The former US intelligence chief, Dennis Blair, has demanded to stop drone attacks in Pakistan. Call off the unilateral US drone war in Pakistan and rethink the idea of spending billions of dollars to pursue al-Qaida. These arent the words of some human rights activist, or some far-left Congressman. Theyre from retired admiral and former Director of National Intelligence Dennis Blair the man who was, until recently, nominally in charge of the entire American effort to find, track, and take out terrorists. Now, hes calling for that campaign to be reconsidered, and possibly even junked. The drone attacks take out some mid-level terrorists, Blair said. But theyre not strategically effective. If the drones stopping flying tomorrow, Blair told the audience at the Aspen Security Forum, its not going to lower the threat to the US Al-Qaida and its allies have proven it can sustain its level of resistance to an air-only campaign, he said. Its one of many reasons why its a mistake to have that campaign dominate our overall relations with countries like Pakistan, Yemen, and Somalia. Because were alienating the countries concerned, because were treating countries just as places where we go attack groups that threaten us, we are threatening the prospects of long-term reform, Blair said. The unilateral strikes in Pakistan have to come to an end, he added, and be replaced with operations that had the full cooperation of the government in Islamabad. The effort needed two hands on the trigger, Blair said. And strikes should be launched only when we agree with them on what drone attacks should target. The statements wont exactly win Blair new friends in the Obama administration, which forced him out of the top intelligence job about a year after he was nominated. Not only has Obama drastically escalated the drone war thereve been 50 strikes in the first seven months of this year, almost as many as in all of 2009. Defense Secretary Leon Panetta called the remotely-piloted attacks the only game in town in terms of confronting or trying to disrupt the al-Qaida leadership. Plus, American relations with the Pakistani government are at their lowest point in years. And every time Washington tries to tip off Islamabad to a raid, it seems, the targets of the raid seem to conveniently skip town. No wonder the US kept the mother of all unilateral strikes the mission to kill Osama bin Laden a secret from their erstwhile allies in Pakistan. But Blair believes the cooperation not only with Pakistan, but with the government in Yemen and whatever authorities can be found in Somalia are the only way to bring some measure of peace to the worlds ungoverned spaces. We have to change in those three countries, he said.