The accidental killing of Warren Weinstein is nothing short of a painful, but unfortunately unavoidable, consequence of the drone wars.
It is appropriate to remember that we, the US, supported individuals like Osama Bin Laden and others in the waning years of the cold war. The US and a number of other countries were outraged when the Soviet Union invaded Afghanistan on the eve of Christmas in 1979.
If you have ever doubted that the mother of invention is necessity, then look no further than Pakistan. Pakistan has struggled to provide opportunities to its people for decades. But the country is turning the tide.
Clearly the strike that killed the two hostages on January 15th was not a random drone attack on an innocent Pashtun tribesman's house. The CIA had come to the correct conclusion via spies, eavesdropping and or surveillance that Taliban terrorists were holed up in the compound and launched a "signature strike" on it.
Before Nepal and Baltimore seized headlines, news that a CIA drone strike mistakenly killed an innocent American hostage in January momentarily energized our meager debate on drones. It is time for us, as Americans, to exercise our responsibility as citizens and take control of the debate.
Pakistan lost a beloved, courageous leader last Friday night. If there is one thing that everyone who had the privilege of knowing Sabeen Mahmud understood, it is that above all else, she loved Pakistan and believed it was a country worth fighting for -- and, in her case, tragically, worth dying for.
This tragedy should remind the educated Pakistanis that silencing people because of difference of opinion is not fiction but a reality that the people of Balochistan experience every single day.
This week, the White House revealed it really does care about civilians being killed by drones -- at least when they're Americans or Westerners. On Thursday, President Obama expressed "profound regrets," and described as "uniquely tragic," a January drone strike in Pakistan that killed two al Qaeda-held hostages -- one American, one Italian. But while certainly tragic, it's far from unique. The Bureau of Investigative Journalism estimates that, under Obama, drones in Pakistan alone have killed between 256 and 630 civilians, with at least 66 of them children. In fact, the first drone strike of his presidency reportedly killed at least nine civilians. In the wake of this week's announcement, the president ordered a review of what lessons can be learned from these latest deaths. One we already know: Some innocent lives are apparently more valuable than others.
If America ends up at war, it almost certainly will be on behalf of one ally or another. Washington collects allies like most people collect Facebook "friends." The vast majority of U.S. allies are security liabilities, tripwires for conflict and war. Alliances should be based on interest, not charity.
An informal bloc of Iran, Pakistan and Turkey would represent a significantly more progressive, moderate and forward-looking coalition than the present Saudi-driven "Sunni coalition" that is divisive, ideological, destructive and sectarian.
Call it a catch of a lifetime or a rare, extremely unusual opportunity bagged from a lucky draw. Probability of being chosen from a population of approximately 188 million makes it seem extraordinary.
Military parades are an indispensable political platform for communicating power and ambition and are now amplified by the tools of mass media, which can orchestrate and glamourize rhythmic ranks of well-booted warriors and rolling chariots of gleaming steel.
"I had a friend and when we were 14, she said to me, 'I have a secret,'" she says. "And the secret was that she had a fiancé who was 10 years older. At the time, I didn't know what it meant, and I thought it was like having a boyfriend."
While the five nuclear-armed states recognized by the NPT have focused primarily on non-proliferation, a series of new disarmament initiatives has reinvigorated the debate and mobilized non-nuclear weapon states and civil society groups to bring the longtime vision of a world free of nuclear weapons into reality.
I will never get to experience just one side throughout my life. I will never know how to feel my own culture and tradition just the way my friends and relatives have got to. I can't express my mixed emotions.
As a Muslim, who has followed this polarization of narratives, I am convinced that all opinions deserve to be heard and not just marginalized as either "Islamophobia" or "Jihadism," albeit with caution. Prejudice is a common human failing which people of all faiths are capable of.