Socialist Worker

CIA and drone attacks spread the conflict

Issue No. 2183

Reading the news over the past couple of weeks, you would be forgiven for thinking that a major terrorist attack had killed many Americans on a flight to Detroit.

However, Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab failed to effectively detonate the explosives he was carrying and no one was hurt.

But the media furore surrounding the failed attack stands in sharp contrast to lack of coverage of the death and destruction the US rains down on people on a daily basis.

The use of unmanned drones in Pakistan has been a particularly controversial component of the “war on terror”.

More than 70 US drone missile strikes have killed at least 665 people in Pakistan since August 2008 according to official figures – with the real figure likely to be much higher.


The drones, used to target houses and villages allegedly used by Taliban militants often cause massive explosions, killing and maiming many people in the area.

The use of drones makes it easier for the US to shirk the blame for civilian deaths, often claiming that it was Taliban fighters who started the explosions.

Drones are also being used by the US in Yemen to target suspected Al Qaida groups and training grounds.

Behind many of these attacks stands the CIA, the US secret intelligence group. Obama has approved the increased use of drones in Pakistan, guided to targets by CIA intelligence.

An attack on a CIA base in Afghanistan, close to the border with Pakistan, last week has exposed the role they are playing in the war on terror.

The recruitment of informants and the use of the information they provide is a significant part of US strategy.

The bomber, who killed seven CIA employees and a Jordanian, was brought to the base as a prospective source.

Click here to subscribe to our daily morning email newsletter 'Breakfast in red'

Mobile users! Don't forget to add Socialist Worker to your home screen.