Dabod Rohde

Drones: Counterterrorism But Not Strategy

As one of the few civilian Americans who has been present in a zone where the US operated its drone campaign, David Rohde has a fairly unique perspective from which to comment on the tactic. And while in this long piece on drones, he recognizes their value, he also warns against their risks.

In 2008, I saw this firsthand. Two Afghan colleagues and I were kidnapped by the Taliban and held captive in the tribal areas of Pakistan for seven months. From the ground, drones are terrifying weapons that can be heard circling overhead for hours at a time. They are a potent, unnerving symbol of unchecked American power. At the same time, they were clearly effective, killing foreign bomb-makers and preventing Taliban fighters from gathering in large groups. The experience left me convinced that drone strikes should be carried out — but very selectively.

Ultimately, he notes that in both Pakistan and Yemen, the drones are contributing to increased instability.

For me, the bottom line is that both governments’ approaches are failing. Pakistan’s economy is dismal. Its military continues to shelter Taliban fighters it sees as proxies to thwart Indian encroachment in Afghanistan. And the percentage of Pakistanis supporting the use of the Pakistani Army to fight extremists in the tribal areas — the key to eradicating militancy — dropped from a 53 percent majority in 2009 to 37 percent last year. Pakistan is more unstable today than it was when Obama took office.

Continue reading

Emptywheel Twitterverse
emptywheel @GregDjerejian Feel like @NSArchive released new evidence of details on cutting oil prices to hurt Russia in recent years.
10mreplyretweetfavorite
emptywheel @GregDjerejian Didn't we do something similar to kill oil prices in the Reagan days?
13mreplyretweetfavorite
emptywheel @GregDjerejian Oh, his oligarchs will get hit, but w/o the profit constraining limits of actual sanctions. Best of all worlds!
14mreplyretweetfavorite
emptywheel Loving that Torture Report coming out, bc I can loathe lying self-interested apologists like John Rizzo as much as Stewart Baker.
14mreplyretweetfavorite
bmaz There are over 100 bills pending in the AZ State Legislature, w/only 1 week scheduled to go. The mental midgets can still do LOT of damage.
15mreplyretweetfavorite
emptywheel @GregDjerejian Plus heads up may me worth more than actual sanctions.
16mreplyretweetfavorite
emptywheel RT @GregDjerejian: De minimis expectations around GVA UKR statement amply manifested by 'head's up' to hedgies more sanctions in offing: ht…
16mreplyretweetfavorite
bmaz I have been informed Kiki wants To Get Her Ya Yas Out #NationalRecodDay http://t.co/rqybpi5c4c
23mreplyretweetfavorite
bmaz Man my Mott Live album sounds like it was used as a hockey puck at some point. Which I actually kind of faintly remember....
30mreplyretweetfavorite
bmaz More start of National Record Day: Mott the Hoople Live now spinning at Case de bmaz #LoudIsBeautifulIfItsClean
34mreplyretweetfavorite
bmaz @erinscafe True fact: @dcbigjohn tried to ride a Shetland pony once. Killed the pygmy pony right in its tracks.
46mreplyretweetfavorite
April 2014
S M T W T F S
« Mar    
 12345
6789101112
13141516171819
20212223242526
27282930