Drone Wars Library – Civilian casualties

| Autonomy | Civil use of drones | Civilian casualties | Drone pilots | Ethical issues | General overview |
| Israel and drones | Proliferation | Targeted Killing and Legal Issues | UK drone operations | US drone operations |

houseCivilian casualties

Supporters of drones often point to their supposed precision and ‘pinpoint accuracy’ yet there are multiple reports of civilian casualties arising from drone strikes.  It is  impossible to assess just how precise drone warfare is without empirical data and there is a distinct lack of transparency around the use of drones.  While there is have some data about the impact of drones strikes in Pakistan from organisations like the Bureau of Investigative Journalism (TBIJ),  across the border in Afghanistan where there have been far more drone strikes there is very little public information.  One US military analyst, Larry Lewis, who has studied classified military data on drones strikes in Afghanistan (although he is unable to release the information) told The Guardian that missile strikes conducted by drones were 10 times more deadly to Afghan civilians than those performed by fighter jets.

Key documents and articles

April 2014 Drone Strikes in Pakistan: Reasons to Assess Civilian Casualties US military research organisation investigates drone civilian casualty figures. Written by Larry Lewis.
Feb 2014 Civilian drone deaths triple in Afghanistan, UN agency finds UNAMA data shows increase in civilian casualties from drone strikes
Jan 2014 What really happened when a U.S. drone hit a Yemeni wedding convoy? Investigation into Dec 2013 US drone strike that killed civilians
Jul 2013 US drone strikes more deadly to Afghan civilians than manned aircraft – adviser Study contradicts drone precision claims
March 2013 Drone attacks ‘traumatising a generation of children’ Channel 4 News report on psychologist Dr Peter Schaapveld’s findings from clinical visit to Yemen
Oct 2012 Counting Drone Strike Deaths Review of drone strike casualty estimates
Oct 2012 Drones: the physical and psychological implications of a global theatre of war Medact report on the impact on health of armed drones
Sept 2012 Living Under Drones Death, Injury, and Trauma to Civilians From US Drone Practices in Pakistan Analysis from Stamford and New York University Law Schools of the US drone campaign in Pakistan
Sep 2012 The Civilian Impact of Drone Strikes: Unexamined Costs, Unanswered Questions A study of the impact of the US covert drone on civilians in Pakistan
Jul 2011 US claims of ‘no civilian deaths’ are untrue TBIJ challenges US claims of no civilian casualties
Jun 2011 Drone attacks, International Law and the recording of Civilian Casualties of Armed Conflict Oxford Research Group on the recording of civilian casualties
Jun 2011 The magical realism of body counts Al-Jazeera Op-Ed on civilian casualty statistics

Further information

Drone Wars UK posts tagged Civilian casualties






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