President Obama did reduce the number of US soldiers fighting in Afghanistan and Iraq, but he dramatically expanded the air wars and the use of special operations forces around the globe. In 2016, US special operators could be found in 70% of the world’s nations, 138 countries – a staggering jump of 130% since the days of the Bush administration.
Looking back at President Obama’s legacy, the Council on Foreign Relation’s Micah Zenko added up the defense department’s data on airstrikes and made a startling revelation: in 2016 alone, the Obama administration dropped at least 26,171 bombs. This means that every day last year, the US military blasted combatants or civilians overseas with 72 bombs; that’s three bombs every hour, 24 hours a day. Continue reading
If a new attack occurs and inflicts major casualties in India, especially among civilians in the heartland, the kudos the Modi government won at home for the response to Uri will compel it to act more forcefully. Pakistani military and civilian leaders, fearful of each other and of militant political forces, cannot let a substantial Indian military operation against targets on Pakistani soil go unanswered.
In this context, the lack of any apparent strategy and political determination (in both India and Pakistan) to change the current dynamic and establish a peacemaking process is dangerous. Can serious people in either country believe this situation is sustainable over a long-term period, that violence can continue to be managed? Continue reading
Pakistan has been selling weapons to many countries of the world including United States and Britain.
Minister for Defence Production, Rana Tanveer Hussain, while answering questions in the National Assembly session, said that during 2013, UK bought 69 Pakistan-made sub-machine guns (SMG MP5) and 250 G-3 rifles. … Continue reading
Gregory D. Johnsen wrote a detailed account of the rise of Huthis in Yemen. Adam Baron argued that the power struggle is primarily local and foreign intervention will be a very bad idea.
But what is abundantly clear at the moment is that this remains, by and large, an internal Yemeni political conflict—one that, despite frequent sectarian mischaracterizations and potential regional implications, remains deeply rooted in local Yemeni issues.
And if history is a guide, foreign intervention will only stand to exacerbate the situation. Ironically, talk now centers on a potential Saudi Arabian and Egyptian military intervention in Yemen, a scenario that immediately brought to mind the memory of North Yemen’s 1960s Civil War which saw both sides intervene—albeit on different sides—in a matter which only appeared to draw the conflict out further. This is not to say that there isn’t a place for foreign powers to aid Yemeni factions in negotiating some new political settlement. But any nation that aims to make Yemen’s fight their own is more than likely to come out on the losing side.
Michael Krepon, “Fifteen years later,” The Express Tribune News Network, 26 December 2013
India and Pakistan have travelled a long distance since testing nuclear devices in 1998. Back then, government officials and leading strategic thinkers on the subcontinent expressed confidence that these tests would have stabilising effects. Going public with the Bomb would relieve anxieties and facilitate diplomatic efforts to normalise relations. In countries where many lived in poverty that placed a premium on economic growth, all that was needed was minimum, credible deterrence. It’s worth recalling these aspirations 15 years later, during which Pakistan and India have fought one limited war and have experienced two severe crises. Their nuclear arsenals have grown steadily as diplomacy has faltered.
Craig Whitlock, “Drone strikes killing more civilians than U.S. admits, human rights groups say,” The Washington Post, 22 October 2013
Two influential human rights groups say they have freshly documented dozens of civilian deaths in U.S. drone strikes in Pakistan and Yemen, contradicting assertions by the Obama administration that such casualties are rare.
Richard Engel and Robert Windrem, “CIA didn’t always know who it was killing in drone strikes, classified documents show,” NBC News, 05/06/2013
The CIA did not always know who it was targeting and killing in drone strikes in Pakistan over a 14-month period, an NBC News review of classified intelligence reports shows.
Chris Woods, “Leaked Pakistani report confirms high civilian death toll in CIA drone strikes,” The Bureau of Investigative Journalism, July 22 2013
A secret document obtained by the Bureau reveals for the first time the Pakistan government’s internal assessment of dozens of drone strikes, and shows scores of civilian casualties.