President Obama has announced a halt on the drone war in Pakistan, such that “there must be near-certainty that no civilians will be killed or injured.” He said he would rush the closing of the Guantanamo Bay prison. Additionally he would move to repeal the Authorization for the Use of Military Force (AUMF) that was passed by Congress at the time of the 9/11 attacks. The AUMF authorized the war in Afghanistan, as well as operations against Al Qaeda in Pakistan, Yemen and Somalia. But this seems unlikely to go through as it is the main process the Congress uses to create a framework for the war and will be met by much political resistance.

Here are some more facts to tackle this controversial issue with. There have been 370 drone strikes in Pakistan over the past decade, killing somewhere between 2,080 to 3,428 people including suspected militants and civilians. Air strikes by the Pakistani air force killed approximately 60 people on Wednesday in North Waziristan. And let us not forget that something has bent the Taliban into coming to the negotiation table. There are reports that there were no civilian casualties from CIA drone strikes during 2013, according to data collected by the New America Foundation. To compare, in Yemen, civilian casualties from drone strikes remained steady over the past year. As the drone strikes have decreased, they have been replaced by Pakistani air strikes. Though the collateral damage might be same, and now there’s the pilot’s life and national resources at risk (which is why drones became a main play in the war book), it helps allay previous concerns over sovereignty and the legality of US drone strikes.

In the last year the US has speedily tried and convicted a number of high profile militants in New York. These include bin Laden’s son in law, Suleiman Abu Ghaith, and Abu Hamza, a London-based cleric involved in Western tourists kidnappings in Yemen. Thus it makes sense to abandon the military tribunal process at Guantanamo as they can potentially try more dangerous al Qaeda operatives like Khalid Sheik Mohammed in New York.

All in all, these recent moves by the US are smart. Just last week the CIA announced that it wouldn’t use vaccination programs to spy on militants. But let us also remember that this is strategy. The US has achieved some of its purposes by the sustained drone strikes and it seems that the step up in Pakistan military operations makes the headaches ours and takes the US out of the limelight while still achieving the purpose of capturing militants.