Pakistan Ups the Ante, Wants Drones Out

Pakistan is asking the US CIA to drastically cut back drone attacks on Taliban insurgents in Pakistan.

The New York Times reports that Pakistan may ask as many as 335 US CIA employees to leave Pakistan. The Sunday Times has reported in the past that the CIA is secretly using airbases in Southern Pakistan to launch drones. This was confirmed by analysis of Google Earth photos.

Many CIA officials in Pakistan may be involved in selecting targets and managing information flows after attacks. Reports of drone attacks in Pakistan are usually accompanied by a statement by ‘an unnamed official’ claiming that all the dead were insurgents. Many CIA agents in Pakistan are probably engaged in managing the network of informants decribed in Wired Magazine.

There have been many allegations that the majority of persons killed in the CIA drone strikes have been civilians, something that the US has always strenuously denied.

Pakistan is also demanding joint selection of targets.

Pakistan has in the past asked for its own armed drones, something the US has always refused to do.  In 2010 the US offered to supply Pakistan with ‘Shadow’ drones, unarmed and for surveillance only.

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