WASHINGTON (CBSDC) – The U.S. military’s use of drones in Pakistan to target suspected militants has been less effective – and has fatally wounded more civilians – to this point than what has been reported by the Obama administration, according to a new study.
A study published Tuesday by law professors at Stanford University and New York University found that drone strikes have had a “damaging and counterproductive effect” on Pakistan, and that the number of civilians killed and traumatized by the drone strikes has been much higher than the Obama administration has let on. Using data collected by the Bureau of Investigative Journalism, the study’s authors found that between 2,562 and 3,325 people have been killed in American drone attacks in Pakistan since June 2004. Of those people killed, between 474 and 881 were civilians.
“Drones hover 24 hours a day over communities in northwest Pakistan, striking homes, vehicles and public spaces without warning,” the report said. “Those living under drones have to face the constant worry that a deadly strike may be fired at any moment, and the knowledge that they are powerless to protect themselves.”
The study, titled “Living Under Drones,” came about from 130 interviews from civilians living in northern Pakistan, where the U.S. drone strikes are known to be more frequent. It also includes interviews with 69 survivors of drone strikes in the region.
The findings come on the heels of a June survey from the Pew Research Center that indicated that almost 75 percent of Pakistanis consider the U.S. an enemy.