The critics of unmanned strikes, who claim that drones are contributing to growing radicalization in Pakistan, haven’t looked around enough—or they would realize that much of the radicalization already was established by the Taliban in the 1990s. The real tragedy is that it is acceptable for the Taliban to radicalize and kill, but it is considered a breach of sovereignty for the United States, in pursuit of those radicalizing Pakistan’s people, to do the same.
There is so much protest over the drones because the media reports about them are biased. Although people on ground in war zones contend that the drone strikes have very few civilian casualties and, with time, have become extremely precise, the media presents quite a different story to boost its ratings.
Many in Pakistan, especially in the army, understand the positive impact of this weapon. Drones are coming in handy for two reasons: their precision and psychological effect. Many analysts of this subject have been concerned only with the military aspect, such as whether or not drones are precise enough and the casualties they incur. But part of what works in favor of the United States is the psychological impact—the fear that drones have instilled in the militants. The fact that the United States might strike day or night, inside the militant compound or outside while traveling in the convoys, works to deter militants and restrict their operations. This tilts the balance of power in favor of the United States.