Who's Being Targeted for Assassination by Drone?

Friday, January 2, 2015

Spiegel reports this week that drug dealers and low-level Taliban members were targeted for death by drone:
NATO didn’t just target the Taliban leadership, but also eliminated mid- and lower-level members of the group on a large scale. Some Afghans were only on the list because, as drug dealers, they were allegedly supporting the insurgents.

The operations were based on the lists maintained by the CIA and NATO — Obama’s lists. The White House dubbed the strategy “escalate and exit.” McChrystal’s successor, General David Petraeus, documented the strategy in “Field Manual 3-24″ on fighting insurgencies, which remains a standard work today. Petraeus outlined three stages in fighting guerilla organizations like the Taliban. The first was a cleansing phase …. Behind closed doors, Petraeus and his staff explained exactly what was meant by “cleansing.” German politicians recall something that Michael T. Flynn, the head of ISAF intelligence in Afghanistan, once said during a briefing: “The only good Talib is a dead Talib.” Under Petraeus, a merciless campaign began to hunt down the so-called shadow governors and local supporters aligned with the Islamists.

According to the NSA document, in October 2008 the NATO defense ministers made the momentous decision that drug networks would now be “legitimate targets” for ISAF troops. “Narcotics traffickers were added to the Joint Prioritized Effects List (JPEL) list for the first time,” the report reads. In the opinion of American commanders like Bantz John Craddock, there was no need to prove that drug money was being funneled to the Taliban to declare farmers, couriers and dealers as legitimate targets of NATO strikes. In early 2009, Craddock, NATO’s Supreme Allied Commander for Europe at the time, issued an order to expand the targeted killings of Taliban officials to drug producers.

Read more: here

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