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The Drone War May Be Popular In The U.S. AND Illegal

Publication Date: 
September 26, 2012
The Huffington Post
Daphne Eviatar


A new study, co-authored by the International Human Rights and Conflict Resolution Clinic of Stanford Law School and the Global Justice Clinic at New York University School of Law, which describes the impact that U.S. drone strike policies are having on civilians in Pakistan is mentioned in this Huffington Post piece by Daphne Eviatar. 

At a debate at Fordham Law School Monday night, former Bush administration lawyer and Harvard Law professor Jack Goldsmith said that the United States' drone war "is actually not controversial" because the American public strongly supports it.

As you might imagine, the U.S. drone war is much less popular in Pakistan.


As a new NYU and Stanford Law School report points out, the vast majority of those living in the regions where drones hover above their head threatening to drop bombs at any moment are appalled by the CIA's remote-controlled killing campaign. And even while some Pakistanis appreciate the U.S. effort to eradicate extremists in their midst, 97 percent say the U.S. drones are bad policy.


And the consequences are serious. As a Pakistani photojournalist told the NYU/Stanford researchers: "When people are out there picking up body parts after a drone strike, it would be very easy to convince those people to fight against America."


You don't do surgery with bombs. Missiles fired from drones hovering high in the sky destroy much more than just the intended individual target. The NYU/Stanford report notes that the "blast radius from a Hellfire missile can extend anywhere from 15-20 meters; shrapnel may also be projected significant distances from the blast."