Obama Letting Pakistan Pick Some Drone Targets

Long-Standing Policy Brought to Public Attention Again

In an interview released yesterday, journalist Jane Mayer brought renewed attention to the Obama Administration’s decision to allow the Pakistani military to choose some of the targets of American drone attacks inside the nation.

Mayer attributed the decision to the killing of Baitullah Mehsud in August and cited Rehman Malik, Pakistan’s Interior Minister, bragging about the accuracy of the American drones, which officially his government has denied having any role in.

The admission is somewhat damning and the Pakistani media is understandably excited about it, but while the details are new the story is not. In fact it has been known since at least early May that the Obama Administration was sharing surveillance data from drones with Pakistan’s military and encouraging them to help pick targets.

But America’s drone war in Pakistan has killed a large number of civilians, well over 100 since Obama took office, and that is sparking increasing outrage among Pakistanis, as demonstrated during Hillary Clinton’s visit last week. Presumably some of that outrage should be directed at their own government, which is calling at least some of the shots.

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Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is news editor of Antiwar.com.