Leaked US Documents Reveal Drones Seek to Create, Not Stop Terror
…documents detailing a special operations campaign in northeastern Afghanistan, Operation Haymaker, show that between January 2012 and February 2013, U.S. special operations airstrikes killed more than 200 people. Of those, only 35 were the intended targets. During one five-month period of the operation, according to the documents, nearly 90 percent of the people killed in airstrikes were not the intended targets. In Yemen and Somalia, where the U.S. has far more limited intelligence capabilities to confirm the people killed are the intended targets, the equivalent ratios may well be much worse.
And before any strike is taken, there must be near-certainty that no civilians will be killed or injured — the highest standard we can set.
Nevertheless, the US is also undoubtedly conducting targeted assassinations as well. It can identify and eliminate specific individuals with high precision when it desires to do so, lending further credence to theories that high civilian casualties are likely a matter of intentional policy rather than merely inevitable “collateral damage.”
As president, [Barack Obama] promised to end America’s wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. Since taking office, he has cut the number of U.S. troops deployed to war zones around the world from 180,000 to fewer than 15,000.
The wars, however, have not ended. Instead, Obama, through a reliance on drones and special operators, has succeeded in making them nearly invisible.