White House Defends Drone Strikes

Insists Civilians Are Killed in Every War

A growing focus on American war crimes in the course of their drone strikes has been met with the usual casual dismissal from the White House, with spokesman Jay Carney saying that the program is precise and lawful.

The UN has been probing the use of drones in extraterritorial assassination programs worldwide, citing Pakistan’s own government report that some 400 confirmed civilians have been killed by US drones in their country alone, and hundreds more are almost certainly also civilian non-combatants.

Human Rights Watch and Amnesty International are the latest to focus on the civilian toll of the program, and the legal concerns about the administration’s secretive killing programs, which operate without any oversight or accountability outside of the president’s own say-so.

Carney treated the civilian deaths as unimportant as well, insisting that civilians are killed in every war and that the US remains confident that they are sufficiently careful with the attacks.

Anger at US drone strikes has fueled major backlashes in Pakistan, and seems to be building in Yemen, the latest nation to see a large influx of US killings. The White House comments suggest that they really don’t take the anger about civilian deaths in nominally allied nations any more seriously than they do civilian deaths in active warzones, and are content to just wait for the consequences of war crimes to happen then deal with them.

Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is Senior Editor for Antiwar.com. He has 20 years of experience in foreign policy research and his work has appeared in The American Conservative, Responsible Statecraft, Forbes, Toronto Star, Minneapolis Star-Tribune, Providence Journal, Washington Times, and the Detroit Free Press.