Drones are the Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs) which operate autonomously by a pre-programmed mission(Freakyworld).The earliest recorded use of UAV for war fighting occurred on August 22,1849,when Austrians attacked Venice with unmanned balloons loaded with explosives(The Nation).Although drones have only recently been the subject of significant public debate, they are not new as their use can be traced back to World War I(Living under drones).As technology progressed, the drones were modified and were made smarter. Smaller drones were developed which could fly into unsafe areas like war zones and were able to drop bombs in a military strike (pacans).The question arises that, ‘what caused U.S to start the drone attacks in various countries?’It was after the September 11, 2001 attack on World Trade center when the Bush administration initiated drone strikes against suspected members of Al-Qaeda and the other armed groups. The CIA carried out its first targeted drone killing in 2002 in Afghanistan in an effort to kill Osama Bin Laden.Additionally, after the U.S invasion of Afghanistan, a number of Taliban fighters fled across the border and came into Pakistan in the regions of FATA and North Waziristan. This in turn caused U.S to start drone attacks in Pakistan in 2004 in order to target the extremist group members which have continued till date.Morever, the strikes have accelerated under Obama administration as he considers drone as an effective and precise technology to combat militant groups(Living under the Drones).Drone strikes have now become a key part of the US government to combat terrorism as it enables US to kill afar without any risk to the US citizens(Stanford, NYU Living under drones).It has been recorded by Bureao of Investigative journalism that there were 52 drone strikes under Bush administration whereas there have been 318 strikes under Obama administration until now.(TBIJ)
Furthermore, according to the research done by Stanford Law School, “the number of high level targets killed as a percentage of total casualties is extremely low-estimated at just two percent” (LivingUnderDrones) which shows the ineffectiveness of these drones. This compels one to ask that, ‘can the continuation of U.S drone attacks in Pakistan be justified?’ Despite the fact that Obama officials have announced to continue the drone strikes (Aljazeera), U.S government should be forced to dismiss this practice as the United Nations secretary general-Ban Ki Moon condemned them and stated that, “The use of armed drones, like any other weapon should be subject to long-standing rules of international law, including international humanitarian law”(Moon,voanews.com).In addition, there have been hundreds of anti-drone protests all over Pakistan which shows that the civilians are unhappy by the U.S drone strikes and thus should be ceased due to their adverse effects. Although the supporters of U.S drone strikes argue that they help in killing the extremist group members, however; they cannot be justified because they destabilize Pakistan’s economy, result in massive civilian casualty and the chemicals from missiles cause fatal diseases to the population.
Advocates of drone strikes believe that they kill the extremist group members and thus help in eradicating terrorism from Pakistan’s soil. According to Sam Bollier, “11% of Pakistani’s have a favorable view about the US drones” (Bollier, Aljazeera).Moreover, Anoop Sarbahi, a political scientist at Stanford university stated that, “Drones disrupt and degrade the terrorist organizations and reduces their ability to conduct attacks” (Sarbahi, Aljazeera).The supporters of drone attacks believe that doing so eliminates the evil from its root and helps in bringing peace in the country. According to data compiled by the New America Foundation, since Obama has been in the White House, U.S. drones have killed an estimated 3,300 al Qaeda, Taliban, and other jihadist operatives in Pakistan and Yemen...
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