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.

Friday, May 7, 2010

LA Times: CIA receives permission to expand targeting for UAV drone program

CIA drones have broader list of targets
The agency since 2008 has been secretly allowed to kill unnamed suspects in Pakistan.
By David S. Cloud, Los Angeles Times
May 5, 2010 | 8:37 p.m.

The secrecy aspect of the predator drone program is on some levels rapidly eroding. This story, like Robert Fisk's Belfast Independent story of last week, pulls up some detailed and informative numbers on drone attacks, their hellfire missiles and the results of those efforts. Also particularly compelling is how concern for the blowback factor is shifting, also contained in David Cloud's story.

Excerpt— Missile attacks have risen steeply since Obama took office. There were an estimated 53 drone strikes in 2009, up from just over 30 in Bush's last year, according to a website run by the New America Foundation that tracks press reports of attacks in Pakistan. Through early this month, there had been 34 more strikes this year, an average of one every 3 1/2 days, according to the site's figures

The 2010 attacks have killed from 143 to 247 people, according to estimates collected by the site, but only seven militants have been publicly identified. Among them are Al Qaeda explosives expert Ghazwan Yemeni, Taliban commander Mohammad Qari Zafar, Egyptian Canadian Al Qaeda leader Sheikh Mansoor, and Jordanian Taliban commander Mahmud Mahdi Zeidan.

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