“You expect us to open the skies for anything that you can fly… in which country can you do that?” Unnamed Pakistani Intelligence Official
The Washington Post reports today (Nov. 20th) that further pressure is being put on the Pakistani government to widen the area that US drones are allowed to strike within Pakistan.
Unsurprisingly, after more than 100 drone strikes this year alone in the area in which they are operating, the Pakistani government has refused the request. This stance has, to put it mildly, annoyed the powers that be with one senior anonymous NATO military official quoted as saying “If they understand our side, they know the patience is running out.”
Also barely reported this week (and anytime it happens) was Israel’s incursion by unmanned drone into Lebanon. The flight, which pass within almost 50 miles of the capital Beirut, was in direct violation of UN resolutions (as Israel regularly is).
While neither the US nor Israel are famed for their respect of international law, there does seem to be something about unmanned drones that appears to mean a decrease in respect for international borders and sovereignty. Perhaps it’s the fact that the drone is unmanned and so ‘no body’ is actually crossing a border makes a difference to the military mind.
With more than forty countries developing unmanned drones these precedents of armed drones crossing international borders seemingly at will makes for a worrying future and suggests that a ban on armed drones is more important than ever.