Christine Fair, a relatively new acquaintance of mine, has posted this at foreignpolicy.com, arguing that the Drone War is mis-understood. It is more than bit controversial as a quick set of tweets and links to rebuttals have appeared. She argues essentially that the Drones are confused with the air campaign over Afghanistan, with the latter causing far more collateral damage than the former. She does blame the CIA and the Pentagon for a doing a poor job of clarifying the outcomes in the drone campaign.
Her major and most convincing point is the absence of decent alternatives. Doing nothing is bad and having the Pakistanis do COIN is bad. So, what are we left with? The question really is whether killing the various targets in Pakistan really disrupts the Afghan and Pakistan Talibans. If it is an endless game of Hydra decapitation, I am not sure it is worth the bad PR (even if Fair is right that the PR is not as bad as often claimed). On the other hand, perhaps this is really disruptive. I just cannot say. As Fair rightly argues, it is difficult to assess stuff covered in secret sauce.
Then again, if the operators screw up, bad things happen [to be fair, most investigations blame the guys and not the system]. Is that a risk worth taking?