Pakistan wants to cut CIA drone strikes, personnel

The Pakistani government would like the CIA’s aggressive drone campaign "suspended" and only resumed under "new rules" and "formalized terms," according to a Pakistani military official familiar with discussions between the two nations. Only then, in the instances where there was "compelling evidence" that a militant "high value target" had been located and that the ...

MASSOUD HOSSAINI/AFP/Getty Images
MASSOUD HOSSAINI/AFP/Getty Images
MASSOUD HOSSAINI/AFP/Getty Images

The Pakistani government would like the CIA's aggressive drone campaign "suspended" and only resumed under "new rules" and "formalized terms," according to a Pakistani military official familiar with discussions between the two nations.

Only then, in the instances where there was "compelling evidence" that a militant "high value target" had been located and that the operation was jointly coordinated between Pakistan and the United States, would the Pakistani government sanction a drone strike in the future, the official said.

The Pakistani official pointed out that there have been more than 100 reported CIA drone strikes in Pakistan in 2010 -- a record number -- yet almost no one killed in these strikes were "high value targets," such as leaders in al-Qaeda or allied militant groups. Instead, the official said, the vast majority of the victims of the strikes have been militant foot soldiers or civilians.

The Pakistani government would like the CIA’s aggressive drone campaign "suspended" and only resumed under "new rules" and "formalized terms," according to a Pakistani military official familiar with discussions between the two nations.

Only then, in the instances where there was "compelling evidence" that a militant "high value target" had been located and that the operation was jointly coordinated between Pakistan and the United States, would the Pakistani government sanction a drone strike in the future, the official said.

The Pakistani official pointed out that there have been more than 100 reported CIA drone strikes in Pakistan in 2010 — a record number — yet almost no one killed in these strikes were "high value targets," such as leaders in al-Qaeda or allied militant groups. Instead, the official said, the vast majority of the victims of the strikes have been militant foot soldiers or civilians.

According to an independent count of the drone strikes maintained by the New America Foundation, there were 118 U.S. drone strikes in Pakistan in 2010 killing somewhere between 600 and 1,000 people.

To read the rest of this article, visit CNN.com, where this was originally published.

Peter Bergen, the editor of the AfPak Channel, is the Director of the National Security Studies Program at the New America Foundation, a senior fellow at New York University’s Center on Law and Security, and the author of The Longest War: The Enduring Conflict Between America and Al Qaeda. He is a national security analyst for CNN.

 

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