References (Updated, October 4, 2012)
107th Congress. (2001, September 18). “Public Law 107-40: Authorization for Use of Military Force.” United States Congress. [Online]. Available: http://www.gpo.gov/fdsys/pkg/PLAW-107publ40/pdf/PLAW-107publ40.pdf Assessment: Essential document providing for the use of military force and by extension, the use of drones, against terrorism and terrorist organizations.
112th Congress. (2012, January 5). “H.R. 1540: National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2012.” United States Congress. [Online]. Available: http://thomas.loc.gov/cgi-bin/query/z?c112:H.R.1540: : This document authorizes defense expenditures for FY2012, which includes increased funding for the expansion of US drone programs. The budget for any covert program is classified and therefore not included. Assessment: Provides sup-porting evidence of the US’ increasing use of drones, but lacks details that would likely be significant to most research on drone use overseas.
S. Abbott. (2012, February 26). “AP IMPACT: New light on drone war’s death toll.” Associated Press. [Online]. Available:http://news.yahoo.com/ap–impact–light–drone–wars–death–toll-150321926.html This article explores the result of AP’s on-the-ground investigation of claims that US drone strikes are killing more civilians than militants in Pakistan. The study results in ﬁndings that diﬀer signiﬁcantly from those provided by Pakistani intelligence and other reports on the strikes. Assessment: This piece illustrates the discrepancies that can exist between media and official accounts of UAV strikes and highlights the importance of understanding how particular data were obtained. It should serve to educate that all reports containing strike data need to be critically analyzed as the data and the manner by which they were obtained can inﬂuence the results of any report.
S. Ackerman. (2011, October 20). “Libya: The Real U.S. Drone War.” Danger Room Blog, Wired. [Online]. Available: http://www.wired.com/dangerroom/2011/10/predator–libya/ Ackerman provides a detailed look at how drones have been used in the NATO combat theater in Libya. The use of drones in support of NATO’s war again Muammar Qaddafi is the most intensive to date, with 145 strikes being executed between April 21, 2011 and October 20, 2011. This report also highlights the fact that there is no known date for such equipment to exit Libya. Assessment: Ackerman’s report pro-vides insight into one of the publicly disclosed drone programs operated by the US and is useful from this standpoint. It also details an increasing reliance on drones to carry out military operations in combat zones. Facts are presented as such, with little interpretation or bias.
S. Ackerman and N. Shachtman. (2012, January 9). “Almost 1 in 3 U.S. Warplanes Is a Robot.” Danger Room Blog, Wired. [Online]. Available: http://www.wired.com/dangerroom/2012/01/drone–report/ A report on the military’s growing arsenal of unmanned aerial vehicles indicates that approximately 31% of all US military aircraft are now drones. Assessment: Coming from the reliable, credible Danger Room blog, this piece is narrow in scope and brief in detail, but corroborates other arguments that the US’ use of drones in military operations is expanding at an unprecedented rate.
P. Alston, “The CIA and Targeted Killings Beyond Borders,” New York University School of Law: Public Law and Legal Theory Research Paper Series, no. Working Paper No. 11-64, September 2011. http://harvardnsj.org/wp-content/uploads/2011/02/Vol.-2_Alston1.pdf Philip Alston, the former Special Rapporteur on extrajudicial, summary or arbitrary executions for the UN, examines the accountability of the CIA under applicable international legal frameworks in relation to its covert targeted killings. Alston argues that despite US officials’ arguments to the contrary, effective control and accountability mechanisms have not been established to govern these programs, giving the CIA a “free pass” in these operations. The result is a dangerous international legal precedent that could turn on the US if other nations adopt implement practices. Assessment: This paper is expansive at 118 pages, but provides an excellent exploration of the CIA’s programs and moreso, the nuances of applicable international legal frameworks. The paper advances a very clear argument that the US must provide justification and be transparent regarding its targeted killing programs out of concern for potential recursiveness of these practices. While the factual material is excellent, the interpretation – particularly of legal statutes – should be understood to have a bias.
M. Arria. (2012, June 6). “How the West Was Droned: The Curious Rise of General Atomics.” Motherboard Blog, Vice. [Online]. Available: http://motherboard.vice.com/2012/5/31/how–the–west–was–droned–the–curious–rise–of–general–atomics–part–i Michael Arria, a blogger for Vice’s tech- and culture-oriented Motherboard blog, traces the origins of General Atomics Aeronautics Systems (GAAS). GAAS is among the leading manufacturers of drones, specifically producing the MQ-1 Predator drone in widespread use throughout Pakistan, Yemen, and Somalia. Arria examines the growth of GAAS in the larger context of the US drone industry and discusses the political mechanisms driving drone manufacturing and pro-grams. Assessment: Informative background piece on the development of drone technology, producers, and a US-based drones industry. Well-sourced and fairly even-handed in its treatment of factual material.
Association for Unmanned Vehicle Systems International. (2012). “AUVSI.” Association for Unmanned Vehicle Systems International. [Online]. Available: http://www.auvsi.org/Home/ Link to the website of the largest international lobbying organization for the use of unmanned aerial systems.
J. M. Beard, “Law and War in the Virtual Era,” The American Journal of International Law, vol. 103, no. 3, pp. 409-445, July 2009. http://www.asil.org/ajil/July2009_1selectedpiece.pdf Beard’s paper examines the rise of technology and its impact on military capabilities. In particular, the paper studies virtual military technologies, such as unmanned aerial vehicles, and how “virtual distance” is changing warfare while simultaneously influencing operations and military culture. Finally, Beard asserts that virtual military technologies are “revitalizing” jus in bello principles, including the importance of shielding civilians from conflict. Assessment: Beard’s pa-per is both interesting and informative in its subject and approach. It is one of the more thorough examinations of the effects of technology on military capabilities, operations, and culture. Because it addresses the use of virtual technologies, it is an important read for understanding the impacts had by these technologies on the side using them.
J. Becker and S. Shane. (2012, May 29). “Secret ‘Kill List’ Proves a Test of Obama’s Principles and Will.” The New York Times. [Online]. Available:http://www.nytimes.com/2012/05/29/world/obamas–leadership–in–war–on–al–qaeda.html? r=2&pagewanted=1&pagewanted=all#p[TMATMA] This article provides insight into the processes behind the determination of US lethal drone strikes. In a weekly Tuesday meeting with his top advisers, President Obama reviews the list of ”nominations” designated suspected terrorists for capture or kill. The President personally approves every target and strike. Assessment: This article is an essential document as it is one of the most detailed accounts of the processes at the foundation of lethal drone strikes. It provides an overview of the decision-making process and the key ﬁgures in the Obama Administration who oversee it. It should be noted that this piece has also been the source of some controversy in the ongoing investigation into a number of high-level leaks from the Administration.
P. Bergen and J. Rowland. (2012, June 12). “Obama ramps up covert war in Yemen.” CNN. [Online]. Available:http://www.cnn.com/2012/06/11/opinion/bergen–yemen–drone–war/index.html This article provides coverage of the Obama Administration’s widening counterterrorism strategy in Yemen. Facilitated by the use of UAVs, broadening counterterrorism eﬀorts in Yemen have seen the inaugural use of ”signature strikes,” or the targeting of individuals whose behavioral patterns indicate the presence of a suspected militant. Assessment: This brief piece provides essential information on the US’ counterterrorism eﬀorts in Yemen to date. Providing key dates, facts, and strike information, Bergen and Rowland present a relatively unbiased account of operations in Yemen and the possible eﬀects to be had from them.
The Bureau of Investigative Journalism. (2012). “Covert War on Terror.” The Bureau of Investigative Journalism. [Online]. Available:http://www.thebureauinvestigates.com/category/projects/drones/ This link provides access to some of the most extensive drone strike statistics available, including dates, locations, deaths, and related details. Specifically, TBIJ provides information on Pakistan, Somalia, and Yemen, with various data representations and visualizations available on a number of statistics, as well as direct links to primary sources. Assessment: The amount of data available from this link makes it an essential source for drone research. Data is provided with a subtle anti-drone interpretation. Primary sources consulted for this dataset are reputable and credible; Wikileaks is occasionally sourced for Somalia data. See also: Counterterrorism Strategy Initiative, New America Foundation, “The Year of the Drone.”
S. Carvin. (2012, 22 August). “The Trouble with Targeted Killings.” Security Studies, vol. 21: no. 3, pp. 529-555, 2012. http://cips.uottawa.ca/wp-content/uploads/2012/04/SCarvin_The-Trouble-with-Targeted-Killing_2012.pdf Carvin’s paper examines the effectiveness of targeted killing as a tool in counterterrorism operations and strategy. Arguing that while many studies have presented clear arguments for or against the use of targeted killing, none have provided an actual foundation from which a pronouncement on their effectiveness can be made. The author concludes that it would be more productive for policymakers and analysts to collect more and better empirical data on the effects of targeted killing to “advance decision making.” Assessment: This paper is useful in that it illustrates many of the problems presented by a lack of data on second- and third-level consequences of targeted killings, some of which are accomplished by the US with the use of drones.
Center For Civilians in Conflict, Columbia Law School Human Rights Clinic. (2012). “The Civilian Impact of Drones: Unexamined Costs, Unanswered Questions.” [Online]. Available: http://www.law.columbia.edu/human-rights-institute/initiatives/counterterrorism/targetedkilling/unexaminedcosts The report seeks to analyze the effects of U.S. drone strikes affect civilians in the conflict areas. The report looks at two areas, secrecy and the limits of drone use. The report comes to the conclusion that the current use of drone strikes produces too little information to accurately determine their effectiveness. It also finds that because of the secrecy associated, there are implication is holding the strikes accountable. They also find that the use of drones outside of full-scale military operations could undermine U.S. commitment to protecting civilians. Assessment: The report’s recommendations are preceded by the acknowledgment that more information is necessary to flush out those given. However, the factual data represented is based upon a narrow and unreliable methodology. There is little in the report that changes current perceptions of the campaign, but the study remains interesting in that it looks to the effects of collateral damage.
Counterterrorism Strategy Initiative. (2012, June 1). “The Year of the Drone.” New America Foundation. [Online]. Available:http://counterterrorism.newamerica.net/drones Link provides access to an extensive dataset on drone strikes in Pakistan from 2004 to date. Data includes low-to-high death estimates, militant/militant leader deaths, strikes by target, and links to primary sources. The highlight of this dataset is the interactive Google map on which all known strikes are pinned with relevant data provided for each point. Assessment: A very useful and thorough dataset on Pakistan drone strikes. Data is presented in an unbiased manner, reflected in the range of estimates provided, and is built on reputable and credible primary sources. See also: The Bureau of Investigative Journalism, “Covert War on Terror.”
K. Dozier. (2012, June 13). “Survey: U.S. drone programs unpopular overseas.” Associated Press in The Washington Times. [Online]. Available: http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2012/jun/13/survey–us–drone–program–unpopular–overseas/ Kimberly Dozier, an intelligence correspondent for the Associated Press, reports on a recent Pew Research report that indicates a significant majority overseas disapprove of US drone programs. Over half of the population samples in 17 of 21 countries disapproved of the programs; the US proves an exception with approximately 62% of the population approving of the use of drones. Assessment: Primarily an announcement of Pew Research’s survey results, this piece provides little interpretation of the results. Includes a modicum of background on drone strikes, including recent remarks by President Obama. For best data, consulting the Pew Research survey directly is advisable. See also: Pew Research, “Global Opinion of Obama Slips.”
General Atomics Aeronautical Systems, Inc. (2012). “Aircraft Platforms.” General Atomics Aeronautical Systems, Inc. [Online]. Available: http://www.ga–asi.com/products/aircraft/index.php Link provides access to information on all GAAS vehicles.
L. Hajjar, “International Humanitarian Law and “Wars on Terror: A Comparative Analysis of Israeli and American Doctrines and Policies,” Journal of Palestine Studies, vol. 36, no. 1, pp. 21-42, 2006. Hajjar’s paper offers a comparative examination of how Israeli and US policies in their wars on terror decant from traditional norms and international humanitarian law (IHL). Using the second intifada and the current US war on terror as examples, Hajjar argues that neither country actually ignores IHL. Rather, each country seeks to reinterpret IHL in such a manner that it may continue to pursue its political agenda by its preferred means. Assessment: Paper is very specific to IHL, but broad in regards to policies. It is most useful in understanding IHL in relation to any policy that may endorse targeted killings, but is difficult to relate directly to US drone programs.
L. Hudson, C. Owens, M. Flannes. (2012, June 1). “Drone Warfare: Blowback from the New American Way of War.” Middle East Policy Council. [Online]. Available: http://www.mepc.org/journal/middle–east–policy–archives/drone–warfare–blowback–new–american–way–war Hudson et al. argue that expanding counterterrorism efforts has increased violence and instability in targeted areas. The pa-per provides background on US drone strikes, estimates of a High Value Target-to-Total Deaths ratio, and acts of terrorism that may be retaliatory for drone strikes in Pakistan. Assessment: While acknowledging that direct causality between drone strikes and recent terrorist acts is difficult to establish irrefutably, Hudson et al. seek to establish a body of knowledge on the effects of drone strikes. This source is valuable in that it attempts to devise a means of evaluating the cost/benefit tradeoff of the US continuing its drone strikes in Pakistan.
International Human Rights And Conflict Resolution Clinic (Stanford Law School) And Global Justice Clinic (NYU School Of Law). (September, 2012). “Living Under Drones: Death, Injury, And Trauma To Civilians
From Us Drone Practices In Pakistan.” [Online]. Available: http://livingunderdrones.org/wp-content/uploads/2012/09/Stanford_NYU_LIVING_UNDER_DRONES.pdf The report seeks to address the second and third order effects of drone strikes. It concludes that the U.S. drone campaign is producing counter-productive results, failing to keep civilians safe, and having an adverse effect on perceptions of America. The methodology relies on interviews and media reports. It states that the consequences of the use of drones should lead the US to reevaluate its current policy of target killings. Assessment: The report’s methodology is founded on unreliable news sources and inherently biased interviews. Analysis of second and third-order effects of drone use is important, however the biased and flawed methodology used calls into question many of the report’s findings.
D. A. Jaeger and Z. Siddique, “Are Drone Strikes Effective in Afghanistan and Pakistan? On the Dynamics of Violence between the United States and the Taliban,” Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA), IZA Discussion Papers 6262, Dec. 2011. [Online]. Available:http://ideas.repec.org/p/iza/izadps/dp6262.html Jaeger and Siddique’s paper looks at drone strikes in relation to the Taliban and Al-Qaeda in Afghanistan and Pakistan from January 2007 to December 2010. The authors note that strikes did not appear to impact terrorist violence in Afghanistan but are effective in Pakistan. Unsuccessful drone strikes are noted to have deleterious impacts in Pakistan. Assessment: An essential document for examining the differences in impact had by drones depending on the location of the strike. Also provides strong data and a means of evaluating impact.
P. B. Johnston and A. Sarbahi, “The Impact of Drone Strikes on Terrorism in Pakistan,” February 25, 2012. Working Paper, RAND Corporation. This paper looks at UAV strikes in the FATA region of Pakistan between 2004 and 2010. The authors, from RAND Corporation and Stanford University, ﬁnd that an increase in the number of strikes correlates with a decrease in frequency and intensity of militant violence. Assessment: The authors provide a detailed statistical analysis of strike data, and then disaggregate this analysis according to individual areas within the FATA. This paper is most useful in examining methods of measuring efficacy of strikes and their effects in a given area.
J. Masters. (2012, April 30). “Targeted Killings.” Council on Foreign Relations. [Online]. Available: http://www.cfr.org/counterterrorism/targeted–killings/p9627 Designed as a backgrounder on the issue of targeted killings, Masters’ study on targeted killings examines the politics, means, methods, and legality behind the practice. The piece also raises pertinent questions about the future of targeted killings as a part of US doctrine. Assessment: An essential document for understanding current US targeted killing policies and practices. Provides relevant facts and is even-handed in treatment of materials.
T. McKelvey. (2011, May). “Covering Obama’s Secret War.” Columbia Journalism Review. [Online]. Available: http://www.cjr.org/feature/covering_obamas_secret_war.php?page=all This article highlights the diffculties journalists face in covering UAV strikes for the media due to official secrecy, conﬂicting information, and a general lack of clarity on the issue. Provides some details on actual media coverage of strikes. Assessment: Informative piece that is useful for understanding the how the media attempts to accurately cover stories of UAV strikes.
National Consortium for the Study of Terrorism and Responses to Terrorism. (2012). “Data Collections.” University of Maryland National Consortium for the Study of Terrorism and Responses to Terrorism. [Online]. Available: http://www.start.umd.edu/start/data_collections/ START’s Data Collections provides access to a broad range of data on terrorism incidents, at-risk populations, profiles of perpetrators of terrorist acts, public opinion, and related data. Assessment: This data collection is immense; researchers should know exactly what they are seeking in consulting the collection. There is a significant barrier to over-come in that many datasets are presented in non-standard formats or require specialized programs; however, some datasets are available to search in real-time online. If re-searchers know exactly what data they are seeking, and either have the specific program required for downloads, or the patience to conduct online searching of databases, START’s data is an excellent source.
Northrop Grumman. (2012). “Unmanned Systems.” Northrop Grumman. [Online]. Available: http://www.as.northropgrumman.com/by_capability/unmannedsystems/index.html Link provides access to information on all Northrop Grumman vehicles.
L. A. Olney, “Lethal Targeting Abroad: Exploring Long-Term Efectiveness of Armed Drone Strikes in Overseas Contingency Operations,” Thesis for Master of Arts in Security Studies, Graduate School of Arts and Sciences of Georgetown University, April 2011. This paper examines whether US lethal UAV strikes are effective in overseas contingency operations and explores the hypothesis that drone strikes contribute to increasing militancy in local populations. The thesis uses two case studies to analyze these questions: Yemen, between January 2001 through September 2010; and northwest Pakistan from January 2004 through September 2010. Assessment: This paper is among the few that posits a methodology for analyzing the effectiveness of drone strikes and for this reason, should be considered essential reading. It should be noted, however, that as this source was submitted as a Masters thesis, it has not been vetted in the same manner as other resources included in this collection.
Hon. M. Olsen. (2012, Sept 19th) “Hearing before the Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Government Affairs The Homeland Threat Landscape and U.S. Response.” [Online]. Available: http://www.dni.gov/files/documents/Newsroom/Testimonies/Olsen%209-19%202012%20SFR.pdf Olsen’s testimony before Congress details the National Counter Terrorism Center’s (NCTC) efforts to fight terrorism and the effects on various groups. Olsen also describes the current threat of terrorism across the globe including that posed by AQIM, AQI, Boko Haram, Hezbollah, and domestic terrorists. The testimony concludes with Olsen assessing operations and progress made by the NCTC. Assessment: The testimony provides good look into government perceptions of terrorism and its efforts to combat it. There are no specific comments about drones but the testimonry does highlight advancements and areas of concern for the NCTC.
Pew Research. (2012, June 13). “Global Opinion of Obama Slips.” Pew Research. [Online]. Available:http://www.pewglobal.org/2012/06/13/global–opinion–of–obama–slips–international–policies–faulted/ This survey, conducted by the leading “fact tank” Pew Research, provides detailed data from approximately 20 countries on opinion of US drone programs, foreign policy, and US culture. Assessment: Survey is useful for its hard data on global public opinions. Scope and utility is limited as survey only samples populations in approximately 20 countries, none of which are targeted by US drones.
A. B. Prados and J. M. Sharp, “Yemen: Current Conditions and US Relations,” Congressional Research Service, no. RS21808, January 4, 2007. This paper examines Yemen’s domestic conditions, foreign relations, and its cooperative stance with the US’ counterterrorism strategies. The report is intended to provide background information on the country for the purpose of policymaking. Assessment: Though now several years out-of-date, this report is useful for evaluating developments in the US-Yemen relationship and how it has inﬂuenced shared counterterrorism eﬀorts.
S. Raghavan. (2012, May 29) “In Yemen, US airstrikes breed anger, and sympathy for al-Qaeda.” The Washington Post. [Online]. Available: http://www.washingtonpost.com/world/middle_east/in-yemen-us-airstrikes-breed-anger-and-sympathy-for-al-qaeda/2012/05/29/gJQAUmKI0U_story.html Article examines a growing backlash against the US and its counterterrorism strategy in Yemen, predicated upon lethal UAV strikes. Based upon 20 interviews with tribal leaders, “victims’ relatives,” human rights activists, and officials, the author ﬁnds evidence that lethal strikes are contributing to the radicalization of the Yemeni population. Assessment: A very informative piece providing insight to some of the eﬀects of drone strikes in Yemen. The interviews appear to have been conducted in an unbiased manner, and the information is presented factually. A solid background piece on the expansion of UAV programs in Yemen.
Raytheon. (2012). “Radar Capabilities – Air.” Raytheon. [Online]. Available:http://www.raytheon.com/capabilities/radar/air/index.html Link provides access to information on Raytheon air and radar capabilities.
T. Reinold, “State Weakness, Irregular Warfare, and the Right to Self-Defense Post 9/11,” The American Journal of International Law, vol. 105, no. 2, pp. 244-286, April 2011. Reinold’s paper examines two different “safe haven” scenarios: states that are unable, and states that are unwilling to assert control over their territorial entirety. The author then evaluates these scenarios in the context of jus ad bellum and the rights of states to self-defense against irregular force in the post 9/11 security environment. Assessment: An in-formative piece examining the development of the concept of safe havens and accompanying legal justifications for self-defense. Provides a thorough examination of how the terrorist attacks of 9/11 have shaped our understanding of safe havens as well as the legal concerns generated by them. The paper stays apolitical, and is even-handed in its interpretation of material.
B. Roggio and A. Mayer. (2012, July 29). “Charting the data for US airstrikes in Pakistan, 2004-2012.” The Long War Journal. [Online]. Available:http://www.longwarjournal.org/pakistan–strikes.php Link to seven graphical presentations of strike data in Pakistan from 2004 onwards. Assessment: This compilation is useful as a brief, top-line visualization of US strikes in Pakistan. It is frequently updated and mentions the media sources from which it collects data, but does not provide direct links to these sources. The Long War Journal aims to provide unbiased and accurate coverage of the global war on terror, and presents these data in a straightforward manner.
D. Rohde. (2012, April 1). “The Obama Doctrine.” Foreign Policy. [Online]. Available:http://www.foreignpolicy.com/articles/2012/02/27/the_obama_doctrine When President Obama assumed office in 2009, he advocated a transparent, multilateral approach toward US counterterrorism strategy. Noted correspondent David Rohde examines how, a few years later, the Obama Administration has expanded US covert drone programs on an unprecedented scale. Rohde examines the Administration’s intent to distinguish its war on terror from that of former President Bush, the policy and methods behind targeted killings, and explores the growing backlash in target populations. Assessment: Article is useful in framing the development of US drone programs under the Obama Administration as well as the emerging dialogue about their utility and effects. Provides a broad survey of several important aspects of the use of targeted killings, including insight into the methodology of determining and executing strikes.
J. Rowland and P. Bergen. (2012, June 1). “Obama’s Covert War in Yemen.” New America Foundation. [Online]. Available:http://yemendrones.newamerica.net/ Rowland and Bergen of New America Foundation’s National Security Studies Program have compiled one of the most comprehensive datasets on drone strikes in Yemen available. Data on strike dates, targets, low-to-high death estimates, known deaths of militant leaders, as well as the nation responsible for the strike. The link provides an interactive map with full data on each strike and links to primary sources of information. Assessment: Rowland and Bergen have compiles one of the most complete datasets on drone strikes in Yemen available, making it an essential source. Data is presented factually without interpretation and is built on reputable and credible primary sources.
N. Shachtman/CNN. (2012, September 6). “Obama Finally Talks Drone War, But It’s Almost Impossible to Believe Him,” Danger Room, Wired, with video from CNN. [Online]. Available: http://www.wired.com/dangerroom/2012/09/obama–drone/ The feature of Noah Shachtman’s piece is a CNN interview of President Obama on the subject of US drone programs. While the interview provides little additional insight into the processes behind the targeting for drone strikes, it is valuable to hear the President speak personally on the subject. Assessment: Little new information beyond what is found in other sources is found in this piece, but it is valuable to have a first-hand account from the President on the subject of drone strikes and the targeting process.
J. M. Sharp, “Yemen: Background and US Relations,” Congressional Research Service, no. RL34170, April 10 2010. This report provides background on Yemen and its relations with the US in the context of the former’s recent change in leadership and expanded cooperation with the US in countering the threat posed by Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP). Assessment: An essential document to understanding current US relations with Yemen and how they have developed over time. It is among the most recent reports provided by the Congressional Research Service and is authoritative in the information it provides. See also: Alfred B. Prados and Jeremy M. Sharp, ”Yemen: Current Conditions and US Relations”
N. Shinwari, “Understanding FATA: 2011. Attitudes Towards Governance, Religion & Society in Pakistan’s Federally Administered Tribal Areas,” [Online]. Available: http://www.understandingfata.org/uf-volume-v/Understanding_FATA_Vol-V-11.pdf The report provides quantitative and qualitative data analyzing the opinions of habitants in the FATA region. The data shows that many in the region are concerned about the deteriorating security situation in the region, while leading concerns are socio-economic based. The data also points to a lack of development and essential services reaching the majority of people. The reports also finds that the inhabitants do support the Pakistani military in efforts to remove foreign fighters but without U.S. or other outside assistance. Assessment: The report offers a unqiue, academic look into the region. The methodology used is sound and provides reliable insight into the region not found in other sources.
United Nations Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights. (2010, May 28). “Study on targeted killings.” United Nations. [Online]. Available: http://www2.ohchr.org/english/bodies/hrcouncil/docs/14session/A.HRC.14.24.Add6.pdf Report of the Special Rapporteur Philip Alston on the legality of American, Israeli, and Russian policies permitting targeted killings, including those carried out in territories of other states. The report argues that these policies set a dangerous precedent in international law by osbscuring the boundaries of traditional legal frameworks and ultimately concludes that more stringent measures must be taken to limit overreach of such programs. Assessment: This document is useful for understanding the legal issues at the core of the US drones and targeted killings debate. It also provides a comparative perspective on the programs of other nations. The report does present a very clear agenda, as it argues for stringent measures that would effectively curtail most targeted killings, but provides a thorough examination of existing legal structures regardless.
US Air Force. (2012, January 5). “MQ-1B Predator.” US Air Force. [Online]. Available:http://www.af.mil/information/factsheets/factsheet.asp?id=122 Factsheet on the MQ-1B “Predator” drone produced by General Atomics Aeronautical Systems.
US Air Force. (2012, January 5). “MQ-9 Reaper.” US Air Force. [Online]. Available: http://www.af.mil/information/factsheets/factsheet.asp?id=6405 Factsheet on the MQ-9 “Reaper” drone produced by General Atomics Aeronautical Systems.
US Air Force. (2012, January 27). “RQ-4 Global Hawk.” US Air Force. [Online]. Available: http://www.af.mil/information/factsheets/factsheet.asp?id=13225 Factsheet on the RQ-4 “Global Hawk” drone produced by Northrup Grumman.
US Air Force (2012). “USAF Factsheet Links.” US Air Force. [Online]. Available:http://www.af.mil/information/factsheets/index.asp Link provides access to factsheets on all USAF vehicles, weapons, and organizations.
J. I. Walsh. “Do Drone Strikes Degrade Al Qaeda? Evidence from Propaganda Output.” Forthcoming in Terrorism and Political Violence. December 21, 2011. [Online]. Available: http://www.jamesigoewalsh.com/tpv.pdf This paper seeks to use empirical evidence to establish the relationship between drone strikes and the propaganda output of Al Qaeda cells operating in the targeted areas. Walsh elects to use propaganda because, unlike casualty rates and the presence of terrorists, it can be readily observed and measured. The author concludes that drone strikes have had little to no effect on Al Qaeda’s ability to generate propaganda. Assessment: Walsh’s work is both insightful and important in that it provides an alternate approach towards empirically measuring the effects of drone strikes by using data that can be observed and measured. The approach the study takes is an econometric assessment that is fairly robust and thorough in nature.
S. Wilson. (2011, December 3). “In Gaza, lives shaped by drones.” The Washington Post, with Foreign Policy. [Online]. Available: http://www.washingtonpost.com/world/national-security/in-gaza-lives-shaped-by-drones/2011/11/30/gIQAjaP6OO_story.html This article examines the development and effects of drones in Gaza, where Israel has employed drones in surveillance and targeted killings for over three decades. A pioneer in drone technology and its use in counterterrorism strategy, Israel’s practices are considered a template for current US drone pro-grams. This article explores the impact drones have had in Gaza with implications for areas currently targeted by the US. Assessment: A very informative piece for historical and comparative purposes. Is one of few empirical examinations of effects of drone strikes and targeted killing programs, making it an important reference point for considering potential effects of US drone strikes.
Compiled by AshleyBoyle, updated and edited by Galen Petruso