Report: “Counterproductive” US Drone Program “Terrorizes” Pakistan

Joint study by Stanford and NYU law schools casts doubt on the legality of drone strikes; Says secretive program fosters anti-American sentiment

Common Dreams staff, September 25, 2012

US drones do not just kill ‘terrorists’ says new report. They kill innocent people, including women and children, and they sow deep and long-lasting instability. (U.S. Air Force/Lt Col Leslie Pratt/ Flickr)Rejecting the dominant narrative that insulates most Americans from the reality of the US drone program in Pakistan—a narrative that says drones are a surgically precise and effective tool that makes the US safer from “global terrorism” with minimal downsides—a new report by researchers at the Stanford and NYU schools of law says that the program itself is “terrorizing” and that its overall impact is “counterproductive” when it comes to addressing international law, security, and human rights.

The newly released report, Living Under Drones, follows nine months of intensive research—including two investigations in Pakistan, more than 130 interviews with victims, witnesses, and experts, and review of thousands of pages of documentation and media reporting—and presents evidence of the damaging and terrorizing effects of current US drone strike policy. The study provides new and firsthand testimony about the negative impacts the ongoing program is having on the civilians living under drones in Pakistan and seeks to foster a public debate about how to challenge the program and change its current course.

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