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January 12, 2010
U.S. intensifies drone attacks on Pakistan’s tribal region

In 2009, the U.S. launched at least 50 missile strikes in northwest Pakistan.

While drone attacks are more frequent than ever before, there is wide disagreement about civilian deaths.

On the New America Foundation’s AfPak Channel, Peter Bergen and Katherine Tiedemann wrote in October that about one-third of those killed in drone attacks since 2006 were civilians.

Yet, Pakistani government statistics, as reported by the Dawn news service, said that these strikes killed more than 700 civilians — amounting to 90% of casualties.

The Long War Journal, a site that tracks drone attacks, reported that U.S. missiles have assassinated 16 al-Qaeda leaders and 16 mid-level al-Qaeda or Taliban militants since January 2008.

View our interactive map showing approximate locations of all U.S. drone attacks in Pakistan since 2004:

See larger map. [Yellow = pre-2008 strikes / Red = 2008 strikes / Green = Obama administration strikes]

According to published reports, most of the strikes by unmanned aerial vehicles are against terrorists who operate out of North and South Waziristan in the Federally Administered Tribal Areas.

Our Bombs shows how the attacks are concentrated in the mountainous region on the Afghan border, an area largely beyond the control of the Pakistani government in Islamabad.

The U.S. military had long remained silent about remote-controlled C.I.A. missile strikes.

But a delegation of U.S. senators visiting Islamabad last week expressed their support of the “drone war,” which was started by the Bush administration in 2004 and has escalated dramatically since President Obama took office.

The Pakistani government officially objects to the attacks but is lobbying for the U.S. to share drone technology.

Meanwhile, the attacks have generated increasing popular resentment toward the U.S.

Critics argue that raising the level of anti-Americanism in Pakistan might outweigh the benefits of successful strikes.

The Dec. 30 suicide bombing of the Forward Operating Base Chapman in Khost, Afghanistan, may have been an attempt to avenge the South Waziristan attack that killed Pakistani Taliban leader Baitullah Mehsud on Aug. 5.

Seven C.I.A. employees died in the Khost attack, many of whom were integral to the coordination of the drone war from their base, according to ABC News.

– Ben Piven




[…] Radio: LGBT politics and gay asylumChina commits massive funds to future high-speed railU.S. intensifies drone attacks on Pakistan’s tribal regionIn tactical shift, drone-fired missiles rain on Helmand U.S. seeks hearts and minds in combatting […]

(The UN)

DU is obtained as a waste product of nuclear power and of the manufacture of nuclear weapons.

It is a radioactive heavy metal that can be hazardous to humans in four ways:

• as a toxic heavy metal;

• as a genotoxic (i.e. carcinogenic and mutagenic) agent from its chemical properties;

• as a genotoxic agent from its radiation; and

• as an endocrine disruptor.

As a result, it is estimated that over 1.2 million metric tons of DU are currently stockpiled worldwide, mostly in the United States.8

Therefore DU stockpiles worldwide are increasing at the rate of about 35,000 metric tons per year
and they pose serious disposal problems to governments involved with uranium enrichment.

For example, 20% to 30% was found in the bones of male rats within 2.5 hours of uranium administration, and 90% of the uranium remaining after 40 days was in the bone.17

Uranium compounds are distributed to all tissues, preferentially bone, kidneys, liver and testes.18

Rats implanted with DU pellets also show uranium concentrations in the heart, lung tissue, ovaries
and lymph nodes.19 Like many heavy metals, uranium reacts with DNA and ions and blood proteins to form compounds (called complexes). Uranium can cross the placenta and the blood–brain barrier and accumulate in the brain.

Given the preponderance of cell and animal studies indicating that DU is a very hazardous substance, the safest approach would be to seek a moratorium on its use. It is notable that, in December 2007, the UN General Assembly carried a motion by 136 votes to 5, recognizing the health concerns over the use of uranium weapons and requesting that states report to the Secretary-General on the matter.59 Also in May 2008, the European Parliament carried a motion that strongly reiterated its call on all European Union member states and North Atlantic Treaty Organization countries to impose a moratorium on the use of depleted uranium weapons and to redouble efforts toward a global ban. The resolution was adopted with 491 votes in favour, 18 against and 12 abstentions.60

177 nations for the prevention of an arms race in outer space (PAR0S), US unilaterally votes no, Israel abstains.


I like how WF puts a picture of these drones over the Islamic Crescent when they report on this. However, there are worse weapons we are using. Depleted uranium and it seems white phosphorus too are both mutagens. Even the UN states DU is genotoxic.


As the afgans can use ide, the coalition forces have the right to use the drone weapons to counter the murders criminal afgahns.


Could not happen to a nicer group of people. There is an old saying about those who live in the same apartment of a nasty person like a local member of the current terrorist group. When they kill him why would they not kill everyone in an apartment? The last thing who want is to be the next door neighbor of a terrorist. Especailly if his enemy is going to kill him. Any stray bullets could wipe out your home. Since in this case a control drone carrying a warhead, his home creator might also include your home. If you do not like it, better get a better selection of neighbors. At least we do known that Allah will welcome these familes into Heaven.


Excuse my language and generalization, but only ignorant cowards would use these methods in a “war”, but since our government and military have committed halfway genocide in Iraq (not to mention our wonderful record of killing innocent people throughout the world) I’m guessing we can all just prepare to lose. Anyone who believes that America can win over Afghanistan is either uneducated in the history(s) of world, of simply ignorant to the fact that they can’t even partially control or take care of our problems here at home. The fact that we are using drones there indicate that we are there to fight and that we can now blame a machine for however many hundreds of families we end up killing. We need to remember or at least come to understand, that everything comes full circle, because there are too many people in this country who don’t even understand how this country has gotten to this point, and have a strange and almost sick sense that our problems can be solved by killing more people using a remote control airplane.

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