Sunday, October 10, 2010

A cost-effective approach in terms of human costs....

The drone attacks have become a way of life [read: death] not only for civilians but now also for military men. Pakistan’s sovereignty is under threat, in fact being shredded into pieces and trashed, by no else but a super-power who occasionally claims to be a partner of the country now the target of its deadly attacks through unmanned aerial vehicles. And it attacks the target of its  fury, not only on militants’ hideouts, it also rockets its military posts. The military which is sacrificing so that Toms, Dicks and Harries and their offspring in the land of milk and honey remain safe, is now target of the fury of all these Toms, Dicks and Harries. And still they ask; why Pakistanis hate us in spite of our aid?

It seems that the world, and particularly Afghanistan, is slipping out of its grip like sand. No wonder, the frustration and decisions taken in a fit of rage are enough to strip you of the title of superiority and being the sole super-power. It is not losing one’s cool, it is losing one’s values which make one the laughing stock of history. Sometimes it looks rather unbelievable that USA is following the foot-prints of USSR. Is this fit of rage and frustration a part of some Great Game being played by some divine invisible forces to write yet another chapter in the history of mankind?

If it is so, then it is rather swift. Nations and their power do not evaporate in decades; it takes them centuries to become of part of history’s graveyard. But someone somewhere is accelerating the turn of events. A new world order, yet again....published in these pages discussed in detail the prospects of a bi-polar world, script of which is being written in the national accounts of China. The article predicted that by 2050, China will be able to challenge the superiority of the USA but the way events are taking place, that eventuality may take place in the near future, not for our coming generations to witness, but for a sorry spectacle of our own eyes.

An analysis appearing in the current issue of Foreign Policy titled “Addicted to Drones” was rather disturbing. The journal said that these recent drone strikes epitomize an important trend: When confronted with a foreign-policy problem that threatens U.S. national interests, civilian policymakers routinely call on limited military force such as drone strikes, cruise missile attacks, and special-operations raids. Many experts -- from pundits to anonymous U.S. officials -- laud such drone strikes as a low-cost, highly responsive, and effective military tactic. In practice, however, drones -- like other uses of limited force -- have substantial downsides that deserve attention given their increasingly prominent role.

The paper also says that under pressure to act in response to a threat and seduced by the allure and responsiveness of limited force, presidents elevate military options above other instruments of statecraft. Inevitably, after the missiles are launched, they announce their intention to keep the pressure on targeted adversaries with a follow-on campaign using all elements of national power. Once the bombs have been dropped, however, and the politically necessary "do something" box has been ticked, complex, robust secondary measures rarely come to fruition.  How very realist….and very unscrupulous….

It is apparent that the American public is largely unaware of the easy-going attitude of American establishment which causes death and destruction elsewhere. But those who know do not like it.  The question, however, remains; will the establishment of the US care unless the people of Pakistan practically demonstrate how much they dislike foreign elements threatening their security, and these foreign element include not only Arab, Uzbek and African fighters, these also include Americans of the Black-water variety and those sitting in Washington DC ordering drone attacks.  

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