Obama May Boost Drones Instead of Troops

Shifting focus to Pakistan may avoid increasing forces
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Sep 22, 2009 5:59 AM CDT
Avionic technicians and mechanics from General Atomics move the Predator B, an unmanned surveillance aircraft, out from under an air hangar at Fort Drum, NY, earlier this year.    (AP/ HEATHER AINSWORTH)
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(Newser) – The White House is looking at expanding counterterror operations in Pakistan as an alternative to a major military escalation in Afghanistan, two senior officials tell the AP. The military would rely on armed drones that could contain al-Qaeda in a smaller, if more remote, area and keep its leaders from retreating back into Afghanistan. The officials say the White House is leaving the door open for troop increases in Afghanistan, but Obama's top advisers, including Joe Biden, are reluctant to send many more troops—if any at all.