According to the Bureau of Investigative Journalism, which compiles figures on drone strikes, the US has killed up to 3,378 people in 350 drone strikes in the past eight years in Pakistan.
December 30, 2012, 19:00 DST
On December 21st, the US launched its first airstrike in Pakistan's Taliban-controlled tribal agencies in 11 days, killing four "militants." According to reports from the area, the strike possibly killed some foreigners as well. In addition to the strike in North Waziristan, a US drone is reported to have crashed in the neighboring tribal agency of South Waziristan. The northern areas of Pakistan continue to be targeted through drone missile strikes, spreading terror and chaos in the region.
According to the Bureau of Investigative Journalism, which compiles figures on drone strikes, the US has killed up to 3,378 people in 350 drone strikes in the past eight years in Pakistan. In addition to this, the United States is orchestrating drone strikes in Yemen and Somalia from a base in the tiny African state of Djibouti.
The expansion of drones has redefined warfare, with countries around the world adding drones to their air force arsenals. The militarization of the world’s sky’s has made warfare ever more lethal and dangerous. As expected, Israel has been one of the first countries that added drones to its military operations. “Drones play a very important and essential role in the protection of the State of Israel,” declared a major (dubbed “Major G”) in the Israeli forces in a recent interview given to Fox News. This has given rise to horrific new permutations in warfare against the Palestinians. “Since the Second Lebanon War, we have developed a new technique called TCT; Time Critical Targets, targets that have a very short lifespan, 'Major G' said. "We (drones) find them, gather enough intelligence to confirm that this is actually a terrorist, then call for another aircraft to perform the attack.”
East Asia is also adopting weaponized drones at a rapid pace. The United States has sold $1.2 billion in surveillance drones to South Korea, in which the US Department of Defense gave four of the Block 30 version of the RQ-4 Global Hawk aircraft to Seoul under the Foreign Military Sales program. China is also ramping up production of drones, to counter the “Asia Pivot,” in which the United States is enhancing its military, economic and political presence in Asia.
Moreover, the civilian use of drones inside the United States is also expanding at a rapid pace. Congress has ordered the Federal Aviation Administration to quickly select six domestic sites to test the safety of drones, which can vary in size from remote-controlled planes as big as jetliners to camera-toting hoverers called Nano Hummingbirds that weigh 19 grams. President Obama’s authorization of the commercial use of drones is envisioned to spark a $5 billion-plus industry of camera drones being used for all sorts of purposes from real estate advertising to crop dusting to environmental monitoring and police work.