Homeland Security Watch

News and analysis of critical issues in homeland security

July 8, 2009

Attack of the drones

Filed under: General Homeland Security — by Philip J. Palin on July 8, 2009

 a118_predator_firing_hellfire_2050081722-16359
A Predator drone firing a hellfire missile

Reports from Waziristan suggest drone attacks earlier today were among the most deadly ever. 

“Up to 50 suspected militants have been killed in two US attacks in north-west Pakistan, local officials told the BBC. In the first attack, suspected US drones attacked a Taliban forest camp in South Waziristan, near the Afghan border, killing at least 10 militants. Hours later, officials said about 40 militants died when five missiles hit a vehicle convoy in the same region.”

The Long War Journal has further information on the training camp attack and the convoy attack, as well as a helpful listing of other known drone operations.

While both Pakistani and US military assets are striking a number of targets along the Afpak border, there would be particular satisfaction in the capture or killing of Baitullah Mehsud.  Rahimullah Yusufzai, a journalist based in Peshawar, writes, “No military operation against Taliban militants in NWFP could be decisive without taking on and defeating the Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) head, Baitullah Mehsud. The Pakistan army’s action in Swat and the rest of Malakand division and even in Bajaur and Mohmand tribal regions was like a side-show. The major threat was none else but the TTP founder and the main battlefield was always going to be Waziristan.”

More Background

Attack of the military drones, Brookings Institution

US launches another drone plane to patrol Canadian border (Canadian Broadcasting Corporation)

Homeland Security drone patroling Northern New York (WWTI-News)

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3 Comments »

Comment by William R. Cumming

July 8, 2009 @ 4:53 pm

Hoping a good history of the UAV and Predator related technology appears soon. George Tenet claims he advocated usage over DOD objections during his tenure as CIA Director in his memoir. I understand the Israeli’s were first off the mark on this technology but not sure. Not cheap though but does seem to likely to prevent downed pilots from being held hostage in future contretemps. Is there a defense against these things?

Comment by Mark Chubb

July 8, 2009 @ 11:20 pm

The administration’s decision to step up UAV ops in lieu of furnishing the Pakistanis with this technology (which some news outlets are reporting has been requested), suggests to me this White House has learned to avoid at least some of the missteps of previous administrations.

So far, it appears UAV’s have been a game-changer in this conflict. While they have not delivered the ultimate prize, they have demonstrated remarkable flexibility and dependability in a challenging theater of operations against an unusually adaptable adversary.

Comment by christopher tingus

July 9, 2009 @ 2:19 pm

The UAV’s force these fellas to anxiously look upwards with earnest hope that they may some day take off their narrow minded blinders in perspective in realizing that contrary to the current premise, we have really have no need to be in these neighborhoods far from Main Street USA nor do we seek anything from them other than to send a message with clarity, a message to the Taliban, to AQ, to anyone who seeks our demise, to cause further global instability.

There is enough anguish and suffering in the world by those whose evil ways provoke the wrath of God….

We live in the 21st century, not in your caves of the Middle Ages, in your tents….for we prefer using imagination for tomorrow and enjoining you to come to the table and talk not with rifle or fist, but with sensitivity and words of understanding of peaceful coexistence!

While Chinese leadership stockpiles good after good, resource after resource for future utilization to be able to care for its people and assure its future, we, too are a forward looking people who once we rid ourselves of those in-house lusting pols and money managers who prefer self-serving interests as their priority versus the interests of the majority, we can continue to prosper and to contribute to Life to share with others.

Yes, the arrogance and self-serving interests, the corruption has impoverished many of us who do not deserve such, however we are more enlightened and with hope we here will hold those who we entrust to a higher standard from here on….

You don’t see the Israelis – the Hebrews – nor we adopting the policies of the fundamentalists and others who intentionally influence youngsters with bombs strapped to their back to “murder” innocents, the “infidels” – God’s children. How absurd….

If you are so hopeless, then make an effort to join the 21st century and utilize resources and creativity and cultivate for good, not evil….Yes, maintain your traditions, do not necessarily assimilate, but reach and clasp the hand of the younger generation and offer Life, not proclaiming that killing innocents helps one be greeted by virgins…How absurd, how narrow minded your views….I bet my Great-great-great Grandfather in Sparta never had your pessimism….and he need not worry when he looked to the sky to see UAV’s, but rather exclaimed the beauty of the stars and God’s creation before him atop the mountains and hills as he watched his sheep grazing the bountiful land….

The rogue nations, the fundamentalists who insist it is their way or no way, their control game, their lust to control people and the way they think, their coffers overfilling the brim with material goods and monies, the riches of the people, all not to share among the people, but to hold close to their own vest.

We need to take advantage of our technology and use it against those whose self-serving agenda supports anti-American sentiment. If it were not for millions of Americans to give their Lives just in the last WW II then these Taliban and other folks would be dealing with the harshness of those who did not believe in diversity, but rather blond hair and blue eyes and nmothing more!

Though costly, keep the UAV’s streaming through the skies to show our strength and unwavering commitment to safeguarding our way of Life.

The lack of respect and intolerance of one another throughout the region and the ease at which another human being is killed, often their own neighbors and brother, in fact using innocents as shields, tells much about the unGodly mentality, specifically why we are in your presence….

Keep an eye to the sky. The UAV’s are there and will be forthcoming as long as necessary for the production line is unending….

I do offer a suggestion for you as you look to the sky, repent in your ways for no one should throw stones….

We all have a hand in the responsibility God has given us to nurture Life and while many share differences and no one has to embrace one another, people and nations do make mistakes among families and employed strategies, at least respect one another and make every effort to understand those that share differing views.

I have walked the streets of Hebron and Jericho. I have seen Lebanon, sailed the Nile and I do understand the frustration, however it is easy to point to America, to the west….yet it is time to the realization that you, too have a responsibility you have shirked.

You have allowed those within to usurp power and afford control by a select few over the populace, the people, each an individual, each with hopes and ideals who seek to look up to the sky and see the beauty of God’s creation as my forefathers did as they stood in the mountains and hills of Greece.

It is time you seek out the good of your neighbor nearby, for we all understand the necessity of forgiveness….

Unless you make an effort wherever you are to clasp the hand of another, for now it is UAV’s with the American flag causing uneasiness, however it will be the German-led EU policies, its fast deployment armies, its shiny new naval vessels sailing in the Mediterranean that the region should very much concern itself with….

The Americans offer the olive branch and are genuine in thier interest in Peace, however the Europeans who you tell your missiles are pointed in their direction have far much tolerance or willingness to understand your perspectives….It will not be UAV’s you will be anxious about, but the wrath of a harsh retaliation which you will not survive…God Bless you!

Christopher Tingus
64 Whidah Drive
Harwich (Cape Cod), MA 02645 USA

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