O NYT de hoje veio com uma interessante matéria de autoria de David Kilcullen (dito conselheiro de contrainsurgência do general Petraeus entre 2006 e 2008) criticando duramente a estratégia (ou, segundo ele, tática substituindo a estratégia) de usar “drones” (avionetas não-tripuladas) para neutralizar terroristas ligados à Al-Qaeda nos territórios tribais do Paquistão:

The drone campaign is in fact part of a larger strategic error — our insistence on personalizing this conflict with Al Qaeda and the Taliban. Devoting time and resources toward killing or capturing “high-value” targets — not to mention the bounties placed on their heads — distracts us from larger problems, while turning figures like Baitullah Mehsud, leader of the Pakistani Taliban umbrella group, into Robin Hoods. Our experience in Iraq suggests that the capture or killing of high-value targets — Saddam Hussein or Abu Musab al-Zarqawi — has only a slight and fleeting effect on levels of violence. Killing Mr. Zarqawi bought only 18 days of quiet before Al Qaeda returned to operations under new leadership.

Robert Farley, do Lawyers, Gun$ and Money, tem outro ponto interessante:

At an intel talk last semester at Patterson, a speaker suggested that the drone strategy had been fairly successful in culling Al Qaeda leadership. Someone from the audience asked whether drone strikes in Ireland (not to mention Boston) in the 1980s would have been an effective way of dealing with the IRA. I think it’s a hard point to argue; it’s easy for me to imagine the IRA turning each strike (and each civilian death) into a fundraising and recruitment bonanza in Ireland and the US. The situation with Al Qaeda is a bit different in that the IRA had less far reaching aims and was more popular in its target population, but nevertheless the analogy carries some weight.

E isso aqui me fez pensar:

The first raids may be successful, but over time individual terrorists become more careful, develop alternative methods of communication, and shield themselves with ever greater numbers of civilians. As time goes by, you’re killing terrorists successively lower on the rung with progressively more limited intelligence.

Meio cruzeiro furado para quem adivinhar quem é que vai estar bem representado na resistência contra Skynet…