The CIA's Silent War in Pakistan

In the fight against al-Qaeda, pilotless drones are redefining warfare. But they could be doing more harm than good

Ethan Miller / Getty

Al-Qaeda operatives and Taliban fighters like Abu Omar are the target of the CIA's drone campaign.

The wilds of Waziristan, the tribal belt along Pakistan's border with Afghanistan, make an unlikely showcase for the future of warfare. This is a land stuck in the past: there are few roads, electricity is scarce, and entire communities of ethnic Pashtun tribesmen live as they have for millenniums. And yet it is over this medieval landscape that the U.S. has deployed some of the most sophisticated killing machines ever created, against an enemy that has survived or evaded all other weaponry. If al-Qaeda and the Taliban could not be eliminated by tanks, gunships and missiles, then perhaps they can be...

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