Two sides of drone attacks:

Yesterday, this was one of the top stories at BBC

Senior al-Qaeda leader Abu Yahya al-Libi was killed in a drone strike in Pakistan on Monday, US officials say.

US officials said Libi was the target of an attack which hit a volatile tribal area of Pakistan’s north-west, killing 15 suspected militants.

Yet this morning, a new story was up:

Nato planes have carried out an air strike in the Afghan province of Logar, south of the capital Kabul, with several people reported dead.

Nato said “multiple insurgents” were killed, and the air strike had been called after Afghan and foreign troops came under fire from militants.

Afghan officials said 18 civilians died, including women and children.

They highlight the ongoing debate between Pakistani and Afghan leaders and the United States over the use of Drone attacks. They are extremely effective at killing, but have often killed civilians, further fueling anti-US sentiments. I tend to side with the latter side, but drone attacks are an alternative to the heavy presence the U.S. would need to maintain throughout the region to conduct this “war.” If using drones is cheaper, more effective, and saves American lives, is it worth it? Would so many civilians still be killed if U.S. forces were conducting more direct combat with militants?