Saturday, April 21, 2012
CIA asks to expand targets in Yemen drone strikes
According to an article here, the CIA is requesting authority to expand its covert drone mission n Yemen. The CIA wants to launch attacks even though it does not know who the targets are.
These "signature strikes" would target people solely on intelligence that indicates patterns of suspicious behavior..For example images of militants gathering at known al-Qaida compounds or performing certain actions such as unloading explosives. This extension will no doubt lead to many more mistakes and civilian deaths.
Even the existing strikes often cause collateral damage. Sometimes the targets and those killed are not militants at all but at the most the families of suspected militants. The first horrendous attack of the Obama regime on a remote village killed mostly women and children. See this article.
These signature strikes have been used in Pakistan for some time. Director David Petraeus now wants to use this type of strike in Yemen.
Obama is already increasing the rate of strikes in Yemen. There have been at least 8 strikes this year already. Often the Yemen government denies U.S. involvement in strikes. There are also U.S. Special Forces operating in Yemen but nothing is said about them unless they happen to come under attack as has happened. Obama ruled out signature attacks more than a year ago. However, it would seem that the CIA has on occasion not followed the more restrictive rules in any case.
The U.S. is in danger of being to drawn in to a conflict that is often simply directed at the government so that hostilities may be as much a civil war as Al Qaeda gaining influence. The U.S. and the Yemeni government routinely identify any significant Islamic militant group as Al Qaeda related or even a branch of Al Qaeda. For more see this article.