H/T to Danger Room for noting that we have a Plan B, and a C, D, and E as well, for continuing drone strikes in Pakistan even if the Pak military shuts us out of their air base at Shamsi.
For one thing, if [Pakistani Defense Minister Chaudhary Ahmed] Mukhtar’s for real [about his threat to Shamsi], Defense Tech’s John Rood notes that the United States is rumored to fly drones out of two other Pakistani air bases. More fundamentally, the CIA already flies drones into the Pakistani tribal areas from Jalalabad in eastern Afghanistan. And Air Force drones hovering above Afghanistan, launched from J’bad and Kandahar in the south, chase fleeing insurgents into Pakistan with regularity — they just have to give the Pakistanis a heads-up.
The harsh truth is that the Pakistanis can’t stop the drone war on their soil. But they can shift its launching points over the Afghan border. And the United States is already working on a backup plan for a long-term drone war, all without the Pakistanis’ help.