In June, Obama's top counterterrorism advisor John Brennan announced that drone strikes haven't resulted in any civilian casualties over the past year. The London-based Bureau of Investigative Reporting disagrees.
The drones do not make America safer. They inevitably provoke blowback. They are not a way of waging war cheaply. They require massive investments in client states and "nation-building" on the ground. They kill people, but no victories are won from the air.
What will Pakistan's elite learn from WikiLeaks? Undoubtedly nothing. And if we're going by the White House's response so far, nor will Washington feel more constrained than it ever has running its informal global empire.
Though victims acknowledged that drones often kill militants, they decried the strikes for the harm they cause to civilians and claimed that they are ineffective at combating militancy in the long-run.
American analysts would do well to appreciate the developing nuances in the drone debate in Pakistan before seeking to undermine the best program that the U.S. and Pakistan have in their mutual war on terror.
The US may now be represented in the Afghan countryside, mainly by Predators and their even more powerful cousins, Reapers, unmanned aerial vehicles with names straight out of a sci-fi film about implacable aliens.