Monday, December 5, 2011
Eight days after a U.S. drone killed at least 24 Pakistani soldiers, President Obama phoned President Asif Ali Zardari on Sunday to offer his “condolences” but stopped short of a formal apology or a videotaped statement for the incident.
Some Obama administration aides worried that a formal apology from Mr. Obama could become fodder for his Republican opponent in the presidential campaign.
Drone attacks on Pakistan began in 2004 but have increased substantially under the presidency of Barack Obama resulting in the deaths of many innocent civilians. Daniel Byman from the Brookings Institute suggests that drone strikes may kill “10 or so civilians” for every militant killed.
The deadly deadly drone attack on Pakistan resulted in the U.S. given 15 days to vacate Shamsi Airbase which was secretly turned over to American forces following the 9/11 terrorist attacks. Shamsi, under President Obama, has served as the base for the U.S. drone program targeting militants in the region.