Pentagon reacts to problem of civilians dying in US drone strikes — Analysis

A ‘civilian safety middle’ will tackle the longstanding situation of so-called ‘collateral injury’

US Secretary of Protection Lloyd Austin plans to determine a “civilian safety middle of excellence” as a way to monitor and reply to “drone strike classes realized” and standardize each the reporting of strikes and the compensation of victims, he revealed in a memo to Pentagon staffers on Thursday.

The undersecretary of protection for coverage, the comptroller, and different places of work obtained the memo, with directions to reply inside 90 days with their concepts on easy methods to scale back civilian deaths going ahead. They’ve been tasked with making a uniform strategy between Protection Division divisions on how civilian drone strikes can be investigated, compensated, and publicized.

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The Pentagon has lengthy been accused each internationally and domestically of displaying disregard for what has infamously been termed “collateral injury” – the excessive variety of civilian casualties killed amid Washington’s rising urge for food for drone warfare.

The RAND Company – a assume tank with deep army ties that’s not identified for its anti-war stance – present in a current research that “1000’s of harmless civilians in Afghanistan, Iraq, and Syria” had died from US drone strikes for the reason that launch of the Conflict on Terror in 2001 because of a failure to acknowledge, report, or share “previous errors” amongst drone operators.

Not solely have been the civilian casualty estimates given by the Division of Protection “far too low” to be real looking, however they have been additionally “damaging to the division’s credibility,” RAND senior researcher Michael McNerney revealed. He famous that unbiased estimates of the variety of civilian deaths in Syria in 2019 ranged from 490 to 1,118, however the Pentagon’s personal determine was simply 21.

RAND and the Protection Division concurred that the Pentagon was “not prepared for conflicts with potential adversaries like Russia or China,” and that the chance of civilian casualties was “a lot increased,” with “way more highly effective munitions getting used on either side.”

Declassified video reveals US drone strike on civilians

The Pentagon revealed in a 2013 inner memo that its drone strikes had hit their supposed goal simply 10% of the time over the course of a five-month interval in Afghanistan. Not solely have been the strikes usually primarily based on bogus intelligence, the company famous, however even after they hit the right goal, the following killings have been prone to compromise extra vital intel-gathering operations.

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