Drone warfare — update

Today’s NYT has an article about the use of drones to fight Al Qaeda (an issue I’ve just started paying attention to, see here). It doesn’t try to address the rate of civilian casualties, but it does suggest that drones are used in conjunction with, not to the exclusion of, capturing people and pumping them for intelligence.

The article also suggests that using drones is a better way of keeping pressure on Al Qaeda and has an effect on how freely they can move and communicate. Again, another hard claim to assess, but one that’s definitely worth making.

The last point of the article is just that the Obama administration is really relying heavily on the use of drones. Should be a good chance to see if total civilian casualties (air and ground) rise in proportion to the use of drones, although again, it’s hard to separate any increase in casualties from being caused by just a plain old increase in fighting in the region.

P.S. Talking about drones makes me think of Skynet.


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