5 Dec 2014

Blog Entry #4

Author: dofield | Filed under: Uncategorized

“Three Suspect Militants Killed in Drone Strike”

“How Accurate Are US Drones?”

The first article talks about the on going effort on attacking militant groups in order to prevent future casualties. The targets were said to be members of al-Qaeda and from various nationalities. The targets were militants that were said to be training for an attack on both military and civilian sites in the city of Bayda. The attack was conducted days after the AQAP leader, Nasser al-Wuhayshi, was posted of him speaking to jihadist saying that they would fight the Western crusaders anywhere. These possible attacks and statements by the AQAP led to the chairman of the House of Representatives Committee on Homeland Security, Micheal McCaul, to state that the AQAP was the biggest external threat to the US.

The second article starts to question the accuracy of the US drone strikes. An announcement was released that the US botched a drone strike by killing 23 Afghan citizens in the Uruzgan province. The US government investigated the mishap and publicly punished the soldiers involved, but outside of Afghanistan most drone strikes are conducted by the C.I.A. and are not aknowledged by the US government, whether they are succesful or not. When a strike is unsuccesful or was conducted by false info, there are official reports, no death counts, and no accountability. Pakistani officials claim the drone strikes often miss their target and studies within the country count claim that the amount of civilian casulties through 2009 was around 700. The US quickly dismised those numbers and claimed from their study that there were between 290 to 387 civilians killed in the strikes. While an outside source, University of Massachusetts professor Brian Glyn Williams, claim that in their study, only 44 civilian were killed while a 240 of victims were unknown.

While the first article backs up the use of drone strikes due to them preventing future attacks, the second article make you question if the numbers they are reporting are truthful. It is difficult to 100% accurately claim how many people are killed in the attacks, but when the numbers are so askew how can one determine who is telling the truth. This difference in death total could easily shape the way people look at drone usage going into the future. Anti-drone supporters could report higher number of civilians killed, while pro-drone supporters could claim that one could not tell if an individual was a civilian or a militant threat.

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