US Secretary of State John Kerry ran his mouth on Pakistani TV Thursday, vowing problematically that drone strikes “will end as we have eliminated most of the threat and will continue to eliminate it”. That’s like saying you’ll stop drinking as soon as you’re out of booze.
Muddled promise aside, this is at least a step in the right rhetorical direction for the Obama administration. The country’s leaders don’t usually talk about an end to the drone war that’s been silently raging since 9/11, and in fact, they don’t usually talk about the drone war at all. Why would they when it’s common knowledge that the government doesn’t even know how many people its killed with unmanned aerial vehicles zipping around over Afghanistan, Pakistan, Iraq and elsewhere?
But Kerry’s on the case! “I think the president has a very real timeline and we hope it’s going to be very, very soon,” he said of the program’s imminent termination. Because we all know how well the administration’s timelines have worked out in the past. (Cough! Closing Guantanamo. Cough!). For now, expect the same drone status quo. But at least, maybe, we can start having a conversation about it. [Bloomberg News]