U.S. Drones Missing High-Level Targets

The CIA’s escalated drone attacks in Pakistan are killing high-level militants only a small fraction of the time, according to new data. Out of a record 118 strikes last year—which cost more than $1 million each and killed 581 people—only two terrorists appearing on a U.S. most-wanted list were killed. In fact, the New America Foundation estimates that 94 percent of fatalities are low-level fighters. A senior official in Pakistan, which has tacitly approved the strikes but is now asking for more restraint, said the CIA is mostly killing “mere foot soldiers” and is now being urged to “do it more sparingly and be a little less gung-ho.”