Report Shows that U.S. Drone Strikes in Pakistan Kill Civilians

by Project Censored
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A report done by the Campaign for Innocent Victims in Conflict (CIVIC) in October investigated nine of the 139 drone strikes carried out since the beginning of 2009, and found that a total of 30 civilians had been killed in those 9 strikes, including 14 women and children.  That gives an average of 3.3 civilians killed in each drone strike.  In addition to the reports findings on civilian casualties, there is also no government or military mechanism that investigates or collects data on civilian casualties.  This report on civilian casualties counters the Obama administrations image of a highly accurate targeting system of drone strikes that is disrupting al-Qaeda’s global terrorist plots. Data on how targets are chosen show that mostly militant groups involved in the Afghan insurgency, rather than al-Qaeda officials are being targeted. Further more many C.I.A officers involved in the drone strikes program claim that the strikes help al-Qaeda and its allies to recruit, directly the opposite of the claims that drone strikes are disrupting al-Qaeda.

The Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA) of Pakistan also just released the results of a survey showing overwhelming popular opposition to the drone strikes and majority support for suicide attacks on U.S. forces under some circumstances.  The misleading label of “militants” used in the mainstream press to describe U.S. drone strike deaths paints a very different picture than the reality of civilian deaths, and increased anti-American sentiment as a result.

Title: Report Shows Drone Strikes Based on Scant Evidence

Author: Gareth Porter

Source: Inter-Press Service, October 18, 2010


Title: CIA Drone Operators Strikes as Helping al Qaeda

Author: Gareth Porter

Source: Inter-Press Service, June 3, 2010


Title: Civilian Harm and Conflict in Northwest Pakistan

Author: Christopher Rogers

Source: Campaign for Innocent Victims in Conflict, 2010


Student Researcher: Amy Ortiz, Sonoma State University

Faculty Evaluator: Cynthia Boaz, Sonoma State University