U.S. perceives tacit consent from Pakistan on drone strikes

New posts: Meg Braun "The Obama doctrine: Drones and just war" (FP). Frances Z. Brown, "Taking stock of the surge — from the bottom up" (FP). Perception and permission Although Pakistani officials publicly denounce the U.S. drone campaign in the tribal regions as a violation of national sovereignty, the U.S. government interprets the Pakistani intelligence ...

Bonny Schoonakker/AFP/Getty Images
Bonny Schoonakker/AFP/Getty Images
Bonny Schoonakker/AFP/Getty Images

New posts: Meg Braun "The Obama doctrine: Drones and just war" (FP). Frances Z. Brown, "Taking stock of the surge -- from the bottom up" (FP).

Perception and permission

Although Pakistani officials publicly denounce the U.S. drone campaign in the tribal regions as a violation of national sovereignty, the U.S. government interprets the Pakistani intelligence agency's lack of response to a monthly memo informing them of the general locations of planned drone strikes as tacit consent for the program (WSJ). And while the Obama administration appears to be comfortable with this rationale, many legal experts within the government remain concerned about the permissibility of the strikes, and the precedent they are setting for other countries' use of drones in the future.

New posts: Meg Braun "The Obama doctrine: Drones and just war" (FP). Frances Z. Brown, "Taking stock of the surge — from the bottom up" (FP).

Perception and permission

Although Pakistani officials publicly denounce the U.S. drone campaign in the tribal regions as a violation of national sovereignty, the U.S. government interprets the Pakistani intelligence agency’s lack of response to a monthly memo informing them of the general locations of planned drone strikes as tacit consent for the program (WSJ). And while the Obama administration appears to be comfortable with this rationale, many legal experts within the government remain concerned about the permissibility of the strikes, and the precedent they are setting for other countries’ use of drones in the future.

Pakistani Islamist leader Hafiz Mohammad Saeed, information about whom the United States is offering a $10 million reward, accused President Barack Obama on Wednesday of starting a religious and cultural war against Muslims by refusing to take action against the maker of the anti-Islam film that recently sparked protests in countries around the world (Reuters). Meanwhile, the Pakistani Taliban said Wednesday that they would give "amnesty" to the Minister of Railways Ghulam Ahmad Bilour, because he placed a $100,000 bounty on the head of the film’s producer Nakoula Basseley Nakoula (AP).

Threat assessment

Reuters’ Phil Stewart and Hamid Shalizi published a must-read on Thursday detailing their investigation into one of the recent "insider" attacks in Afghanistan, in which Army Spc. Mabry Anders and Sgt. Christopher Birdwell were killed by an Afghan Army soldier, Welayat Khan (Reuters). The Taliban later told Khan’s family that they had trained him to carry out the attack, though details of the incident imply that it was a spontaneous act. Khan himself was killed by a U.S. helicopter as he tried to flee the scene.  

The leaders of Afghanistan, Pakistan, and the United Kingdom met on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly meeting in New York on Wednesday, and reaffirmed their respective commitments to achieving peace and stability in the region (The News, Dawn). And Anna Coren writes Thursday for CNN about the transfer of responsibility for security to Afghan forces, which is placing Afghans alone on the front lines of the fight against the Taliban for the first time (CNN).

Finally, a U.S. Army Brig. Gen. Jeffrey A. Sinclair has been charged with multiple counts of forcible sodomy, adultery, and having inappropriate relationships with subordinates, after begin sent home from a tour in Afghanistan due to the allegations against him (AP).

Film flop

Heroine, a highly anticipated film from well-known Bollywood producer Madhur Bhandarkar, and starring the beautiful Kareena Kapoor, disappointed at least one critic in Pakistan with its "half-hearted attempt at depicting present day Bollywood (ET). Rafay Mahmood writes in the Express Tribune, that "if you go out for a cigarette break and return, you will not have missed a thing."

— Jennifer Rowland

Jennifer Rowland is a research associate in the National Security Studies Program at the New America Foundation.

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