Monday, September 15, 2008

Pakistan attacks may be illegal

It isn't often commentary anywhere near the mainstream questions the legality of US foreign adventures. On the Guardian's Comment is Free, Evening Standard defense correspondent Robert Fox does just that:

The raids [by US Navy Seals on Sept 3] were the first by US Special Operations Command since Bush signed a secret operational order in July authorising cross-border raids into Pakistan without prior notification to the authorities there. Interestingly, the first raid took place just as Asif Ali Zardari was about to be elected Pakistan's first civilian president for nine years.

Whatever the tactical gains the American commanders think they are getting from such methods, they are likely to be outweighed by the strategic crassness of these escapades. Under current international law, they could be conceived as acts of aggression and a violation of the UN Charter. At a practical level, they stand to be a powerful recruiting sergeant for the Taliban – and the millions of hitherto uncommitted Afghan refugees in Pakistan... (link)
Meanwhile, the Observer's defense correspondent remarks that the NATO/US presence in Afghanistan is a gift for al-Qaeda:
UK campaign in Afghanistan 'aids al-Qaeda'
Mark Townsend, defence correspondent
The Observer,
Sunday September 14 2008

The presence of British forces in Afghanistan is providing 'oxygen' for al-Qaeda, the United Nations' senior expert on the terrorist group has warned.

Richard Barrett, head of the UN's al-Qaeda monitoring unit, said latest intelligence indicated that the operations of British and foreign troops in southern Afghanistan were galvanising the organisation. Barrett, who reports directly to the UN Security Council, added that the deployment of foreign troops in the country was acting as the 'glue' with which Osama bin Laden's al-Qaeda network was bonding support in the region...

Barrett said the presence of Nato troops and coalition forces in Afghanistan had helped al-Qaeda consolidate its position on the Afghan-Pakistani border by offering the terrorist group a target... (link)
  • On the war in Afghanistan being illegal, see here, here and here.

No comments: