Monday, November 24, 2014

Drones - "The Unblinking Eye"

The use of drones to attack al Qaeda and senior Taliban leaders in Pakistan and Afghanistan has been described by supporters as effective in killing off the high-value targets and disrupting insurgent operations. It is described by critics as ineffective and causing civilian casualties. Some research indicates that civilian casualties have decreased each year but there is also research that counters this argument. The two drones used by the Central Intelligence Agency are the Predator and the Reaper - both are armed reconnaissance drones that can loiter for hours (something that a jet or missile cannot do). Drones are better suited to identifying targets (in some cases). Steve Coll, a writer, is the dean of the Graduate School of Journalism at Columbia University and reports on issues of intelligence and national security in the United States and abroad. He has published a detailed report on the use of drones by the United States in Pakistan entitled "The Unblinking Stare: The Drone War in Pakistan", The New Yorker, November 24, 2014.

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