In December, the Obama administration reached an informal deal with Pakistan that the CIA would suspend drone strikes except against the most senior al Qaida leaders while the government of Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif pursues peace talks with the Taliban. The talks have sputtered, and last week Pakistani fighter jets killed more than 60 people in North Waziristan, a militant stronghold, according to local media reports.
Even before that, American officials appear to have made the calculation that it was no longer worth it to attack lower level militants in Pakistan, given the bitter opposition to the attacks in that country. Last year, an analysis by the New America Foundation found that just 58 known militant leaders had been killed in drone strikes in Pakistan, representing just 2 percent of the total deaths.
It was an otherwise unremarkable episode in the sixth year of a relentless unmanned aerial campaign by the CIA. Unremarkable, except for this: There hasn't been a drone strike reported in Pakistan in the months since.
drone strikes in Pakistani tribal areas in Peshawar, Pakistan. The secret targeted killing program that once was the mainstay of President Barack Obama's counterterrorism effort appears to be winding down. would continue to carry out occasional drone strikes, but he cited Yemen and Somalia, not Pakistan, where drone missiles once rained down at a rate of two per week. drone slammed into a house in Miramshah, Pakistan, killing four militants.
CIA drone strike program in Pakistan winding down
Also, the tribal areas of Pakistan are no longer the hotbed of al Qaida activity they once were, officials and outside analysts say. officials consider the most dangerous Nike Air Max 95 Girl
Obama seemed to allude to the backlash Wednesday when he said, "Our actions should meet a simple test: We must not create more enemies than we take off the battlefield."
Without commenting explicitly about drone Air Max Glow strikes, Rogers criticized what he calls "a pullback in the counterterrorism strategy," a move he says "has made Americans a little Air Max Shoes For Girls Price
The secret targeted killing program that once was the mainstay of President Barack Obama's counterterrorism effort appears to be winding down. would continue to carry out occasional drone strikes, but he cited Yemen and Somalia, not Pakistan, where drone missiles once rained down at a rate of two per week. But over the past five months, no missiles have been fired.
The current drone cease fire in Pakistan is by far the longest pause since President George W. Bush ordered a stepped up campaign of targeted strikes in that country's tribal area in the summer of 2008. The pace intensified under Obama. All told, there have been 354 strikes in Pakistan since 2004, according to the Long War Journal, an online publication that tracks the strikes through media reports.
"The program (in Pakistan) appears to have ended," said Peter Bergen, who has closely studied drone strikes for the New America Foundation, a Washington think tank. officials say. Many of the senior al Qaida figures in Pakistan have been killed. Those who remain are much harder to target because they are avoiding mobile phones and traveling with children, benefiting from stricter targeting rules designed to prevent civilian casualties. troops from Afghanistan has eliminated the need for "force protection" strikes against large gatherings of militants in Pakistan suspected of plotting attacks against American troops.
And while the CIA won't say the program has ended, Obama announced this week a plan to pull nearly all American troops out of Afghanistan by the end of 2016. bases in Afghanistan that would then be closed.
But as the CIA closes its remote Afghanistan outposts where case officers met with Pakistani sources and technicians eavesdropped on cellphones, Air Max Ultra Mp
al Qaida affiliate. military, not the CIA, carry out drone strikes. Since the military generally requires permission from a country to operate on its territory, most analysts don't believe it could carry out regular drone attacks in Pakistan.
intelligence collection will dry up, making militants harder to track.
The CIA and the White House declined to comment for this story. officials say. If the agency gets a clean shot at such a target next week or next year, it will push the button, they say.
"By the end of this year, we will have a noticeable degradation in our ability to collect intelligence on people of concern," said Rep. Mike Rogers, R Mich., the chairman of the House Intelligence Committee.
But the rate of strikes began falling in 2011 and decreased each year since. Last year, Obama announced stricter targeting criteria, including a provision that no strike would occur unless there was "a near certainty" that civilians would not be harmed.
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