US considering drone attacks on Pakistani city of 850,000: report

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Offline Suriel

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By John Byrne
Monday, December 14th, 2009 -- 10:36 am
http://rawstory.com/2009/12/drone-attacks-pakistani-city-850000/



Senior US officials are pushing to expand CIA drone strikes beyond Pakistan's tribal region and into a major city in an attempt to pressure the Pakistani government to pursue Taliban leaders based in the city of Quetta -- a city with some 850,000 people, according to a report Monday.

The Obama Administration is eyeing Predator aircraft strikes in Quetta in an effort to decapitate the Taliban, according to the LA Times. But the prospect of launching a major attack in a highly populous city has struck some officials as unwise, officials who apparently leaked news of the program to a major US newspaper.

Pakistani officials have also warned that the fallout would be severe.

"We are not a banana republic," the Times quoted a senior Pakistani official as saying. If the United States follows through, the official said, "this might be the end of the road."

Obama officials disagree. One senior US official was quoted as saying, "If we don't do this -- at least have a real discussion of it -- Pakistan might not think we are serious. What the Pakistanis have to do is tell the Taliban that there is too much pressure from the US; we can't allow you to have sanctuary inside Pakistan anymore."

Proponents, including some military leaders, argue that attacking the Taliban in Quetta -- or at least threatening to do so -- is critical to the success of the revised war strategy President Obama unveiled last week. But others, including high-ranking US intelligence officials, have been skeptical of employing drone attacks in a place that Pakistanis see as part of their country's core.

The US has increased CIA-initiated Predator drone attacks since President Obama took office. In October, The New Yorker's Jane Mayer noted a New America Foundation study, which posited that Obama's team had increased such strikes "dramatically."

Quote
     According to a just completed study by the New America Foundation, the number of drone strikes has risen dramatically since Obama became President. During his first nine and a half months in office, he has authorized as many C.I.A. aerial attacks in Pakistan as George W. Bush did in his final three years in office. The study’s authors, Peter Bergen and Katherine Tiedemann, report that the Obama Administration has sanctioned at least forty-one C.I.A. missile strikes in Pakistan since taking office—a rate of approximately one bombing a week. So far this year, various estimates suggest, the C.I.A. attacks have killed between three hundred and twenty-six and five hundred and thirty-eight people. Critics say that many of the victims have been innocent bystanders, including children.

    In the last week of September alone, there were reportedly four such attacks—three of them in one twenty-four-hour period. At any given moment, a former White House counterterrorism official says, the C.I.A. has multiple drones flying over Pakistan, scouting for targets. According to the official, “there are so many drones” in the air that arguments have erupted over which remote operators can claim which targets, provoking “command-and-control issues.”

Mayer's October piece took issue with the frequency of Predator strikes, which involve targeted assassinations of purported terrorists. While seemingly effective -- and certainly effective at driving terrorists underground --there is little oversight.

"It’s easy to understand the appeal of a 'push-button”'approach to fighting Al Qaeda, but the embrace of the Predator program has occurred with remarkably little public discussion, given that it represents a radically new and geographically unbounded use of state-sanctioned lethal force," Mayer wrote. "And, because of the C.I.A. program’s secrecy, there is no visible system of accountability in place, despite the fact that the agency has killed many civilians inside a politically fragile, nuclear-armed country with which the U.S. is not at war."

Predator drones are flown by civilians. In the past, they've also involved security contractors such as Blackwater.

"According to a former counterterrorism official, the contractors are “seasoned professionals—often retired military and intelligence officials,'" Mayer writes. "Once the drones are aloft, the former counterterrorism official said, the controls are electronically 'slewed over' to a set of 'reachback operators,' in Langley. Using joysticks that resemble video-game controls, the reachback operators—who don’t need conventional flight training—sit next to intelligence officers and watch, on large flat-screen monitors, a live video feed from the drone’s camera."

Quetta is a target because it is seen as a base for Taliban leader Mullah Mohammed Omar.

"Pakistan is not expected to hand over Mullah Mohammed Omar, the Taliban leader and longtime ally of Osama bin Laden who fled Afghanistan when U.S. forces invaded after the Sept. 11 attacks," the Times reporters write. "Omar is believed to have used Quetta as a base from which to orchestrate insurgent attacks in Afghanistan.

"But U.S. officials said they have presented Pakistan with a list of Taliban lieutenants and argued that, with a U.S. pullout scheduled to begin in 18 months, the urgency of dismantling the so-called Quetta shura is greater than at any time in the 8-year-old war," they add.

With AFP.
"We have reached a stage at which we have surrounded ourselves with more things, but have less joy." - The Brothers Karamazov by Fyodor Dostoevsky translated by Ignat Avsey

Offline starvosan

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Re: US considering drone attacks on Pakistani city of 850,000: report
« Reply #1 on: December 15, 2009, 12:01:23 AM »
Thirty years ago enraged Pakistanis burned down the American Embassy in Islamabad for some reason or another, in a mostly forgotten historical event.  If this stuff continues, they will probably burn it down again.

http%3A//www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/articles/A15332-2004Nov26.html

Offline larsonstdoc

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Re: US considering drone attacks on Pakistani city of 850,000: report
« Reply #2 on: December 15, 2009, 12:11:40 AM »



This will stir up some hatred towards the US.  This place has as many people as the metro area of Omaha, Ne--837,000 people.
I'M A DEPLORABLE KNUCKLEHEAD THAT SUPPORTS PRESIDENT TRUMP.  MAY GOD BLESS HIM AND KEEP HIM SAFE.

Offline Dig

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Re: US considering drone attacks on Pakistani city of 850,000: report
« Reply #3 on: December 15, 2009, 12:21:48 AM »
This is a test field.

this  is a test field for use in the US.
All eyes are opened, or opening, to the rights of man. The general spread of the light of science has already laid open to every view the palpable truth, that the mass of mankind has not been born with saddles on their backs, nor a favored few booted and spurred, ready to ride them legitimately

Size10

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Re: US considering drone attacks on Pakistani city of 850,000: report
« Reply #4 on: December 15, 2009, 12:25:06 AM »
You know, those flying killing machines in the Terminator movies don't seem so far-fetched any more...






Piltdown Man

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Re: US considering drone attacks on Pakistani city of 850,000: report
« Reply #5 on: December 15, 2009, 12:39:02 AM »
Does the forum know they are doing this mass murder from a freekin trailer outside Las Vegas???
so supremely sick...

http://www.slate.com/id/2147400/

The Air Force's Predator missions in Iraq and Afghanistan are controlled by pilots sitting in trailers at Nellis Air Force Base just outside Las Vegas. Even though they're not in the combat zone, Predator and Global Hawk pilots still wear full flight suits.

How To Fly a Drone
Just pretend like you're playing PlayStation.

By Dan KoisPosted Wednesday, Aug. 9, 2006, at 1:34 PM ET

On Monday, the Israeli air force shot down a Hezbollah drone over Israeli airspace. According to media reports in Israel, the unmanned craft was preparing to drop explosives. How do you pilot an unmanned drone?
 
Depending on the drone, it's either like playing a video game, flying a remote-controlled plane, or doing data entry. Drones, also known as unmanned aerial vehicles, are pilotless airplanes used for reconnaissance and surgical attacks. The U.S. Army's drone of choice, the Raven, is a 3-foot-long, camera-equipped miniplane that's "launched" when a soldier winds up and throws it. Once in the air, the Raven is controlled by a book-sized console that looks something like a 1980s-era Coleco football game. The screen at the top displays one of the drone's three video feeds, and the joysticks and buttons at the bottom pilot the craft. Operators can use the sticks to pilot the Raven like a model plane or just preprogram GPS coordinates for the drone to follow. There's even a button that automatically returns the Raven to its launch site.
Related in Slate

Eric Umansky argued that the armed Predator drone isn't as revolutionary as it looks. William Saletan pondered how remote-controlled killing is changing the practice—and the morality—of warfare. In 2002, Fred Kaplan predicted that smart bombs alone would not be enough to win the war in Iraq. Daniel Engber explained how to aim a rocket.

The Air Force's Predator is much larger and more complex than the Raven. Because the Predator is used for both spying and attacks—it's outfitted with Hellfire missiles as well as video and communications equipment—it needs to be nimble. Predator pilots operate the craft from the ground using a flight stick exactly like one used in an airplane. They also face an array of computer screens streaming data from the Predator's instruments and video from the drone's primary camera while chatting with others involved in the mission via a keyboard and headset. A second crew member, the "sensor," controls the video and communications equipment.

The U.S. military's top-of-the-line drone is the Air Force's Global Hawk. The Hawk is a high-altitude, long-endurance spy plane that's much larger than the tiny Raven or the medium-sized Predator. (Its wingspan is more than 100 feet.) The Global Hawk's sole job is to spy from high above, and it takes little video-game razzle-dazzle to fly it. The pilots simply enter coordinates on computer keyboards while eyeballing a digital representation of the drone's airspace.

The Hezbollah drone, an Iranian-built Mirsad-1, is somewhere between a Raven and a Predator in size and less sophisticated than either. The Mirsad-1 cannot communicate around the globe via satellite technology, and it has no internal GPS navigation system. As a result, the Hezbollah drone was probably operated from a high hilltop by one or two people with joysticks and a laptop—with a drone like this one, it's imperative that the operator never lose direct line of sight.

The Army and the Air Force have very different philosophies in determining who gets to fly drones. The Air Force's larger, more complex drones are flown only by fully-trained pilots. The Army allows its Raven to be operated by enlisted men who have had a modicum of training. PlayStation-adept grunts have proved to be excellent drone operators—one major told the Army News Service that one top Raven operator is normally a cook.

Bonus Explainer: Where are drone pilots, anyway? Raven operators must be in the field since they have to maintain line of sight with their drones. Pilots of the satellite-ready Global Hawks and Predators can be half a world away from their targets. The Global Hawk program is run out of Beale Air Force Base in California. The Air Force's Predator missions in Iraq and Afghanistan are controlled by pilots sitting in trailers at Nellis Air Force Base just outside Las Vegas. Even though they're not in the combat zone, Predator and Global Hawk pilots still wear full flight suits.

Offline Dig

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Re: US considering drone attacks on Pakistani city of 850,000: report
« Reply #6 on: December 15, 2009, 12:53:33 AM »
Does the forum know they are doing this mass murder from a freekin trailer outside Las Vegas???
so supremely sick...

http://www.slate.com/id/2147400/

The Air Force's Predator missions in Iraq and Afghanistan are controlled by pilots sitting in trailers at Nellis Air Force Base just outside Las Vegas. Even though they're not in the combat zone, Predator and Global Hawk pilots still wear full flight suits.

How To Fly a Drone
Just pretend like you're playing PlayStation.




yup, here are the new merchants of genocide...







There is no mercenary missile team in Pak/India to create tension...








when all else fails...

All eyes are opened, or opening, to the rights of man. The general spread of the light of science has already laid open to every view the palpable truth, that the mass of mankind has not been born with saddles on their backs, nor a favored few booted and spurred, ready to ride them legitimately

Offline larsonstdoc

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Re: US considering drone attacks on Pakistani city of 850,000: report
« Reply #7 on: December 15, 2009, 01:00:10 AM »
http://newsblaze.com/story/20091127145656zzzz.nb/


Article dated 11-27-2009

Cindy Sheehan 'No Drones Tour' Protests Obama surge at Travis AFB


 
Cindy Sheehan, CodePINK target Travis AFB on Saturday to protest Obama's proposed escalation, 'drone war' in Afghanistan

Fairfield/Suisun - With anti-war Mom Cindy Sheehan on board, a CodePINK "No Drones Bus" heads to Travis Air Force Base Saturday - one of more than a half dozen military base protests on the way to Nevada to demonstrate against President Obama's plan for an escalation of the war against Afghanistan and the administration's increased use of "drone warfare" that kills civilians at high rates.

A news conference and protest will be held at Travis AFB (main gate) from 8:30 to 9:30 a.m. Saturday.

The bus, and its cadre of demonstrators from Northern California, will hold the following actions:

Saturday: 8:30-9:30 a.m. - Travis AFB (main gate), Fairfield. 2-3 p.m. - Lemoore Naval Air Station (main gate), Lemoore.. 4-5 p.m. - Fresno Air National Guard (main gate), Fresno.

Sunday: 7:30-8:30 a.m. - Edwards AFB (main gate), Edwards. 11-12 Noon - Marine Corps Logistics Base (main gate), Barstow. 1-2 p.m. - Ft. Irwin Army Military Reserve (main gate), Ft. Irwin. 5-6 p.m. - Nellis AFB (main gate), North Las Vegas.

Once at Creech AFB in Indian Springs, NV) demonstrations Monday will be held in conjunction with International Climate Justice Day of Actions to protest the environmental disaster caused by wars (including 51 percent of fossil fuels in the world are consumed by the U.S. military).

On Tuesday, timed to coincide with Obama's expected announcement to increase troops strength in Afghanistan, Dawn to Dusk protests will be held at the front gate at Creech AFB.

A CodePINK statement said:
"President Obama was elected to end the war. We are still in Iraq, drone bombing against Pakistan for the past 6 months has been more than all the drone bombing under Bush and we're escalating in Afghanistan. We have one message for U.S. troops: RESIST, REFUSE, DON'T GO, NO SURGE; and one message for Obama: Troops Home NOW."
I'M A DEPLORABLE KNUCKLEHEAD THAT SUPPORTS PRESIDENT TRUMP.  MAY GOD BLESS HIM AND KEEP HIM SAFE.

Offline Suriel

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Re: US considering drone attacks on Pakistani city of 850,000: report
« Reply #8 on: December 16, 2009, 04:07:40 PM »
Pakistan warns US against drone strikes on Quetta: FO
Updated at: 0810 PST, Wednesday, December 16, 2009
http://www.thenews.com.pk/updates.asp?id=93643

ISLAMABAD: Foreign Office spokesman said Pakistan has warned Obama administration against surge of US drone strike strategy up to Quetta in Balochistan province, Geo news reported.

Abdul Basit, FO spokesman, said Pakistan seeks stability in Afghanistan because peace and order in Pakistan lies in Afghan stability.

He demanded international world of pressurizing India to end muddling in Pakistan.

Pakistan seeks result-oriented dialogue with India in order to reach resolution of issues through round of composite dialogue, he concluded.
"We have reached a stage at which we have surrounded ourselves with more things, but have less joy." - The Brothers Karamazov by Fyodor Dostoevsky translated by Ignat Avsey

Offline Suriel

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Re: US considering drone attacks on Pakistani city of 850,000: report
« Reply #9 on: December 16, 2009, 04:21:14 PM »
US drones headed for Pakistan?
Quetta, Pakistan, population 850,000 could be the target of the next CIA strike. The intelligence agency is considering a plan to use Predator drones to hit the city believed to be a sanctuary for many Al Qaeda operatives. But Pakistani officials and some within the U.S. government believe such an attack would create a diplomacy nightmare because of all the potential civilian lives that could be lost.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=p7SWCmj7OBY
"We have reached a stage at which we have surrounded ourselves with more things, but have less joy." - The Brothers Karamazov by Fyodor Dostoevsky translated by Ignat Avsey