US Mulls Increasing Drone Strikes in Pakistan

Will Pakistan Escalation Come With Afghan Escalation?

by Jason Ditz, September 24, 2009

In a move reportedly being spearheaded by Vice President Joe Biden, the United States is reportedly considering a dramatic increase in the number of drone attacks on Pakistani soil.

Biden, a skeptic of the Gen. McChrystal plan to add 45,000 more troops to the war in Afghanistan, seems to be presenting “emphasize Pakistan” as an alternative to committing more troops to the unpopular war. Yet Senator Kit Bond, one of the proponents of escalation in Afghanistan, has said the move shouldn’t come at the expense of adding more troops in Afghanistan.

As is so often the case, the alternative escalations, be it Biden’s drone escalation or Sen. Levin’s escalation of funding for the Afghan military quickly morphed from “alternatives” to additions to the broad addition of troops to the war.

Pakistan has publicly responded with skepticism to the idea of lobbing more missiles into their restive tribal areas. This must be taken in context, however, as Pakistan had long denied that it is supporting the current strikes, and with the US having tripled aid to the troubled nation only today it seems unlikely the Zardari government is going to pick now to stand against whatever escalations the US chooses to make.

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