DRONE ATTACKS IN PAKISTAN:
1. Drones: An Overview
2. Drones and Target Killings as a Response to 9/11
3. Obama’s Escalation of the Drone Program
4. “Personality Strikes” and so-called “Signature Strikes”
5. Pakistan’s Divided Role
6. Conflicting Media Reports
7. Unreported strikes
8. Civilian Casualties are rarely acknowledged by the US Government
9. Living under drones
10. Harm to daily lives of ordinary civilians
11. Evidence that strikes have made the US safer is ambiguous
12. Drone Strike Practices may set dangerous precedents
Drones: An Overview: According to the US Department of Defense, a drone, or unmanned aircraft, is an “aircraft or balloon that does not carry a human operator and is capable of flight under remote control or autonomous programming.” Although drones have only recently become the subject of significant public debate, they are not new, and their origins can be traced at least to World War I. Throughout the twentieth century, however, they were used primarily for surveillance, most notably during the Gulf War and the conflict in the Balkans in the 1990s. The first armed drones were flown in Afghanistan in early October 2001. Since then, the US has increased its arsenal of Predator drones from 167 in 2002 to more than 7,000 today.
There are two types of lethal drones primarily now used by the US: the MQ-1B Predator and the MQ-9 Reaper. The Predator MQ-1B, first flown in 1994, was designed “to provide persistent intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance information combined with a kill capability.” Equipped with AGM-114 Hellfire missiles, the Predator MQ-1B was the world’s first-ever weaponized unmanned aircraft system.
Drones and Target Killings as a Response to 9/11: In the aftermath of the September 11, 2011 attacks, the Bush administration began a campaign of ‘targeted killing’ against suspected members of Al Qaeda and other armed groups. The CIA allegedly...