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Study: Drone Strikes Unlikely To Destroy Islamist Networks

An MQ-1B Predator drone
Drone strikes in Pakistan's northwestern tribal areas are unlikely to eliminate Islamist extremist networks, according to a new study.

Brussels-based International Crisis Group, in a report released May 21, said the U.S. drone campaign may "disrupt" the abilities of Islamic militants in the Federally Administered Tribal Areas to launch attacks, but they cannot destroy their networks.

The report, "Drones: Myths and Reality in Pakistan," said the extension of Pakistani laws and constitutional protections can help end the Taliban insurgency.

It notes that nine years after the drone strikes began, secrecy around the CIA-run campaign "undermines efforts to assess the program's legality" and its full impact on the population in the tribal areas.

The study was released two days before President Barack Obama is expected to make a major speech about U.S. counterterrorism policies.

With reporting by AFP and dpa