NATO Distances Itself From US Drone Strikes

During a visit to NATO headquarters, Pakistani Senate Defense Committee Chairman Nisar Memon brought up the issue of the US unilateral drone strikes into Pakistan, warning that they are damaging the reputation of not just the US, but its allies in the Afghan war as well. Sen. Memon says the NATO officials unequivocally insisted there was no mandate to launch attacks across the border into Pakistan.

Pakistan has repeatedly formally protested against the US strikes into its tribal areas, but to little effect. Though the Pakistani government denies it, there is also reportedly a “tacit agreement” between the two nations on the US strikes, dubbed a “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy by the Washington Post. Pakistan’s Army is also engaging in training to shoot down future drones.

NATO has said in the past that it would not participate in the US strikes into Pakistan. Still, as the US never publicly acknowledges the attacks itself, they are often initially reported as “NATO strikes” in the media. This has led to growing anti-NATO sentiment in the country, including calls by opposition figures to blockade the Khyber Pass, used by NATO to supply its forces in Afghanistan.

Memon also reportedly pressed NATO on its exit strategy for leaving neighboring Afghanistan, but it does not appear that he got any positive indication that NATO intends to leave the nation any time soon.

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Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is news editor of Antiwar.com.