Though the attention has now decidedly shifted toward the US military’s incursion into Pakistani territory and subsequent killing of more than 50 “suspects” over the weekend, the CIA drone strike program is also ongoing, and continues to kill Pakistanis of its own.
In fact, a series of attacks over the past three days has killed at least 15 people, none of whom has been conclusively identified but all of whom officials felt comfortable labeling “suspected militants” simply by virtue that they got hit with a CIA missile.
Though the drone strikes in Pakistan began under President Bush, since taking office President Obama has dramatically increased the number of attacks and well over 1,000 have been killed. Of those, only a handful were ever conclusively linked to any militant group and well over 700 civilians were killed. Hundreds of others in more recent attacks remain unidentified, and as the Pakistani government does not generally allow media into the region, their identities will likely remain shrouded in mystery.
Officially the Pakistani government has criticized the drone strikes and the military incursions, though US officials maintain that privately agreements exist allowing both. The Zardari government has been quite deceptive about the drone program, loudly taking credit on the rare occasions the drones actually kill somebody notable and feigning ignorance on the many, many occasions when they kill random tribesmen.