Who is the US Killing with Drones?

As the news broke on March 7, 2016, that US drone strikes had killed 150 people in Somalia, the White House announced it will reveal, for the first time, the number of people killed by drones and manned airstrikes “outside areas of active hostilities” since 2009. The tallies will include civilian deaths. This is a critical first step toward much-needed transparency. But it will not go far enough. The Obama administration has been lying for years about how many deaths result from its drone strikes and manned bombings. In 2011, John Brennan,… Read More

U.S. Air Force Hires Private Companies To Fly Drones In War Zones

U.S. Air Force officials has begun to hire private companies to fly drone aircraft operating over Afghanistan, Iraq and Syria. The unprecedented move is in response to demands from the Obama administration to dramatically expand the drone war just as the Pentagon faces a critical shortage of military pilots. As a result, civilian pilots will directly participate in military operations for the first time since the drone wars began about a decade ago. According to the Los Angeles Times, the Air Force signed contracts with two private companies in 2015 to provide enough pilots… Read More

War in Afghanistan Far from Over

Now into its 13th year U.S. and NATO are announcing the end to combat missions in Afghanistan and the withdrawal of troops, but despite the symbolic flag-lowering ceremony, the U.S.-led war is in fact not ending, and the brutal war is set to continue through 2015. NATO is set to “transition” to a non-combat, “Resolute Support” mission to assist the Afghan National Army in its operations, with 4, 000 NATO troops to remain in Afghanistan into 2015. President Obama has authorized the 10, 800 U.S. troops to remain in Afghanistan in 2015, an… Read More

US Drone Strikes Kill Nine in North Waziristan

From Antiwar.com A pair of US drone strikes destroyed a house and a vehicle in the Shawal Valley of Pakistan’s North Waziristan Agency today, killing at least nine people, including four who officials say may have been ethnic Uzbeks. The Uzbeks were said killed in the US attack on the vehicle, though officials conceded they haven’t actually confirmed this, and that the ethnicity of the victims was just something they heard. The other five people killed are totally unidentified even nominally, though officials say they believe the house destroyed belonged to a leader… Read More

Leaked Internal CIA Document Admits US Drone Program “Counterproductive”

From Common Dreams Wikileaks on Thursday has made public a never-before-seen internal review conducted by the U.S. Central Intelligence Agency that looked at the agency’s drone and targeted assassination programs in places like Afghanistan, Pakistan, Yemen, Somalia, and elsewhere. The agency’s own analysis, conducted in 2009, found that its clandestine drone and assassination program was likely to produce counterproductive outcomes, including strengthening the very “extremist groups” it was allegedly designed to destroy. Here’s a link to the document, titled Best Practices in Counterinsurgency: Making High-Value Targeting Operations an Effective Counterinsurgency Toolocument (pdf)…. Read More