The Drones are Back

Less than two months after Donald Trump was sworn in as president, a U.S. drone fired at a motorcycle in the remote tribal region of Kurram near the Pakistani border with Afghanistan, killing two men. One of them was reportedly an Afghan Taliban commander. It was the first drone strike of Trump’s presidency and the first after a 10-month lull.

Since then, there have been 11 more drone strikes in Pakistan, targeting Haqqani, Afghan Taliban, and Pakistani Taliban militants, according to news reports and counterterrorism experts. Those strikes, while seemingly modest, signal a marked change in course under the Trump administration.

In the past, “the strikes in Pakistan were done purely for counterterrorism. There was not a broader counterinsurgency rationale for trying to weaken groups operating in Afghanistan,” Seth Jones, a former advisor to U.S. special operations forces, told Foreign Policy.

The Trump administration is “much more committed to

... read more at: