In 2005, Afghan-Taliban militancy affected much of the north western region of Pakistan. The US army had now realized that their manned military flights were of little efficacy in the mountain clad region spanning Afghanistan and Pakistan. For the first, the post soviet Talibans are born mountaineers as well as born militants. Secondly, the NATO forces had already suffered great losses since the 2001-02 Afghan invasions. There was a dire need of small, unmanned aerial vehicles that would save coalition forces much time, money, and soldiers. The WWII invention was just the thing that was needed! USA thought skiing up their drone market. After all, UN was one of America’s celebrated war machinery consumers.
As of October 2012, over 2300 militants are reported to have been killed by drone strikes in Pakistan. The CIA claims no civilian casualties have been reported. So murderous were these militants that they killed over 3200 coalition angels. Unbelievably, militants could be of any age, CIA believes, even children and infants.
War is cruel. Bullets, missiles and drones cannot differentiate militants from civilians. Even if they could, war motives are strong enough to hide humanistic thoughts inside a battlefield soldier. On 9/11, the Taliban-hijacked planes didn’t see this either!
So who suffers and who benefits from the drone attacks; innocent civilians of Pakistan or US created Talibans? In either case, United States is in a win-win situation. As long as the war continues, drones and missiles will keep pouring in dollars for America. Already, US drone production represents 60% of the market share, followed by Israel.
If the fears of the combat extend from tribal areas through the greater Pakistan region, it would be even more fun. US will establish its hegemony to formally take the charge of our savior! On the other side, if the war ends (and so does the drone strikes), US will look for its war business elsewhere.
The government of Pakistan officially condemns drone strikes from time to time, but since Pakistan is a strong war on terror ally, it cannot withdraw from its position firmly. Also, severe $$$ indebtedness, coupled with ‘with us, or against us’ policies leave little room for firm positions. Pakistan seems to be defending its nation double crossing US and its extremist factions; and this has thrown us into a vicious circle of violence begetting violence.
Pakistan, acting on US policy measures, has encountered serious losses at every level: locally, regionally and internationally. The War on Terror in general, and drone attacks in particular, make up perfect recipes for disaster for this part of the world – the world’s sixth biggest state and a nuclear power!