The Obama administration argues to the contrary.
John Brennan, the president’s top counterterrorism adviser, was quoted during a Harvard Law School conference saying that “the United States does not view our authority to use military force against Al Qaeda as being restricted solely to ‘hot’ battlefields like Afghanistan.”
“That does not mean we can use military force whenever we want, wherever we want,” Brennan cautioned. “International legal principles, including respect for a state’s sovereignty and the laws of war, impose important constraints on our ability to act unilaterally … in foreign territories.”
Despite legal justification, U.S.-Pakistani relations have become strained even though Pakistan has tacitly agreed to the U.S. using drones to strike targets within its borders. Relations also deteriorated after a November border clash in which a U.S. air assault killed 24 Pakistani soldiers.
A Pakistani parliamentary committee is conducting what has been called a “‘a full review of the terms of cooperation’ with the United States and the U.S.-led international coalition in Afghanistan,” and government officials in Pakistan may soon seek a new arrangement with their American counterparts before more drone strikes are carried out.
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