of the locals?

Make up your mind journo!
 
#6
ghost_us said:
It is widely agreed that the drone strikes have disrupted insurgent operations, complicated their communications and supply lines, and forced key leaders underground.

However, this comes at a price. Many of the displaced leadership have sought sanctuary in populated areas, spreading instability.
So I don't get this article. It's almost playing both sides of the fence here. Well the tactic is paying off but those naughty americans and their border excursions.

Why is it in every single article I read, AQ and Taliban has Carte Blanche to do as they please but in adopting their game gets the whistle?

Journos afraid to call them out because they know the US won't lop off their heads?
Do you think it might have something to do with infringing the sovereignty of another nation? Not that the Septics give a monkey's anyway.

MsG
 
#7
Reaper pilots rock, a hard day at the office, kill a few people on the other side of the world, and then pop into Las Vagas for a few hours at the tables, what a way to fight a war, 39 Sqn have got it made
 
#8
Bugsy said:
ghost_us said:
It is widely agreed that the drone strikes have disrupted insurgent operations, complicated their communications and supply lines, and forced key leaders underground.

However, this comes at a price. Many of the displaced leadership have sought sanctuary in populated areas, spreading instability.
So I don't get this article. It's almost playing both sides of the fence here. Well the tactic is paying off but those naughty americans and their border excursions.

Why is it in every single article I read, AQ and Taliban has Carte Blanche to do as they please but in adopting their game gets the whistle?

Journos afraid to call them out because they know the US won't lop off their heads?
Do you think it might have something to do with infringing the sovereignty of another nation? Not that the Septics give a monkey's anyway.

MsG
And the Taliban in the villages? What of them mr sovereignty?

Like I said, Pakistan doesn't seem to mind them there, why would it mind a major partner there?

Sovereignty in a semi autonomous region is really an illusion anyway. Pakistan has as much sway there as they do in New Jersey.
 
#9
Bugsy said:
ghost_us said:
It is widely agreed that the drone strikes have disrupted insurgent operations, complicated their communications and supply lines, and forced key leaders underground.

However, this comes at a price. Many of the displaced leadership have sought sanctuary in populated areas, spreading instability.
So I don't get this article. It's almost playing both sides of the fence here. Well the tactic is paying off but those naughty americans and their border excursions.

Why is it in every single article I read, AQ and Taliban has Carte Blanche to do as they please but in adopting their game gets the whistle?

Journos afraid to call them out because they know the US won't lop off their heads?
Do you think it might have something to do with infringing the sovereignty of another nation? Not that the Septics give a monkey's anyway.

MsG
Well as the EU justified it in the Serbian province of Kosovo then whats the problem with Pakistan? Or are you only allowed to ignore international law when protecting muslims terrorists like the KLA?
 
#10
tropper66 said:
Reaper pilots rock, a hard day at the office, kill a few people on the other side of the world, and then pop into Las Vagas for a few hours at the tables, what a way to fight a war, 39 Sqn have got it made
do they get GSMs?
 
#11
I must admit I read the headline and wondered what other possible outcome there could be ?

The Taliban narrative is that the foreigners are murdering cowards who are in AFG to impose the rule of a foreign puppet sitting in Kabul. Drone strikes - from the perspective of the locals, before you start thinking it's my perspective - reinforce that narrative. Soldiers who cared about civvy casualties would do it on foot, cowards kill from the skies and so on.

Indeed, without being willing to visibly take casualties by restraining ourselves (think NI) we will not get that legitimacy. I can't see the US ever being willing despite McChrystal clearly getting it. Which is why we are ultimately going to fail.

And I'm also afraid that the Taliban are now driving as hard as they can to stop treating the locals badly and adopt population-centric COIN. Just read up on the open source messages they send these days. Of course some of this is because we've been busy killing off the old school Talibs and replacing them with fully networked Web 2.0 youngsters.

And for those who whine it's not fair, we're really nice and they're not just remember that they don't have to stop being bastards, they just have to be perceived as being a better option than us.
 
#15
offog said:
tropper66 said:
Reaper pilots rock, a hard day at the office, kill a few people on the other side of the world, and then pop into Las Vagas for a few hours at the tables, what a way to fight a war, 39 Sqn have got it made
do they get GSMs?
Good question,

"And What did you do in the war daddy?"

" well son I got to hang around Las Vagas with a couple of high class hookers"
 
#16
InVinoVeritas said:
And meanwhile the Taliban are busy winning hearts and minds by torture and murder of the locals?
Why are you so sure mate, that the Talibs are torturing and murdering the locals?

There are no reports of widespread usage of torture toward civilians by Taliban, except some isolated cases. As for killings of the collobarants then it is not something exceptional.
 
#17
KGB_resident said:
InVinoVeritas said:
And meanwhile the Taliban are busy winning hearts and minds by torture and murder of the locals?
Why are you so sure mate, that the Talibs are torturing and murdering the locals?

There are no reports of widespread usage of torture toward civilians by Taliban, except some isolated cases. As for killings of the collobarants then it is not something exceptional.
Well, the Taliban didn't have a good reputation when they were in power, and I doubt very much if they have changed their spots now they are out of it.
http://www.globalwatchgroup.org/projects/afghanBackground10.html

"Throughout the time they ruled Afghanistan, the Taliban soldiers continually engaged in violations of human rights and humanitarian law including forced displacement of the civilian population; deliberate burning of houses; summary executions of non-combatants, including women and children; arbitrary detention; massacre of civilians, forced labor and forced marriage of women; as well as abduction and rape of women. Reports by Human Rights Watch and UN agencies indicate that in August 1998, after capturing the city of Mazar-i Sharif, the Taliban troops opened fire indiscriminately in streets and market areas killing and injuring hundreds of civilians. Also for days, the Taliban security forces conducted house-to-house searches, detaining Tajik, Uzbek and Hazara men and teenage boys. Thousands, mainly Hazara’s, were shot, some in execution style. Scores of Hazara and Tajik men were suffocated as they were locked in large metal containers to be transported to jails outside the city of Mazar-I-Sharif.

Subsequent attacks in Bamyan and Shamali Plains, in 1998 and 1999, resulted in massive involuntary and forced displacement of the civilians, in particular, women and children. Widespread firsthand accounts from Southern Shamali valley indicated that the Taliban fighters and their Pakistani and Arab counterparts were engaged in property destruction, burning of homes, farms, crops and livestocks, forced deportations, family separations, abduction and rape of young women, and arbitrary killings
."

The only real difference is that then they had free rein to indulge in South-on-North ethnic cleansing, which they can't do so well now. They may also have learned a bit of basic Public Relations and Little Red Book Guerrilla basic skills, and tried to clean up their image a bit, but I don't think there's much danger of them being reformed characters.

'Collaborator' is an odd choice of word. If an Afghan is serving his Government, (as recognised by the UN, including the Security Council, of which Russia is a member) then shouldn't it be 'patriot'?
That would make your last sentence:
"As for killings of the patriots,then it is not something exceptional"
Which, sadly, is also all too true.
 
#18
HectortheInspector said:
KGB_resident said:
InVinoVeritas said:
And meanwhile the Taliban are busy winning hearts and minds by torture and murder of the locals?
Why are you so sure mate, that the Talibs are torturing and murdering the locals?

There are no reports of widespread usage of torture toward civilians by Taliban, except some isolated cases. As for killings of the collobarants then it is not something exceptional.
Well, the Taliban didn't have a good reputation...
In the West? Maybe

HectortheInspector said:
...when they were in power, and I doubt very much if they have changed their spots now they are out of it.
http://www.globalwatchgroup.org/projects/afghanBackground10.html
So called Global Watch Group is a tiny, little known organisation (there is no any info about it in Wikipedia). Likely it is controlled from Washington. It's founder

http://www.globalwatchgroup.org/about/foundersbio.html

an Afghani woman with US passport is apparently biased toward Taliban.

"Throughout the time they ruled Afghanistan, the Taliban soldiers continually engaged in violations of human rights and humanitarian law including forced displacement of the civilian population; deliberate burning of houses; summary executions of non-combatants, including women and children; arbitrary detention; massacre of civilians, forced labor and forced marriage of women; as well as abduction and rape of women. Reports by Human Rights Watch and UN agencies indicate that in August 1998, after capturing the city of Mazar-i Sharif, the Taliban troops opened fire indiscriminately in streets and market areas killing and injuring hundreds of civilians. Also for days, the Taliban security forces conducted house-to-house searches, detaining Tajik, Uzbek and Hazara men and teenage boys. Thousands, mainly Hazara’s, were shot, some in execution style. Scores of Hazara and Tajik men were suffocated as they were locked in large metal containers to be transported to jails outside the city of Mazar-I-Sharif.

Subsequent attacks in Bamyan and Shamali Plains, in 1998 and 1999, resulted in massive involuntary and forced displacement of the civilians, in particular, women and children. Widespread firsthand accounts from Southern Shamali valley indicated that the Taliban fighters and their Pakistani and Arab counterparts were engaged in property destruction, burning of homes, farms, crops and livestocks, forced deportations, family separations, abduction and rape of young women, and arbitrary killings
."
Common words without real facts.

HectortheInspector said:
The only real difference is that then they had free rein to indulge in South-on-North ethnic cleansing, which they can't do so well now. They may also have learned a bit of basic Public Relations and Little Red Book Guerrilla basic skills, and tried to clean up their image a bit, but I don't think there's much danger of them being reformed characters.

'Collaborator' is an odd choice of word. If an Afghan is serving his Government, (as recognised by the UN, including the Security Council, of which Russia is a member) then shouldn't it be 'patriot'?
That would make your last sentence:
"As for killings of the patriots,then it is not something exceptional"
Which, sadly, is also all too true.
Well, let's use neutral terms. There is a civil war in Afghanistan. One side is backed by foreign troops. Another side (the Taliban) uses to kill those who collaborate with the foreign military forces. In other words the Talibs sometimes kill the collaborants.
 
#19
KGB_resident said:
HectortheInspector said:
KGB_resident said:
InVinoVeritas said:
And meanwhile the Taliban are busy winning hearts and minds by torture and murder of the locals?
Why are you so sure mate, that the Talibs are torturing and murdering the locals?

There are no reports of widespread usage of torture toward civilians by Taliban, except some isolated cases. As for killings of the collobarants then it is not something exceptional.
Well, the Taliban didn't have a good reputation...
In the West? Maybe

HectortheInspector said:
...when they were in power, and I doubt very much if they have changed their spots now they are out of it.
http://www.globalwatchgroup.org/projects/afghanBackground10.html
So called Global Watch Group is a tiny, little known organisation (there is no any info about it in Wikipedia). Likely it is controlled from Washington. It's founder

http://www.globalwatchgroup.org/about/foundersbio.html

an Afghani woman with US passport is apparently biased toward Taliban.

"Throughout the time they ruled Afghanistan, the Taliban soldiers continually engaged in violations of human rights and humanitarian law including forced displacement of the civilian population; deliberate burning of houses; summary executions of non-combatants, including women and children; arbitrary detention; massacre of civilians, forced labor and forced marriage of women; as well as abduction and rape of women. Reports by Human Rights Watch and UN agencies indicate that in August 1998, after capturing the city of Mazar-i Sharif, the Taliban troops opened fire indiscriminately in streets and market areas killing and injuring hundreds of civilians. Also for days, the Taliban security forces conducted house-to-house searches, detaining Tajik, Uzbek and Hazara men and teenage boys. Thousands, mainly Hazara’s, were shot, some in execution style. Scores of Hazara and Tajik men were suffocated as they were locked in large metal containers to be transported to jails outside the city of Mazar-I-Sharif.

Subsequent attacks in Bamyan and Shamali Plains, in 1998 and 1999, resulted in massive involuntary and forced displacement of the civilians, in particular, women and children. Widespread firsthand accounts from Southern Shamali valley indicated that the Taliban fighters and their Pakistani and Arab counterparts were engaged in property destruction, burning of homes, farms, crops and livestocks, forced deportations, family separations, abduction and rape of young women, and arbitrary killings
."
Common words without real facts.

HectortheInspector said:
The only real difference is that then they had free rein to indulge in South-on-North ethnic cleansing, which they can't do so well now. They may also have learned a bit of basic Public Relations and Little Red Book Guerrilla basic skills, and tried to clean up their image a bit, but I don't think there's much danger of them being reformed characters.

'Collaborator' is an odd choice of word. If an Afghan is serving his Government, (as recognised by the UN, including the Security Council, of which Russia is a member) then shouldn't it be 'patriot'?
That would make your last sentence:
"As for killings of the patriots,then it is not something exceptional"
Which, sadly, is also all too true.
Well, let's use neutral terms. There is a civil war in Afghanistan. One side is backed by foreign troops. Another side (the Taliban) uses to kill those who collaborate with the foreign military forces. In other words the Talibs sometimes kill the collaborants.
Well, I don't really have time to track back all the sources, but your last point I'll agree with. In fact, I'll expand it. There are TWO civil wars. Afghanistan and Pakistan. Both have recognised Governments. Both receive military aid from the USA. Both are fighting the same enemy, but in a disjointed fashion, and for different reasons.

The enemy is a loose collection of shared interests centred on a primitive but devout interpretation of Islam, added to xenophobic tribalism and a desire to be left alone to run their lives along clan and tribal lines, without an alien 'big government', be it in Kabul or Islamabad, telling them what to do.

To 'collaborate' with foreign forces is to be on the side of the legitimate governments of either country. The fact that the Taliban don't think that those Governments apply to them does not take away their legitimacy. It simply makes the Taliban on both sides of the border self proclaimed outlaws. Put bluntly, the Taliban had a go at being a Government. They screwed it. Now they have all the legitimacy of the Confederate States of America. The world moved on, and they couldn't keep up.

Now, if (coming back to the thread title) the US, in support of its own interests, and in supporting those two legitimate governments, chooses to send drones to park Hellfire missiles in Taliban bedrooms, then 1) it's not using B52 'Arc Light' carpet bombing, (which some people think is a good thing) and 2) it's not intended to reduce Taliban support. I don't think that the increasing or reducing the level of Taliban support is an issue one way or the other.

What it does do is send a simple and pragmatic message.-If you choose to host a Taliban, expect your house to blow up.
If you don't want your house to blow up, don't host them.
If they force their way in anyway, then you know that they are outlaws and bandits. Your house will still blow up, but it would not have done, if those b*ggers had kept well away. So it is really their fault.

Taliban support, moral or otherwise, isn't the issue. It's logistic and political. And it really comes back to what 'outlaw' means. It doesn't mean 'wanted' by the law. It really means- 'Outside of, and has no protection UNDER the law.'

Law abiding citizens of Afghanistan and Pakistan, who recognise their Governments don't tend to get bombed. (Except by the Taliban). Anarchistic tribesmen who are represented by no one can be bombed with impunity. They have no voice. Their opinions are not heard. They can support who they like. No one cares. They are automatically presumed to be the enemies of their nations UNLESS THEY PROVE OTHERWISE.

The Taliban are either a throwback to the pre-nation state, and will eventually slide down into the dustbin of history, OR the precursor to a world of Failed States where the nations fragment into continent wide Somalias. More likely, they will slowly degenerate into tribal warbands who spend all their time bickering amongst themselves. Either way, they are going to become irrelevances.

They don't have to be though. They can come in and negotiate some sort of settlement. Some suggest this is already going on, and the Pakistani Government is actually trying to disrupt this, because it LIKES having a constant war on its border to keep the trouble makers busy.
 

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