Somber

Drone Strikes Are Killing Innocents

The United States’ drone campaign in Pakistan may be killing suspected militants, but it’s also killing innocents, says Clive Stafford Smith in a New York Times opinion piece. Smith, the director of a prisoners'-rights organization, recounts a meeting he had with Pashtun tribal elders who came to Islamabad to tell Westerners about the toll of the drone war. When Smith told them they were precision strikes that hadn’t killed civilians, the elders showed him missile fragments and photographs of a dead child. Tariq, a 16-year-old boy at the meeting, volunteered to collect more evidence, but he never had the chance—he was killed on Monday by a CIA drone, along with his 12-year-old cousin. “Tariq’s extended family, so recently hoping to be our allies for peace, has now been ripped apart by an American missile,” writes Smith, “most likely making any effort we make at reconciliation futile.”