Strike Against Pakistani Taliban Ends Drone Cease-fire

Obama rolls out new drone policy with attack against Taliban No. 2.

Pakistani protesters burn a representation of a U.S. flag to condemn a drone attack in the Pakistani tribal area of Waziristan that killed Taliban leader Waliur Rehman, on May 30, 2013 in Multan, Pakistan.

Pakistani protesters burn a representation of a U.S. flag to condemn a drone attack in the Pakistani tribal area of Waziristan that killed Taliban leader Waliur Rehman, on May 30, 2013 in Multan, Pakistan.

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These are the kinds of mistakes the president hopes to avoid under the new policy he unveiled at the National Defense University.

[PHOTOS: The Expansion of the Drone]

The U.S. will now rely more on "personality strikes," like the one used against Rehman, in which drones hunt for specific people, not just any fighter. And it likely will not receive actual opposition from the Pakistani government in these instances.

"This strike, in many ways, is a good thing for the Pakistani government," says Kaltenthaler. "Anything that weakens the TTP [Tekriki-i-Taliban Pakistan] is good for the Pakistani government."

This alleviates Sharif from following up on his campaign pledge to negotiate with the Taliban, which Kaltenthaler says "is probably not going to lay down its arms and say 'We'll stop the attacks simply because you're going to talk to us.'"

"Behind the scenes, there is probably relief," he says. "But they can't say that publicly. They have to stick to the script."

Fair also points out that not all Pakistanis criticize the strikes. Twitter user @AdaKhakwani, who says she is based in Pakistan, wrote of her thanks to the U.S. for eliminating a high-profile Taliban militant.

@cchristinefair On behalf of Pakistanis, we thank US for killing our biggest enemy the TTP commander Waliur Rehman Deobandi. @sohaibmalek

— Ada Khakwani (@AdaKhakwani) May 29, 2013

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