Early last month, Tausug villagers on the Southern Philippine island of Jolo heard a buzzing sound not heard before. It is a sound familiar to the people of Waziristan who live along Pakistan’s border with Afghanistan, where the United States fights the Taliban. It was the dreaded drone, which arrives from distant and unknown destinations to cause death and destruction. Within minutes, 15 people lay dead and a community plunged into despair, fear and mourning.
Just as in Pakistan and other theatres of the “war on terror”, the strike has provoked controversy, with a Filipino lawmaker condemning the attack as a violation of national sovereignty.
This controversy could increase with the recent American announcement that it plans to boost its drone fleet in the Philippines by 30 per cent. The U.S. already has hundreds of troops stationed on Jolo Island, but until now, the Americans have maintained a non-combat “advisory” role.
A great example of using the war on terrorism to get us in the door:
Following the 9/11 attacks, the United States became involved in the region in pursuit of the elusive Abu Sayyaf, which it accused of having links with al-Qaeda.