Whinging And Whining

Despite Sen. Dianne Feinstein’s (D-Calif.) imprudent confirmation last week that the unmanned aerial vehicles that the U.S. uses to fire missiles at militants in Pakistan come from Pakistani bases, the U.S.-Pakistani relationship over the drones has only gotten stronger, even if the price of quiet cooperation is public denouncement from the Pakistani government. That’s the subject of a really excellent Wall Street Journal story by Matthew Rosenberg, Siobhan Gorman and Jay Solomon. It’s hard to just find one section of the piece to quote, but this one sort of sums things up:

[A]fter Pakistan’s complaints were repeatedly rebuffed by the U.S. and with the Taliban making gains against the Pakistani military and the police, these officials say President Asif Ali Zardari and top military leaders decided in recent months to aid the American effort in the hopes it will help them regain control over the tribal areas. The Taliban and al Qaeda have flourished in those areas bordering Afghanistan since 2001. The cooperation also could prove as a counterbalance to U.S. displeasure over a peace deal announced Monday with a Taliban faction in Swat Valley.

The protests are "really for the sake of public opinion," said one Pakistani official. "These operations are helping both sides. We are partners on this."

During the campaign, the Obama team said that there were certain conditions of Pakistani intransigence that would make it consider unilateral strikes. It looks like we’re not approaching that point, despite the almost-certain-to-fail Swat ceasefire.

Crossposted to The Streak.

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Spencer Ackerman

Spencer Ackerman