According to reports in the Wall Street Journal, the CIA has secretly agreed to “tone down” their drone strike campaign against Pakistan, and will now only launch missiles when they are “damn sure it’s worth it.”
The reported deal comes not in direct response to years of complaints from Pakistanis about the civilian death toll, but in response to complaints by the US State Department and the Pentagon that the assassinations were damaging the US relationship with Pakistan too much.
“The bar has been raised,” officials said, saying that the State Department will now have additional say in strike decisions and the Pakistani government will be given advanced notice more often.
In addition, the CIA has reportedly agreed to suspend all drone strikes against Pakistan whenever a Pakistani official is visiting the United States. The strikes have been embarrassing to the Zardari government, and Pakistani opposition factions have criticized their inability to do anything about it, which may suggest the change is in part designed to save the floundering government.
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