US drone program killed thousands of civilians with no accountability: Report
Thousands of cases were analyzed from hidden Pentagon archives of US airstrikes in West Asia since 2014, showing that official reports have highly misrepresented the civilian death toll from Washington's drone program
By News Desk - December 23 2021

(Photo credit: John Moore/Getty Images)

An 19 December expose published on the New York Times (NYT) revealed widespread instances of war crimes and civilian murders committed by the US Army, particularly as a result of the drone strike program implemented by the administration of former president Barack Obama.

The report revealed that faulty intelligence, botched targeting, and countless killings, which included many children, were met with little to no accountability.

According to US army estimates cited in the report, there were at least 1,300 reports of civilian casualties by US airstrikes, contradicting the official narratives by the Army that the strikes were precise, targeted, and aimed at reducing civilian casualties.

Despite the high number of civilian casualties, the article says that just a “handful” of these were exposed publicly and “not a single record provided includes a finding of wrongdoing or disciplinary action.”

Among those left permanently disfigured, injured, or disabled for life from the airstrikes, in addition to those that lost homes, families, and livelihoods from the destruction, less than a dozen cases of compensation to victims were recorded.

The NYT report was carried out by having “analyzed the casualty assessments in aggregate to discern patterns of failed intelligence, decision-making and execution,” a process which the author of the report adds US military officials themselves “admit they have not done.”

While the investigation added that determining the full number of civilian casualties was “impossible,” it made it clear that the official Pentagon count of 1,417 was highly inaccurate.

In one 2016 recorded case in Mosul, Iraq, three civilians were killed in an airstrike because the US decided to hold off on executing more accurate precision strikes for other operations.

Captain Bill Urban, the spokesman for the US Central Command, responded to inquiries from the NYT in the report by claiming that “even with the best technology in the world, mistakes do happen, whether based on incomplete information or misinterpretation of the information available.”

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