During the past year, increased use of drone missile attack planes have created ongoing problems with the Pakistan government which fears that all too often the air strikes result in the death of innocent civilians and thus provide al-Qaeda with a huge propoganda weapon. Leon Panetta, new head of the CIA is currently in Pakistan to discuss the issue. His visit is also linked to the current political turmoil which erupted when forces supporting the PML-N organized huge protests to get a supreme court justice ousted by former President Musharraf restored to office. American officials fear these internal conflict are distracting from dealing with the threat of militant activity.
The center of the current dispute over missiles comes down to are these air attacks actually critical in defeating the Taliban or al-Qaeda. US military leaders insist that “senior” Taliban leaders are killed, but is the death of these men significant in dealing with the threat of militancy? Another problem is the lack of interest or desire on the part of Pakistan military officials to get involved in fighting militants when their main focus is the fight with India over Kashmir. Will still another visit by Americans change the real problem?