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Posts tagged with: Drone Attack

Drone Attacks in Pakistan have a 2.5% strike rate against Al-Qaeda

The Pakistan Body Count, a website run and managed by Zeeshan Usmani, a professor at Ghulam Ishaq Khan Institute has documented over 124 drone attacks since 2004 and as per the last documented attack on May 11th 2010 in Miranshah shows that only 30 Al-Qaeda operatives have perished in the last six years but more significantly 1266 civilians were killed and over 445 civilians were left injured to run a tally of 2.5% as the strike rate against the Al-Qaeda operatives.

A strike rate of 2.5% is a failure by any measure, its not a statistical probability, or the result of a mathematical equation analysis but actually 97.5% innocent people have lost their lives in lieu of a high flying sophisticated drone targeting an Al-Qaeda terrorist, and by coincidence they happened to be in the wrong place at the wrong time to have been killed instead. I believe such targeting success rate can at best be adjudicated to handing a blind man an automatic machine gun hoping to get lucky in killing people around him, even then I predict he will have a higher strike rate than these remote controlled drones.
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The Risks Of A Remote-Controlled War: CIA using Drones for International Assassination

Jane Mayer, a political journalist for The New Yorker discusses the ethics and controversies surrounding the CIA’s covert drone program, in which remotely controlled, unmanned planes target terror suspects in Pakistan. A 32 minutes interview on NPR [transcript]

Mayer writes that unlike the military’s publicly acknowledged drone program in Afghanistan and Iraq — both official war zones — the CIA’s campaign doesn’t operate in support of U.S. troops on the ground. Instead it’s a secret program, run partly by private contractors, that amounts to “targeted international killings by the state,” in the words of one human-rights lawyer. Because of its covert status, there’s “no visible system of accountability in place,”


David Rohde’s Insights Into What Motivates the Taliban: Held by the Taliban

David Rohde writes about the seven months he was held hostage by a group of extremist Taliban in Afghanistan and Pakistan and conveys this observation about what motivates them:

My captors harbored many delusions about Westerners. But I also saw how some of the consequences of Washington’s antiterrorism policies had galvanized the Taliban. Commanders fixated on the deaths of Afghan, Iraqi and Palestinian civilians in military airstrikes, as well as the American detention of Muslim prisoners who had been held for years without being charged. Apparently, when we drop bombs on Muslim countries — or when Israel attacks Palestinians — that fuels anti-American hatred and militarism among Muslims. The same outcomes occur when we imprison Muslims without charges in places like Guantanamo and Bagram.

One of the most astounding feats in propaganda is how we’ve managed to take people who live in a country which we invade, bomb and occupy — and who fight against us because we’re doing that — and call them “Terrorists,” thereby “justifying” continuing to bomb and occupy their country further (“We have to stay in order to fight the Terrorists: meaning the people who are fighting us because we stay”).