Everyone's heard the tragic tales - all the babies in Pakistan were in one room and some accursed drone went in and killed them all...
Pakistan has absorbed more drone strikes—some four hundred—than any other country, and has been a test bed for the Administration’s hypotheses about the future of American airpower. Between mid-2008 and mid-2013, C.I.A.-operated drones waged what amounted to an undeclared, remotely controlled air war over North and South Waziristan, a sparse borderland populated almost entirely by ethnic Pashtuns. As the campaign evolved, it developed a dual purpose: to weaken Al Qaeda, and to suppress Taliban fighters who sought to cross into Afghanistan to attack American troops after 44 ordered a “surge” of forces there, in December, 2009. (Drone strikes continue in Pakistan; seventeen have been reported so far this year.)
The drone war in Pakistan took place during an increasingly toxic, mutually resentful period in the long, unhappy chronicle of relations between the United States and Pakistan. To many Pakistanis, including Army officers and intelligence officials in the Inter-Services Intelligence Directorate, or I.S.I., drone strikes have symbolized American arrogance. Within the C.I.A. and the White House, a belief took hold that Pakistani generals and intelligence chiefs were unreliable partners in the fight against Al Qaeda and the Taliban. Administration officials concluded that since Pakistan wouldn’t help adequately to protect U.S. soldiers and American cities, they would send drones to do the job.