(I highlighted a similar excerpt from Wikipedia on Davis in my previous post)
from Afghan Journal: Lifting the veil on conflict, culture and politics
Feb 18, 2011 04:33 EST
CIA | drone | North Waziristan | Pakistan
Excerpt: "...given the surcharged atmosphere across Pakistan, the United States may well be holding off on its covert air campaign in order not to inflame passions further. The last missile strike took place on Jan.23 in North Waziristan..."
For more than three weeks now, there has been no U.S. drone strike in Pakistan’s northwest, triggering speculation that the pause may be related to the tensions between the two countries over the arrest of an American embassy employee for murder. Washington is seeking the release of Raymond Davis, a former Special Forces soldier who killed two Pakistanis on Jan 27 during what he said was an attempted robbery in a Lahore street, arguing he is covered under diplomatic immunity.
Pakistanis, deeply resentful of the heavy U.S. involvement in the country, are refusing to hand over Davis, saying he should face trial in Pakistan as he didn’t have immunity.
The matter is in court and given the surcharged atmosphere across Pakistan, the United States may well be holding off on its covert air campaign in order not to inflame passions further. The last missile strike took place on Jan.23 in North Waziristan, where the raids have been concentrated in the hunt for the Haqqani network. Ordinarily, the Predators and the more advanced Reapers controlled from the U.S. are in the Pakistani northwest at least two or three times a week, as part of a ramped-up campaign since President Barack Obama took office in January 2009
“Drones in slumber after Davis incident,” a headline read in The News. ***
But The Long War Journal which closely tracks the drone programme said there have been periods of operational inactivity in the past and this latest pause is only the third-longest. The longest was in November 2009 when it lasted 33 days, followed by another in June of the same year when it ran for 28 days.
Weather is a primary reason for disruption of drone missions. Also, it may be a question of operational intelligence with missions dependent on the information flow. Even now in this surcharged atmosphere, if the CIA were to get information about a high-value target in the Pakistani northwest, it’s hard to see them passing up the chance to strike.
As CIA director Leon Panetta said in 2009, the drones were the “only game in town” to stop the al Qaeda , and it doesn’t seem likely the United States is about to give up its weapon of choice.
By Sanjeev for Reuters Afghan Journal
"Reported from across the conflict zones of South Asia stretching from Afghanistan to Sri Lanka. One of the millions with roots on both sides of the India-Pakistan divide. Now an editor based in Singapore."
*** Drones in slumber after Davis incident
Updated at 0830 PST Sunday, February 13, 2011 Find article in The News dot com dot pk here
Related and also Just In:
Raymond Davis: Our man in Pakistan in on search 5 or so hours ago when posted at 11:13 ET Raymond Davis is a former Special Forces soldier who, according to the State Department, works for the US embassy in Pakistan here NOTE even the Washington Post wonders in this Op Ed if Obama/US has pushed the envelope to far in this "murky" case involving a so-called "diplomat" with a revolver.
(SEE a Pakistani lawyer's interpretation of the internationally relevant diplomacy agreements IF relevant in this case and questions about Davis in next post above)