Drone strikes in Pakistan
|Drone strikes in Pakistan|
|Part of the War in North-West Pakistan,
the War in Afghanistan and the War on Terror
Uzbek Islamic Movement
Islamic State affiliates
|Casualties and losses|
|9 (U.S. intelligence agents, incl. CIA officers)||~2,000-3,000+ militants killed|
Civilian deaths: 64-965
Since 2004, the United States government has attacked thousands of targets in Northwest Pakistan using unmanned aerial vehicles (drones) controlled by the Central Intelligence Agency's Special Activities Division. Most of these attacks are on targets in the Federally Administered Tribal Areas along the Afghan border in Northwest Pakistan.
These strikes began during the administration of United States President George W. Bush, and have increased substantially under his successor Barack Obama. Some in the media have referred to the attacks as a "drone war". The George W. Bush administration officially denied the extent of its policy; in May 2013, the Obama administration acknowledged for the first time that four US citizens had been killed in the strikes. Surveys have shown that the strikes are deeply unpopular in Pakistan, where they have contributed to a negative perception of the United States.
The US administration and Pakistani authorities have publicly claimed that civilian deaths from the attacks are minimal. Leaked military documents reveal that the vast majority of people killed have not been the intended targets, with approximately 13% of deaths being the intended targets, 81% being other militants, and 6% being civilians. The identities of collateral victims are usually not investigated by US forces, who systematically count each male military-age corpse as an "enemy killed in action" unless there is clear proof to the contrary, as long as the male was in a militant facility at the time. Estimates for civilian deaths range from 158 to 965. Amnesty International found that a number of victims were unarmed and that some strikes could amount to war crimes.
Pakistan's Prime Minister, Nawaz Sharif, has repeatedly demanded an end to the strikes, stating: "The use of drones is not only a continual violation of our territorial integrity but also detrimental to our resolve and efforts at eliminating terrorism from our country". The Peshawar High Court has ruled that the attacks are illegal, inhumane, violate the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and constitute a war crime. The Obama administration disagrees, contending that the attacks do not violate international law and that the method of attack is precise and effective.
- 1 Overview
- 2 Statistics
- 3 U.S. viewpoint
- 4 Pakistani position
- 5 Media reporting from other countries
- 6 Al Qaeda response
- 7 United Nations human rights concerns
- 8 Reactions from people in Pakistan
- 9 Civilian casualties
- 10 Naming the Dead
- 11 Pakistan Peace March
- 12 In popular culture
- 13 See also
- 14 References
- 15 Further reading
- 16 External links
Pakistan's government publicly condemns these attacks. However, it also allegedly allowed the drones to operate from Shamsi Airfield in Pakistan until 21 April 2011. According to secret diplomatic cables leaked by Wikileaks, Pakistan's Army Chief Ashfaq Parvez Kayani not only tacitly agreed to the drone flights, but in 2008 requested that Americans increase them. However, Pakistan's Interior Minister Rehman Malik said, "drone missiles cause collateral damage. A few militants are killed, but the majority of victims are innocent citizens." The strikes are often linked to anti-American sentiment in Pakistan and the growing questionability of the scope and extent of CIA activities in Pakistan.
Reports of the number of militant versus civilian casualties differ. In general, the CIA and other American agencies have claimed a high rate of militant killings, relying in part on a disputed estimation method that "counts all military-age males in a strike zone as combatants (...) unless there is explicit intelligence posthumously proving them innocent". For instance, the CIA has claimed that strikes conducted between May 2010 and August 2011 killed over 600 militants without any civilian fatalities, a claim that many have disputed. The New America Foundation has estimated that 80 percent of those killed in the attacks were militants. On the other hand, several experts have stated that in reality, far fewer militants and many more civilians have been killed. In a 2009 opinion article, Daniel L. Byman of the Brookings Institution wrote that drone strikes may have killed "10 or so civilians" for every militant that they killed. The Pakistani military has stated that most of those killed were Al-Qaeda and Taliban militants. The Bureau of Investigative Journalism found that 423 to 965 civilians were killed out of a total of 2,497 to 3,999 including 172 to 207 children. The Bureau also claimed that since Obama took office at least 50 civilians were killed in follow-up strikes when they had gone to help victims and more than 20 civilians have also been attacked in strikes on funerals and mourners, a practice condemned by legal experts.
Barbara Elias-Sanborn has also claimed that, "as much of the literature on drones suggests, such killings usually harden militants' determination to fight, stalling any potential negotiations and settlement." However, analysis by the RAND Corporation suggests that "drone strikes are associated with decreases in the incidence and lethality of terrorist attacks" in Pakistan.
Drone strikes were halted in November 2011 after NATO forces killed 24 Pakistani soldiers in the Salala incident. Shamsi Airfield was evacuated of Americans and taken over by the Pakistanis December 2011. The incident prompted an approximately two-month stop to the drone strikes, which resumed on 10 January 2012.
In March 2013, Ben Emmerson, the United Nations Special Rapporteur led a U.N. team that looked into civilian casualties from the U.S. drone attacks, and stated that the attacks are a violation of the sovereignty of Pakistan. Emmerson said government officials from the country clearly stated Pakistan does not agree to the drone attacks, which is contradicted by U.S. officials. In October 2013, Amnesty International brought out a detailed study of the impact of drone strikes that strongly condemned the strikes. The report stated that the number of arbitrary civilian deaths, the tactics used (such as follow-up attacks targeting individuals helping the wounded) and the violation of Pakistani sovereignty meant that some of the strikes could be considered war crimes.
In May 2014, the targeted killing program was described as "basically over," with no attack having occurred since December 2013. The lull in attacks coincided with a new Obama Administration policy requiring a "near certainty" that civilians would not be harmed, a reduced US military and CIA presence in Afghanistan, a reduced al-Qaida presence in Pakistan, and an increased military role (at the expense of the CIA) in the execution of drone strikes.
- Total strikes: 423
- Total killed: 2,497 - 3,999
- Civilians killed: 423 - 965
- Children killed: 172 - 207
- Injured: 1,161 - 1,744
- Strikes under the Bush Administration: 51
- Strikes under the Obama Administration: 372
- 84 of the 2,379 dead have been identified as members of al-Qaeda
A formerly classified Pakistani government report obtained in July 2013 by the BIJ shows details of 75 drone strikes that occurred between 2006-09. According to the 12-page report, in this period, 176 of the 746 reported dead were civilians. According to the Long War Journal, the Bureau of Investigative Journalism, and the New America Foundation, 2006, 2007, 2008, and 2009 had some of the highest civilian casualty ratios of any years.
U.S. President George W. Bush vastly accelerated the drone strikes during the final year of his presidency. A list of the high-ranking victims of the drones was provided to Pakistan in 2009. Bush's successor, President Obama, broadened attacks to include targets against groups considered to be seeking to destabilize Pakistani civilian government; the attacks of 14 and 16 February 2009 were against training camps run by Baitullah Mehsud. On 25 February 2009 Leon Panetta, the director of the CIA, indicated the strikes will continue. On 4 March 2009 The Washington Times reported that the drones were targeting Baitullah Mehsud. Obama was reported in March 2009 as considering expanding these strikes to include Balochistan.
The US government cited the inability of states to control and keep track of terrorist activities as a characteristic of a failed state, represented by the lack of military and governmental control in Pakistan’s Federally Administered Tribal Areas, and was operating within the states’ right of self-defense according to Article 51 in Chapter VII of the United Nations Charter. In President Obama’s 2013 speech at the National Defense University, he stated “we act against terrorists who pose a continuing and imminent threat to the American people, and when there are no other governments capable of effectively addressing the threat”.
On 25 March 2010 US State Department legal advisor Harold Koh stated that the drone strikes were legal because of the right to self-defense. According to Koh, the US is involved in an armed conflict with al Qaeda, the Taliban, and their affiliates and therefore may use force consistent with self-defense under international law.
Former CIA officials state that the agency uses a careful screening process in making decisions on which individuals to kill via drone strikes. The process, carried out at the agency's counterterrorist center, involves up to 10 lawyers who write briefs justifying the targeting of specific individuals. According to the former officials, if a brief's argument is weak, the request to target the individual is denied. Since 2008 the CIA has relied less on its list of individuals and increasingly targeted "signatures," or suspect behavior. This change in tactics has resulted in fewer deaths of high-value targets and in more deaths of lower-level fighters, or "mere foot soldiers" as the one senior Pakistani official told the Washington Post. Signature strikes there must be supported by two sources of corroborating intelligence. Sources of intelligence include information from a communication intercept, a sighting of millitant training camps or intelligence from CIA assets on the ground. "Signature targeting" has been the source of controversy. Drone critics argue that regular citizen behaviors can easily be mistaken for militant signatures.
US officials stated in March 2009 that the Predator strikes had killed nine of al Qaeda's 20 top commanders. The officials added that many top Taliban and al Qaeda leaders, as a result of the strikes, had fled to Quetta or even further to Karachi.
Some US politicians and academics have condemned the drone strikes. US Congressman Dennis Kucinich asserted that the United States was violating international law by carrying out strikes against a country that never attacked the United States. Georgetown University professor Gary D. Solis asserts that since the drone operators at the CIA are civilians directly engaged in armed conflict, this makes them "unlawful combatants" and possibly subject to prosecution.
US military reports asserted that al Qaeda is being slowly but systematically routed because of these attacks, and that they have served to sow the seeds of uncertainty and discord among their ranks. They also claimed that the drone attacks have addled and confused the Taliban, and have led them to turn against each other. In July 2009 it was reported that (according to US officials) Osama Bin Laden's son Saad bin Laden was believed to have been killed in a drone attack earlier in the year.
During a protest against drone attacks, in an event sponsored by Nevada Desert Experience, Father Louie Vitale, Kathy Kelly, Stephen Kelly (SJ), Eve Tetaz, John Dear, and others were arrested outside Creech Air Force Base on Wednesday 9 April 2009.
In December 2009 expansion of the drone attacks was authorized by Barack Obama to parallel the decision to send 30,000 more American troops to Afghanistan. Senior US officials are reportedly pushing for extending the strikes into Quetta in Balochistan against the Quetta Shura. Speaking at a news conference in Islamabad on 7 January 2010 Senators John McCain and Joe Lieberman stated the drone attacks were effective and would continue but stated that US would make greater efforts to prevent collateral damage. In an effort to strengthen trust with Pakistan "US sharing drone surveillance data with Pakistan", said Mike Mullen. US defence budget for 2011 asked for a 75% increase in funds to enhance the drone operations.
The Associated Press (AP) noted that Barack Obama apparently expanded the scope and increased the aggressiveness of the drone campaign against militants in Pakistan after taking office. According to the news agency, the US increased strikes against the Pakistani Taliban, which earned favor from the Pakistani government, resulting in increased cooperation from Pakistani intelligence services. Also, the Obama administration toned down the US government's public rhetoric against Islamic terrorism, garnering better cooperation from other Islamic governments. Furthermore, with the drawdown of the war in Iraq, more drones, support personnel, and intelligence assets became available for the campaigns in Afghanistan and Pakistan. Since Obama took office, according to the AP, the number of drones operated by the CIA over Afghanistan and Pakistan doubled.
According to some current and former counterterrorism officials, the Obama administration's increase in the use of drone strikes is an unintended consequence of the president's executive orders banning secret CIA detention centers and his attempt to close the Guantanamo Bay prison camp, and capturing prisoners has become a "less viable option". Senator Saxby Chambliss of Georgia alleged that, "Their policy is to take out high-value targets, versus capturing high-value targets (...) They are not going to advertise that, but that's what they are doing." Obama's aides argued that it is often impossible to capture targets in the tribal areas of Pakistan and Yemen, and that other targets are in foreign custody thanks to American tips. Obama's counter-terrorism adviser, John O. Brennan, said that, "The purpose of these actions is to mitigate threats to U.S. persons' lives", and continued, "It is the option of last recourse. So the president, and I think all of us here, don't like the fact that people have to die. And so he wants to make sure that we go through a rigorous checklist: The infeasibility of capture, the certainty of the intelligence base, the imminence of the threat, all of these things." In response to the concerns about the number of killings, Jeh C. Johnson stated, "We have to be vigilant to avoid a no-quarter, or take-no-prisoners policy."
A study called "The Year of the Drone" published in February 2010 by the New America Foundation found that from a total of 114 drone strikes in Pakistan between 2004 and early 2010, between 834 and 1,216 individuals had been killed. About two thirds of these were thought to be militants and one third were civilians.
On 28 April 2011, U.S. President Barack Obama appointed General David Petraeus as director of the CIA overseeing the drone attacks. According to Pakistani and American officials this could further inflame relations between the two nations.
According to the Washington Post, as of September 2011, around 30 Predator and Reaper drones were operating under CIA direction in the Afghanistan/Pakistan area of operations. The drones are flown by United States Air Force pilots located at an unnamed base in the United States. US Department of Defense armed drones, which also sometimes take part in strikes on terrorist targets, are flown by US Air Force pilots located at Creech Air Force Base and Holloman Air Force Base. The CIA drones are operated by an office called the Pakistan-Afghanistan Department, which operates under the CIA's Counterterrorism Center (CTC), based at CIA's headquarters in Langley, Virginia. As of September 2011, the CTC had about 2,000 people on staff.
US President Obama affirmed on 30 January 2012 that the US was conducting drone strikes in Pakistan. He stressed that civilian casualties in the strikes were low. In a February 2012 poll of 1,000 US adults, 83% of them (77% of the liberal Democrats) replied they support the drone strikes. The Obama administration offered its first extensive explanation on drone-strike policy in April 2012, concluding that it was "legal, ethical and wise". The CIA's general counsel, Stephen Preston, in a speech entitled "CIA and the Rule of Law" at Harvard Law School on 10 April 2012, claimed the agency was not bound by the laws of war; in response, Human Rights Watch called for the strike program to be brought under the control of the US military. In May, the US began stepping up drone attacks after talks at the NATO summit in Chicago did not lead to the progress it desired regarding Pakistan's continued closure of its Afghan borders to the alliance's supply convoys.
In 2013, the sustained and growing criticism of his drone policy forced Obama to announce stricter conditions on executing drone strikes abroad, including an unspoken plan to partly shift the program from the CIA to the ostensibly more accountable Pentagon, In anticipation of his speech, Obama instructed Attorney General Eric Holder to divulge that four U.S. citizens had been killed by drones since 2009, and that only one of those men had been intentionally targeted. Following Obama's announcement, the United Nations' drone investigator, British lawyer Ben Emmerson, made clear his expectation of a "significant reduction" in the number of strikes over the 18 months to follow, although the period immediately after Obama's speech was "business as usual". Six months later, the CIA was still carrying out the "vast majority" of drone strikes. However, no attack has occurred since December 2013, and the drone war was described as "basically over" in May 2014.
At Senator Dianne Feinstein's insistence, beginning in early 2010 staffs of the United States House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence and United States Senate Select Committee on Intelligence have begun reviewing each CIA drone strike. The staff members hold monthly meetings with CIA personnel involved with the drone campaign, review videos of each strike, and attempt to confirm that the strike was executed properly.
One of the leading critics of drones in the US Congress is Senator Rand Paul. In 2013, he performed a thirteen-hour filibuster to try to achieve a public admission from U.S. President Obama that he could not kill an American citizen with a drone on American soil, who was not actively engaged in combat. Attorney General Eric Holder responded soon after, confirming that the president had no authority to use drones for this purpose.
Eric M. Blanchard, assistant professor of Political Science at Columbia University, notes that, "the use of drones reflects several on-going historical military developments that, in turn, reflect the culture and values of American society." In this, he alludes to technological idealism (the pursuit of a "decisive" technology to end war) and the need to seize the moral high ground, by delivering more "humane" approaches to warfare. Military support for the drones remains strong for a host of reasons: expansion of battlespace, extension of an individual soldiers capabilities, and a reduction of American casualties. Support has also been noted across the political spectrum as focus in the Middle East shifted from stabilization in Afghanistan to antiterrorist strikes aimed at al-Qaeda leadership in Pakistan.
Blanchard also points to a shift in how gender is viewed in terms of warfare with the advent of technology in place of human soldiers. Fighters often represent an idealized masculinity, portraying strength, bravery, and chivalry, but during the Gulf War of 1990-91 the focus had changed. The computer programmers, missile technologists, high-tech pilots, and other servicemen who were centred around technology were now the focal point of news coverage, removing the warrior-soldier from the conversation.
For at least some of the initial drone strikes, in 2004 and 2005, the US operated with the approval of Pakistan's ISI. Former Pakistani President Pervez Musharraf told The New Yorker in 2014 that he allowed the CIA to fly drones within Pakistan and that in exchange the US supplied helicopters and night-vision equipment to the Pakistanis. Musharraf wanted the drones to operate under Pakistani control, but the US wouldn't allow it.
Pakistan has repeatedly protested these attacks as an infringement of its sovereignty and because civilian deaths have also resulted, including women and children, which has further angered the Pakistani government and people. General David Petraeus was told in November 2008 that these strikes were unhelpful. However, on 4 October 2008 The Washington Post reported that there was a secret deal between the US and Pakistan allowing these drone attacks. US Senator Dianne Feinstein said in February 2009: "As I understand it, these are flown out of a Pakistani base." Pakistani foreign minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi denied that this was true.
On 8 September 2008, a spokesman for the Pakistani army condemned Washington's killing of Pakistani civilians and warned of retaliatory action: "Border violations by US-led forces in Afghanistan, which have killed scores of Pakistani civilians, would no longer be tolerated, and we have informed them that we reserve the right to self defense and that we will retaliate if the US continues cross-border attacks."
The drone attacks continue, despite repeated requests made by ex-Pakistani President Asif Ali Zardari through different channels. Baitullah Mehsud, while claiming responsibility for the 2009 Lahore police academy attacks, stated that it was in retaliation for the drone attacks. According to The Daily Telegraph, Pakistani intelligence has agreed to secretly provide information to the United States on Mehsud's and his militants' whereabouts while publicly the Pakistani government will continue to condemn the attacks.
On 28 April 2009 Pakistan's consul general to the US, Aqil Nadeem, asked the US to hand over control of its drones in Pakistan to his government. "Do we want to lose the war on terror or do we want to keep those weapons classified? If the American government insists on our true cooperation, then they should also be helping us in fighting those terrorists", said Said Nadeem. Pakistan President Zardari has also requested that Pakistan be given control over the drones, but this has been rejected by the US who are worried that Pakistanis will leak information about targets to militants. In December 2009 Pakistan's Defence minister Ahmad Mukhtar acknowledged that Americans were using Shamsi Airfield but stated that Pakistan was not satisfied with payments for using the facility.
In December 2010 the CIA's Station Chief in Islamabad operating under the alias Jonathan Banks was hastily pulled from the country. Lawsuits filed by families of victims of drone strikes had named Banks as a defendant, he had been receiving death threats, and a Pakistani journalist whose brother and son died in a drone strike called for prosecuting Banks for murder.
In March 2011 the General Officer Commanding of 7th division of Pakistani Army, Major General Ghayur Mehmood delivered a briefing "Myths and rumours about US predator strikes" in Miramshah. He said that most of those who were killed by the drone strikes were Al-qaeda and Taliban terrorists. Military's official paper on the attacks till 7 March 2011 said that between 2007 and 2011 about 164 predator strikes had been carried out and over 964 terrorists had been killed. Those killed included 793 locals and 171 foreigners. The foreigners included Arabs, Uzbeks, Tajiks, Chechens, Filipinos and Moroccans.
On 9 December 2011, Pakistan's Army Chief Ashfaq Parvez Kayani issued a directive to shoot down US drones. A senior Pakistani military official said, "Any object entering into our air space, including U.S. drones, will be treated as hostile and be shot down."
The daily Indian newspaper The Hindu reported that Pakistan reached a secret agreement with United States to readmit the attacks of guided airplanes on its soil. According to a high western official linked with the negotiations, the pact was signed by ISI chief Lieutenant General Shuja Ahmad Pasha, and the director of the Central Intelligence Agency general David Petraeus during a meeting in Qatar January 2012. According to The Hindu, Lieutenant General Pasha also agreed to enlarge the CIA presence in Shahbaz air base, near the city of Abbottabad, where Al-Qaeda chief Osama bin Laden was killed in May 2011.
According to unnamed US government officials, beginning in early 2011 the US would fax notifications to Pakistan's Inter-Services Intelligence agency (ISI) detailing the dates and general areas of future drone attack operations. The ISI would send a return fax acknowledging receipt, but not approving the operation. Nevertheless, it appeared that Pakistan would clear the airspace over the area and on the dates designated in the US fax. After the May 2011 raid that killed bin Laden, the ISI ceased acknowledging the US faxes, but Pakistani authorities have appeared to continue clearing the airspace in the areas where US drones are operating. According to an unnamed Pakistani government official, the Pakistan government believes that the US sends the faxes primarily to support legal justification for the drone attacks.
In May 2013, a Pakistani court ruled that CIA drone strikes in Pakistan were illegal. A Peshawar High Court judge said the Pakistani government must end drone strikes, using force if needed. Also at that time, an International Crisis Group report concluded that drone strikes were an "ineffective" way of combating militants in Pakistan. A week later, the Pakistani Taliban withdrew an offer of peace talks after a drone strike killed their deputy leader. The Pakistani Taliban's threat to "teach a lesson" to the US and Pakistan, after the aggressive American rejection of peace talks, resulted in the shooting of 10 foreign mountain climbers, as well as a mis-targeted bomb killing fourteen civilians, including four children, instead of security forces in Peshawar at the end of June 2013. In early June, it was reported that the CIA did not even know who it was killing in some drone strikes. A few days later, the freshly elected Pakistani Prime Minister, Nawaz Sharif, called for an end to drone strikes in his country. Not long after, a US strike killed another nine people, an act that prompted Sharif to summon the US chargé d'affaires in protest and to demand, again, an "immediate halt" to the Anglo-American drone program. At the beginning of July 2013 — as a drone strike killed another 17 people in Waziristan — the findings of a Center for Naval Analyses study, based on classified US military documents, were reported: American drones strikes were 10 times more likely to cause innocent casualties than bombs or missiles launched from planes.
In July 2013, it was reported that the US had drastically scaled back drone attacks in order to appease the Pakistani military, which was under growing pressure to move to end American "airspace violations". The CIA was instructed to be more "cautious" and limit the drone strikes to high-value targets, to cut down on so-called signature strikes (attacks that target a group of militants based purely on their behavior). Pakistani military officials had earlier stated that these drone attacks cannot continue at the tempo they are going at, and that civilian casualties in these strikes are spawning more militants.
On 1 November 2013, the US killed Hakimullah Mehsud. The expressions of anger in Pakistan about the continuance of drone strikes peaked again at the end of November as a political party announced publicly the alleged name of the CIA's station chief in Islamabad, and called for them and CIA director John Brennan to be tried for murder.
After a six-month break, June 2014 saw a drone strike kill 13 people; the attack was again condemned by Pakistan as a violation of its sovereignty. A month later, in July 2014, a similar attack which killed six militants was again criticized by the Pakistani government, particularly as it had just launched an offensive against militants in the area where the strike occurred.
Media reporting from other countries
The British newspaper The Times stated on 18 February 2009 that the CIA was using Pakistan's Shamsi Airfield, 190 miles (310 km) southwest of Quetta and 30 miles (48 km) from the Afghan border, as its base for drone operations. Safar Khan, a journalist based in the area near Shamsi, told the Times, "We can see the planes flying from the base. The area around the base is a high-security zone and no one is allowed there."
Al Qaeda response
Messages recovered from Osama bin Laden's home after his death in 2011, including one from then al Qaeda No. 3, Atiyah Abd al-Rahman reportedly, according to the Agence France-Presse and the Washington Post, expressed frustration with the drone strikes in Pakistan. According to an unnamed U.S. government official, in his message al-Rahman complained that drone-launched missiles were killing al Qaeda operatives faster than they could be replaced.
In June and July 2011, law enforcement authorities found messages on al Qaeda-linked websites calling for attacks against executives of drone aircraft manufacturer AeroVironment. Law enforcement believed that the messages were in response to calls for action against Americans by Adam Yahiye Gadahn.
United Nations human rights concerns
On 3 June 2009, the United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC) delivered a report sharply critical of US tactics. The report asserted that the US government has failed to keep track of civilian casualties of its military operations, including the drone attacks, and to provide means for citizens of affected nations to obtain information about the casualties and any legal inquests regarding them. Any such information held by the U.S. military is allegedly inaccessible to the public due to the high level of secrecy surrounding the drone attacks program. The US representative at UNHRC has argued that the UN investigator for extrajudicial, summary or arbitrary executions does not have jurisdiction over US military actions, while another US diplomat claimed that the US military is investigating any wrongdoing and doing all it can to furnish information about the deaths.
On 27 October 2009 UNHRC investigator Philip Alston called on the US to demonstrate that it was not randomly killing people in violation of international law through its use of drones on the Afghan border. Alston criticized the US's refusal to respond to date to the UN's concerns. Said Alston, "Otherwise you have the really problematic bottom line, which is that the Central Intelligence Agency is running a program that is killing significant numbers of people and there is absolutely no accountability in terms of the relevant international laws."
On 2 June 2010 Alston's team released a report on its investigation into the drone strikes, criticizing the United States for being "the most prolific user of targeted killings" in the world. Alston, however, acknowledged that the drone attacks may be justified under the right to self-defense. He called on the US to be more open about the program. Alston's report was submitted to the United Nations Commission on Human Rights the following day.
On 7 June 2012, after a four-day visit to Pakistan, UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Navi Pillay called for a new investigation into US drone strikes in Pakistan, repeatedly referring to the attacks as "indiscriminate," and said that the attacks constitute human rights violations. In a report issued on 18 June 2012, Christof Heyns, U.N. special rapporteur on extrajudicial, summary or arbitrary executions, called on the Obama administration to justify its use of targeted assassinations rather than attempting to capture al Qaeda or Taliban suspects.
Reactions from people in Pakistan
According to a report by researchers at Stanford and New York University law schools in 2012, civilians in Waziristan interviewed for the report believed "that the US actively seeks to kill them simply for being Muslims, viewing the drone campaign as a part of a religious crusade against Islam." Many professionals working in Waziristan believe that drone strikes encourage terrorism. The report notes similar conclusions reached by reporters for Der Spiegel, The New York Times and CNN.
According to ongoing surveys of public opinion conducted by the New America Foundation, 9 out of 10 of civilians in Waziristan "oppose the U.S. military pursuing al-Qaeda and the Taliban" and nearly 70% "want the Pakistani military alone to fight Taliban and al-Qaeda militants in the tribal areas."
According to a public opinion survey conducted between November 2008 and January 2009 by the Pakistani Aryana Institute for Regional Research and Advocacy, approximately half of the respondents considered drone strikes in Federally Administered Tribal Areas accurate and approximately the same number of respondents said that the strikes did not lead to anti-American sentiment and were effective in damaging the militants. The researchers concluded that "the popular notion outside the Pakhtun belt that a large majority of the local population supports the Taliban movement lacks substance." According to Farhat Taj a member of AIRRA the drones have never killed any civilians. Some people in Waziristan compare the drones to Ababils, the holy swallows sent by Allah to avenge Abraha, the invader of the Khana Kaaba. Irfan Husain, writing in Dawn, agreed called for more drone attacks: "We need to wake up to the reality that the enemy has grown very strong in the years we temporized and tried to do deals with them. Clearly, we need allies in this fight. Howling at the moon is not going to get us the cooperation we so desperately need. A solid case can be made for more drone attacks, not less." In October 2013, the Economist found support among locals for the drone attacks as protection against the militants, claiming no civilians were killed this year.
The Los Angeles Times has reported that in North Waziristan a militant group called Khorasan Mujahedin targets people suspected of being informants. According to the report, the group kidnaps people from an area suspected of selling information that led to the strike, tortures and usually kills them, and sells videotapes of killings in street markets as warnings to others.
According to unnamed counterterrorism officials, in 2009 or 2010 CIA drones began employing smaller missiles in airstrikes in Pakistan in order to reduce civilian casualties. The new missiles, called the Small Smart Weapon or Scorpion, are reportedly about the size of a violin case (21 inches long) and weigh 16 kg. The missiles are used in combination with new technology intended to increase accuracy and expand surveillance, including the use of small, unarmed surveillance drones to exactly pinpoint the location of targets. These "micro-UAVs" (unmanned aerial vehicles) can be roughly the size of a pizza platter and meant to monitor potential targets at close range, for hours or days at a time. One former U.S. official who worked with micro-UAVs said that they can be almost impossible to detect at night. "It can be outside your window and you won't hear a whisper," the official said. The drone operators also have changed to trying to target insurgents in vehicles rather than residences to reduce the chances of civilian casualties.
The New York Times reported in 2013 that the Obama Administration embraced a disputed method for counting civilian casualties, which in effect counts all military-age males in a strike zone as combatants, giving partial explanation to the official claims of extraordinarily low collateral deaths.
A January 2011 report by Bloomberg stated that civilian casualties in the strikes had apparently decreased. According to the report, the U.S. government believed that 1,300 militants and only 30 civilians had been killed in drone strikes since mid-2008, with no civilians killed since August 2010.
On 14 July 2009, Daniel L. Byman of the Brookings Institution stated that although accurate data on the results of drone strikes is difficult to obtain, it seemed that ten civilians had died in the drone attacks for every militant killed. Byman argues that civilian killings constitute a humanitarian tragedy and create dangerous political problems, including damage to the legitimacy of the Pakistani government and alienation of the Pakistani populace from America. He suggested that the real answer to halting al-Qaeda's activity in Pakistan will be long-term support of Pakistan's counterinsurgency efforts.
United States officials claim that interviews with locals do not provide accurate numbers of civilian casualties because relatives or acquaintances of the dead refuse to state that the victims were involved in militant activities.
The CIA reportedly passed up three chances to kill militant leaders, including Sirajuddin Haqqani, with drone missiles in 2010 because women and children were nearby. The New America Foundation believes that between zero and 18 civilians have been killed in drone strikes since 23 August 2010 and that overall civilian casualties have decreased from 25% of the total in prior years to an estimated of 6% in 2010. The Foundation estimates that between 277 and 435 non-combatants have died since 2004, out of 1,374 to 2,189 total deaths.
According to a report of the Islamabad-based Conflict Monitoring Center (CMC), as of 2011 more than 2000 persons have been killed, and most of those deaths were civilians. The CMC termed the CIA drone strikes as an "assassination campaign turning out to be revenge campaign", and showed that 2010 was the deadliest year so far regarding casualties resulting from drone attacks, with 134 strikes inflicting over 900 deaths.
According to the Long War Journal, as of mid-2011, the drone strikes in Pakistan since 2006 had killed 2,018 militants and 138 civilians. The New America Foundation stated in mid-2011 that from 2004 to 2011, 80% of the 2,551 people killed in the strikes were militants. The Foundation stated that 95% of those killed in 2010 were militants and that, as of 2012, 15% of the total people killed by drone strikes were either civilians or unknown. The foundation also states that in 2012 the rate of civilian and unknown casualties was 2 percent, whereas the Bureau of Investigative Journalism say the rate of civilian casualties for 2012 is 9 percent.
The CIA has claimed that the strikes conducted between May 2010 and August 2011 killed over 600 militants and did not result in any civilian fatalities; this assessment has been criticized by Bill Roggio from the Long War Journal and other commentators as being unrealistic. Unnamed American officials who spoke to the New York Times claimed that, as of August 2011, the drone campaign had killed over 2,000 militants and approximately 50 non-combatants.
An independent research site Pakistan Body Count run by Dr. Zeeshan-ul-hassan, a Fulbright scholar keeping track of all the drone attacks, claims that 2179 civilians were among the dead, and 12.4% children and women. A report by the Bureau of Investigative Journalism, released 4 February 2012, stated that under the Obama administration (2008–2011) drone strikes killed between 282 and 535 civilians, including 60 children.
The British human rights group Reprieve filed a case with the United Nations Human Rights Council, based on affidavits by 18 family members of civilians killed in the attacks – many of them children. They are calling on the UNHRC "to condemn the attacks as illegal human rights violations."
A February 2012 Associated Press investigation found that militants were the main victims of drone strikes in North Waziristan contrary to the "widespread perception in Pakistan that civilians (...) are the principal victims." The AP studied 10 drone strikes. Their reporters spoke to about 80 villagers in North Waziristan, and were told that at least 194 people died in the ten attacks. According to the villagers 56 of those were either civilians or tribal police and 138 were militants. Thirty-eight of the civilians died in a single attack on 17 March 2011. Villagers stated that one way to tell if civilians were killed was to observe how many funerals took place after a strike; the bodies of militants were usually taken elsewhere for burial, while civilians were usually buried immediately and locally.
A September 2012 report by researchers from Stanford University and New York University criticized the drone campaign, stating that it was killing a high number of civilians and turning the Pakistani public against the United States. The report, compiled by interviewing witnesses, drone-attack survivors, and others in Pakistan provided by a Pakistani human rights organization, Foundation for Fundamental Rights, concluded that only 2% of drone strike victims are "high-level" militant leaders. The report's authors did not estimate the numbers of total civilian casualties, but suggested that the February 2012 Bureau of Investigative Journalism report was more accurate than the Long War Journal report (both detailed above) on civilian casualties. The report also opined that the drone attacks were violations of international law, because the US government had not shown that the targets were direct threats to the US. The report further noted the US policy of considering all military-age males in a strike zone as militants following the air strike unless exonerating evidence proves otherwise. Media outlets were also urged to cease using the term "militant" when reporting on drone attacks without further explanation.
In an interview in October 2013, one former drone operator described events suggesting that child casualties may go unrecognized in some mission assessments. A week later, Pakistan's Ministry of Defense stated that 67 civilians had been among the 2,227 people killed in 317 drone strikes since 2008. The Ministry said that the remainder of those killed were Islamic militants. Research published by Reprieve in 2014 suggested that U.S. drone strikes in Yemen and Pakistan have had an unknown person to target casualty ratio of 28:1 with one attack in the study having a ratio of 128:1 with 13 children being killed.
US hostage Warren Weinstein and Italian hostage Giovanni Lo Porto were killed in a January 2015 US-led drone strike on the Afghanistan-Pakistan border, as announced by U.S. President Barack Obama at a White House press conference on April 23, 2015.
Naming the Dead
A UK-based independent group The Bureau of Investigative Journalism launched a project "Naming the Dead" on 24 September 2013, to prepare list of those individuals (civilians and militants) killed in the strikes. The work is based on the bureau's two years research and data collection on drone strikes and their casualties. At launch they published names of 550 people killed in those strikes. A dedicated website has been created that will contain the names and bio-data of those who have been reported killed by U.S. drones.
Pakistan Peace March
Imran Khan, chairman Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf political party in Pakistan, announced a Peace March to South Waziristan on 6–7 October 2012 to create global awareness about innocent civilian deaths in US drone attacks. He proposed to take a rally of 100,000 people from Islamabad to South Waziristan. The South Waziristan administration denied the group permission for the rally on the grounds that they can not provide security, but PTI has maintained that they will go ahead with the Peace March. Many International human rights activists and NGOs have shown their support to the Peace March, with former US colonel Ann Wright and British NGO Reprieve joining the Peace March. Pakistani Taliban have agreed to not attack the Peace rally and offered to provide security for the rally.
In popular culture
Two Pakistani novels have been written about U.S. drone attacks on Pakistan, Bullets and Train and The Scriptwriter. Bullets and Train specifically deals with the drone attacks and their aftermath. In The Scriptwriter, drone attacks are a part of the central plot.
- Drone attacks in Yemen
- Pakistan–United States military relations
- Saheb al-Amiri
- Disposition Matrix—database of US capture/kill list
- Efforts to impeach Barack Obama
- List of terrorist incidents in Pakistan since 2001
- Drone attacks in Somalia
- Terrorism in Pakistan
- Violence in Pakistan 2006-09
- Unmanned: America's Drone Wars (2013 documentary film)
- Good Kill (2014 film)
- "Drone strike in North Waziristan kills at least eight". Zahir Shah Sherazi. Dawn. 24 September 2014. Retrieved 24 September 2014.
- Zahir Shah Sherazi. "Drone strike kills five in South Waziristan". DAWN. Retrieved 7 October 2014.
- "Drone strike kills eight, wounds six in North Waziristan". Zahir Shah Sherazi. Dawn. 6 October 2014. Retrieved 7 October 2014.
- "Second drone attack of the day kills three suspected militants in NWA". Zahir Shah Sherazi. Dawn. 7 October 2014. Retrieved 7 October 2014.
- "Drone strike kills four suspected militants in North Waziristan". Zahir Shah Sherazi. Dawn. 30 October 2014. Retrieved 30 October 2014.
- "The Bureau's complete data sets on drone strikes in Pakistan, Yemen and Somalia". Bureau of Investigative Journalism. 6 June 2015. Retrieved 6 June 2015.
- "Pakistan Leaders Killed". New America Foundation. January 9, 2016.
- "CIA drone strikes in Pakistan, 2004 to present". Bureau of Investigative Journalism. 8 May 2016. Retrieved 8 May 2016.
- Miller, Greg; Tate, Julie (1 September 2011). "CIA shifts focus to killing targets". Washington Post. Retrieved 16 December 2011.
- "Drone Wars Pakistan: Analysis". New America Foundation.
- Long War Journal, "Charting the data for US airstrikes in Pakistan, 2004 – 2016". Retrieved February 4, 2016.
- Obama claims US drone strikes have killed up to 116 civilians.
- Ghosh, Bobby; Thompson, Mark (1 June 2009). "The CIA's Silent War in Pakistan". TIME. Retrieved 16 December 2011.
- Miller, Greg (27 December 2011). "Under Obama, an emerging global apparatus for drone killing". Washington Post. Retrieved 8 May 2012.
- De Luce, Dan (20 July 2009). "No let-up in US drone war in Pakistan". Agence France-Presse. Archived from the original on 15 December 2011. Retrieved 16 December 2011.
- Bergen, Peter; Tiedemann, Katherine (3 June 2009). "The Drone War". New America Foundation. Archived from the original on 6 December 2011. Retrieved 16 December 2011.
- Isikoff, Michael (23 May 2013). "In first public acknowledgement, Holder says 4 Americans died in US drone strikes". NBC News. Retrieved 19 August 2013.
- "On Eve of Elections, Dismal Mood in Pakistan". Pew Research. 7 May 2013. Retrieved 19 August 2013.
- "Operation Haymaker". The Intercept. 15 October 2015. Retrieved 15 October 2015.
- "Strikes often kill many more than the intended target". The Intercept. 15 October 2015. Retrieved 15 October 2015.
- "US drone strike killings in Pakistan and Yemen 'unlawful'". BBC News. 22 October 2013. Retrieved 28 October 2013.
- Ayaz Gul, 22 October 2013, "Pakistani PM Urges US to Stop Drone Strikes", Voice of America. Retrieved 23 October 2013.
- Andrew Buncombe, 9 May 2013, "Pakistani court declares US drone strikes in the country's tribal belt illegal", The Independent. Retrieved 23 October 2013.
- Seth G. Jones and C. Christine Fair, Counterinsurgency in Pakistan (Santa Monica, CA: Rand, 2010), xi, http://www.questia.com/read/122625825.
- Mazzetti, Mark; Mekhennet, Souad (11 December 2009). "Qaeda Planner in Pakistan Killed by Drone". New York Times. Retrieved 16 December 2011.
- Hodge, Amanda (19 February 2009). "Pakistan allowing CIA to use airbase for drone strikes". Australian. Retrieved 6 December 2011.
- Allbritton, Chris (20 May 2011). "Pakistan army chief sought more drone coverage in '08: Wikileaks". Reuters. Retrieved 16 December 2011.
- "'F-16 jets knock down CIA drones'". Hindustan Times. 23 April 2011. Archived from the original on 31 August 2011. Retrieved 16 December 2011.
- Shane, Scott (11 August 2011). "C.I.A. Is Disputed on Civilian Toll in Drone Strikes". New York Times. Retrieved 16 December 2011.
- Jo Becker & Scott Shane, 29 May 2012, "Secret 'Kill List' Proves a Test of Obama's Principles and Will", The New York Times. Retrieved 23 October 2013.
- "Out of the blue". The Economist. 30 July 2011. Retrieved 16 December 2011.
- Byman, Daniel (14 July 2009). "Do Targeted Killings Work?". Brookings Institution. Retrieved 16 December 2011.
Critics correctly find many problems with this program, most of all the number of civilian casualties the strikes have incurred. Sourcing on civilian deaths is weak and the numbers are often exaggerated, but more than 600 civilians are likely to have died from the attacks. That number suggests that for every militant killed, 10 or so civilians also died.
- Sherazi, Zahir Shah (9 March 2011). "Most of those killed in drone attacks were terrorists: military". Dawn. Retrieved 16 December 2011.
- Woods, Chris; Lamb, Christina (4 February 2012). "Obama terror drones: CIA tactics in Pakistan include targeting rescuers and funerals". Bureau of Investigative Journalism. Retrieved 7 February 2012.
- Woods, Chris (11 August 2011). "Over 160 children reported among drone deaths". Bureau of Investigative Journalism. Retrieved 27 December 2011.
- Woods, Chris (10 August 2011). "Drone War Exposed – the complete picture of CIA strikes in Pakistan". Bureau of Investigative Journalism. Retrieved 16 December 2011.
- Elias-Sanborn, Barbara (2 February 2012). "The Pakistani Taliban's Coming Divide". Foreign Affairs. Retrieved 13 March 2012.
- Johnston, Patrick B., and Anoop Sarbahi, The Impact of U.S. Drone Strikes on Terrorism in Pakistan, RAND Corporation, 25 February 2012.
- Bomb motive, LA times 8 May 2010.
- Ken Dilanian (2011-12-23). "CIA has suspended drone attacks in Pakistan, U.S. officials say". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 2013-06-09.
- "Pak forces take control of Shamsi airbase". IBNLive. 10 December 2011.
- "UN says US drones violate Pakistan's sovereignty". The Houston Chronicle. 15 March 2013. Archived from the original on 21 March 2013.
- Amnesty International. ""Will I be next?" US Drone Strikes in Pakistan" (PDF). Amnesty International Publications. Retrieved 22 October 2013.
- Beauchamp, Zack (29 May 2014). "The drone war may be over in Pakistan". Vox. Retrieved 29 May 2014.
- Dilanian, Ken (29 May 2014). "CIA WINDS DOWN DRONE STRIKE PROGRAM IN PAKISTAN". AP. Archived from the original on 30 May 2014. Retrieved 29 May 2014.
- New America Foundation
- Serle, Jack. "Only 4% of drone victims in Pakistan named as al Qaeda members". The Bureau of Investigative Journalism. Retrieved 20 October 2014.
- Woods, Chris "Leaked Pakistani report confirms high civilian death toll in CIA drone strikes" Bureau of Investigative Journalism. 22 July 2013.
- Drone strikes killed high-value targets, US tells Pakistan, Dawn (newspaper), 9 February 2009
-  Obama Widens Missile Strikes Inside Pakistan, The New York Times, 21 February 2009; same story at  "Obama widens Pak strikes - Attacks target Mehsud camps," The Telegraph of Calcutta, 22 February 2009
- Panetta indicates strikes will continue in Pakistan Archived 2 March 2009 at the Wayback Machine., International Herald Tribune, 26 February 2009 Archived 2 March 2009 at the Wayback Machine.[dead link]
- U.S. takes fight to Taliban leader, The Washington Times, 4 March 2009
- U.S. Weighs Taliban Strike Into Pakistan, The New York Times, 17 March 2009
- Khalil, Jehanzeb; Perveen, Saima (2014). "The United States Covert War in Pakistan: Drone Strikes an Infringement on National Sovereignty". Journal of Applied Environmental and Biological Sciences. 4 (8): 209–215.
- Agence France-Presse, "U.S. offers argument for drone strikes", Japan Times, 28 March 2010, page 1.
- McKelvey, Tara, "Inside the Killing Machine", Newsweek, 13 February 2011.
- Miller, Greg (21 February 2011). "Increased U.S. drone strikes in Pakistan killing few high-value militants". Washington Post. Retrieved 25 February 2011.
- Inside the Murky World of 'Signature Strikes' and the Killing of Americans With Drones by Brian Glyn Williams The Huffington Post
- Sanger, David E., and Eric Schmitt, "U.S. Weighs Taliban Strike Into Pakistan", New York Times, 18 March 2009, page 1.
- "US warned against sending troops to Pakistan: Congressman terms Bush's decision an election issue -DAWN – Top Stories; September 14, 2008". Dawn. Pakistan. Retrieved 27 March 2011.
- U.S. missile strikes take heavy toll on al Qaeda, officials say, The Los Angeles Times, 22 March 2009
- Bin Laden son 'probably killed', BBC, 23 July 2009
- "Resisting the Afghanistan – Pakistan War". Voices for Creative Nonviolence. 10 April 2009. Archived from the original on 7 April 2011. Retrieved 27 March 2011.
- "Ground the Drones". Nevadadesertexperience.org. Retrieved 27 March 2011.
- US Shares Drone Intelligence with Pakistan, But No Joint Control Archived 16 May 2009 at the Wayback Machine., Voice of America, 14 May 2009 Archived 16 May 2009 at the Wayback Machine.[dead link]
- Drone attacks to continue in Pakistan: CIA chief Archived 22 May 2009 at the Wayback Machine., Dawn (newspaper), 19 May 2009 Archived 22 May 2009 at the Wayback Machine.[dead link]
- C.I.A. to Expand Use of Drones in Pakistan, The New York Times, 3 December 2009
- Drone attacks may be expanded in Pakistan, Los Angeles Times, 14 December 2009
- US senators defend drone attacks Archived 11 January 2010 at the Wayback Machine., Dawn (newspaper), 8 January 2010 Archived 11 January 2010 at the Wayback Machine.[dead link]
- "US sharing drone surveillance data with Pakistan, says Mike Mullen, The United States has taken the unprecedented step of sharing with Islamabad surveillance data collected by drones flying along over Pakistan, the top US military officer said on Thursday.". The Daily Telegraph. London. 14 May 2009. Retrieved 1 May 2010.
- US plans 75pc increase in drone operations[dead link], Dawn (newspaper), 3 February 2010
- Bergen, Peter (26 April 2012). "Warrior in Chief". The New York Times. Retrieved 1 May 2012.
- Apuzzo, Matt, (Associated Press), "Obama strategy widens assault on Pakistani, Afghan militants", 12 February 2010.
- Entous, Adam, "Special Report: How the White House learned to love the drone", Reuters, 18 May 2010.
- Secret 'Kill List' Proves a Test of Obama's Principles and Will
- Perlez, Jane; Schmitt, Eric (28 April 2011). "Petraeus Appointment Could Inflame Relations With Pakistan". The New York Times.
- Barnes, Julian E., "U.S. Expands Drone Flights To Take Aim At East Africa", Wall Street Journal, 21 September 2011, page 1.
- Ländler, Mark, "Civilian Deaths Due To Drones Are Not Many, Obama Says", New York Times, 31 January 2012, page 6.
- Wilson, Scott; Cohen, Jon (8 February 2012). "Poll finds broad support for Obama's counterterrorism policies". Amnesty International. Retrieved 8 February 2012.
- Savage, Charlie (30 April 2012). "Top U.S. Security Official Says 'Rigorous Standards' Are Used for Drone Strikes". The New York Times. Retrieved 1 May 2012.
- "US: Transfer CIA Drone Strikes to Military". Human Rights Watch. 20 April 2012. Retrieved 11 May 2012.
- Crilly, Bob (28 May 2012). "US steps up drone attacks in Pakistan after convoy talks fail". The Daily Telegraph. London. Retrieved 28 May 2012.
- Michael Crowley (30 May 2013). "Why Gitmo Will Never Close". swampland.time.com. Retrieved 30 May 2013.
- Daniel June (23 May 2013). "Obama Orders Release of Admission that Drones Have Killed 4 U.S. Citizens Since 2009". JD Journal.
- Spencer Ackerman (7 June 2013). "UN drone investigator expecting 'dramatic' decrease in US strikes". London: guardian.co.uk. Retrieved 8 June 2013.
'Within a period of about 18 months, the majority of drone operations will be conducted by the military, rather than by any other branch of the government,' Emmerson said.
- Glenn Greenwald (2 June 2013). "Drone attacks continue, the FBI killed an unarmed witness, and Obama aides cash in". London: guardian.co.uk. Retrieved 2 June 2013.
A mere six days after President Obama's much heralded terrorism speech, a US drone fired a missile in Pakistan that killed four people. On Saturday, another US drone killed seven people, this time in Yemen. There was some debate about whether Obama's speech really heralded a more restrictive standard for drone use; the early results, though not dispositive, seem to suggest it is business as usual.
Saud Mehsud (8 June 2012). "Angry Pakistan summons envoy after U.S. drone strike kills nine". Reuters. Retrieved 8 June 2013.
A U.S. drone strike killed nine people in northwest Pakistan, security officials said, prompting newly sworn-in Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif to summon America's envoy on Saturday to protest against such attacks.
- Miller, Greg (25 November 2013). "CIA remains behind most drone strikes, despite effort to shift campaign to Defense". washingtonpost.com. Retrieved 28 November 2013.
- Dilanian, Ken, "Congress Zooms In On Drone Killings", Los Angeles Times, 25 June 2012, page 1
- Blanchard, Eric M. (2011). The technoscience question in feminist IR. London: Taylor and Francis Group. p. 155.
- Blanchard. The technoscience question in feminist IR. p. 156.
- Blanchard. The technoscience question in feminist IR. p. 160.
- "Official Confirms U.S. Using Pakistan Base to Launch Attacks,". Fox News Channel. 19 February 2009. Archived from the original on 21 February 2009. Retrieved 2 July 2009.
- The Unblinking Stare The New Yorker, 24 November 2014.
- Pakistan protest to US ambassador, BBC, 20 November 2008
- Pakistan fury as CIA airstrike on village kills 18, The Daily Telegraph 16 January 2006
- Civilian deaths in Pakistan attack, Al Jazeera, 8 September 2008
- Petraeus, in Pakistan, Hears Complaints About Missile Strikes, The New York Times, 4 November 2008
- A Quiet Deal With Pakistan, The Washington Post, 4 October 2008
- US official says drones using Pakistan base, Dawn (newspaper), 14 February 2009
- Pakistani bases not being used for drone attacks: FM, Daily Times (Pakistan), 16 February 2009 Archived 13 August 2009 at the Wayback Machine.
- "Pakistan threatens to retaliate against US". PressTV.ir. 8 September 2008. Archived from the original on 5 July 2013. Retrieved 10 July 2013.
- Share intelligence, stop drone attacks: Zardari to US Archived 5 February 2009 at the Wayback Machine., NDTV 2 February 2009 Archived 5 February 2009 at the Wayback Machine.[dead link]
- US drone strikes in Pakistan hours after sovereignty pledge, The Independent, 18 September 2008
- Lahore 'was Pakistan Taleban op', BBC, 31 March 2009
- Wilkinson, Isambard, "Pakistan 'Helps US Drone Attacks'", The Daily Telegraph, 4 April 2009.
- Christenson, Sig, "Pakistani: U.S. Should Cede Control Of Drones Archived 12 August 2009 at the Wayback Machine.", San Antonio Express-News, 29 April 2009. Archived 12 August 2009 at the Wayback Machine.[dead link]
- Shah, Pir Zubair (17 May 2009). "25 Militants Are Killed in Attack in Pakistan". New York Times. Retrieved 22 December 2011.
- US forces using Shamsi airbase in Balochistan[dead link], Dawn (newspaper), 12 December 2009
- Walsh, Declan,CIA chief in Pakistan leaves after drone trial blows his cover The Guardian, 17 December 2010.
- Journalist Calls for Death Penalty for CIA Station Chief Raw Story, 17 December 2010.
- Walsh, Declan, Pakistani journalist sues CIA for drone strike that killed relatives Guardian, 13 December 2010
- Mazzetti, Mark Pakistani Role Is Suspected in Revealing U.S. Spy's Name New York Times, 17 December 2010.
- "Pakistan says U.S. drones in its air space will be shot down". 10 December 2011. Archived from the original on 12 December 2011. Retrieved 29 December 2011.
- The Hindu (25 February 2012). "In secret deal, ISI allows U.S. drone war to resume". Chennai, India. Retrieved 25 September 2012.
- Entous, Adam, "U.S. Unease Over Drone Strikes", Wall Street Journal, 26 September 2012, page 1
- Ross, Alice K (9 May 2013). "Pakistani court rules CIA drone strikes are illegal". Bureau of Investigative Journalism. Retrieved 10 July 2013.
- Eline Gordts (21 May 2013). "U.S. Drone Strikes Ineffective Solution To Combat Militants In Pakistan's Tribal Areas, Report Says". The Huffington Post. Retrieved 8 June 2013.
- Rasool Dawar; Rebecca Santana (30 May 2013). "The Pakistani Taliban withdrew their offer of peace talks Thursday, following the death of the group's deputy leader in an American drone attack". Associated Press. Archived from the original on 7 April 2014. Retrieved 8 June 2013.
- "Pakistan bombings kill at least 49". London: guardian.co.uk. Associated Press. 30 June 2013.
- Jibran Ahmed; Matthew Green, Jeremy Laurence (30 June 2013). "Blast in Pakistani city of Peshawar kills 14". Reuters. reuters.com. Retrieved 30 June 2013.
- Richard Engel; Robert Windrem (5 June 2013). "EXCLUSIVE: CIA didn't always know who it was killing in drone strikes, classified documents show". NBC News. Retrieved 8 June 2013.
- "Pakistan PM Nawaz Sharif urges end to US drone strikes". BBC News. 5 June 2013. Retrieved 8 June 2013.
- Saud Mehsud (8 June 2012). "Angry Pakistan summons envoy after U.S. drone strike kills nine". Reuters. Retrieved 8 June 2013.
- Jibran Ahmad (3 July 2013). "Drone attack kills 17 in Pakistan's Waziristan region". Reuters. Retrieved 3 July 2013.
- Philip Bump (3 July 2013). "Drone Strike in Pakistan Kills 16 People and Two Sets of New Drone 'Rules'". theatlanticwire.com. Retrieved 3 July 2013.
- Bill Briggs (2 July 2013). "Study: US drone strikes more likely to kill civilians than US jet fire". nbcnews.com. Retrieved 3 July 2013.
- "US scales back drone attacks in Pakistan". The Express Tribune. Retrieved 26 July 2013.
- Saud Mehsud (8 November 2013). "Taliban plan wave of revenge attacks in Pakistan". Reuters. Retrieved 8 November 2013.
- Shahzad, Asif; Abbot, Sebastian (27 November 2013). "Pakistani Party Turns up Heat on CIA Drone Strikes". Associated Press. Retrieved 28 November 2013.
- "Pakistan: 13 killed as US resumes drone strike campaign". theguardian.com. Associated Press. 12 June 2014. Retrieved 14 June 2014.
- "American drone attack kills suspected militants in Pakistan". Southeast Asia News.Net. Retrieved 10 July 2014.
- "Drone attack in Pakistan, 35 militants killed". Patrika Group. 16 July 2014. Archived from the original on 20 July 2014. Retrieved 17 July 2014.
- Coghlan, Tom; Zahid Hussain & Jeremy Page (18 February 2009). "Secrecy And Denial As Pakistan Lets CIA Use Airbase To Strike Militants". The Times. London. p. 1. Retrieved 2 July 2009.
- Agence France-Presse/Jiji Press, "Bin Laden was trying to rebuild drone-decimated terror network", Japan Times, 3 July 2011, page 1.
- Stevens, John (2 July 2011). "Al Qaeda hit by credit crunch: Bin Laden emails reveal terror group is running out of cash". Daily Mail. London. Retrieved 4 July 2011.
- Miller, Greg, "Bin Laden Files Show Al-Qaeda Under Pressure", Washington Post, 2 July 2011, page 1.
- Winton, Richard, "Al Qaeda-Linked Website Threatens Monrovia Company That Makes Military Drones", Los Angeles Times, 2 July 2011.
- "U.N. envoy calls for probe into U.S. drone attacks". CNN. 4 June 2009.
- Silverstein, Ken (12 June 2009). "Is Secrecy on Drone Attacks Hiding Civilian Casualties?". Harper's Magazine.
- MacInnis, Laura (3 June 2009). "UN envoy seeks more U.S. openness on war deaths". Reuters.
- "U.S. Use of Drones Queried by U.N.". New York Times. Reuters. 28 October 2009.
- Cloud, David, S. (3 June 2010). "U.N. report faults prolific use of drone strikes by U.S.". Los Angeles Times.
- "UN wants investigation into drone attacks inside Pakistan". Agence France-Presse. 7 June 2012.
- Nebehay, Stephanie, "U.N. Investigator Decries U.S. Use Of Killer Drones", Reuters, 19 June 2012 (wire service report)
- International Human Rights and Conflict Resolution Clinic, Stanford Law School; Global Justice Clinic, NYU School of Law (September 2012). "Living Under Drones: Death, Injury and Trauma to Civilians from US Drone Practices in Pakistan" (PDF). Archived (PDF) from the original on 8 November 2012.
- Bergen, Peter. "Drone Strikes: Do you support or oppose United States military drone strikes by air inside FATA today?". New America Foundation. Retrieved 17 January 2013.
- "Aryana Institute for Regional Research and Advocacy". AIRRA. 2009-03-05. Archived from the original on 7 August 2012. Retrieved 2013-06-09.
- Drone attacks – a survey at the Wayback Machine (archived 12 March 2009)[dead link], The News International, 5 March 2009
- analysis: Dangerous abyss of perceptions – Farhat Taj, Daily Times (Pakistan), 30 January 2010 Archived 2 February 2010 at the Wayback Machine.
- Howling at the moon Archived 11 January 2010 at the Wayback Machine., Dawn (newspaper), 9 January 2010 Archived 11 January 2010 at the Wayback Machine.[dead link]
- "Drop the pilot". The Economist. 19 October 2013. Retrieved 24 October 2013.
- Rodriguez, Alex, "Death Squads Target Informants", Los Angeles Times, 29 December 2011, page 1.
- Warrick, Joby, and Peter Finn, Amid outrage over civilian deaths in Pakistan, CIA turns to smaller missiles, Washington Post, 26 April 2010
- Becker, Jo; Shane, Scott (29 May 2012). "Secret 'Kill List' Proves a Test of Obama's Principles and Will". New York Times.
- Capaccio, Tony, and Jeff Bliss, "U.S. Said to Reduce Civilian Deaths After Increasing CIA Pakistan Strikes", Bloomberg, 31 January 2011.
- Dilanian, Ken (22 February 2011). "CIA drones may be avoiding Pakistani civilians". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 1 January 2012.
- March 2011 "Army trying to cover up bad deal on Davis" Check
|url=value (help). thenews.com.pk. 19 March 2011. Retrieved 19 May 2011.[dead link]
- Roggio, Bill, and Alexander Mayer, "Charting the data for US airstrikes in Pakistan, 2004 – 2011 Archived 18 February 2015 at the Wayback Machine. Archived 18 February 2015 at the Wayback Machine.", Long War Journal, 5 July 2011. Retrieved 11 July 2011. Archived 18 February 2015 at the Wayback Machine.[dead link]
- Counting civilian casualties in CIA's drone war[dead link], Foreign Policy
- "Drone Attacks in Pakistan". PakistanBodyCount.org. Retrieved 2013-06-09.[dead link]
- Lamb, Christina, Chris Woods, and Rahimullah Yusufzai, "Covert CIA Drones Kill Hundreds Of Civilians", London Sunday Times, 5 February 2012, page 28.
- "COMPLAINT AGAINST THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA FOR THE KILLING OF INNOCENT CITIZENS OF THE ISLAMIC REPUBLIC OF PAKISTAN" (PDF). 22 February 2012. Archived from the original (PDF) on 10 September 2012. Retrieved 25 September 2012.
- Abbot, Sebastian, Associated Press, "Study: Militants, Not Civilians, Are Primary Victims Of Drone Strikes", Arizona Republic, 26 February 2012.
- Zucchino, David, "Study Slams Drone Use In Pakistan", Los Angeles Times, 25 September 2012, page 3
- Living under Drones. Stanford University & NYU. Retrieved on 6 October 2012.
- Jethro Mullen (23 October 2013). "Report: Former drone operator shares his inner torment". CNN. Retrieved 24 October 2013.
- Walsh, Declan, "Pakistan cuts its estimate of civilian drone deaths", New York Times (International Edition), 1 November 2013, page 3
- Spencer Ackerman. "41 men targeted but 1,147 people killed: US drone strikes – the facts on the ground". the Guardian.
- ADI. "President Obama Comments on Death of Hostages". CNN.com. Retrieved 2015-04-23.
- Oldroyd, Rachel (24 September 2013). "A new project: Naming the Dead". Bureau of Investigative Journalism. Retrieved 28 November 2013.
- "UK-based group releases list of drone victims". dawn.com. 25 September 2013. Retrieved 28 November 2013.
- "Naming the Dead". Bureau of Investigative Journalism. Retrieved 28 November 2013.
- "PTI denied permission for S. Waziristan rally". Dawn.com. 2012-10-02. Retrieved 2013-06-09.
- Crilly, Rob (1 October 2012). "Pakistani Taliban offers Imran Khan security". London: Telegraph.co.uk. Retrieved 2013-06-09.
- Adeerus Ghayan. "Bullets and Train". Goodreads.
- Amazon.com: The Scriptwriter eBook: Adeerus Ghayan: Kindle Store
- Bashir, Shahzad; Crews, Robert D., eds. (2012). Under the Drones: Modern Lives in the Afghanistan-Pakistan Borderlands. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press. ISBN 978-0-674-06561-1.
- "Project Bugsplat". Reprieve. Retrieved 7 February 2012.
- "Secret War". FRONTLINE. 3 January 2012. Retrieved 4 January 2012.
- DeYoung, Karen (19 December 2011). "Secrecy defines Obama's drone war". Washington Post. Retrieved 21 December 2011.
- Roggio, Bill; Mayer, Alexander (28 October 2011). "Senior al Qaeda and Taliban leaders killed in US airstrikes in Pakistan, 2004–2011". Long War Journal. Archived from the original on 16 December 2011. Retrieved 27 December 2011.
- Bergen, Peter; Tiedemann, Katherine (July–August 2011). "Washington's Phantom War: The Effects of the U.S. Drone Program in Pakistan". Foreign Affairs. PeterBergen.com. Archived from the original on 15 April 2012. Retrieved 16 December 2011.
- "The Year of the Drone: Data and Interactive Map". New America Foundation. Archived from the original on 30 August 2011.
- "UN Special Rapporteur Philip Alston Responds to US Defense of Drone Attacks' Legality". Democracy Now!. 1 April 2010. Retrieved 26 December 2011.
- Bergen, Peter; Tiedemann, Katherine (24 February 2010). "The Year of the Drone: An Analysis of U.S. Drone Strikes in Pakistan, 2004–2010" (PDF). New America Foundation. Retrieved 16 December 2011.
- "Covert Drone War-the Data". Bureau of Investigative Journalism. Archived from the original on 30 October 2011.
- Mayer, Jane (26 October 2009). "The Predator War". New Yorker. Retrieved 16 December 2011.
- Roggio, Bill; Mayer, Alexander (1 October 2009). "Analysis: A look at US Airstrikes In Pakistan through September 2009". Long War Journal. Retrieved 19 December 2011.
- "Interactive Map: U.S. Airstrikes in Pakistan on the Rise". Center for American Progress. 5 March 2009.
- Pakistan Body Count[dead link] (Complete timeline of drone attacks in Pakistan)
- Drones: Myths And Reality In Pakistan, 21 May 2013, International Crisis Group