US rejects Pakistan demand to vacate base from which it launches drone warfare
The United States is rejecting demands from Pakistani officials that American personnel abandon a military base used by the CIA to stage drone strikes against suspected militants, U.S. officials told Reuters.
U.S. personnel have not left the remote Pakistani military installation known as Shamsi Air Base and there is no plan for them to do so, said a U.S. official familiar with the matter. Pakistani officials have frequently suggested it is being shuttered, comments that may be aimed at quieting domestic opposition to U.S. military operations using Pakistani soil.
The Obama administration is moving to a counter-terrorism strategy based more on drone strikes and other covert operations than on deploying large numbers of troops. The U.S. declaration that drone operations in Pakistan will continue unabated is the latest twist in a fraught relationship between security authorities in Washington and Islamabad, which has been under increasing strain for months.