Pakistan’s ambassador to the U.S. has spoken out against American drone strikes in Pakistan, pointing out that they are illegal, create more militants than they kill, and violate national sovereignty.
Ambassador Sherry Rehman called the targeted killings a “direct violation of our sovereignty” and international law as well as a red line that Pakistani authorities are constantly urging the U.S. not to cross. While saying that her country has done all it can to eradicate terrorists and their havens, she said more strikes by the U.S. Central Intelligence Agency’s remotely piloted planes may hamper security cooperation.
“We need to drain this swamp,” Rehman said yesterday, referring to pockets of violent extremism in her country. Still, U.S. strikes stir deep resentment and radicalize some, Rehman told journalists hosted by the Christian Science Monitor.
It should come as no surprise that Pakistanis have an unfavorable view of the U.S. A June 2012 poll from the Pew Research Global Attitudes Project highlighted the worrying trend in Pakistan of increased animosity towards the U.S. Additional research from The Pew Research Global Attitudes Project shows that American drones strikes in Pakistan have become increasingly unpopular, falling from an already low 23 percent in 2010 to 17 percent in 2012.
John Brennan, Obama’s nominee for CIA director, will be giving testimony to the Senate Intelligence Committee tomorrow. If the Senators on the committee do their jobs effectively they will make sure to press Brennan on how effective he thinks the CIA’s drone strike program is and what justification he thinks there is for the program. Brennan’s nomination is not a sure thing, and he would do well to clarify his thoughts on the use of drones. All that the program seems to be accomplishing currently is the strengthening of anti-Americanism in an unstable part of the world.
Watch Reason TV’s video on drones program below: