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So we've decided to trample on Pakistan's fragile democracy in order to protect Afghanistan's?

http://www.washingtonpost.com/world/asia_pacific/us-drone-strikes-resume-in-pakistan-action-may-complicate-vital-negotiations/2012/04/29/gIQAIprqpT_story.html

'“When a duly elected democratic Parliament says three times not to do this, and the U.S. keeps doing it, it undermines democracy,” said a Pakistani government official, speaking on the condition of anonymity to preserve diplomatic relationships. “These drone strikes may kill terrorists, but the net loser is freedom and democracy.”'

Even if we're doing this with a wink and a nod from officials high up in the Pakistani military and/or civilian government, it's pretty clear what the democratically expressed wish of the people is. Are we winning hearts and minds?
Four al-Qaeda-linked militants were killed in a girls’ school they had taken over, security officials there said.
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Greg Pultorak's profile photoThomas Edwards's profile photoDavid Eisner's profile photoPrasad Dharmasena's profile photo
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How does this protect Afghanistan's democracy?
 
I think the rationale is that Pakistan is used as a staging ground by the Haqani network, "al-Qaeda-linked militants", etc. to wage war against NATO forces and our Afghan allies, who are fighting to protect the Afghan state and its democratic government (for some value of "democratic"). By picking off the bad guys in Pakistan, we're winning the war in Afghanistan. That's the argument the administration would put forth, I think.
 
There is a theory that the Pakistani government (and more certainly the military and/or ISI) works closely with the US military on these strikes, then the government acts all upset to get political support from the people. But yeah, I'm still not sold on the cost/benefit ratio of these activities.
 
"... duly elected democratic Parliament"? In Pakistan? Ha, ha, ha ... that's funny. With a Prez who is a money launderer, a PM who was just convicted of contempt of court, with a military and an intelligence agency (ISI) that is more powerful than the govt itself, and trains militant groups (your freedom fighter is my terrorist) like Lashkar-e-Taiba that attacked civilians in Mumbai; and attacked my cricket team who were guests in their country ... that Pakistan? The Pakistan that was carved out solely on the basis of a religion? That Pakistan is a failed state! And, in that part of the world (not just in PK), politics, hence the control of democracy, is a family business.

As for the drone strikes ... every country goes to war for its own self interest. If a 100 drone strikes can accomplish the same thing w/o a ten-year quagmire and countless own military lives, what's wrong with that?

There are very few high principled military engagements any more. See the documentary "Why We Fight" (http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0436971/) ... and proxy wars by drones, and other means, is here to stay.
 
Prasad, do you think a majority of Pakistan's citizens are in favor of U.S. drone strikes?
 
Of course, not! Then again, that's not a question asked by the military part of our govt. We take military action because we can. And, sometimes, as a justification for the existence of the military industrial complex. The question the military side our administration-brain asks is "drone vs combat boots on the ground" ... not "to drone or not to drone". The current, supposed socialist, administration has done more drone strikes in three years than the previous trigger-happy administration in eight. What does that say about where we are headed?
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