Washington: US Defense Secretary Leon Panetta has termed the use of drone strikes in Pakistan and Yemen to target terrorist targets as absolutely essential ``to our ability to defend Americans``.
Panetta called drone strikes "one of the most precise weapons that we have in our arsenal," and said that protecting US security by levelling terrorist targets in countries like Pakistan and Yemen takes priority, reports The Nation.
"And using the operations that we have, using the systems that we have, using the weapons that we have, is absolutely essential to our ability to defend Americans. That`s what counts, and that`s what we`re doing," he added.
"We`re still dealing with the Taliban. Although they`ve been weakened, they are resilient. They`ll continue to conduct attacks. We`ll continue to see IED attacks taking place. We have the concern about the safe haven in Pakistan, the fact that they can seek refuge in that safe haven, that`s a concern. All of those things are continuing challenges," Panetta further said.