Drones and Blowbackby John Feffer
The targeted assassination of Taliban leader Mullah Akhtar Mohammad Mansour last weekend wasn’t just another drone strike.
First of all, it was conducted by the U.S. military, not the CIA, which has orchestrated nearly all drone strikes in Pakistan.
Second, it didn’t take place in Afghanistan or in the so-called lawless tribal region of Pakistan known as the Federally Administered Tribal Areas, or FATA. The guided missile turned a white Toyota and its two passengers into a fireball on a well-traveled highway in Balochistan, in southwest Pakistan.
Prior to this particular drone strike, Pakistan allowed the United States to patrol the skies over the northwest region of FATA, a Taliban stronghold. But President Obama decided to cross this “red line” to take out Mansour (and a taxi driver, Muhammad Azam, who had the misfortune to be with the wrong passenger at the wrong time).
Pakistani leaders have registered their disapproval. According to former ambassador to the United States Sherry Rehman, “The drone strike is different from all others because it has not only resumed a genre of kinetic action that is unilateral, but also illegal and expansionary in its geographical theater of targeted operation.”http://lobelog.com/drones-and-blowback/#more-34358