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April 21, 2009

Paranoia, and Reaper UAVs, May Destroy Ya, But Mostly the Reaper UAVs

Decapitating strikes.

This is a read-the-whole thing piece. The spectacular parts are about the Reaper kills, but the more important part is about the grind of intelligence collection that leads to the kills.

Since you're morons, I'll quote the part about the kills.

Uncertainty is a powerful weapon. In the Pakistani tribal territories, near the Afghan border, Taliban and al Qaeda leaders continue a seemingly futile hunt for the spies who are telling the Americans where the big shots are. In less than a year, over 40 Hellfire missiles, launched from Predator and Reaper UAVs, have wiped out a large (about a third) chunk of the terrorist leadership. In the trade, this is known as a "decapitation" (just kill the leadership) strategy.

In response, the Taliban (whose leaders are now being targeted at well) and al Qaeda have seized and executed over a hundred local men (and a few women), for being American spies. Most of these victims were innocent. They were just in the wrong place, at the wrong time, and looked suspicious to the wrong people. Some of those killed may have been spies, but most likely for other tribes, or Pakistani or Afghan intelligence services.

...

One of the more powerful intelligence tools are databases and data mining software. The U.S. has been collecting information on the tribes (in general, as well as individuals) for decades, and has acquired and developed software that can sort out who is who, and who is out to get to who, in the tribal territories. .... The data mining software is also culturally aware, with special filters for different tribes and cultures (the Arab tribes of Anbar don't play by the same rules as the Pushtun tribes of Waziristan).

That part sounds a little bullshitty to me, but it's interesting, even if it's complete disinformation.

Thanks again to ArthurK.



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posted by Ace at 03:14 PM

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