Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Should we allow Nato free rein to attack and kill people?

The airstrike that killed 24 Pakistani soldiers is just the latest in a series of mistakes that raise doubts about Nato’s credibility

Unmanned MQ-1 Predator drone aircraft
An unmanned Predator drone of the type operating along the Afhanistan-Pakistan border. Photograph: Sipa Press/Rex
 
Why did Nato forces kill two dozen Pakistani soldiers at a border post in the Mohmand region, some 300 yards across the frontier from Afghanistan early on Saturday morning? The US military claims the attack was in response to hostile fire, and the Pakistanis are demanding proof of that.

There is a very simple explanation of what happened: the US military makes deadly mistakes all the time, and for all its technological wizardry and tremendous firepower, it has very little intelligence on the ground.

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