Book excerpt: Obama’s drone war in Pakistan was bigger than people think

The following is an excerpt from Counter Jihad: America’s Military Experience in Afghanistan, Iraq and Syria, by Brian Glyn Williams, by permission of the author and publisher. Copyright 2017 University of Pennsylvania Press.

[T]he incoming Obama administration had come to see these drone strikes as a vital component of its war against terrorism in Pakistan and Afghanistan. Like the Bush administration before it, the Obama administration felt that the public relations fallout in Pakistan (where reports of civilian deaths from the drones were wildly exaggerated) was worth the disruptive effect the drones had on Al Qaeda and Taliban, who were planning new terrorist attacks from their FATA sanctuary. In fact Obama (who came to be known as “Obomba” in Pakistan) ordered 353 drones strikes in Pakistan by October 2015, compared to just 48 under President Bush (i.e. Obama launched more than seven times as many as Bush).

While his Republican critics described

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