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Report: Drone strikes to be more selective

  |   Nov. 4, 2011 at 5:15 AM
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WASHINGTON, Nov. 4 (UPI) -- The CIA will be more selective with drone strikes following complaints they are adding to tensions in U.S.-Pakistan relations, The Wall Street Journal reported.

Although the secret drone campaign by the U.S. Central Intelligence Agency has been effective in eliminating hundreds of suspected members of terror groups U.S. officials say enjoy safe havens in Pakistan, the Journal said some military and diplomatic officials contend the strikes also are further hurting the already fragile U.S.-Pakistan relations.

The drone strikes have increased under the administration of U.S. President Barack Obama.

Despite the program's success, the Journal said, several U.S. military and State Department officials have called for more selective strikes.

"The bar has been raised. Inside CIA, there is a recognition you need to be damn sure it's worth it," the Journal reported.

Hereon, the report said, the U.S. State Department would have more sway in strike decisions. Additionally, Pakistani leaders would get advance notice about the operations and there would be no strikes when Pakistani officials are visiting the United States.

Some officials interviewed by the Journal said the impact of the CIA concessions would be minimal as the current bar on the strikes has been consistently high and that the program remains as aggressive as ever.

The drone development comes as the State Department is trying to convince Pakistan to cooperate in advancing reconciliation talks with the Taliban for ending the war in Afghanistan, and to go after the Taliban-linked Haqqani Network.

Topics: Barack Obama
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