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.
    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.

    Sharon Behn

    Sharon Behn is a foreign correspondent working out of Voice of America’s headquarters in Washington D.C  Her current beat focuses on political, security and humanitarian developments in Iraq, Syria and Turkey. Follow Sharon on Twitter and on Facebook.

    You May Like

    Hope Remains for Rio Olympic Games

    Facing a host of problems, Rio prepares for holding the games but experts say some risks, like Zika, may not be as grave as initially thought

    Diplomats Hope to Revive Cradle of Civilization After Defeat of IS

    Diplomats from around globe gather at US State Department, discuss how to rebuild minority communities shattered by Islamic State group

    ‘Time Is Now’ to Save Africa’s Animals From Poachers, Activist Says

    During Zimbabwe visit, African Wildlife Foundation President Kaddu Sebunya says poaching hurts Africa as slave trade once did

    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.
    Ivorian Chocolate Makers Promote Locally-made Chocolatei
    X
    July 29, 2016 4:02 PM
    Ivory Coast is the world's top producer of cocoa but hardly any of it is processed into chocolate there. Instead, the cocoa is sent abroad to chocolate makers in Europe and elsewhere. This is a general problem throughout Africa – massive exports of raw materials but few finished goods. As Emilie Iob reports from Abidjan, several Ivorian entrepreneurs are working to change that formula - 100% Ivorian chocolate bar at a time.
    Video

    Video Ivorian Chocolate Makers Promote Locally-made Chocolate

    Ivory Coast is the world's top producer of cocoa but hardly any of it is processed into chocolate there. Instead, the cocoa is sent abroad to chocolate makers in Europe and elsewhere. This is a general problem throughout Africa – massive exports of raw materials but few finished goods. As Emilie Iob reports from Abidjan, several Ivorian entrepreneurs are working to change that formula - 100% Ivorian chocolate bar at a time.
    Video

    Video Tesla Opens Battery-Producing Gigafactory

    Two years after starting to produce electric cars, U.S. car maker Tesla Motors has opened the first part of its huge battery manufacturing plant, which will eventually cover more than a square kilometer. Situated close to Reno, Nevada, the so-called Gigafactory will eventually produce more lithium-ion batteries than were made worldwide in 2013. VOA's George Putic reports.
    Video

    Video Polio-affected Afghan Student Fulfilling Her Dreams in America

    Afghanistan is one of only two countries in the world where children still get infected by polio. The other is Pakistan. Mahbooba Akhtarzada who is from Afghanistan, was disabled by polio, but has managed to overcome the obstacles caused by this crippling disease. VOA's Zheela Nasari caught up with Akhtarzada and brings us this report narrated by Bronwyn Benito.
    Video

    Video Hillary Clinton Promises to Build a 'Better Tomorrow'

    Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton urged voters Thursday not to give in to the politics of fear. She vowed to unite the country and move it forward if elected in November. Clinton formally accepted the Democratic Party's nomination at its national convention in Philadelphia. VOA national correspondent Jim Malone has more.
    Video

    Video Trump Tones Down Praise for Russia

    Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump is toning down his compliments for Russia and Vladimir Putin as such rhetoric got him in trouble recently. After calling on Russia to find 30.000 missing emails from rival Hillary Clinton, Trump told reporters he doesn't know Putin and never called him a great leader, just one who's better than President Barack Obama. Putin has welcomed Trump's overtures, but, as Zlatica Hoke reports, ordinary Russians say they are not putting much faith in Trump.
    Video

    Video Uganda Unveils its First Solar-powered Bus

    A solar-powered bus described by its Ugandan makers as the first in Africa has made its public debut. Kiira Motors' electric bus, Kayoola, displayed recently at a stadium in Uganda's capital. From Kampala, Maurice Magorane filed this report narrated by Salem Solomon.
    Video

    Video Silicon Valley: More Than A Place, It's a Culture

    Silicon Valley is a technology powerhouse and a place that companies such as Google, Facebook and Apple call home. It is a region in northern California that stretches from San Francisco to San Jose. But, more than that, it's known for its startup culture. VOA's Elizabeth Lee went inside one company to find out what it's like to work in a startup.
    Video

    Video Immigrant Delegate Marvels at Democratic Process

    It’s been a bitter and divisive election season – but first time Indian-American delegate Dr. Shashi Gupta headed to the Democratic National Convention with a sense of hope. VOA’s Katherine Gypson followed this immigrant with the love of U.S. politics all the way to Philadelphia.
    Video

    Video Dutch Entrepreneurs Turn Rainwater Into Beer

    June has been recorded as one of the wettest months in more than a century in many parts of Europe. To a group of entrepreneurs in Amsterdam the rain came as a blessing, as they used the extra water to brew beer. Serginho Roosblad has more to the story.
    Video

    Video Commerce Thrives on US-Mexico Border

    At the Democratic Convention in Philadelphia this week, the party’s presumptive presidential nominee, Hillary Clinton, is expected to attack proposals made by her opponent, Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump, to build a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border. Last Friday, President Barack Obama hosted his Mexican counterpart, President Enrique Peña Nieto, to underscore the good relations between the two countries. VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from Tucson.
    Video

    Video Film Helps Save Ethiopian Children Thought to be Cursed

    'Omo Child' looks at effort of African man to stop killings of ‘mingi’ children
    Video

    Video London’s Financial Crown at Risk as Rivals Eye Brexit Opportunities

    By most measures, London rivals New York as the only true global financial center. But Britain’s vote to leave the European Union – so-called ‘Brexit’ – means the city could lose its right to sell services tariff-free across the bloc, risking its position as Europe’s financial headquarters. Already some banks have said they may shift operations to the mainland. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora