Conventional airpower or missiles are far less precise than drones, and likely to cause more civilian casualties and local outrage.
- Barrack Obama in a May, 23 2013 speech
I’ve never witnessed a bigger pathological liar in my entire life than U.S. President Barack Obama. Not only has pretty much every word out of his mouth been a complete and total deception since he took office, I firmly believes he fundamentally loves the act of lying. This post covers one of the biggest lies Obama has told the American public, and indeed the world, with regard to drone strikes. This lie is particularly important since I would guess at least 90% of the public believes it to be true.
A recent study by a U.S. military advisor shows that not only are drone strikes more likely to harm civilians per incident, but they are 10x more likely to do so. This lie is right up there with Obama’s recent statement that he “won’t scramble jets to capture Edward Snowden.” Of course, that’s precisely what he did yesterday. Now, from The Guardian:
A study conducted by a US military adviser has found that drone strikes in Afghanistan during a year of the protracted conflict caused 10 times more civilian casualties than strikes by manned fighter aircraft.
The new study, referred to in an official US military journal, contradicts claims by US officials that the robotic planes are more precise than their manned counterparts.
It appears to undermine the claim made by President Obama in a May speech that “conventional airpower or missiles are far less precise than drones, and likely to cause more civilian casualties and local outrage”.
Drone strikes in Afghanistan, the study found, according to its unclassified executive summary, were “an order of magnitude more likely to result in civilian casualties per engagement.”
Larry Lewis, a principal research scientist at the Center for Naval Analyses, a research group with close ties to the US military, studied air strikes in Afghanistan from mid-2010 to mid-2011, using classified military data on the strikes and the civilian casualties they caused. Lewis told the Guardian he found that the missile strikes conducted by remotely piloted aircraft, commonly known as drones, were 10 times more deadly to Afghan civilians than those performed by fighter jets.
Lewis, an adviser to the military’s Joint Staff, conducted six previous studies of civilian casualties and other episodes in Afghanistan for the military.
“The fact that I had been looking at air operations in Afghanistan for a number of years led me to suspect that what I found was in fact the case,” Lewis said.
The period Lewis researched was the most intense era for air strikes during the 12-year-long Afghanistan war. General David Petraeus, commander from mid-2010 to mid-2011, reversed restrictions on air strikes imposed by his predecessor, Stanley McChrystal, designed to tamp down Afghan outrage about dead civilians. By February 2011, air force pilots, both in and outside the cockpit, launched 10 bombing missions daily, nearly double the rate of the previous year.
Oh, and for those who don’t think this has anything to do with you, I suggest you read this recent article by the EFF regarding the arming of domestic drones.
Full article here.
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