Thursday, June 21, 2012

NEWS BLOG: Are covert-action voices overruling US diplomats’?

Posted By on Thu, Jun 21, 2012 at 8:36 AM

In his Washington Post piece this morning, David Ignatius added to my concern about the Obama administration's anti-terrorism policy in Pakistan, Yemen, and other areas.

The issue is whether ambassadors to countries like Pakistan should be able to veto CIA plans - the use of drones, for instance - that they believe will be harmful. How, in other words, "covert weapons should coexist with the goals of statecraft," Ignatius writes.

Cameron Munter, the outgoing US ambassador to Pakistan, has been trying to strengthen our relationship with that country, and he has been concerned that the Obama administration's ramped-up use of drones is making things worse.

Obama, Ignatius writes, has decided to let the decision about that question rest with the CIA director and himself. That gives diplomacy a back seat: not a positive change.

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