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Excellent piece on drones and Pakistan tribal areas

Excellent look at whether drone strikes are creating more terrorists than they take out, and written by a Reuters reporter. Not really something I expected, and I don't agree with all of it by any stretch, but it is a solid commentary on a lot of the assumed "wisdom" one reads from sources like... well... Reuters.

The first problem with the narrative is that it slides over the fact that radicalisation in the tribal areas (and Pakistan as a whole) began long before the U.S. drone campaign.  Many ascribe it to Pakistani support for the United States in backing the jihad against the Soviet Union after the Russians invaded Afghanistan in 1979.  I might go further back, perhaps to the 1973 oil boom when a disproportionate number of Pashtun from the tribal areas went to seek work in the Gulf . The results were twofold – the migrant workers were exposed to the Wahhabi puritanical Saudi Arabian tradition of Islam, and the remittances they sent home upset the traditional balance of power in the local economy.  I could go back even further, to the origins of the Pakistani state in 1947 and its use of Islam as a unifying force to counter ethnic nationalism, including Pashtun nationalism.  In short – it is complicated. Stopping drones may or may not be a moral imperative, depending on your perspective. But let’s not be fooled into thinking that in itself, it will bring peace.

She takes a look at a lot of the BS tossed around and comes up with about the only answer I trust when I hear it. Nobody really knows what the Hell is happening on the frontier in Pakistan's Wild West. And whatever is gouing on, it sure didn't start with the arrival of the Crusader death birds. Read the whole thing and think freshly about what is happening there.

 

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