Rising number of drone killings raises questions about Obama’s rules for use

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Six months after President Obama laid out US rules for using armed drones, a Bureau analysis shows that covert drone strikes in Yemen and Pakistan have killed more people than in the six months before the speech.Each drone strike kills more people on average in both countries. The number of strikes fell across the two countries in the six months after the speech compared with the six months before, yet the overall death toll increased.This analysis will raise questions about how much Obama’s new rulesconstrain the drone programme, as he claimed it would in his speech.On May 23 Obama explained how a new policy will govern the use of drones. He said using drones for targeted killing is legal, but added: ‘To say a military tactic is legal, or even effective, is not to say it is wise or moral in every instance.’He said: ‘The same human progress that gives us the technology to strike half a world away also demands the discipline to constrain that power – or risk abusing it.’Continue Reading…

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