President Obama’s drone policy has drawn much scrutiny recently, especially in light of Rand Paul’s 13 hour filibuster. So, we thought we would take a look at the other side of the controversy, and view how effective of a war machine they are in contrast to using troops on the ground or traditional airstrikes.
Rise of the Machines
” Most people see drones as a controversial weapon prowling over foreign battlegrounds. But as America’s military campaigns wind down, these machines are coming home and set to change civilian lives forever. ” — http://topdocumentaryfilms.com/rise-machines/
” Drones: When they’re not spying on suspected terrorists they’re probably killing them with hell-fire missiles. However drones are coming to the States. They’re used to keep an eye on things, so they’re not going to kill you, at least not yet. Motherboard has been fascinated with the drones for a while now and realized that there are some misconceptions about the unmanned aerial vehicles. To try to clear the air a little bit they’re going to talk to people who are building drones, selling drones all over the world, and with any luck they hope to fly some drones as well. ” — http://topdocumentaryfilms.com/drone-on/
In Defense of Drones: They’re the worst form of war, except for all the others.
Are drones really killing civillians at an alarming rate? Slate reports and note in the excerpt, “Afghan civilian casualties caused by the United States and its allies didn’t go up last year. They fell 46 percent. Specifically, civilian casualties from “aerial attacks” fell 42 percent.”
UN: Drones killed more Afghan civilians in 2012,” says the Associated Press headline. The article begins: “The number of U.S. drone strikes in Afghanistan jumped 72 percent in 2012, killing at least 16 civilians in a sharp increase from the previous year.” The message seems clear: More Afghans are dying, because drones kill civilians. Wrong. Drones kill fewer civilians, as a percentage of total fatalities, than any other military weapon. They’re the worst form of warfare in the history of the world, except for all the others. Start with that U.N. report. Afghan civilian casualties caused by the United States and its allies didn’t go up last year. They fell 46 percent. Specifically, civilian casualties from “aerial attacks” fell 42 percent. Why? Look at the incident featured in the U.N. report (Page 31) as an example of sloppy targeting. “I heard the bombing at approximately 4:00 am,” says an eyewitness. “After we found the dead and injured girls, the jet planes attacked us with heavy machine guns and another woman was killed.” Jet planes. Machine guns. Bombing. Drones aren’t the problem. Bombs are the problem. …. Over the years, I’ve shared many worries about the rise of drones: the illusion of withdrawal, the militarization of the CIA, the corruption of law, the evasion of congressional restraint, the risk of mission creep, and the proliferation of signature strikes. But civilian casualties? That’s not an argument against drones. It’s the best thing about them. “
Related Resources: aka: All the information necessary to draw a conclusion without the histrionics.
Senators John McCain of Arizona and Lindsey Graham of South Carolina Stand on Drones Scrambles Partisan Lines
UN: Drones killed more Afghan civilians in 2012
Flawed Analysis of Drone Strike Data Is Misleading Americans
UN finds decrease in Afghan civilian deaths: 2,754 civilians killed in 2012 mark first drop in six years, but targeted killings of women in government raise alarms.
Civilian casualties in the War in Afghanistan 2001–present (wiki)
The Afghan Victim Memorial Project
Monitoring and analysis of data on civilian and British military casualties in Afghanistan and Iraq
Coalition Military Fatalities By Year
Drone Strikes 101: Facts About The United States’ Secret Defense Tool
Roundtable: Should The United States Use Drones for Military Operations?
Chinese Plan to Kill Drug Lord With Drone Highlights Military Advances
Drones…more drones….even more drones
Unmanned aerial vehicle (wiki)
Guns, Culture and Crime in the US
How Drones Kill Americans: They don’t target citizens in the United States. They kill them overseas as collateral damage.
Distinguished Warfare Medal Honoring Drone Pilots Faces Bipartisan Backlash
Alternative News: Tinfoil Hat Zone
Obama plans to use military drones against American journalists, freedom activists and critics of government
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