US officials have been pressuring Pakistan to allow the expansion of CIA drone strikes beyond the nation’s Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA) and into Pakistan’s largest province of Balochistan.
Pakistani intelligence officials reportedly rejected the US demand for access to Balochistan, but did agree to a compromise allowing a larger number of CIA agents to operate on the ground in the Baloch capital city of Quetta.
The US has been launching drone strikes against FATA for years, but has dramatically increased the numbers since President Obama took office. The vast majority of those killed in the strikes appear to have been innocent civilians, and only a handful of militant leaders were ever killed.
The prospect of escalating those strikes into Balochistan would also be hugely unpopular, as Pakistanis have complained about the attacks in FATA, only nominally Pakistani territory to begin with, and would undoubtedly object much more loudly to attacks in an actual Pakistani province.
Last 5 posts by Jason Ditz
- Israeli MPs Push Trump to Let Them Use Military Aid on Non-US Equipment - May 21st, 2018
- Syrian Army Has Full Control of Metro Damascus After ISIS Ouster - May 21st, 2018
- Trump to Press South Korea's Moon on Upcoming Kim Summit - May 21st, 2018
- South Koreans See John Bolton as an Obstacle to Trump-Kim Summit - May 21st, 2018
- As ISIS Shrinks in Iraq and Syria, US Military Focus Shifts to Afghanistan - May 21st, 2018