‘Westerners attending camps in Pakistan and Afghanistan despite successful U.S. strikes,’ Craig Whitlock reports as Jane Mayer reports the Obama Administration has authorized an amount of such strikes equal to the last three years of the Bush Administration. ‘Despite’?

Craig Whitlock at The Washington Post reports:

U.S. and European counterterrorism officials say a rising number of Western recruits–including Americans–are traveling to Afghanistan and Pakistan to attend paramilitary training camps. The flow of recruits has continued unabated, officials said, in spite of an intensified campaign over the past year by the CIA to eliminate al-Qaeda and Taliban commanders in drone missile attacks.

“Despite”? “In spite of…”? You misspelled “because of”, Mr. Whitlock.

Citing Jane Mayer at The New Yorker, Kelley B. Vlahos at AntiWar.com wrote today that the Obama Administration has taken the Bush Administration’s Predator drone program and “jacked it up with steroids” as “the number of Obama-authorized strikes in Pakistan equals the sum launched by the Bush Administration—in the last three years of his tenure”.

Ms. Mayer reports two government-run drone programs: one by the military and the other by the C.I.A. “The Predator program, as it happens, also uses private contractors for a variety of tasks, including ‘flying’ the drones,” the abstract adds:

  • “The program is classified as covert, and the C.I.A. declines to provide any information to the public about where it operates, how it selects targets, who is in charge, or how many people have been killed. Nevertheless, reports of fatal air strikes in Pakistan emerge every few days.”
  • “[T]he number of drone strikes has gone up dramatically since Obama became President.”
  • “General Atomics Aeronautical Systems, the defense contractor that manufactures the Predator and its more heavily armed sibling, the Reaper, can barely keep up with the government’s demand.”
  • “With public disenchantment mounting over the U.S. troop deployment in Afghanistan, many in Washington support an even greater reliance on Predator strikes. And because of the program’s secrecy, there is no visible system of accountability in place.”
  • “[I]t creates the perception that war can be ‘costless’. Cut off from the realities of the bombings in Pakistan, Americans have been insulated from the human toll, as well as the political and moral consequences.”
  • “Before September 11th, the C.I.A. refused to deploy the Predator for anything other than surveillance. Eight years later, there is no longer any doubt that targeted killing has become official U.S. policy.”
  • “The Predator program is described by many in the intelligence world as America’s single most effective weapon against Al Qaeda….[But], only six of the forty-one C.I.A. drone strikes conducted by the Obama Administration in Pakistan have targeted Al Qaeda.”

Terrorist recruiting is rising among Westerners “despite successful U.S. strikes”? Mr. Whitlock’s report continues:

Since January, at least 30 recruits from Germany have traveled to Pakistan for training, according to German security sources. About 10 people — not necessarily the same individuals — have returned to Germany this year, fueling concerns that fresh plots are in the works against European targets.

“We think this is sufficient to show how serious the threat is,” said a senior German counterterrorism official who spoke on the condition of anonymity.

There are about 3,800 German troops in the country, the third-largest NATO contingent after those of the United States and Britain. German officials say Taliban and al-Qaeda leaders are trying to exploit domestic opposition in Germany to the war; surveys show that a majority of German voters favor a withdrawal of their soldiers….

In a recent report, the Dutch General Intelligence and Security Service said there were a “growing number of indications” that more Europeans were attending camps in the border region between Afghanistan and Pakistan.

The Obama administration has said that al-Qaeda’s command structure and operations wing have become weaker in the past year because many of its leaders have been killed in drone missile attacks. But in its report, the Dutch intelligence agency offered a different assessment, saying that al-Qaeda’s ability to carry out attacks has generally improved in recent years largely because it has successfully bolstered its alliances with other terrorist groups.

“With the jihadist agenda of those allies becoming more international, at least at the propaganda level, the threat to the West and its interests has intensified,” the Dutch report found.

David Rohde, The New York Times (NYT) reporter recently released after seven months and ten days in Taliban captivity, observed while being held prisoner by the extremists:

My captors harbored many delusions about Westerners. But I also saw how some of the consequences of Washington’s antiterrorism policies had galvanized the Taliban. Commanders fixated on the deaths of Afghan, Iraqi and Palestinian civilians in military airstrikes, as well as the American detention of Muslim prisoners who had been held for years without being charged. America, Europe and Israel preached democracy, human rights and impartial justice to the Muslim world, they said, but failed to follow those principles themselves.

In the second part of Mr. Rohde’s series, “Held by the Taliban”, today, he adds:

For the next several nights, a stream of Haqqani commanders overflowing with hatred for the United States and Israel visited us, unleashing blistering critiques that would continue throughout our captivity.

Some of their comments were factual. They said large numbers of civilians had been killed in Afghanistan, Iraq and the Palestinian territories in aerial bombings. Muslim prisoners had been physically abused and sexually humiliated in Iraq. Scores of men had been detained in Cuba and Afghanistan for up to seven years without charges.

To Americans, these episodes were aberrations. To my captors, they were proof that the United States was a hypocritical and duplicitous power that flouted international law.

Amir Mir reported at The News in Pakistan that nearly 50 civilians for every militant were killed by 60 U.S. drones between January 2006 and mid-April 2009—14 of those airstikes in the first 99 days of 2009. “American officials vehemently dispute these figures, and it is likely that more militants and fewer civilians have been killed than is reported by the press in Pakistan,” David Kilcullen and Andrew Exum wrote at the NYT in May. “Nevertheless, every one of these dead noncombatants represents an alienated family, a new desire for revenge, and more recruits for a militant movement that has grown exponentially even as drone strikes have increased.”

More airstrikes, torture, war, kidnapping by the West, ignorance of international law=More anger.

More anger=More effective propaganda for terror groups.

More effective propaganda for terror groups=Higher recruiting for terrorists.

Higher recruiting for terrorists=Higher U.S. demand for airstrike supplies.

Rinse and repeat.

The war profiteers are just preserving demand for their ‘services’ through the puppet ‘world leaders’ they finance to fuel self-fulfilling prophesies. Who’s exploiting who?

  1. […] enslaving the Afghans and their government to U.S. interests”. Sayyid, my co-editor, makes a stronger point, in my opinion, along these same lines against the counterinsurgency operation labeled as […]

  2. […] according to intelligence and committed by unmanned aircrafts (drones). The Administration has committed more airstrikes in 2009 than the Bush Administration did in the three years prior—greatly increasing the […]

  3. […] rights groups and military officials as “death from above”, as strikes have killed 49 civilians for every terrorist leader assassinated. It’s uncontroversial such civilian casualties are counter-intuitive to […]

  4. […] by human rights groups and military officials as “death from above”, as strikes have killed 49 civilians for every terrorist leader assassinated. It’s uncontroversial such civilian casualties are counter-intuitive to “winning […]

Leave a Reply to Jeramy Scahill on Blackwater’s Covert War in Pakistan (Video) « Little Alex in Wonderland Cancel reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s