Gareth Porter: Pakistani military leadership had turned decisively against the drone war for years and has been strongly pressing in meetings with U.S. officials that Pakistan be given a veto over targeting.
Gareth Porter: When David Petraeus walks into the Central Intelligence Agency Tuesday, he will be taking over an organisation whose mission has changed in recent years from gathering and analysing intelligence to waging military campaigns through drone strikes in Pakistan, as well as in Yemen and Somalia.
Gareth Porter: The new Pakistani demand for equal say over drone strikes marks the culmination of a long evolution in the Pakistani military’s attitude toward the drone war. Initially supportive of strikes that were targeting Al-Qaeda leaders, senior Pakistani military leaders soon came to realize that the drone war carried serious risks for Pakistan’s war against the Pakistani Taliban.
Ivan Eland: The problem is that the U.S. goal in Afghanistan—although President Obama has reduced it from George W. Bush’s instituting democracy to merely stabilizing the country—is still too ambitious.