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

Multimedia Obama Defends Immigration Action

Obama says with his executive action on immigration, enforcement resources will be focused on 'felons, not families; criminals, not children' More

US-Led Airstrikes in Syria Kill Over 900: Monitoring Group

British-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights says the toll includes more than 50 civilians, five of them women and eight of them children More

Report: Obama Broadens US Combat Role in Afghanistan

The New York Times says resident Barack Obama has signed a classified order extending the role of US troops in Afghanistan for another year 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.
New Skateboard Defies Gravityi
X
November 21, 2014 5:07 AM
A futuristic dream only a couple of decades ago, the hoverboard – a skateboard that floats above the ground - has finally been made possible. While still not ready for mass production, it promises to become a cool mode of transport... at least over some surfaces. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video New Skateboard Defies Gravity

A futuristic dream only a couple of decades ago, the hoverboard – a skateboard that floats above the ground - has finally been made possible. While still not ready for mass production, it promises to become a cool mode of transport... at least over some surfaces. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Falling Gas Prices Impact US Oil Extraction

With the price of oil now less than $80 a barrel, motorists throughout the United States are benefiting from gas prices below $3 a gallon. But as VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, the decreasing price of petroleum has a downside for the hydraulic fracturing industry in the United States.
Video

Video Tensions Build on Korean Peninsula Amid Military Drills

It has been another tense week on the Korean peninsula as Pyongyang threatened to again test nuclear weapons while the U.S. and South Korean forces held joint military exercises in a show of force. VOA’s Brian Padden reports from the Kunsan Air Base in South Korea.
Video

Video Mama Sarah Obama Honored at UN Women’s Entrepreneurship Day

President Barack Obama's step-grandmother is in the United States to raise money to build a $12 million school and hospital center in Kogelo, Kenya, the birthplace of the president's father, Barack Obama, Sr. She was honored for her decades of work to aid poor Kenyans at a Women's Entrepreneurship Day at the United Nations.
Video

Video Gay Evangelicals Argue That Bible Does Not Condemn Homosexuality

More than 30 U.S. states now recognize same-sex marriages, and an increasing number of mainline American churches are blessing them. But evangelical church members- which account for around 30 percent of the U.S. adult population - believe the Bible unequivocally condemns homosexuality. VOA's Jerome Socolovsky reports that gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender evangelicals are coming out. Backed by a prominent evangelical scholar, they argue that the traditional reading of the bible is wrong.
Video

Video Ebola Economic Toll Stirs W. Africa Food Security Concerns

The World Bank said Wednesday that it expects the economic impact of the Ebola outbreak on the sub-Saharan economy to cost somewhere betweenf $3 billion to $4 billion - well below a previously-outlined worst-case scenario of $32 billion. Some economists, however, paint a gloomier picture - warning that the disruption to regional markets and trading is considerable. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video Mexico Protests Escalate Over Disappearances

Protests in Mexico over 43 students missing since September continue to escalate, reflecting growing anger among Mexicans about a political system they view as corrupt, and increasingly tainted by the drug trade. Mounting outrage over the disappearances is now focused on the government of President Enrique Pena Nieto, accused of not doing enough to end insecurity in the country. More from VOA's Victoria Macchi.
Video

Video US Senate Votes Down Controversial Oil Pipeline - For Now

The U.S. Senate has rejected construction of a controversial pipeline to transport Canadian oil to American refineries. The $5 billion project still could be approved next year, but it faces a possible veto by President Barack Obama. As VOA’s Michael Bowman reports, the pipeline has exposed deep divisions in Congress about America’s energy future.
Video

Video Can Minsk Cease-fire Agreement Hold?

Growing tensions between government troops and separatists in eastern Ukraine further threaten a cease-fire agreement reached two months ago in the Belarusian capital of Minsk. Critics of U.S. policy in Ukraine say it is time the Obama administration gives up on that much-violated cease-fire and moves toward a new deal with Russia. VOA's Scott Stearns has more.
Video

Video Chaos, Abuse Defy Solution in Libya

The political and security crisis in Libya is deepening, with competing governments and, according to Amnesty International, widespread human rights violations committed with impunity. VOA’s Al Pessin reports from London.
Video

Video US Hosts Record 866,000 Foreign Students

Close to 900,000 international students are studying at American universities and colleges, more than ever before. About half of them come from Asia, mostly China. The United States hosts more foreign students than any other country in the world, and its foreign student population is steadily growing. Zlatica Hoke reports.
Video

Video Ferguson Church Grapples with Race Relations

Many white residents of Ferguson, Missouri, say they chose to live there because of the American Midwest community's diversity. So, they were shocked when a white police officer killed an unarmed black teenager in August – and shaken by the resulting protests and violence. Some local churches are leading conversations on how to go forward. VOA’s Ayesha Tanzeem reports.

All About America

AppleAndroid