To sabotage negotiations from the skies

emptywheel do great reporting on the political use of drones. They argue in particular that the US has used drone strikes to sabotage peace negotiations in Afghanistan, literally by assassinating the negotiators or their comrades.

So when a drone killed Taliban leader Hakimullah Mehsud, the US media seemed baffled that Pakistan was not happy:

Virtually nobody openly welcomed the demise of Mr. Mehsud, who was responsible for the deaths of thousands of Pakistani civilians. To some American security analysts, the furious reaction was another sign of the perversity and ingratitude that they say have scarred Pakistan’s relationship with the United States.

But emptywheel cites reports that Mehsud’s party were due to attend peace talks the next day

[Interior Minister Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan] said the identity of those killed in the drone strike was irrelevant. “The government of Pakistan does not see this drone attack as an attack on an individual but as an attack on the peace process,” he said.

This fits an ongoing pattern:

in early October, the US snatched Latif Mehsud from Afghan intelligence after they had spent months trying to convince him to help them initiate peace talks… And with momentum gathering again for peace talks, Brennan even strayed outside the tribal areas of Pakistan in a botched attempt to kill Sirajuddin Haqqani, but still managed to kill a senior fundraiser for the Haqqani network.

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