A lot of Americans have an impression that drone strikes are less damaging to civilian populations that conventional airstrikes. This would be false. In fact, earlier this month I highlighted an article from the Guardian that demonstrated how in reality drone strikes are 10x more likely to harm civilians per incident. Now, thanks to a recently leaked document we find that many more civilians including children have been killed in these strikes than many of us would like to admit. In fact, of the 746 people killed in drone strikes in Pakistan from 2006-2009, an incredible 20% were civilians and 94 (13% of the total) were children. More from the Huffington Post:
London’s Bureau of Investigative Journalism released a leaked Pakistani report on Monday that details numerous civilian casualties by drone strikes in the country’s Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA). The document provides crucial new data on civilians casualties of U.S. and NATO strikes in Pakistan.
The 12-page dossier was compiled for the the authorities in the tribal areas, the Bureau notes, and investigates 75 CIA drone strikes and five attacks by NATO in the region conducted between 2006 and 2009. According to the document, 746 people were killed in the strategic attacks. At least 147 of the victims were civilians, and 94 were children.
While a majority of earlier tallies relied on media reports of drone strikes, the FATA list was compiled by government officials who were sent out to investigate damage in the wake of attacks. According to the Bureau, on several occasions officials registered different casualty rates than media outlets reported.
ProPublica notes the U.S. government denies large civilian casualty counts, but it refuses to release its own numbers.
Most. Transparent. Ever.
Full article here.
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