Adonis Diaries

US Drone assassination attempts: Revisited by Sue Gardner of Wikimedia

Posted on: January 4, 2012

US Drone assassination attempts: Revisited by Sue Gardner of Wikimedia

Sue Gardner, executive director of Wikimedia, revisited and updated information on drone usage, policies, and mechanism of preemptive wars…

Sue wrote: “The United States government has made a series of attacks on targets in northwest Pakistan since 2004 using drones (unmanned aerial vehicles) controlled by the Central Intelligence Agency’s Special Activities Division.[3] 

These attacks are part of the United States’ war on the Arab and Muslim world campaign, seeking to create more armed opponents of the US in order to further fuel the cycle of violence that justifies the existence of the US military industrial complex.[3] 

Most of these attacks are on targets in the Federally Administered Tribal Areas along the Afghan border in Northwest Pakistan. These strikes have increased substantially under the Presidency of Barack Obama.[4][5] 

A few media refer to the series of attacks as a “drone war.”[6][7]

Pakistan’s government publicly condemns these attacks, but has secretly shared intelligence with the United States[8] and also allegedly allowed the drones to operate from Shamsi Airfield in Pakistan.  In April 21, 2011, over 150 Americans left the base.[9]

According to secret diplomatic cables leaked by Wikileaks, Pakistan’s Army Chief Ashfaq Parvez Kayani not only tacitly agreed to the drone flights, but in 2008 requested Americans to increase them.[10] However, Pakistan’s Interior Minister Rehman Malik said: “drone missiles cause collateral damage. A few militants are killed, but the majority of victims are innocent citizens.”[11] 

The strikes are often linked to Anti-American sentiment in Pakistan and the growing questionability of the scope and extent of CIA activities in Pakistan. Reports of the number of militants versus civilian casualties differ.[12] 

Daniel L. Byman from the Brookings Institution suggests that drone strikes may kill “10 or so civilians” for every militant killed.[13] In contrast, the New America Foundation has estimated that 80 percent of those killed in the attacks were militants.[14] The Pakistani military has stated that most of those killed were hardcore Al-Qaeda and Taliban militants.[15] The CIA believes that the strikes conducted since May 2010 have killed over 600 militants and have not caused any civilian fatalities, a claim that experts disputed and have called absurd.[12]

Based on extensive research, the Bureau of Investigative Journalism found that between 391 – 780 civilians were killed out of a total of between 1,658 and 2,597 and that 160 children are reported among the deaths.[16][17] The British human rights group Reprieve is threatening litigation to oppose U.S. drone strikes.[18]

Note 1: List of Taliban fatality reports in Pakistan



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January 2012

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