By Amna Baig (Excerpt)
The Express-Tribune Blogs, February 17, 2013
With John O Brennan’s brainchild, the ‘play book’, almost ready for the president to sign and the leak of the Justice Department’s document explaining the legal rationale for the killing of American citizens who join al Qaeda, the drone debate is a hot topic once again. But for all the wrong reasons.
A brief introduction to the playbook would be that it sets rules regarding the clandestine drone operations of CIA around the world, a vague attempt at legalising the attacks and ‘minimising’ them to an extent. Something like this needed to be done by the US government as it was facing heavy criticism not only from its allies but also from its own people regarding the heavy reliance on technological warfare.
Maybe the entire clamour around the globe for a reduction in drone strikes is way of securing or asking what the future holds as the US is blatantly using its might to carry out operations attacking the sovereignty of fragile third world countries. ...
There has been a gradual escalation in number of these attacks since the start of this year. Around 11 civilians died within the first two weeks of January in four attacks as reported by Bill Roggio of the Long war journal. During March 2011, a single ‘Signature (precision)’strike killed 38 civilians. It’s almost close to impossible to assess the civilian death toll of such strikes as the areas targeted by the CIA drones are inaccessible to government functionaries, journalists and other monitors. ...