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Pakistan Endorsed Drone Program In Private, Raged About It In Public

October 24, 2013

The fake outrage is hard to stomach from Pakistan when it comes to the drone campaign aimed at dealing with terrorists.

For the record I feel the drone campaign, for the most part, provides success by eliminating a terrorist element.  It pains everyone when a drone strike goes astray, and kills or injures others not meant to be targeted.  But drone strikes have proven effective in many cases at removing the target, and thereby making a region safer.    Drone strikes are cost effective, and do not require placing other assets into an area where a strike is to occur.  There are plenty of issues to be discussed that surround these strikes in terms of international law but at the end of the day it is necessary to view the real world we live in, and meet the dangers that do exist head on.  As such, I have come to see drone strikes as one way to deal with that reality.

And that is why the news printed in the Washington Post galls me.

Despite repeatedly denouncing the CIA’s drone campaign, top officials in Pakistan’s government have for years secretly endorsed the program and routinely received classified briefings on strikes and casualty counts, according to top-secret CIA documents and Pakistani diplomatic memos obtained by The Washington Post.

Pakistan’s tacit approval of the drone program has been one of the more poorly kept national security secrets in Washington and Islamabad. During the early years of the campaign, the CIA even used Pakistani airstrips for its Predator fleet.

But the files expose the explicit nature of a secret arrangement struck between the two countries at a time when neither was willing to publicly acknowledge the existence of the drone program. The documents detailed at least 65 strikes in Pakistan and were described as “talking points” for CIA briefings, which occurred with such regularity that they became a matter of diplomatic routine. The documents are marked “top ­secret” but cleared for release to Pakistan.

A CIA spokesman declined to discuss the documents but did not dispute their authenticity.

Aizaz Ahmad Chaudhry, the spokesman for Pakistan’s Foreign Ministry, said his government does not comment on media reports that rely on unnamed sources. But Chaudhry added that Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, who took office in June, has been adamant that “the drone strikes must stop.”

2 Comments
  1. October 26, 2013 11:09 AM

    I could respond that you want to uphold international law now but failed to want to uphold the international legal prohibition on chemical weapons.

  2. Skip permalink
    October 24, 2013 11:07 AM

    With regards to Syria you were “Kill! Kill! Kill! International law must be upheld!” yet now you dismiss international law. Quite the turnaround.

    More US officials and others are telling us that drone strikes are, in fact, creating more enemies than they kill:

    http://antiwar.com/blog/2013/10/24/former-us-official-for-every-yemen-terrorist-us-drones-kill-40-60-new-enemies-are-created/

    http://www.mcclatchydc.com/2013/10/11/205176/obama-and-first-lady-meet-with.html

    Do you know who the supposed terrorists are that drones are killing? Do you know what threat they pose to the United States? Do you care?

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