BBC research into drone strikes in Pakistan

BBC Urdu has published new research into the undeclared war in Pakistan.  They report that since January 2009 nearly 2,500 people have been killed in Pakistan as a result of US drones and Islamic militant attacks.  They attribute 746 deaths to US drone strikes (30%) and 1,713 deaths (70%) to Islamic militant attacks.

What will hit the headlines though is the fact that in response a Taleban spokesman, Muhammed Umer, has said that “In the short term, yes, you can say it [drone strikes] has caused us some difficulties because of the martyrdoms and realignment of our ranks.”   The Guardian have already reported the story as ‘Taliban says US drone attacks ‘temporarily’ hindering insurgency’.     What Muhammed Umer goes on to say – and probably won’t get so much coverage – is that the drone strikes are also bringing new volunteers and recruits.

A unnamed ‘senior US official’ is also quoted in the report as saying that since Obama has taken office, 650 militants and 20 non-combatants have been killed by drone strikes.   Tactfully the BBC say

“Research by the BBC’s Urdu service puts the number of those killed considerably higher, and says there have been many cases where there has been no positive identification of those killed at all”. 

While the CIA, as usual refused to comment on their drone strikes, the same ‘unnamed senior US official’ said that drones are “the most precise weapons system in the history of warfare.”   No doubt as precise as his casualty figures.

2 thoughts on “BBC research into drone strikes in Pakistan

  • Drone strikes are clearly preferable to far less accurate missile strikes. They also poss less risk to our soldiers. It is a no-brainer really. Not sure what your issue is? If you don’t like war say so. This focus on Drones is disingenuous. Sounds like you got fed up with people not taking your pacifism seriously and thought you would try another ‘spin’. Mandy would be impressed. Let’s face it we are fighting a war. You would rather we didn’t but we are. It is the responsibility of our force commanders to ensure all steps are taken to avoid losses on our side whilst at the same time maximising the chances of killing enemy combatants. Drones are perfect for this. All rational (non-pacifists) know this. As with the ongoing and well meaning pacifist attempts since time immemorial to persuade the rest of us that their ever so worthy cause was right this latest angle on the same theme will also fall foul of the logic of the majority.

    • For God sake,….you can’t legalize any crime saying *Let’s face it we are fighting a war* do you think war has no rules ? if so my dear’ then what is the corde of ethics, the humen rights,Geneva acord & UN charters,The 1st& 2nd worlds should be excused because they have the power & technology to kill thousand’s of innocent women& children,to illiminate only 5 or 6 stupid TALIBANS,during a DRONE ATTACK…???

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