Warfare continues to become more professional and dehumanized every day.

The purpose of Extraordinary Edition is being revisited for winter, headed into 2013. U.S. foreign policy, Central Asia and the Middle East remain key focal points. Economics and culture on your front doorstep are coming into focus here.

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

CIA Drones & Defense Secretary Robert Gates' Visit to Pakistan

U.S. Secretary of Defense Robert Gates flew to Pakistan in late January to discuss CIA drone attacks (mentioned here extensively in other entries) and furnishing unarmed drones to Pakistan's military for the purpose of additional surveillance.


A reiteration: what's going on, exactly? What is the change in language from "War on Terror" and "War in Afghanistan" to "AfPak" and "AfPak War" supposed to mean? A sudden glitch in CNN word choice that's not supposed to raise any suspicion or questions about a grossly overfinanced, murderous and poorly timed, poorly focused and seemingly unending act of aggression in Pakistan, a part of the world that is not part of the deal in the war launched in Afghanistan at the end of 2001 might potentially raise questions of at least legality.

Apparently in the age of globalization and asymmetrical warfare, "Wherever Taliban and Al Qaeda fighters may or may not be" is a metageographical location and the postmodern interpretation of international and U.S. law of the moment follows the actions of military operatives who were once under mandate of the state system before the borders became porous.

The article on the Foreign Policy Blog Network's Pakistan site is written by Zainab Jeewanjee, who comments in a chilling tone, "It’s been a polarizing issue from the onset because while it’s convenient to fly unmanned CIA predator aircraft over potential terrorist havens, they result in significant civilian casualties, and displaced persons. So it’s no surprise that over a year later, reconciling their use in Pakistan is still on the agenda." Try reading this passage again, replacing the word "convenient" to whatever you imagine and switch out "civilian casualties" for something similar but sounding more like "innocent Americans." Why are we talking about civilians like this in any country? Shouldn't we be talking about due process or even war crimes tribunals?

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Wow. Very insightful. You raise some pressing questions, from the vague Af-Pak terminology to the heightened stakes in globalized warfare. Demonstrates gaps that need to filled on all ends in our War on Terror.

Also, thanks for the citation of my work at the Foreign Policy Association. You took the effort to spell my name right...That's always appreciated :)