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      As Pressure Grows, Drone Attacks Decline

      An MQ-1 Predator sits in its hangar. (Photo: U.S. Air Force)

      Public protest, critical media coverage and Congressional hearings are contributing to what the New York Times calls a “sharp decline” in US drone attacks during recent weeks. (New York Times, April 7, 2013)

      In Pakistan, the attacks have dropped from 117 in 2010, to 64 in 2011, 46 in 2012, and eleven so far this year. In Yemen there were 42 in 2012, but none since January of this year.

      A negotiated settlement over Afghanistan is likely to include a de facto cessation of drone strikes on Taliban sanctuaries in Pakistan, assuming the US gives up its hope of bombing the Taliban into submission.

      A majority of Americans continue to favor the use of drones, because they reduce US casualties and costs, signaling the need for greater public outreach efforts by peace activists. A forthcoming movie from Brave New Foundation will prove useful as an educational tool, but nothing will turn the tide more rapidly than Congressional hearings tied to specific proposals linking any funding to greater scrutiny, transparency, accountability, and a shift of the drone policy from the CIA where it is protected by a cloak of secrecy. 

      For more, please see also by Tom Hayden, “Bug Splat,” and “The Path to Curbing the Use of Drones.”

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      Reader Comments (3)

      I just got an email from Sen. Feinstein saying that she supports drone strikes. I suspected as much but still find it disconcerting...

      April 11, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterRev. Jim Conn

      Perhaps this kind of legal action may also be effective in curtailing drone assassinations:

      April 11, 2013 | Unregistered Commentercoleen rowley

      I think the genie is out of the bottle, and, like atom bombs and nuclear power plants, drones are here to stay; how they are used is another matter. Less expensive than piloted planes, drones could be used to spot forest fires, find people lost in wilderness, and detect pollutants in waterways, faster than conventional ways. It is their use in warfare, not drones themselves, that is the issue here.

      April 12, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterMike Havenar
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