A new report from the New America Foundation states that one of every three people killed in the U.S.'s not-so-secret drone war in Pakistan is a civilian. The report also discloses that none of the strikes in 2009 targeted Bin Laden, and that they have had little impact on the Taliban's ability to plan operations in Afghanistan and Pakistan. To the contrary, the drone strikes serve as a powerful recruiting tool for the Taliban and al Qaeda.
According to New America Foundation's Peter Bergen and Kathren Tiedemann (emphasis mine):
Our study shows that the 114 reported drone strikes in northwest Pakistan from 2004 to the present have killed between 830 and 1,210 individuals, of whom around 550 to 850 were described as militants in reliable press accounts, about two-thirds of the total on average. Thus, the true civilian fatality rate since 2004 according to our analysis is approximately 32 percent.
The authors note that the rapidly escalating use of drones by the Obama Administration far exceeds the rate of use by the Bush Administration, with 2009's 51 strikes exceeding the total number of strikes under the entire Bush Administration.
Forget "is our children learning?", the only thing that's clear to me is that our government is NOT learning. We are creating yet another front of radicalized people who hate us and who have nothing left to lose to fight us.
I've joined the Rethink Afghanistan Facebook group, and subscribe to Robert Greenwald's Rethink Afghanistan organization as well. It's time we start being smarter about how we fight terror and put an end to these drone strikes.