Term Paper: Insider Threat Risks

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Drones: Are they a national security issue or Human Rights issue?

Drone Attack speech

History of Drone Attacks

Ever since 2004, the government of the United States has carried out hundreds of attacks in northwest Pakistan and Afghanistan. Drones or unmanned aerial vehicles are basically under the control of the Special Activities division of the Central Intelligence Agency. (Ghosh, 2009) the drones were another weapon and another major part of the war on terror that has been going on ever since the September eleventh attacks. The major purpose of these attacks is to find out where the enemy is and kill the enemy. For the United States, this plan seemed to be the most convenient yet most frightening at the same. The random and unplanned attacks that can happen anywhere have worked in killing and wiping away the extremists however they have gone to take many innocent civilian lives as well. The use of drone or unmanned air vehicles has been started ever since World War I. Thus, in the Second World War, air technology got even better and these were used by not only Untied States but by Germany as well. The Bureau of investigative journalism states that drone strikes have killed between 2,562 and 3,325 people in Pakistan. Out of these people, around 600 were innocent citizens with 176 being children. (Bowcott, 2013)

What are Drones?

In very simple terms, a drone is basically an aircraft without a pilot controlling it. Therefore, the flight and the entire aircraft are basically controlled by the computers in the vehicle. If not so, this control is given to a pilot on the ground or another vehicle. Thus, even though these drones themselves don't have a human in them, they are controlled by humans on the ground or another plane. The name itself is quite military like thus the major use is in the military. The CIA has reserved these sorts of weapons for the use of missions in which humans or army personnel can't reach. These missions are that are either very dangerous or hard to carry out without the loss of life. Thus, the government and the intelligence because sort off to the use of drones for these missions.

Drone Attacks in Pakistan and Afghanistan.

The first use of these weapons was carried in late 2001 when they were used from bases in Uzbekistan and Pakistan. The drones were used to target very dangerous leaders and terrorists in Afghanistan. Following that, this incidence started increasing not only in Pakistan and Afghanistan but also in Yemen and Somalia. The use of Drone attacks on Pakistan and neighboring areas near the end of President George W. Bush's final year of presidency. In 2009, the government of the United States provided a big list of victims that were supposedly present in the region. When Barack Obama came into presidency, the frequency of these attacks increased and they went on to damage more and more civilians as well.

Drone attacks: A human rights Issue

The drone attacks that were carried out in 2009 only managed to reach five of the intended Taliban and al Qaeda targets. However, due to these attacks, 700 innocent civilians had to lose their lives. Due to these drone attacks that the government done CIA operatives also lose their lives when the militants retaliated. Statistics that have been accumulated by the Pakistani authorities states that the drone attacks that took place in Afghanistan went on to kill 208 people in the entire 2009-year. This means that for every Taliban or al Qaeda person, about 140 Pakistanis also have to lose their lives. As mentioned earlier, that the number of civilian deaths that are stated might vary from what the reality really is. However, the most reliable resource states that 20-25% of the deaths due to drone attacks are civilian deaths. (Woods) the number of civilian that are dying they are giving to rise to more and more hatred for the West and for America especially. Apart from violating human rights, the American government is instilling anti-American feelings in these families. If in a drone attack, one member of the family is killed, then the entire family will harbor hatred and bad feelings for the country. Let alone that, these people have no link to the militants. They aren't the ones who are spreading terrorism and neither did they have anything do with 9/11. Drone attacks go on and injure houses and property and leave an entire family dead. Why? Is it their only fault that they are living in those tribal areas? Or that the men have bears and the women wear Burqas? The drone attacks that are being carried out are violating many human rights. They are going against a persons's liberty and challenging their security on so many different levels.

The drone attacks that have been carried out on the Pakistani targets have been against the countries sovereignty. America is one of the most prominent countries that talks about democracy and human rights but its continuing attacks on a country when the country itself considers it a violation of its sovereignty. These attacks have resulted in a lot of civilian's deaths and sadly these the government of the United States doesn't even realize how many innocent civilians are being killed. The UN special reporter on human rights and counter terrorism had a meeting with Pakistani Government Issue. And that was when things became clearer. The government made it very clear that they never were and are in favor of these attacks. These attacks are the main strategy and plan that the government of United States has. The statement that Emerson reported is quite contradicting to what the officials in Washington DC have to say about Pakistan's view.

The government of the United States says that the Pakistani intelligence and military are in support of these attacks and they have supported all the strikes that have taken place. It is true that there was a time when both the countries were after certain targets. Targets such as Osama Bin Laden were a dire threat and thus these attacks were required to wipe them out. However, the officials in Pakistan say they don't see the need nor do they support their attacks on the poor civilians. As mentioned earlier, untied states is violating the sovereignty of Pakistan. Even Mr. Emmerson stated that when United States is continuing the attacks despite lack of support from the government, they are indeed attacking the country. Violation of the sovereignty of a country is there when the country's property and its citizens are being injured and killed without any cause.

Review of case studies.

Mr.Emmerson carried out a review of many case studies regarding the drone attacks that are quite frequent in the tribal areas of the country. The tribal leaders stated that a lot of the men in the region dress up in the similar manner as the extremists or the Taliban militants did. Another similar aspect between the extremist and innocent tribesmen is that they both carry guns all the times. Due to these similarities, the targeting is flawed and ultimately hundreds of innocent men lose their lives. Mr. Emmerson reported that these men were busy in carrying out their everyday task and they would be attacked by a strike. (Drew, 2010)

A research and security studies done in Islamabad revealed that casualties do happen even if the U.S. accepts it or not. It is quite a simple matter if one looks at it. When there is a room full of people and only one out of the fifty persons is an extremist. If a single air stroke is praised and applauded just because it killed one militant, it rightfully ignores the forty-nine innocent lives that it took. Same is the case with all the drone strikes that have been happening till now.

There is no clear cut criterion as to how the government really figures out whether a person is a civilian or a militant. These terms basically have no meaning and importance in international law. Surely, the government wouldn't spend its time in surveying the area to see how many civilians live in the area. Nor would it bother interrogating the people or finding out whether they are in the extremist group of or not.

It is sad to see that the numbers reported by the U.S. officials and the U.S. media are not correct. The officials rarely talk about or even mention civilian deaths by the air strikes. Even when these numbers are mentioned, they are mentioned in the lowest estimate and in such a way that they don't seem that atrocious. The U.S. government is quite opaque about the killing program that they have started. This is done so the real number of people dead or the number of persons injured because of the air strikes would never really be known.

The drones issue is a human rights issue because no one is really there to support the… [END OF PREVIEW]

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