President Obama’s revelation that he has asked Iran nicely to hand back the super secret US drone is an embarrassing climb down, but we are not dealing with sane people. The attack on the sleeping Pakistani soldiers was meant to soften up the Pakistanis, and it had predictably the opposite effect. The civilian government is holding the hand of the military, who have ordered all aircraft penetrating their borders to be shot down. The chances that Pakistan would renege on China, its main support, with whom it has a border, to switch allegiance to the crumbling US were always zero. But we are not dealing with sane people here.
That the drone program had a self replicating worm affecting it is fairly old news, (See http://wahyusamputra.blogspot.com/2011/11/roughbeast.html comment posted at Hallowe’en) and that’s without counting the fifty or so countries working on their own drone programs, by theft, gift, or imitation; Pakistan is merely the first to install a drone station on one of its naval vessels. That the worm is, as feared, capable of allowing the drone itself to be controlled by others than those sending it is the new news that has now been illustrated beyond argument.
It does blow a large and visible hole in the attempts to box in Iran, however. Any day now the news will leak out to the US press that the Pathans (Pashtuns) are the largest tribal group on earth, artificially obstructed from any presence in the military, half of whom live in Pakistan, and half in Afghanistan. The border between them, the Durand line, drawn by a nineteenth century British administrator, which runs through the infamous Khyber Pass and some of the toughest terrain on the planet, has never been of the slightest interest to them; they have always ignored it.