Home > Publications > Predator Drone Strikes on Al Qaeda and Taliban Targets in Pakistan The Pros and Cons for a Policy of Targeted Killings (An American Perspective)

Predator Drone Strikes on Al Qaeda and Taliban Targets in Pakistan The Pros and Cons for a Policy of Targeted Killings (An American Perspective)

Brian Williams & Avery Plaw

Abstract:
This article represents the first effort to provide both the for and against arguments for
Predator aerial drone strikes in Pakistan against the Taliban and Al Qaeda. The against side
argues that the Predator drone strikes fly in the face of international law. They set a
dangerous precedent and may be imitated by other governments, including India. They also
undermine the Pakistani government in its war against the Taliban and Al Qaeda by painting
Musharraf and Zardari as “stooges” who cannot defend their own territorial sovereignty.
The for side argues that only those who are already pre-disposed to anti-Americanism
reflexively criticize the strikes. Such arguments overlook the fact that the Taliban and Al
Qaeda who are killing Pakistani civilians are dying in large numbers in the drone attacks,
especially foreign Al Qaeda elements. Most importantly, there is evidence by Pakistani
sources to show that the tribesmen of the region fear Al Qaeda and the Taliban. They are in
favor of the drone strikes against those who torment them and are effectively carving
Pakistan up into small “Talibanistans.”
Key words: Predator, Taliban, Talibanistans, FATA, Al-Qaeda, Terrorism, Insurgency, AntiAmericanism