US will break lull in drone strikes only to hit a high-value target: Pakistani official

A Pakistani official confirmed two LWJ reports on the lull in US drone strikes in Pakistan’s tribal areas. From The Associated Press:

The chief of Pakistan’s defence committee says Washington put on hold US drone strikes after the deadly November raid along the Afghan border so as not to “worsen” the already strained ties with Islamabad.

Javed Ashraf Qazi said Tuesday he believes the lull in the strikes would at this point only be broken if there was a confirmed report of a high profile target.

There hasn’t been a missile strike against militants since the Nov. 26 Nato raid at the Pakistani army border outpost that killed 24 soldiers. That’s according to The Long War Journal, a website that tracks the strikes.

It says the 33-day break is the longest ever since the CIA’s covert operations began in 2004 against al Qaeda and Taliban militants in Pakistan’s tribal regions along the Afghan border.

On Dec. 12, we reported that US officials said the drone strikes are “on hold” and that due to the Nov. 26 incident in Mohmand a new strike would occur only if intelligence detected a high-value target. And on Dec. 19, we noted that the current pause in strikes is the longest since the program was ramped up in the summer of 2008, and we again reported that the deteriorating relationship between the US and Pakistan in the wake of the deaths of 24 Pakistani soldiers in Mohmand was the reason for the pause.

Bill Roggio is a Senior Fellow at the Foundation for Defense of Democracies and the Editor of FDD's Long War Journal.

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  • C-Low says:

    I am starting to think this was a planned event by BOTH US and Paki authorities. We are both in “peace” negotiations with the Taliban and the two hot button preconditions are drone strikes and prisoner releases from the Taliban perspective.
    The US gov leadership could not be seen as repeating the Vietnam idiocy of “cease fires” and temporary truces that did nothing but demoralize our troops and allow theirs to rest, rearm, resupply.
    When a nations leadership has no grasp of history it is bound to repeat it. Sad

  • Mr T says:

    So now that we put drone strikes on hold, the Pakistanis will like us, right?
    I hope we put their aid money on hold too. When they give us a high value target, we will strike and release some aid money.
    No strikes, no hvts, no aid.

  • mike merlo says:

    I wonder if the US Military or CIA is predisposed to accept target suggestions from the ‘general public. If so I have a list of my own ‘High Profilers’ I’d like to submit. If not may I suggest some neighbors of mine, some rooster that keeps waking me & the unidentified motorcycle guy who races up & down my street in the ‘AM’s!’

  • Muhammad Imran says:

    Pakis have already spat on any aid… they say its afterall peanuts… aid will come automatically walking on its knees.


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