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US drones in Pakistan – counterproductive

Pakistan Drone Study Finds ‘Damaging And Counterproductive’ Consequences From U.S. Policy HUFFINGTON POST 09/25/2012  A new study conducted by law professors at Stanford and New York University contends that the U.S. use of drones to target suspected militants in Pakistan has had a “damaging and counterproductive effect” on the country and has killed far more civilians than previously acknowledged.

The study, which was released on Tuesday, relies on some 130 interviews with civilians living in the regions of northern Pakistan where targeted drone strikes have been most frequent. Working with the activist group Reprieve, the team of professors have added to the growing body of literature that argues, contrary to Obama administration claims, that numerous civilians have been killed, and many more traumatized, by the drone strike program.

“Drones hover 24 hours a day over communities in northwest Pakistan, striking homes, vehicles and public spaces without warning,” the report said. “Those living under drones have to face the constant worry that a deadly strike may be fired at any moment, and the knowledge that they are powerless to protect themselves.”

Relying on data compiled by the Bureau of Investigative Journalism, the study’s authors say that between 2,562 and 3,325 people have been killed in U.S. drone attacks in Pakistan since June 2004, and between 474 and 881 of them were civilians.

The heart of the Stanford and NYU report, which is titled “Living Under Drones,” is a close and gripping look at three individual strikes in Pakistan’s Waziristan region, including detailed interviews with 69 survivors, the study authors say.

Some of the interviews appear in a related film that was produced by the Brave New Foundation, which helped support the study, and that captured Pakistani citizens speaking about their own experiences with daily life under drone warfare…….

The Obama administration has also indicated that it considers any “military-aged males” who are killed in the vicinity of a drone-strike target to be likely militants, until proven otherwise……. http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/09/25/pakistan-drone-study-stanford_n_1911555.html?ncid=txtlnkushpmg00000032

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September 28, 2012 - Posted by | Pakistan, USA, weapons and war

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