The back-to-back drone strikes come during a difficult time in the counterterrorism alliance between the United States and Pakistan. Pakistan has publicly demanded an end to U.S. drone strikes, and the government has repeatedly found itself at odds with the Obama administration.
Perhaps the most urgent issue has been Pakistan’s closure of its borders to NATO supply convoys bound for Afghanistan — an action it took in November in retaliation for an errant U.S. airstrike that killed 24 Pakistani soldiers last year.
This week, tensions flared again as a Pakistani court imposed a 33-year sentence on a doctor who assisted the CIA in the hunt for Osama bin Laden. The doctor had conducted a vaccination program in the Pakistani city of Abbottabad to determine whether, on the basis of DNA taken from his relatives, bin Laden was living there. The court convicted him of treason.