San Diego Discussion On Military Use Of Drones And Unintended Casualties
Tuesday, December 10, 2013
Aired 12/10/13 on KPBS Midday Edition.
Dustin Sharp, Assistant Professor, Joan Kroc School of Peace Studies, University of San Diego
Laura Pitter, Senior National Security Researcher, Human Rights Watch
They're being used for everything from monitoring traffic and reporting information on wildfires to backyard fun. But drones, unmanned aerial devices, continue to be scrutinized for their use in Iraq, Afghanistan and Pakistan. That's due to the number of unintended targets: civilian causalities. One human rights group said people in those countries fear drones more than Al Qaeda.
The Unites States military and President Barack Obama have defended the use of unmanned aerial attacks. The drones can target hostile militant groups without endangering U.S. soldiers. But human rights organizations people who live in the region are becoming increasing concerned about the manner and frequency of drone use.
In October, Human Rights Watch issued a report called "Between a Drone and Al Qaeda," which looked at the number of civilian casualties caused by drones. The 97-page report examined six U.S. targeted killings in Yemen, one from 2009 and the rest from 2012 to 2013. Civilians were killed in two of the attacks.