By lex, on October 14th, 2010
Eight militants, including four foreign nationals, have been killed in a US drone strike in Pakistan’s North Waziristan region, officials say.
Three missiles were fired at a house in the Datta Khel area on Wednesday evening, killing five, including the foreigners, an official told the BBC.
The foreigners were said to be from Turkmenistan, and members of the Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan (IMU).
Minutes later, a car parked outside the house was hit, killing three others…
Correspondents say Datta Khel, about 30km (19 miles) from North Waziristan main town of Miranshah, is a safe haven for al-Qaeda.
The tempo of drone strikes in Pakistan’s northwestern frontier area continues unabated, which is good, and does so largely without collateral damage of any kind, which is all the better. The government of Pakistan may continue to make pro forma protestations about violations of sovereignty, but the drones go where the Pakistani Army either can not or will not, making the sovereignty issue largely moot: Sovereignty requires a monopoly of organized violence, and in the “Federally Administered” Tribal Area that monopoly does not belong to the central government. In any case, these fires help to solve a problem for both Pakistan and the US/Afghan coalition: Over the years Pakistan has nurtured a brood of vipers for their own strategic purposes, but the nest has been spilled, and now threatens the nuclear armed country’s integrity. And we can’t have that, not with genetically encoded adversary India threatening to spill across the border and seize Islamabad.
This kind of precision in targeting requires really good intelligence and cross agency/border coordination. I’d be fascinated to learn how it’s being generated, but anyone who could tell me would probably have to kill me.
So: Ignorance is bliss!