In the last 10 days, there have been seven drone attacks, the latest Thursday, The Washington Post reported Friday. In 2012, such attacks had declined to less than one a week.
With fewer than 6,000 U.S. troops expected to remain in Afghanistan after 2014, the strikes "may be a signal to groups that include not just al-Qaeda that the U.S. will still present a threat," said Seth Jones, a counter-terrorism expert at the Rand Corp.
The strikes have taken out high-ranking militants. Maulvi Nazir, a Taliban commander who allegedly planned crossed-border raids and protected al-Qaida fighters, was among those killed. Also killed was Wali Mohammed, believed to be a director of suicide operations for the Taliban.
The drone attacks haven't been publicly protested by Pakistan.