There has been an international people's movement to oppose killer and surveillance drones, since their increased use following the 9/11 attacks in the U.S. The U.S. government increasingly deployed drones in the Middle East, South Asia, and Africa. While the U.S. military and the CIA initially used drones primarily for surveillance, these remotely controlled aerial vehicles are currently routinely used to launch missiles against human targets in countries where the United States is not at war, including Pakistan, Somalia, and Yemen. As many as 3,000 people, including hundreds of noncombatants and even American citizens, have been killed in covert missions.
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Our nation has led the way to a form of warfare where pilots sitting on the ground thousands of miles away command drone strikes, where targets are (in military jargon) “neutralized,” and where unintended victims are dismissed as “collateral damage.” Close observers, both inside and outside the U.S. military, call this “video-game warfare.” These drone operations, directed largely by the CIA, lack necessary transparency and accountability.
CODEPINK has been involved with pushing back against this unjust and inhumane killing for many years including delegations to Pakistan and Yemen and an international summit on Drones in Washington, DC.
As drones become an increasingly preferred form of warfare and as their presence expands at home, it is time to educate ourselves, the U.S. public, and our policymakers about drone proliferation. As remotely controlled warfare and spying race forward, it is also time to organize to end current abuses and to prevent the potentially widespread misuse both overseas and here at home.