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Fear The Reaper, Cont'd

So says a Taliban fighter who spilled to the NYT:

The one thing that impressed him were the missile strikes by drones — virtually the only American military presence felt inside Pakistan. “The drones are very effective,” he said, acknowledging that they had thinned the top leadership of Al Qaeda and the Taliban in the area. He said 29 of his friends had been killed in the strikes.

The drone attacks simply prompted Taliban fighters to spend more time in Afghanistan, or to move deeper into Pakistan, straddling both theaters of a widening conflict. The recruits were prepared to fight where they were needed, in either country, he said.

It is entirely possible, of course, that this is what he wants us to think. And that in fact he believes America is paying a greater price--in terms of local public opinion--than is the Taliban's replaceable senior ranks. 

--Michael Crowley