Middle East Policy, Vol. XVIII, No. 3, Fall 2011Drone Warfare: Blowback from theNew American Way of WarLeila Hudson, Colin...
Hudson / Owens / Flannes: Drone Warfaresuccessful drone attacks on high-profile      	 In total, we argue that drone warfa...
Middle East Policy, Vol. XVIII, No. 3, Fall 2011Figure 1: Types of Drones 8 Make                   Model/Name             ...
Hudson / Owens / Flannes: Drone WarfareFigure 2 - Drone Strikes by Phase16 Phase                         Strikes     High ...
Middle East Policy, Vol. XVIII, No. 3, Fall 20111. PURPOSEFUL RETALIATION                         number of drone strikes ...
Hudson / Owens / Flannes: Drone Warfaresudden policy adjustments by political and       are cheaper, less risky to U.S. pe...
Middle East Policy, Vol. XVIII, No. 3, Fall 2011	 In a country whose political structure          secured through traditio...
Hudson / Owens / Flannes: Drone Warfarenal oversight briefly on the decline of U.S.-    	 It is possible that the exchange...
Middle East Policy, Vol. XVIII, No. 3, Fall 2011liable intelligence. Second, chronic testing               which thousands...
Hudson / Owens / Flannes: Drone Warfare9  Syed Saleem Shahzad, Inside Al-Qaeda and the Taliban: Beyond Bin Laden and 9/11 ...
Middle East Policy, Vol. XVIII, No. 3, Fall 2011asia/2011/05/201152262955326528.html.26   Huma Imtiaz, “Angels of Death,” ...
Copyright of Middle East Policy is the property of Wiley-Blackwell and its content may not be copied oremailed to multiple...
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Drone Warfare: Blowback from the New American Way of War

  1. 1. Middle East Policy, Vol. XVIII, No. 3, Fall 2011Drone Warfare: Blowback from theNew American Way of WarLeila Hudson, Colin S. Owens, Matt FlannesLeila Hudson is associate professor of anthropology and history in theSchool of Middle Eastern & North African Studies at the University ofArizona and director of the Southwest Initiative for the Study of MiddleEast Conflicts (SISMEC). Colin Owens and Matt Flannes are graduatestudents in the School of Middle Eastern & North African Studies and theSchool of Government and Public Policy at the University of Arizona. Bothwork as research associates for the Southwest Initiative for the Study ofMiddle East Conflicts (SISMEC).T argeted killing by unmanned At the strategic level, fragmented U.S. aerial vehicles (UAV), commonly intelligence and military policies are work- known as drones, has become the ing at cross purposes, eroding trust through central element of U.S. counter- “covert” drone warfare on the Pakistaniterror operations in the Federally Admin- side of the Durand line while trying tardilyistered Tribal Areas (FATA) of Pakistan, a to build trust on the Afghan side.2 Thesafe haven for Taliban and al-Qaeda mili- growing outrage of Pakistani society cametants. Over nearly a decade, drone-attack to a head in spring 2011 over the Raymondfrequency and death rates have increased Davis incident and the Abbottabad raiddramatically. Rather than calming the that killed Osama bin Laden. These eventsregion through the precise elimination of put great stress on relations between theterrorist leaders, however, the accelerating United States and the world’s most volatilecounterterror program has compounded vi- nuclear state.olence and instability. These consequences Although its proponents promoteneed to be addressed, since the summer of drone warfare as more precise and effec-2011 has seen the dramatic expansion of tive than traditional counterterror mea-the drone program into Yemen, Somalia sures, the death toll from drone attacks inand Libya. Pakistan since 2004 hovers imprecisely Drone warfare has complicated the between 1,500 and 2,500 people.3 TheU.S. withdrawal from Afghanistan, a public is routinely assured that a high per-sisyphean counterinsurgency and nation- centage of those extrajudicially killed arebuilding project, by provoking militant militants, but victims are often unnamedattacks in Afghanistan as well as Pakistan.1 and deaths rarely investigated.4 The few© 2011, The Author Middle East Policy © 2011, Middle East Policy Council 122
  2. 2. Hudson / Owens / Flannes: Drone Warfaresuccessful drone attacks on high-profile In total, we argue that drone warfaretargets seem to have mobilized existing has created five distinct, yet overlapping,networks of followers to conduct symbolic forms of blowback: (1) the purposefulrevenge attacks of comparable magnitude, retaliation against the United States, (2)like the December 2009 Khost bombing, the creation of new insurgents, referred towhich sought to avenge the drone killing as the “accidental guerrilla” syndrome, (3)of Beitullah Mehsud in Waziristan earlier the further complication of U.S. strategicthat year. By coordinationextension, The success of the drone program during and inter-non-militants its infancy, as defined by the ability to ests in whatvictimized by kill high-value targets, gave the Bush the Bushdrone attacks and Obamadirectly or administration the impression that if administra-indirectly far limited drone strikes were successful, tions haveoutnumber more strikes would be even better. designatedtargeted mili- the Afghan/tants. Thus, a stream of new adversaries is Pakistan (Af/Pak) theatre, (4) the furtherproduced in what is called the “accidental destabilization of Pakistan and (5) theguerrilla” phenomenon. 5 deterioration of the U.S.-Pakistani relation- On a different level, the erosion of ship. As the drone policy is adapted fortrust and lack of clarity in drone policy use in post-Saleh Yemen, it is important toproduces strategic and tactical confusion address these forms of blowback.within the U.S. defense and intelligenceagencies. This confusion proves unhelp- DRONE WARFARE 101ful as exit strategies for the Afghan war Drones were first used for battlefieldare debated and continuing evaluation reconnaissance, but over the last 10 yearsof U.S.-Pakistani relations are assessed have evolved into America’s preferred kill-behind closed doors. By the same token, ing machines for locations where the U.S.the ongoing ambivalence of the Pakistani military does not operate openly on thecivilian and military leadership on the ground. The evolution of drone technologytopic of U.S. drone strikes has fanned the has been quick, with new developments al-flames of popular discontent in the coun- lowing for longer flight, heavier payloads,try’s fragile political system, revealing the vertical takeoff from ships, and deploy-infrastructure of contradictions in the roles ment to more areas of the world. While theof its military-intelligence sectors that si- Predator MQ-1 and Predator B (Reaper)multaneously work with the United States MQ-9 have carried out most surveillanceand promote militant organizations. All and attacks, new platforms have been de-these forms of blowback — the unintend- ployed that will likely be engaging targetsed consequences of policies not subjected in the near future. The most recent evolu-to the scrutiny of the American public — tion of UAVs are the RQ-4 Global Hawkcomplicate U.S. policy in the region and (designed and used for surveillance only)should be considered before drone warfare and the MQ-8B Fire Scout. The latter isis expanded into the Arabian Peninsula currently deployed on ships off the Horn ofand Africa.6 Africa and in the Caribbean.7 With basic 123
  3. 3. Middle East Policy, Vol. XVIII, No. 3, Fall 2011Figure 1: Types of Drones 8 Make Model/Name Use Payload* General Atomics Predator/MQ-1 Surveillance/ Armed Strikes 450 lbs. General Atomics Predator B/Reaper/MQ-9 Surveillance/ Armed Strikes 850 lbs. Northrop Grumman Global Hawk Surveillance 2,000 lbs. Northrop Grumman Fire Scout MQ-8B Surveillance/ Armed Strikes 800 lbs.* Approximatemodels starting at $4.5 million, these air- The third phase of drone warfare tookcraft are cost efficient and carry little risk place during the end of the Bush adminis-burden, especially since human pilots are tration and consisted of an acceleration ofremoved from the equation. attack frequency: 37 during 2008, com- The use of armed drones by the United pared to a total of nine in the first two pe-States has developed over nearly a decade. riods.11 The success of the drone programThe program’s evolution can be broken during its infancy, as defined by the abilityinto four phases. Phase one, roughly 2002- to kill high-value targets like Harethi and04, served as a testing period of limited Nek Mohammad, gave the Bush adminis-strikes on high-value targets. The first tration the impression that if limited droneuse of remotely piloted drones for missile strikes were successful, more strikes wouldattacks outside identified war zones took be even better.place in 2002. This attack, in northeastern The Bush administration’s increasedYemen, killed al-Qaeda member Salim reliance on the program started in 2008;Sinan al-Harethi, who was suspected of however, it is with the Obama adminis-masterminding the 2000 USS Cole bomb- tration that we see the most rapid prolif-ing in Aden. The next attack, in 2004, tar- eration of attacks. The final phase of thegeted Nek Mohammad, a former mujahed drone program is characterized by an evenwho became an influential member of the greater increase in attack frequency andTaliban and fled to Pakistan after the 2001 an expansion of the target list to includeU.S. invasion of Afghanistan. 9 targets of opportunity and unidentified The second phase, 2005-07, consisted militants of dubious rank — and funer-of a slight increase in strikes but retained als.12 As of May 2011, the CIA under thethe same target set: high-value terrorist Obama administration has conductedsuspects. These attacks were conducted nearly 200 drone strikes. This suggestsexclusively in Pakistan and followed the that the drone target list now includesinitial success of the program, defined by targets of opportunity, likely includingeliminating high-value targets. In 2005, the some selected in consultation with theUnited States claimed it killed al-Qaeda’s Pakistani authorities in order to facilitatenumber three, Hamza Rabia, but conflict- the increasingly unpopular program. Thising reports cast doubts on Rabia’s actual development, in turn, has now decreasedposition and foreshadowed the ambiguity the effectiveness of the program when as-involved in targeting and identifying high- sessed in terms of the ratio of high-valuevalue targets.10 to accidental kills. 124
  4. 4. Hudson / Owens / Flannes: Drone WarfareFigure 2 - Drone Strikes by Phase16 Phase Strikes High Value Total Deaths HVT-to-Total- Targets Killed Deaths Ratio 1 (2002-2004) 2 2 11 1:5 2 (2005-2007) 6 2 53 1:26 3 (2008-2009) 48 5 333 1:66 End of Bush’s Term 4 (2009-2010) 161 7 1029 1:147 Obama Administration As Figure 2 shows, the steady increase Over time, these more deadly dronein drone attacks conducted in Pakistan attacks have failed to effectively de-between 2004 and 2010 has resulted in a capitate the leadership of anti-U.S. or-far higher number of deaths overall, but a ganizations but have killed hundreds oflower rate of successful killings of high- other people subsequently alleged to bevalue militant leaders who command, con- militants; many were civilians.15 Thetrol and inspire organizations. If we define rapidly growing population of survivorsa high-value target as an organizational and witnesses of these brutal attacks haveleader known to intelligence sources and emotional and social needs and incentivesthe international media prior to attack and to join the ranks of groups that access andnot someone whose death is justified with attack U.S. targets in Afghanistan acrossa posthumous militant status, we see fewer the porous border.and fewer such hits — the alleged killing Drone attacks themselves deliver a po-of al-Qaeda commander Ilyas al-Kashmiri litically satisfying short-term “bang for thein 2009 and again in June 2011 notwith- buck” for U.S. constituencies ignorant ofstanding.13 and indifferent to those affected by drone Data analysis shows that at the begin- warfare or the phenomenon of blowback.ning of the drone program (2002-04), five In the Pakistani and Afghan contexts, theyor six people were killed for each defined inflame the populations and destabilize thehigh-value target. As part of that high- institutions that drive regional develop-value target’s immediate entourage, they ment. In addition to taking on an unaccept-were much more likely to be militants able and extrajudicial toll in human life, thethan civilians. By 2010, one high-value drone strikes in unintended ways compli-target was killed per 147 total deaths. The cate the U.S. strategic mission in Afghani-increased lethality of each attack is due to stan, as well as the fragile relationship withlarger payloads, broader target sets such Pakistan. As a result, the U.S. military’sas funeral processions, and probable new counterinsurgency project in Afghanistantargeting guidelines (including targets of becomes a victim of the first two forms ofopportunity).14 blowback. 125
  5. 5. Middle East Policy, Vol. XVIII, No. 3, Fall 20111. PURPOSEFUL RETALIATION number of drone strikes and the increasingThe Khost Bombing, December 2009 number of retaliation attacks. The Khost bombing exemplifies the For every high-profile, purposefuldynamic of drone provocation in Pakistan attack like the Khost bombing, manyand terrorist retaliation in Afghanistan. In more low-profile attacks take place. Theselate December 2009, Humam Khalil Abu types of attacks can be explained by whatMulal al-Balawi, a Jordanian national, military strategist David Kilcullen calls theentered the CIA compound within Camp accidental-guerrilla phenomenon, a localChapman, located just outside of Khost, rejection of external forces.19 By usingAfghanistan. Shortly after entering the drone warfare as the only policy tool in thecompound, al-Balawi detonated an ex- FATA without any local political engage-plosive vest, killing himself, seven CIA ment, the United States is almost certainlyofficers including the station chief, and a creating accidental guerrillas. These newJordanian intelligence officer. Before this combatants, unable to retaliate against theincident, U.S. and Jordanian intelligence United States within FATA, will likelyservices had recruited al-Balawi, a medical cross the border into Afghanistan, wheredoctor, to gather information on al-Qaeda’s U.S. troops and NATO and Afghan secu-then number two, Ayman al-Zawahri. rity forces are concentrated and presentIn a video released after the bombing at easily identifiable targets. Or they mayCamp Chapman, al-Balawi states, “This join the ranks of groups like the Pakistaniattack will be the first of revenge opera- Taliban, whose attacks within Pakistantions against the Americans and their drone destabilize the U.S.-Pakistani alliance. Theteams outside the Pakistani borders.”17 last days of June 2011 illustrated the worst Al-Balawi’s video testimony makes extremes of this phenomenon: a marriedclear that he was motivated to avenge couple carrying out a suicide attack inthe death of Beitullah Mehsud, killed in Pakistan, and an eight-year-old duped (notAugust 2009 by a drone strike in Zengara, recruited) into an Afghan suicide attack.20South Waziristan. Ironically, in the case It should be emphasized that only aof the Khost bombing, it was the United small minority of those affected by droneStates that was subject to a decapitation attacks become the kinds of radicals en-attack aimed at a strategic intelligence visioned by Kilcullen. However, with thecenter. average frequency of a drone strike every three days in 2010, this would be enough2. THE ACCIDENTAL GUERRILLA to provide a steady stream of new recruitsRadicalization and Recruitment and destabilize the region through direct Between 2004 and 2009, our research violence. The less direct effect of steadyand databases compiled by others docu- drone attacks and militant counterattacks isment a dramatic spike in deaths by suicide a smoldering dissatisfaction with dead-endbombings in Afghanistan and Pakistan.18 policy. On the U.S. military, intelligenceWhile it is impossible to prove direct cau- and policy side, this results in division insality from data analysis alone, it is prob- the ranks, preventing a unified effort.21able that drone strikes provide motivation In Afghanistan and Pakistan, this cyclefor retaliation, and that there is a substan- results in anti-government agitation andtive relationship between the increasing anti-American sentiment, which may force 126
  6. 6. Hudson / Owens / Flannes: Drone Warfaresudden policy adjustments by political and are cheaper, less risky to U.S. personnelmilitary actors. and easy to run with minimal accountabil- ity.23 The same lack of accountability that3. U.S. COMPLICATIONS makes them a favorite of covert intel-Strategic Confusion ligence programs disguises the long-term In Afghanistan, the U.S. military is and local effects of regularly, but unpre-using newly codified counterinsurgency dictably, unleashing violence from thedoctrine distilled from Iraq. It focuses on skies. However, if and when a high-valuediminishing the political, social and eco- target is killed, the death is celebrated innomic conditions that create and bolster Western media. The first example of thisthe armed resistance seen as insurgency. was Harethi’s death in 2002, which hasThe rules governing the use of force in been followed by a handful of successfulU.S. counterinsurgency theory have been attacks, such as the alleged but unprovendesigned to reduce deaths generally and killing of Ilyas al-Kashmiri in 2011.thus prevent creating new insurgents.22 Debate over the drone program con-This type of strategy was long sidelined in tinues within the U.S. policy and strategicfavor of a counterterrorism policy targeting community. The CIA wants to continue itsmilitants. However, the U.S. military has mission in Pakistan unabated; the Depart-been forced to acknowledge the centrality ment of State and the Pentagon would likeof this strategy in stabilizing Iraq, as indi- more restrictions on the program. No onecated by the massive decrease in civilian is willing to argue that the program needsand coalition casualties. be cut completely, but many within State Ironically, the initial success of drone and the Pentagon believe that the currentkillings in disrupting strategic organiza- pace of drone strikes risks destabilizing ations has bred its own downfall. The nuclear-armed ally and makes the task offurther down the militant hierarchy drone U.S. diplomats more difficult.24strikes aim and hit, the fewer the high-val-ue targets and the less critical the disrup- 4. DESTABILIZING PAKISTANtion to the organization. On the other hand, Exposing the Contradictionsdue to counterinsurgency policy across the Loss of life from drone strikes is anborder in Afghanistan — which relies on emotional and enormously volatile public“hearts and minds” and troops living on issue in Pakistan. Drone attacks on Paki-the ground side by side with civilians — stani territory killing Pakistani citizensthe damage to the high-cost campaign is every two to three days are a constant chal-even more palpable. lenge to established ideas of sovereignty The strategic disconnect between coun- by a putative ally and patron. The notionterinsurgency and counterterrorism is only of attack from the skies, without directexacerbated by the remote-control nature agency or accountability, may in theory beof the covert drone program, which allows an attractive vehicle for U.S. counterter-the U.S. public to turn a blind eye. Drone rorism, but it comes at a high price. Dronestrikes, launched from bases within Paki- attacks compound the feeling of those onstan but directed from sites as far away as the ground in the target area of their asym-the American Southwest, are popular with metrical vulnerability and the necessity oftheir proponents for several reasons. They fighting back smartly.25 127
  7. 7. Middle East Policy, Vol. XVIII, No. 3, Fall 2011 In a country whose political structure secured through traditional blood-moneyis ambiguous, Pakistanis who hope to payments.27 During the first half of Davis’spetition their government with grievances imprisonment through February 20, droneregarding the drone program, or report strikes within Pakistan stopped altogether.critically on Islamabad’s relationship with As a deal between the two governmentsthe United States and militants, are met took shape, drone strikes resumed, as if thewith stiff resistance and sometimes vio- incident had never occurred. While negoti-lence. A recent attack resulted in the death ations were taking place, Pakistan was ableof the prominent Pakistani journalist Syed to call for a reduction of actions by theSaleem Shahzad, bureau chief for The Asia CIA and U.S. Special Operations withinTimes. Shahzad was reporting on links be- their territory and for a reduction of dronetween al-Qaeda and the Pakistani security strikes, but this demand was not perma-apparatus, which may have facilitated the nently realized.28 The incident illustratesattack on Pakistan’s Mehran Naval Base the precarious position of the Pakistanilate in May 2011. Internal reporting on the government, torn between local popularPakistani military and Inter Services Intel- opposition and its overbearing U.S. patron.ligence (ISI) is often self-censored because While Pakistanis have protested droneof its inherent dangers; those bold enough strikes in the past, most of these proteststo report on it often face physical danger. have gone unnoticed in the U.S. media. ItShahzad’s body was found in a ditch south took what was presented in the Westernof Islamabad two days after he missed press as a human-interest story about ana scheduled television appearance. The American citizen engaging in self-defenseISI claims no knowledge of, and takes no to remind the U.S. population what theresponsibility for, the abduction and death Obama administration is doing in Pakistanof Shahzad, but other journalists reject that and bring Washington’s strategy to theclaim.26 In sum, the drone program serves forefront. But what, if anything, has beento further destabilize an already fragile learned from the Raymond Davis incident?system by deepening divides between a The United States continues to conductcitizenry that abhors the attacks and gov- drone attacks without apparent regard forernment institutions that tolerate or facili- even the acute anger created in the wake oftate them and brook no critical oversight. the Davis negotiations. In the early hours of May 2, 2011, U.S.5. PRECARIOUS ALLIANCE Navy SEALs raided a compound in Abbot-U.S.-Pakistani Tensions tabad, Pakistan, killing Osama bin Laden. On January 27, 2011, American citi- The fact that soldiers, not drones, con-zen Raymond Davis shot and killed two ducted the raid is telling. It is clear that thePakistanis in the streets of Lahore. Davis, U.S. administration and military commanda CIA contract employee gathering intel- at least recognize that the use of drones isligence on the Lashkar-e-Taiba, claimed not a silver bullet, and that human discre-the two men were attempting to rob him tion and judgment are needed when com-when he fired upon them. Davis spent a bating an elusive and fluid network. Again,total of seven weeks incarcerated while it took a sensational U.S. media story —the United States and Pakistan worked on the story of the decade, no less — to focusthe conditions of his release, ultimately American public opinion and congressio- 128
  8. 8. Hudson / Owens / Flannes: Drone Warfarenal oversight briefly on the decline of U.S.- It is possible that the exchange of per-Pakistani relations. These two incidents, sonnel among the military, the intelligencethe Raymond Davis negotiations and the community and the Department of DefenseBin Laden raid, reveal that drone warfare will clear up the confusion over com-has brought the U.S.-Pakistani marriage to mand and targeting, though this is far froma volatile nadir. And yet the drone policy, given. The more serious forms of blow-like the drones themselves, remains out of back stemming directly from the effects ofthe limelight. extrajudicial killing, however, do not seem to have been addressed. If the PakistaniYEMEN campaign spawned purposeful vengeance,Lessons for the Future like the Khost bombing, and opportunities The first lethal drone strike outside a for recruitment of noncombatants for re-war zone took place in Yemen in 2002; and taliatory attacks, then the same purposefulin 2011, the Obama administration an- and accidental escalation will most likelynounced plans to begin an aggressive new occur in the Arabian Peninsula and thedrone-warfare campaign in Yemen directed Horn of Africa, compounding Yemen’s andagainst al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula Somalia’s volatility.(AQAP).29 Yemen is currently in turmoil In many ways, Yemen resembles bothas the various opposition movements Afghanistan and Pakistan, and the unde-to strongman Ali Abdullah Saleh jostle clared drone war there will share the mostagainst remnants of the regime and one dysfunctional characteristics of both sidesanother after months of a long and incon- of the Af/Pak theatre. Like Afghanistan,clusive Arab Spring uprising.30 Yemen is a fragmented tribal society The new Yemeni drone campaign ideally suited for harboring pockets ofcomes at the very moment former CIA di- militancy in a de-centered system withrector Leon Panetta replaces Robert Gates strong social ties.33 Like Pakistan, Yemen’sas secretary of defense and General David military and the other institutions of a fail-Petraeus, former CENTCOM and Interna- ing state may still function well enough totional Security Assistance Force (ISAF) both channel counterterror funds from theAfghanistan commander and a counterin- United States and apply them accordingsurgency proponent transitions into a civil- to its own interests and criteria.34 Anotherian role: head of the CIA. During 2010, whisky-swilling military steeped in hypoc-the Joint Special Operations Command risy and addicted to counterterror as a way(JSOC) was central to the design of the to make a living is hardly the ideal localnew Yemeni drone program and this year spotter for U.S. attacks from the skies.35has brought about increased cooperation.31 Drone warfare as it has evolved in the Af/In June 2011, the CIA returned to the Horn Pak theatre is not the answer to Yemen’sof Africa to work with JSOC on the drone unrest.program, and outside observers have noted The lessons of drone warfare inthat the strategic confusion of divided Pakistan are clear. First, if extrajudicialcommand (drone counterterror in Pakistan dispatching of high-value targets is a goal,vs. boots-on-the-ground counterinsurgency such targets are best dealt with as Osamain Afghanistan) is an issue that may be bin Laden was — through face-to-facemitigated by the high-level reshuffle.32 assaults by crack JSOC troops based on re- 129
  9. 9. Middle East Policy, Vol. XVIII, No. 3, Fall 2011liable intelligence. Second, chronic testing which thousands of noncombatants mayof national sovereignty through an unde- be extrajudicially killed, traumatized andclared war of drone attacks puts fragile materially damaged — fuels instability andgoverning structures in the target country escalates violent retaliation against con-under enormous pressure while exacerbat- venient targets. With Yemen and Somaliaing social volatility, a recipe for unpredict- as the east-west axis of a maritime systemable outcomes.36 Third, the complacency that unites South Asia with the Horn ofengendered in the American public, which Africa through one of the world’s mostis largely blind to the costs and conse- sensitive and pirate-infested shippingquences of, and anesthetized to, the legal channels, counterterror measures mustand moral issues of drone warfare, pre- be both precise and well-reasoned. Thecludes recognition, let alone discussion of Pakistani model is neither. Drone strikesthis new form of warfare. Finally, a trend leave little scope for the civic reform thatin increasing “collateral damage” — in ­ the Arab Spring in Yemen demands.371 In his address to the nation on June 22, 2011, President Obama announced a planned withdrawal fromAfghanistan. Only 10,000 troops are slated for withdrawal by the end of 2011 and another 23,000 by theend of 2012. “President Obama on the Way Forward in Afghanistan,” accessed June 26, 2011, http://www.whitehouse.gov.blog/2011/06/22/president-obama-way-forward-afghanistan; and “Obama to Cut Afghanistan‘Surge’ Troops,” Al Jazeera, June 23, 2011, accessed June 26, 2011, https://docs.google.com/a/email.arizona.edu/document/d/1Off1hZ-qjkdfwcPcg5Klm41PUWllEGnnf65zbZ7lYUI/edit?hl=en_US.2 Drone strikes are announced in the media, but neither the United States nor the Pakistani governments admittheir roles in conducting these strikes. The covert nature of the drone program refers to the inability to clearlyidentify the agencies responsible for the missions.3 Muhammad Idress Ahmad, “The Magical Realism of Body Counts,” Al Jazeera, June 13, 2011, accessedJune 15, 2011, http://english.aljazeera.net/indepth/opinion/2011/06/2011613931606455.html.4 Ronald Sokol, “Can the U.S. Assassinate an American Citizen Living in Yemen?” The Christian ScienceMonitor, September 29, 2010, accessed June 10, 2011, http://www.csmonitor.com/Commentary/Opin-ion/2010/0929/Can-the-US-assassinate-an-American-citizen-living-in-Yemen; and “A Better Way to GetAwlaki,” Los Angeles Times, September 20, 2010, accessed June 10, 2011, http://articles.latimes.com/2010/sep/20/opinion/la-ed-awlaki-20100920.5 David Kilcullen, The Accidental Guerrilla: Fighting Small Wars in the Midst of a Big One (Oxford Univer-sity Press, 2009).6 Chalmers Johnson, Blowback: The Costs and Consequences of American Empire (Metropolitan Books,2000).7 Nathan Hodge, “Robo-Copters Eye Enemies,” The Wall Street Journal, May 17, 2011, accessedMay 12, 2011, http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052748704281504576327602503154790.html?KEYWORDS=Robo-Copters+Eye+Enemies; and “Unmanned Fire Scout Helicopter to Begin MilitaryService,” The Telegraph, August 29, 2009, accessed May 13, 2011, http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/world-news/northamerica/usa/6092244/Unmanned-Fire-Scout-helicopter-to-begin-military-service.html.8 “MQ-1 Predator,” General Atomics Aeronautical, accessed January 17, 2011, http://www.ga-asi.com/products/aircraft/pdf/MQ-1_Predator.pdf; “Predator B/MQ-9 Reaper,” General Atomics Aeronautical, ac-cessed January 17, 2011, http://www.ga-asi.com/products/aircraft/pdf/Predator_B.pdf; “RQ-4 Global Hawk,”Northrop Grumman, accessed May 15, 2011, http://www.as.northropgrumman.com/products/ghrq4a/assets/GHMD-New-Brochure.pdf; and “MQ-8B Fire Scout,” Northrop Grumman, accessed May 28, 2011, http://www.as.northropgrumman.com/products/mq8bfirescout_navy/assets/firescout-new-brochure.pdf. 130
  10. 10. Hudson / Owens / Flannes: Drone Warfare9 Syed Saleem Shahzad, Inside Al-Qaeda and the Taliban: Beyond Bin Laden and 9/11 (Pluto, 2011); AhmedRashid, Taliban: Militant Islam, Oil and Fundamentalism in Central Asia, 2nd Edition (Yale UniversityPress, 2010).10 Gretchen Peters, “Drone Said to Have Killed Al Qaeda’s No. 3,” The Christian Science Monitor, December5, 2005, accessed February 20, 2011, http://www.csmonitor.com/2005/1205/p04s02-wosc.html.11 The Southwest Initiative for the Study of Middle Eastern Conflicts (SISMEC), housed in the School ofMiddle East and North African Studies at the University of Arizona, has compiled a drone database to trackall U.S. drone attacks outside identified war zones.12 “‘U.S. Drone’ Hits Pakistan Funeral,” Al Jazeera, June 24, 2009, accessed December 12, 2010, http://eng-lish.aljazeera.net/news/asia/2009/06/20096244230395712.html; and Pir Zubair Shah and, Salman Masood,“U.S. Drone Strike Said to Kill 60 in Pakistan,” The New York Times, June 23, 2009, accessed December 12,2010, http://www.nytimes.com/2009/06/24/world/asia/24pstan.html.13 Daud Khattak, “The Mysterious Death of Ilyas Kashmiri,” Foreign Policy, June 8, 2011, accessed June 10,2011, http://afpak.foreignpolicy.com/posts/2011/06/08/the_mysterious_death_of_ilyas_kashmiri.14 Saeed Shah, “U.S. Drone Strikes in Pakistan Claiming Many Civilian Victims, Says Campaigner,” TheGuardian, July 17, 2011, accessed July 20, 2011, http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2011/jul/17/us-drone-strikes-pakistan-waziristan.15 Ahmad, “The Magical Realism of Body Counts.”16 The numbers of deaths in Figure 2 have been taken from the SISMEC’s drone database and represents themost conservative death toll. We have used the lowest death toll reported in any newspaper. We chose to usethe lowest numbers to highlight the increasingly inaccurate nature of the drone program without embellish-ment.17 Balawi believed the CIA used Camp Chapman to locate targets in the FATA for drone assassination. Formore on al-Balawi, see: “CIA Bomber Vowing Revenge for Baitullah Mehsud’s Death,” YouTube, January9, 2010, accessed May 10, 2011, http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HB1NJ8zOOso; and Joby Warrick, TheTriple Agent: The Al-Qaeda Mole Who Infiltrated the CIA (Random House, 2011).18 “Suicide Attack Database,” Chicago Project on Security and Terrorism (CPOST), University of Chicago,accessed January 12, 2011, http://cpost.uchicago.edu/search.php; and “Database of Worldwide Terrorism In-cidents,” The RAND Corporation, accessed January 14, 2011, http://smapp.rand.org/rwtid/search_form.php.19 Kilcullen divides the accidental guerrilla syndrome into four phases: infection, contagion, intervention, andrejection. Infection is aided by lack of governance in a specific region or country (Afghanistan, Pakistan, Ye-men, Somalia) and allows violent movements the space to establish themselves. Contagion takes place whenthe movement spreads their ideals and increases violence to continue growing. Intervention is spurred bylocal or international forces trying to curb the movement, which leads to rejection. During the rejection phasethe local population reacts negatively to the intervention, often bolstering recruitment and popularity of themovement.20 Declan Walsh, “Taliban Use Girl, 8, as Bomb Mule in Attack on Afghan Police Post,” The Guardian, June26, 2011, accessed June 26, 2011, http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2011/jun/26/afghanistan-taliban-girl-bomb-police.21 Warren Chin, “Examining the Application of British Counterinsurgency Doctrine by the American Army inIraq,” Small Wars & Insurgencies, Vol. 18, No. 1 (2007): 1.22 The U.S. Army/Marine Corps Counterinsurgency Field Manual (University of Chicago Press, 2007).23 “Pakistan Tells U.S. to Leave Secret Base,” Press TV, June 29, 2011, accessed June 29, 2011, http://www.presstv.ir/detail/186804.html; and “Shamsi Air Base under UAE Control: Air Chief,” The Nation, May 13,2011, accessed June 30, 2011, http://nation.com.pk/pakistan-news-newspaper-daily-english-online/Regional/Islamabad/13-May-2011/Shamsi-Air-Base-under-UAE-control-Air-Chief.24 Adam Entous, Siobhan Gorman, and Matthew Rosenberg, “Drone Attacks Split U.S. Officials,” The WallStreet Journal, June 4, 2011, accessed June 10, 2011, http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052702304563104576363812217915914.html.25 “Protest against American Drone Attacks in Northern Pakistan,” The Telegraph, June 28, 2011, ac-cessed June 28, 2011, http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/northamerica/usa/8586658/Pro-tests-against-American-drone-attacks-in-northern-Pakistan.html; and “Pakistanis Protest against U.S.Drone Strikes,” Al Jazeera, May 22, 2011, accessed June 28, 2011, http://english.aljazeera.net/news/ 131
  11. 11. Middle East Policy, Vol. XVIII, No. 3, Fall 2011asia/2011/05/201152262955326528.html.26 Huma Imtiaz, “Angels of Death,” Foreign Policy, May 31, 2011, accessed June 1, 2011, http://afpak.for-eignpolicy.com/posts/2011/05/31/angels_of_death.27 Carotta Gall and Mark Mazzetti, “Hushed Deal Frees C.I.A. Contractor in Pakistan,” The New York Times,March 16, 2011, accessed March 20, 2011, http://www.nytimes.com/2011/03/17/world/asia/17pakistan.html.28 Jane Perlez and Ismail Khan, “Pakistan Tells U.S. It Must Sharply Cut CIA Activities,” The New YorkTimes, April 11, 2011, accessed May 12, 2011, http://www.nytimes.com/2011/04/12/world/asia/12pakistan.html?scp=17&sq=raymond%20davis&st=cse; and Mark Hosenball, “U.S. Rejects Demands to VacatePakistan Drone Base,” Reuters, June 30, 2011, accessed June 30, 2011, http://www.reuters.com/arti-cle/2011/06/30/us-pakistan-usa-drones-idUSTRE75T69120110630?feedType=RSS&feedName=topNews&rpc=71.29 Mark Mazzetti, “U.S. Is Intensifying a Secret Campaign of Yemen Airstrikes,” The New York Times, June8, 2011, accessed June 10, 2011, http://www.nytimes.com/2011/06/09/world/middleeast/09intel.html?hp; andJeb Boone, “Yemen’s Trouble with Drones,” The Christian Science Monitor, June 17, 2011, accessed June 20,2011, http://www.csmonitor.com/World/Middle-East/2011/0617/Yemen-s-trouble-with-drones.30 At the time of writing this article, Saleh was still in Saudi Arabia undergoing treatment for injuriesreceived in a palace attack in early June 2011. Leila Hudson, and Dylan Baun, “The Arab Spring’s Sec-ond Wave,” Al Jazeera, May 16, 2011, accessed May 16, 2011, http://english.aljazeera.net/indepth/opin-ion/2011/05/20115151582859118.html.31 Con Coughlin and Philip Sherwell, “Americans Drones Deployed to Target Yemeni Terrorist,” The Tele-graph, May 02, 2010, accessed June 26, 2011, http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/middleeast/ye-men/7663661/American-drones-deployed-to-target-Yemeni-terrorist.html.32 Felicia Sonmez, “Leon Panetta, CIA Director, Unanimously Confirmed by Senate as Defense Secretary,”The Washington Post, June 21, 2011, accessed June 22, 2011, http://www.washingtonpost.com/national/na-tional-security/leon-panetta-cia-director-unanimously-confirmed-by-senate-as-defense-secretary/2011/06/21/AGajizeH_story.html; Glenn Greenwald, “The War on Terror, Now Starring Yemen and Somalia,” Salon,July 18, 2011, accessed July 20, 2011, http://www.salon.com/news/opinion/glenn_greenwald/2011/07/18/ter-rorism/index.html; Greg Miller, “CIA to Operate Drones over Yemen,” The Washington Post, June 13, 2011accessed June 21, 2011, http://www.washingtonpost.com/national/national-security/cia-to-operate-drones-over-yemen/2011/06/13/AG7VyyTH_story.html.33 Robert F. Worth, “Chaos in Yemen Creates Opening for Islamist Gangs,” The New York Times, June 26,2011, accessed June 27, 2011, http://www.nytimes.com/2011/06/27/world/middleeast/27yemen.html?_r=1;and “Militants Enforce Strict Islamic Law in Yemeni City,” The Wall Street Journal, June 27, 2011, ac-cessed June 28, 2011, http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052702303627104576411911591751014.html?mod=googlenews_wsj.34 Hakim Almasmari, “U.S. Drone Attacks in Yemen Ignore Al Qaeda for Local Militants,” The National,June 21, 2011, accessed June 23, 2011, http://www.thenational.ae/news/worldwide/middle-east/us-drone-attacks-in-yemen-ignore-al-qaeda-for-local-militants.35 Nick Allen, “WikiLeaks: Yemen Covered Up U.S. Drone Strikes,” The Telegraph, June 28, 2011, accessedJune 28, 2011, http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/middleeast/yemen/8166610/WikiLeaks-Yemen-covered-up-US-drone-strikes.html.36 Boone, “Yemen’s Trouble with Drones.”37 Mohammed Al-Qadhi, “Tens of Thousands in Yemen’s Streets Call for Transitional Presidential Coun-cil,” The Washington Post, June 26, 2011, accessed June 26, 2011, http://www.washingtonpost.com/world/middle-east/tens-of-thousands-in-yemens-streets-call-for-transitional-presidential-council/2011/06/26/AG1jeYmH_story.html. 132
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