Monday, April 5, 2010

Terrorizing the Terrorists

That's a policy I've advocated for some time. And while I've had my doubts about the drone assassination program, according to the New York Times, it is working to spread terror amongst our enemies -- and that's a good thing.

Militants now sneak into villages two at a time to sleep, he said. Some homeowners were refusing to rent space to Arabs, who are associated with Al Qaeda, for fear of their families’ being killed by the drones, he said.
You know you have an effective terror campaign when neutrals, some of whom might even be sympathetic to Taliban and Al Qaeda fighters, turn against them out of fear for their own safety. 
The strikes have become so ferocious, “It seems they really want to kill everyone, not just the leaders,” said the militant, who is a mid-ranking fighter associated with the insurgent network headed by Jalaluddin and Sirajuddin Haqqani. By “everyone” he meant rank-and-file fighters, though civilians are being killed, too. ... Tactics used just a year ago to avoid the drones could not be relied on, he said. It is, for instance, no longer feasible to sleep under the trees as a way of avoiding the drones. “We can’t lead a jungle existence for 24 hours every day,” he said.
If this report, and the statements of this militant are representative, then the drone campaign has indeed succeeded in terrorizing our enemies. They live in constant fear of the drones, and the civilian population is turning against them.

I've been skeptical of the drone assassination campaign because of the ratio of enemy to civilian deaths, the danger of backlash and destabilization within Pakistan, and the limitations of a strategy based largely on air power. But if stories like this one are correct, it seems to be working. 


  1. Obama's new nuclear weapon review is out. you're not gonna like it.

    Protect us President Obama. Don't just protect the NPT.

  2. Unfortunately, it's about what I expect from Obama.