Drone Strikes Drones

The Most Under-Reported News of the Day: Pakistan Drone Strikes Could End

On Friday, this came down:

The United States and Pakistan agreed Thursday to restart high-level talks on security and other issues, yet the two sides still deeply mistrust each other in a relationship frayed by disputes over issues like U.S. drone attacks, which U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry said could end soon.

Kerry’s remarks to Pakistan TV about a possible end to the CIA-led program of drone strikes was the first time an administration official has said the Obama administration wants to end the program. Kerry offered no timetable, and spokeswomen assured reporters he was merely reflecting President Barack Obama’s statements in a speech earlier this year. [...]

Pakistani officials have been angry about U.S. drone strikes against suspected militants in Pakistan, claiming they violate their sovereignty. They used Kerry’s visit to press the U.S. to stop the drone attacks.

“I think the program will end as we have eliminated most of the threat and continue to eliminate it,” Kerry told the Pakistan TV interviewer. “I think the president has a very real timeline and we hope it’s going to be very, very soon. I think it depends really on a number of factors, and we’re working with your government with respect to that.”

This of course is positive news, which will hopefully be followed up at some point with the president’s pledge to repeal the 2001 Authorization for Use of Military Force.

By the way, via Ashby, the use of drones in Pakistan has been winding down. In Yemen, they’re on pace for lower numbers this year as well.