US-Afghan Pact Will Allow Drone War in Pakistan to Continue

Military operations will continue in Afghanistan well beyond 2014

The deal Washington and Kabul recently signed will allow Washington to continue launch drone attacks into Pakistan beyond 2014, U.S. Ambassador Ryan Crocker indicated Wednesday.

In response to a question about drones strikes past the so-called withdrawal date in 2014, Crocker said, “There is nothing in this agreement that precludes the right of self-defence for either party and if there are attacks from the territory of any state aimed at us we have the inherent right of self defence and will employ it.”

His language about ‘defense’ is instructive. The Strategic Partnership Agreement states that the U.S. will not use its presence in Afghanistan to launch offensive actions against other states from Afghan soil.

The Obama administration claims its drone war in Pakistan is defensive, but it is well known that unidentified targets and others that are clearly not militant are routinely struck.

The admission that the drone war would continue was analogous to the administration’s admission last month that their agreement with Kabul that night raids would be Afghan-led and require a judge’s approval would essentially be ignored.

While the agreement is being billed as some sort of conclusion to the war in Afghanistan, America’s military operations and presence will continue throughout the country at least until 2024, as has been quietly admitted.

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Author: John Glaser

John Glaser writes for Antiwar.com.