Still, the recent campaign to kill Baitullah Mehsud offers a sobering case study of the hazards of robotic warfare. It appears to have taken sixteen missile strikes, and fourteen months, before the C.I.A. succeeded in killing him. During this hunt, between two hundred and seven and three hundred and twenty-one additional people were killed, depending on which news accounts you rely upon.
The resentment among Pakistanis to this form of warfare is quickly spreading and deepening. And even moderate-conservatives like Joe Scarborough question the morality and feasibility of the use of drones like the Predator and the Reaper:
In the same New Yorker issue containing Mayer's article on automated mayhem, premiere investigative journalist Seymour Hersh has penned a very disturbing article on the vulnerability of Pakistan's nuclear arsenal to attack and compromise by Jihadists from within or outside of the creaky country's military establishment.
We're entering an entirely new frontier area of unintended consequences here. The shift of the Bush administration of resources from eastern Afghanistan to Iraq is once gain coming back to haunt the USA.