News / Asia

Study: US Should Re-Evaluate Pakistan Drone Strikes

An undated handout image courtesy of the U.S. Air Force shows a unmanned MQ-1 Predator drone.
An undated handout image courtesy of the U.S. Air Force shows a unmanned MQ-1 Predator drone.
Sharon Behn
— A study by two leading U.S. universities is criticizing the U.S. administration’s use of drone strikes against militants in Pakistan as counterproductive. But Washington considers the strikes crucial to its war against terrorists

The report titled “Living Under Drones" is based on nine months of research and more than 130 interviews with victims, witnesses, experts, and media reports.
 
Conducted by Stanford/New York University, the study says drone strikes targeting militants in northwest Pakistan kill civilians as well as militants, undermine international rule of law, and may motivate additional militant attacks.



Michael Rubin, a former Pentagon official now at the American Enterprise Institute, says some of the criticism on civilian deaths is valid.  But he says the report does not offer any viable alternative.

“Drones are used so that armies do not need to be deployed.  Simply sitting on one's hands is not going to do the trick,” noted Rubin.

While some analysts say the CIA-led strikes have largely taken place with the tacit approval of the Pakistani military, the attacks have angered many Pakistanis who see them as a violation of their country’s sovereignty.

Asif Ali Zardari, President of Pakistan, addresses the 67th session of the United Nations General Assembly at U.N. headquarters Sept. 25, 2012.
Asif Ali Zardari, President of Pakistan, addresses the 67th session of the United Nations General Assembly at U.N. headquarters Sept. 25, 2012.
Speaking at the United Nations this week, Pakistan's President Asif Ali Zardari, also criticized the policy.

“No country, no people has suffered more in this epic struggle against terrorism than Pakistan," Zardari said.  "Drone strikes and civilian casualties on our territory add to the complexity of our battle for hearts and minds in this epic struggle.”

Citing the Bureau of Investigative Journalism, the report says in the past eight years at least 470 civilians have been killed and another 1,200 injured by the attacks.  It says the constant presence of drones is also terrorizing the local population.

The study concludes that while the United States must be able to protect itself from terrorist threats, the negative impact of the strikes means Washington should re-evaluate its tactics.

But Rubin says drones are used because there is a real problem with terrorist networks operating in the region.

“If the Pakistanis would control their territory better and prevent themselves from being used as a refuge for these militant factors, then these drone strikes would disappear,” he said.

You May Like

Video On the Scene: In Gaza, Darkness Brings Dread and Death

Palestinians fear nighttime raids, many feel abandoned by outside world, VOA's Scott Bobb reports More

African Small Farmers Could Be Key to Ending Food Insecurity

Experts say providing access to microloans, crop insurance, better storage facilities, irrigation, road systems and market information could enable greater production More

University of Michigan Wins Solar Car Race

Squad guided its student-designed solar-powered vehicle to fifth consecutive time victory in eight-day bi-annual American Solar Challenge More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: Dr. Malek Towghi (Baluch) from: USA
September 27, 2012 12:22 AM
Pakistan can stop the drone attacks by handing over Zawahiri, Mulla Umar, Haqqani & Co. to the USA. By the way Muslims have fought many of their wars, e.g. the Battle of Badr in the month of Ramadan.

In Response

by: Anonymous
September 28, 2012 4:06 AM
@Dr.Malek Towghi (Baluch) What's your point?
Pakistan has been telling this to the world that US is doing worst than they think. but the problem is it's Pakistan who has to face the hate of those people being victims of those drones not the US. so therefore every single american will comment on this situation like he/she is an authority on this, but the fact is they are sitting in their peaceful country far far away from the hell they have created, and they want Pakistan to even suck it more. but the thing is that you americans are on the lose, biting everyone here an there, but you forgot what happened to USSR, there is not more, do you remember that? so put your brain back in your skull and listen to the world what everyone is saying. wasting your taxpayers money and spreading hatred and encouraging people to become terrorists is not gonna make a peaceful world. you have to understand this.......

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Gazans in Shelled School Sought Shelteri
X
Scott Bobb
July 30, 2014 8:16 PM
Israel's air and ground assault against Hamas-led fighters in Gaza has forced many Palestinians to flee their homes, seeking safety. But safe places are hard to find, as VOA’s Scott Bobb reports from Jabaliya.
Video

Video Gazans in Shelled School Sought Shelter

Israel's air and ground assault against Hamas-led fighters in Gaza has forced many Palestinians to flee their homes, seeking safety. But safe places are hard to find, as VOA’s Scott Bobb reports from Jabaliya.
Video

Video Rapid Spread of Ebola in West Africa Prompts Global Alert

Across West Africa, health officials are struggling to keep up with what the World Health Organization describes as the worst ebola outbreak on record. The virus has killed hundreds of people this year. U.S. President Barack Obama and other world leaders are watching the developments closely as they weigh what actions, if any, are needed to help contain the disease.
Video

Video Michelle Obama: Young Africans Need to Embrace Women's Rights

U.S. first lady Michelle Obama urged some of Africa's best and brightest to advocate for women's rights in their home countries. As VOA's Pam Dockins explains, Obama spoke to some 500 participants of the Young African Leaders Initiative, a six-week U.S.-based training and development program.
Video

Video Immigrant Influx on Texas Border Heats Up Political Debate

Immigrants from Central America continue to cross the U.S.-Mexico border in south Texas, seeking asylum in the United States, as officials grapple with ways to deal with the problem and provide shelter for thousands of minors among the illegal border crossers. As VOA's Greg Flakus reports from Houston, the issue is complicated by internal U.S. politics and U.S. relations with the troubled nations that immigrants are fleeing.
Video

Video Study: Latino Students Most Segregated in California

Even though legal school segregation ended in the United States 60 years ago, one study finds segregation still occurs in the U.S. based on income and race. The University of California Los Angeles Civil Rights Project finds that students in California are more segregated by race than ever before, especially Latinos. Elizabeth Lee reports for VOA from Los Angeles.
Video

Video Vietnamese Staging Chinese Product Boycott After Oil Rig Spat

China recently pulled an oil rig from an area of the disputed South China Sea that Vietnam also claims. Despite the action, the incident has had a lingering effect on consumers in Vietnam. VOA's Reasey Poch reports from Hanoi on an effort to boycott Chinese products.
Video

Video A Summer Camp for All the World

VIDEO: During workshops and social gatherings, the Global Youth Village summer camp encourages young people to cooperate and embrace their differences, while learning to communicate with people from other countries. VOA's Deborah Block has more.
Video

Video From Cantankerous Warlock to Incorruptible Priest, 'Harry Potter' Actor Embraces Diverse Roles

He’s perhaps best known as Mad Eye Moody, the whimsical wizard in the Harry Potter franchise. But character actor Brendan Gleeson's resume includes dozens of films, and he embraces all the characters he inhabits with equal passion. In an interview with VOA’s Penelope Poulou, Gleeson discussed his new drama "Calvary" and his secret to success.

AppleAndroid