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Additional resources for Analyzing the Drone Debates: Targeted Killing, Remote Warfare, and Military Technology
Are estimates of 4 or 6 percent of deaths being civilian to higher range of about one quarter. If the four data sets are averaged using the midpoint for the two that report ranges, the collected evidence would be that around 10 percent of those killed were civilians, roughly 300 people. Agreement on the number of drone strikes in Yemen is less apparent, though the total is nearing 100. 120 Civilian fatalities range from estimates of 5 percent up to 20 percent of a much smaller total death toll; the average using the midpoint for the two ranges would be 12 percent of those killed being civilians, slightly higher than in Pakistan.
S. 134 If ordinary people die from attacks inside countries not in combat, the trade-off between military necessity and protection of civilians becomes all the more palpable as drones afford few excuses for collateral damage. S. 137 Sharkey goes further to say perhaps “it would be useful to have decision makers draw up a table of how many civilian casualties/deaths would be acceptable for each of the al Qaeda suspects thought to be in the deeper end of the talent pool. ”138 Rhetoric such as performing “surgical strikes” with “pinpoint accuracy” using “smart bombs” has always belied the reality that non-combatants will die and in many cases that innocents will lose their life.
This chapter evaluates the accuracy and precision of drone strikes from the available evidence, describing attempts to kill high value targets, to minimize civilian casualties, and to greatly reduce the risk to the forces launching attacks. 0005 Analyzing the Drone Debates strategic implications of interstate relations. Finally, this chapter introduces the place of drones in conventional warfare before summarizing these debates in conclusion. More Bang for the Buck: Efficiency, Cost Effectiveness, and Minimizing Risk Material Costs and Efficiencies Drones provide clear economic efficiencies, offering a highly valued product at discounted costs compared to the alternatives.