Sunday, November 27, 2011
After suffering an seemingly endless barrage of civilian and military deaths courtesy of President Barack Obama’s assassination drones, Pakistan has finally said enough, announcing on Saturday that supply routes used by U.S.-led troops in Afghanistan would be blocked and the use of a Pakistani airbase by American forces will end.
Pakistan’s unprecedented response is in retaliation to a NATO attack on a Pakistani border outpost that officials said killed at least 24 Pakistani soldiers and injured another 13.
U.S. military forces were given 15 days to vacate Shamsi Airbase which was secretly turned over to U.S. forces following the 9/11 terrorist attacks. Shamsi was also used for launching the war in Afghanistan in late 2001 and later, under President Obama, served as the base for the U.S. drone program targeting militants.
The decision to kick the Americans out followed an emergency meeting of Pakistan’s top civilian and military leadership late Saturday. Pakistan has grown increasingly frustrated with the U.S. in recent months over the drone killing of Pakistani soldiers and civilians.
Pakistan also announced that the government would “revisit and undertake a complete review of all programs, activities and cooperative arrangements” with the United States and U.S.-led forces in Afghanistan, “including diplomatic, political, military and intelligence.”
The deaths of 24 Pakistani soldiers pour fuel on the raging anti-American sentiment in this key U.S. ally. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and Defense Secretary Leon Panetta in a joint statement offered their “deepest condolences” for the loss of life in the cross-border incident in Pakistan. Oddly, President Obama has been silent on the loss of Pakistani life and the decision to kick the Americans out.
Islamabad called the bloodshed in one of its tribal areas a “grave infringement” of the country’s sovereignty. If confirmed, it would be the deadliest ‘friendly fire’ incident by NATO against Pakistani troops since the Afghanistan war began a decade ago.
President Obama’s lust after assassination drones as a covert substitute for real military operations means suspected terrorists won’t be alive to bring in for questioning. This puts the United States at even greater risk. While President Obama and his national security team may be satisfied with their approach, dead terrorists can’t tell you their plans to strike America next.