Funnily enough, all the jazz about Great Satan's Drones Gone Wild! in Land of the Pure and Afghanistan have pretty much fell off the radar.
To briefly re brief - the up shot was that these hot little airborne weapon thingys were devouring al Qaeda leaders and Taliban fanboys at an alarming rate - yet they were ultimately self defeating.
"The number of civilian deaths caused by the drones is an important issue because in the charged political atmosphere of today's Pakistan, where anti-Americanism is rampant, the drone program is a particular cause of anger among those who see it as an infringement on Pakistan's sovereignty."
Sovereignty? What a hoot! Coming from a fake believe nation state who can't extend or even enforce the writ of state within their precious magical borders. Or stop AQ and Taliban from trekking to and fro across Durand Line to attack their own nation or their neighbors.
Yeah. Really concerned about that sovereignty.
"An important factor in the controversy over the drones is the widespread perception that they kill large numbers of Pakistani civilians. Some commentators have asserted that the overwhelming majority of casualties are civilians. Amir Mir, a leading Pakistani journalist, wrote in The News in April that since January 2006, American drone attacks had killed "687 innocent Pakistani civilians."
"A month later, a similar claim was made in the New York Times by counterinsurgency experts David Kilcullen and Andrew Exum, who wrote that drone strikes had "killed some 700 civilians. This is 50 civilians for every militant killed, a hit rate of 2 percent."
"In other words, in their analysis, 98 percent of those killed in drone attacks were civilians. Kilcullen and Exum advocated a moratorium on the strikes because of the "public outrage" they arouse. "
98%!! Goddlemighty - that can't be true.
Exhaustive research and analysis by Long War Journal paints a far diff pic - more like 10% - still pretty high (ideally - there would be NO civie causalities - then again - terroristic control freaks and creeps would - you know - build and hang at like military cantonments, kassernes, barracks and bases -- instead of literally draping themselves with innocent civilians as shielding).
New America Foundtion features an interesting bit about "Revenge of the Drones"
by Peter Bergen and Kat Tiedemann:
"Based on our count of the estimated number of militants killed, the real total of civilian deaths since 2006 appears to be in the range of 250 to 320, or between 31 and 33 percent. "Also should be noted that 44 favors Drones Gone Wild! way more than 43 ever did -- and the results are interesting:
"The drone campaign certainly has hurt al Qaeda's leadership, which increasingly has had to worry about self-preservation rather than planning attacks or training recruits. One measure of the pain is the number of audio- and videotapes that the terrorist group has released through its propaganda arm, As Sahab ("the clouds" in Arabic)"
"Al Qaeda takes its propaganda operations seriously and in 2007 As Sahab had a banner year, releasing almost 100 tapes. But the number dropped by half in 2008, indicating that the group's leaders were more concerned with survival than public relations."
There are at least 6 tactical and strategic concerns about Drones Gone Wild! that have to be considered in any short or long range plans, like legality, hearts and minds, and impeding vital intell by vaporizing laptops, cell phones and personal effects etc
"Drone strikes will remain an important tool to disrupt al Qaeda and Taliban operations and to kill the leaders of these organizations, but they also consistently kill Pakistani civilians, angering the population and prompting violent acts of revenge from the Pakistani Taliban.
"For the time being, however, they appear to be the least bad option the United States has for reducing the threat from Pakistan's militants, given that an American ground assault into Pakistan's tribal regions is out of the question, and that U.S. and Pakistani strategic interests are more closely aligned today than they have been in years because of the two countries' shared interest in attacking the Pakistani Taliban and their al Qaeda allies.
Pic - "Party in the USA!"