Scott: America’s fight against terrorism continues as another leader of the Taliban was brought down in Pakistan during the latest drone strike. But the situation does bring up more questions about these types of strikes. And Shelby Holliday takes a closer look.
Shelby: This man was on America’s Most Wanted Terrorist list, but now he is dead.
Hakimullah Mehsud was considered one of the most dangerous terrorists in the world, and the U.S. government was even offering a $5 million reward for turning him in. It is believed he was killed by a drone strike in northwest Pakistan. That is where he led the Pakistani Taliban, an extremist group, for the last four years and helped hide dangerous al-Qaeda leaders.
Mehsud also claimed responsibility for the failed Times Square bombing in 2010 and was blamed for the death of seven CIA workers in Afghanistan in 2009. In a BBC interview last month, Mehsud said he would continue to target Americans. But late last week, Mehsud was the target of an American airstrike, and his death was confirmed by the Taliban.
Mehsud’s death is seen as a victory for the United States and proves that drones, which are remote-controlled unmanned airplanes, can be a useful tool in the fight against terrorism. But the attack was not without controversy and it has raised more questions and concerns about America’s drone program.
Following the attack on Mehsud, Pakistanis took to the streets in protest. They say drones in their country have killed too many innocent civilians, and they are calling on the Pakistani government to stand up to the U.S. Their calls come just days after President Obama sat down with Pakistan’s prime minister, Nawaz Sharif.
President Obama: We talked about security and the concerns that both of us have.
Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif: I also brought up the issue of drones in our meeting, emphasizing the need for an end to such strikes.
Shelby: According to the Bureau of Investigative Journalism, the U.S. has carried out nearly 400 drone strikes in Pakistan since 2004. The strikes have killed some of the world’s most wanted terrorists. But they have also resulted in the deaths of hundreds of innocent civilians.
Back in May, President Obama defended America’s use of drones.
Obama: We act against terrorists who pose a continuing and imminent threat to the American people.
Shelby: But as drones continue to change the nature of war, they also raise moral, legal and tactical questions that the U.S. is being asked to answer.
Shelby Holliday, Channel One News.
Scott: For more information about Pakistan and its relationship with the U.S., head to Channelone.com.