U.S. Missile Strike In Pakistan Kills… Whomever
To build off Doug’s excellent piece today, here’s a good example of the wages of not having a human-intelligence network in the lawless Pakistani tribal areas where Osama bin Laden is believed to be. From The Los Angeles Times:
In what could herald an intensified U.S. campaign against Islamic insurgents in Pakistan’s tribal areas, a suspected American missile attack killed at least nine people near the Afghan border, local officials said Wednesday.
It was not immediately known whether any senior insurgent figures were among the dead, but officials in the South Waziristan tribal region said those killed included "foreigners," often used to mean Al Qaeda operatives and commanders from outside Pakistan.
And really, who has any idea who was killed in the strike? Similarly, who has any idea about the value of the intelligence that yielded the strike in the first place? I’ll have more on this in a forthcoming piece, but one of the problems with having a shoddy human-intelligence network is not being able to check the outcomes of your intelligence, which also weakens your ability to check the intelligence inputs. That’s the sort of thing that gets innocent people killed and lets guilty people walk away.