A few weeks ago, I noted a Pew poll that showed the rest of the world doesn’t like our drone strikes (and that there’s a big gender gap between men and women over drone strikes). I noted that Pew was holding off their results from Pakistan.
Maybe that’s because the results are fairly troubling.
Since Obama became President (and since the drone campaign accelerated in Pakistan), the number of Pakistanis who regard us as an enemy has gone up 10%, 5% in just the last year, to 74%.
More dangerous still, Pakistanis don’t want our help fighting extremists, nor do they want to use the Pakistani army to fight extremists in their own country.
Additionally, over the last few years, Pakistanis have become less willing to work with the U.S. on efforts to combat extremist groups. While 50% still want the U.S. to provide financial and humanitarian aid to areas where extremists operate, this is down from 72% in 2009. Similarly, fewer Pakistanis now want intelligence and logistical support from the U.S. than they did three years ago. And only 17% back American drone strikes against leaders of extremist groups, even if they are conducted in conjunction with the Pakistani government.
Since 2009, the Pakistani public has also become less willing to use its own military to combat extremist groups. Three years ago, 53% favored using the army to fight extremists in the Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA) and neighboring Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, but today just 32% hold this view.
If Pakistan were a nice stable country, we might be able to blow off these results and just keep droning on.
But the instability in the country and the widespread opposition to the US is a recipe for disaster.