MR. Muhammad Safdar Ali
Student ID Number: 11011023
The assignment submitted in partial fulfillment of the requirements for obtaining the degree in
Master of Arts – International Relations
Professor: Michael Muqueen
Liverpool Hope University, Liverpool
What is a drone? The US department of defense states that, a drone, or unmanned aircraft, is an “aircraft or balloon that does not carry a human operator and is capable of flight under remote control or autonom ous programming.”1 It’s a fact that drones are introduced to the world in recent time, and there started a significant debate but its origin can be traced atleast to World war1.2 Although drones are mostly related to Asia after 2004 but throughout the twentieth century, however, they were used primarily for surveillance, most notably during the Gulf War and the conflict in the Balkans in the 1990s.3 After 9/11 drones started its role in the war on terror and the frist drone was flown in Afghanistan in ocotber 2001.4 Since then, the US has increased its arsenal of Predator drones from 167 in 2002 to more than 7,000 today.5
US Views About drones:
War on terror started to securitize people from terrorists and drones are the main equipment to securitize people. According to US Defense Secretary Leon Panetta “ Drones attacks protected Pakistan people as well as US”6 He further said that drones attacks only target the militants and are not counterproductive. Further he said "We are fighting a war in the FATA, we are fighting a war against terrorism," US believes that drones attacks are successful in diminishing terrorists, and the civilian risk is too little. US government most of the times refuses of any civilian deaths in drones attack. Avary Plaw, an associate professor of political science at the University of Massachusetts, states “One point in favor of drone strikes is that they are weakening Al Qaeda, the Taliban and affiliated groups, and hence protecting lives, American and other. Also, there don’t seem to be better means of doing so”. He goes on saying that civilian causalities can not be avoided, they must be minimized. This is what drones strikes do.
1. DEP’T OF DEFENSE, 331 JOINT PUBLICATION 1-02, DICTIONARY OF MILITARY AND ASSOCIATED TERMS (2010) (amended July 15, 2012).
2 Time Line of UAVs, PBS, http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/nova/spiesfly/uavs.html (last visited Aug. 8, 2012). 3 See Mary Ellen O’Connell, Unlawful Killing with Combat Drones: A Case Study of Pakistan, 2004- 2009 3 (Notre Dame Law School Legal Studies Research Paper No. 09-43, 2010). 4 Eric Schmitt, Threats and Responses: The Battlefield: US Would Use Drones to Attack Targets, N.Y. TIMES (Nov. 6, 2002), http://www.nytimes.com/2002/11/06/world/threats-responses-battlefield-uswould- use-drones-attack-iraqi-targets.html?pagewanted=all&src=pm. 5 Anna Mulrine, Unmanned Drone Attacks and Shape-Shifting Robots: War’s Remote Control Future, CHRISTIAN SCIENCE MONITOR (Oct. 22, 2011),
6. Leon Panetta, US Secretary of defence, interview to Indian channel on June 6, 2012 08:26 Drones attacks Effects:
The other side of picture of drones attacks is totally opposite and strongly against the lay claims of US. One of the witness, a humanitarian worker of US said, "I remember people crying in the streets," he says. "People were afraid about what might happen next. People didn't know if there would be another attack. There was tension in the air. This is what it is like." He's describing life today where regular U.S. drone strikes happen. "It is a continuous tension, a feeling of continuous uneasiness. We are scared," he laments. "You wake up with a start to every noise."7
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