Tags: America's Forum | Nasir Shansab | Clare Lopez | drone war | Afghanistan

Nasir Shansab: Drone Strikes Manifest Afghans' Hatred of US

By    |   Friday, 24 April 2015 01:04 PM

American Drone strikes that inadvertently kill civilians are breeding distrust and even hatred for the United States in Afghanistan, according to Nasir Shansab, a former Afghan industrialist forced to flee his country.

"They believe that civilians are suffering more by drone attacks than real fighters do," he said during an appearance Friday on Newsmax TV's "America's Forum."

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Revelations by the White House Thursday that two hostages being held by al-Qaida — an American and an Italian — were killed in January drone strikes along the Afghanistan-Pakistan border — at locations the U.S. had determined was an al-Qaida compound only — made headlines "because they are westerners," according to Shansab.

"Over the years, drone strikes have killed many, many civilians and it has created a lot of bad feeling, almost hatred, for the United States," he said.

Drones are an effective weapon, but cannot and should not replace human intelligence, said Clare Lopez, an intelligence expert who is the vice president for Research and Analysis at the Center for Security Policy, who appeared with Shansab.

"The drones are one tool in the counter jihad tool kit," she said. "They're not a substitute for good human intelligence.

"Now, when it can be determined that a particular high ranking leadership figure, as in this case, Ahmed Farooq, who was al-Qaida's deputy emir for the entire subcontinent of Asia there — when it can be determined that they are there, it's proper to target them and take them out.

"It would be better if we had a full-fledged program that would detain and interrogate jihadis, as was done previously before this misguided effort on the part of the Obama administration to close the Guantanamo Bay facility.

"That's the perfect place — state-of-the-art — to hold, detain, and question captured jihadis, which would give us a better understanding, a better intelligence about what is actually going on in the battlefield," she said, "and perhaps help to avoid some of these unintended causalities — Americans, Pakistani, Afghan civilians and others."

Unless the administration resumes holding detainees and interrogating them over a long period of time, the world will see more and more jihadi terror, Lopez said.

"We're not doing that anymore and that's leaving us blind to a certain extent," she said.

It was human intelligence, Lopez said, that allowed Italian authorities to thwart a plot by jihadists in Sardinia, who were purportedly planning an attack on the Vatican.

Asked if the Islamic State, al-Qaida and other similar organizations were declaring jihad on the Catholic Church, Shansab said the reign of terror is against "anything that doesn't agree with them."

"They are fundamentalists and they believe that the way they believe in god and understand religion is the only right way," he said. "As far as they are concerned, whoever is against that or thinks differently is the enemy."

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American Drone strikes that inadvertently kill civilians are breeding distrust and even hatred for the United States in Afghanistan, according to Nasir Shansab, a former Afghan industrialist forced to flee his country.
Nasir Shansab, Clare Lopez, drone war, Afghanistan
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2015-04-24
Friday, 24 April 2015 01:04 PM
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