Our study shows that the 124 reported drone strikes in northwest Pakistan, including 28 in 2010, from 2004 to the present have killed approximately between 875 and 1,291 individuals, of whom around 586 to 921 were described as militants in reliable press accounts, about two-thirds of the total on average. Thus, the true civilian fatality rate since 2004 according to our analysis is approximately 32 percent. […]
Estimated Total Deaths from U.S. Predator Strikes in Pakistan, 2004 – 2010
Deaths (low) Deaths (high) 2010* 141 240 2009 372 632 2008 275 310 2004-2007 87 109 Total 875 1,291
*Through March 31, 2010
That’s more than I would have guessed. Again, this is reported drone strikes in the single, nominally friendly country of Pakistan. Current thinking is that Pakistan pretends to deplore these violations, while secretly loving them, and one suspects that this is true, considering that dropping even a single bomb on one’s ally without clear invitation is generally considered a rather serious no-no. I certainly don’t mean to spoil everyone’s good time with my prudish, bourgeois notions of international morality – what goes on between consenting nation-states within the privacy of their own borders is their own business, and this is just as healthy and loving and beautiful as any diplomatic arrangement, etc. I just hope nobody forgets the safe word.