Military Review

Unforeseen Consequences of Unforeseen Loss (The National Interest, USA)

Unforeseen Consequences of Unforeseen Loss (The National Interest, USA)

Recently, the White House admitted that as a result of air strikes from unmanned aerial vehicles to the positions of those suspected of terrorism in non-military zones, from 64 to 116 civilians were killed. Independent organizations — such as the New America Foundation and the Bureau of Investigative Journalism — talk about more civilians killed by drones, respectively, calling the numbers more than 200 and 300. Regardless of the exact number, these unintentional killings - the so-called collateral losses - are an important question.

Each of these dead civilians has a mother, father, brother, sister, or other relatives. And each of them now has serious reasons to hate America, because of which they are easier to radicalize and can take the first steps towards becoming terrorists. As the lieutenant colonel says aviation Andrew Brookes of the International Institute for Strategic Studies in London, "Kill your wife, children, mother, or uncle - and people get so furious that the terrorist cycle begins again."

And, nevertheless, the administration justifies and supports the application of air strikes using drones. In accordance with the presidential secret guidelines, “lethal weapons and fire will be used only to prevent or stop attacks on US citizens” when seizure is not possible. And such means should be used only when there is “almost complete confidence” in the “presence of a terrorist target” and in the fact that “local residents will not be injured or killed”.

And how many air strikes were inflicted with the use of drones on terrorist positions that pose a direct threat to the United States, that is, such as Mohamed Atta, who was one of the ringleaders who organized the 11 attacks of September 2001 of the year? Do they really represent an immediate, imminent threat? Or are they, rather, local terrorist threats on the territory of foreign countries? The data does not include information on officially recognized war zones - such as Afghanistan, Iraq, and Syria - but they contain figures for Pakistan, Yemen, Somalia, and Libya. In other words, if we are not talking directly about US national security, how necessary were thousands of US airstrikes using UAVs? It is worth noting that, according to secret documents leaked to the press in October 2015, for just one five-month period of air strikes using UAVs in Afghanistan, the intended targets were not nearly 90% killed. Moreover, these unforeseen losses were classified as “opponents killed in battle” - regardless of whether they were civilians or participants in hostilities.

It is generally recognized that the Hellfire missiles, which are mounted on unmanned aerial vehicles, have a high-precision guidance system and belong to the category of ammunition much smaller than bombs dropped from airplanes (kilograms 45-50 compared to 230-250 kilograms and more), so they cause less damage. But - as the compilers of the FM 3-24 Counterinsurgency Guidelines for the US Army recognize - “bombing, even using weapons with the most accurate guidance systems, can lead to unintentional civilian casualties. " Consequently, “an air strike can cause collateral damage, which restores people against the authorities of the country where the troops are stationed and provides the rebels with a serious propaganda victory.”

In other words, collateral losses are counterproductive, that is, they do not allow us to win hearts and minds - which is especially important in the Muslim world if we want to prevent Muslims from joining ISIS, Al-Qaida (terrorist organizations banned in Russia). ) or any other radical Islamic group that supports terrorist activities against the United States. According to Jeremy Scahill, who investigates journalism and is the lead author of The Drone Papers exposing the article, The drone strikes in Yemen have contributed to Al Qaeda’s recruitment of several aircraft in the Arabian Peninsula. thousands of people. As one resident of Yemen said, claiming that many civilians died in his region as a result of airstrikes of American UAVs, "the United States considers Al-Qaida terrorism, and we believe that terrorism is UAVs."

Also known is the case when in December 2013 of the year in Yemen, an American drone struck a column of cars heading for the wedding. US officials acquitted this airstrike, claiming suspicions existed that al-Qaeda militants were in the convoy. According to Human Rights Watch, at least a dozen civilians were killed at that time. According to documents published later by the Yemeni authorities, there was a 29-year-old man among the dead, who, judging by his ID, was a member of a Yemeni organization dedicated to restraining Islamist militancy (his father survived the air strike).

So what is the cost of these collateral losses? The families of civilians who died from the attacks of American UAVs are supposed to pay compensation (the families of those killed in the wedding column during the air strike paid Yemen’s 60 thousands of dollars - the United States did not confirm their participation in the payments). But the real price is not measured in money. Regardless of how many innocent civilians died from the strikes of American UAVs - a hundred or three hundred - hundreds of others will be the probable price, who will seek revenge for their loved ones. And these are such threats to the United States, which did not exist before.
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  1. PKK
    PKK 18 July 2016 04: 56
    They try to beat terror with even greater terror, which gives rise to even greater terror, and so on. It should be an alternative, but it is in a different area, where hatred is not. Hatred is the root of evil.
    1. Simpsonian
      Simpsonian 18 July 2016 05: 02
      With drones terror is arranged, these numbers can be safely multiplied by 100
      1. shibi
        shibi 18 July 2016 05: 08
        If the "moderate opposition" are friends of the Merikos, then all the rest (according to their logic) are enemies.
        So they can destroy everything except friends, weddings, hospitals, excavators ...
      2. oldseaman1957
        oldseaman1957 18 July 2016 05: 24
        "The United States considers al-Qaeda terrorism, and we believe that terrorism is drones."
        - Every year, technology is being improved, a previously unthinkable weapon of destruction is being invented, missiles are switching to hypersound, before which missile defense is powerless. And every year the United States has less and less chances to do harm with impunity around the world, hoping to sit out over the oceans and not answer for anything.
        1. Amurets
          Amurets 18 July 2016 06: 38
          Quote: oldseaman1957
          And every year the United States has less and less chances to do harm with impunity around the world, hoping to sit out over the oceans and not answer for anything.

          V.G. Lebedko A quote from memory, I did not find the book. This is from materials about the Caribbean crisis. In his memoirs, he wrote: “Despite the fact that the Americans raised three submarines to the surface, they were horrified to see that they did not have the Ocean Barrier. diesel boats, freely reach the shores of the United States. "Apparently they need to be reminded of this, not arranging the Cuban missile crisis. After all, America is not run by John F. Kennedy.
    2. The comment was deleted.
    3. siberalt
      siberalt 18 July 2016 05: 15
      I wonder how the States would react if the military came to them without demand and began to defend themselves with the help of bombing attacks from drones?
      And the fact that they declare this is cynicism of the highest standard.
  2. Mavrikiy
    Mavrikiy 18 July 2016 04: 58
    Yes, they want the best, but it turns out in an American way.
    1. dmi.pris
      dmi.pris 18 July 2016 05: 43
      Is that why we "love" America? ... For "unintentional" or, on the contrary, murders. For them, this is statistics, but for the drone operator it is generally a game ..
  3. B.T.V.
    B.T.V. 18 July 2016 05: 03
    "When you launch a boomerang, remember that it tends to come back."
    1. VSZMK
      VSZMK 18 July 2016 05: 37
      A drone operator sits in a bunker in Nevada. Its a boomerang not to get.
    2. ver_
      ver_ 20 July 2016 07: 26
      .. no need to miss
  4. izya top
    izya top 18 July 2016 05: 07
    "Almost complete confidence"
    great wording good and they teach us to pick our nose fool
  5. Mavrikiy
    Mavrikiy 18 July 2016 05: 10
    Unexpected consequences? And funds created for monetary compensation. We have lost the breadwinner, and we will give you $ 30.
    We are constantly thinking about you. Instead of a bomb of 250 kg, they threw a rocket of 60 kg over their heads.
  6. Razvedka_Boem
    Razvedka_Boem 18 July 2016 05: 42
    The USSR in Afghanistan, in addition to fighting, built hospitals, schools, roads, distributed food and kerosene free of charge .. One can argue about the degree of effectiveness of such actions, although (as an example), the children of the elders treated in the hospital because they could quickly deliver the child there good road, provided some loyalty to the population. And even despite the local mentality, this gradually broke the worldview of local tribes, and showed an alternative to war.
  7. evil partisan
    evil partisan 18 July 2016 05: 45
    But you can’t make them shoot in their own way? repeat For example - to bribe an operator ...
    1. izya top
      izya top 18 July 2016 05: 58
      Quote: Angry Guerrilla
      For example - to bribe an operator ..

      this is to GDP, he bribed all of Europe repeat so there is experience yes, helmets hi
      1. evil partisan
        evil partisan 18 July 2016 07: 38
        Quote: izya top

        Von Slam !! am
        Quote: izya top

        Are you like a serf to a representative of an ancient clan Shlemov? What kind of familiarity ?? I'll lock in the stable am am It’s free.
        Hi Izya! drinks
        Quote: izya top
        this is to GDP

        GDP - God of drones ?? belay And hahly know? what
  8. iliitchitch
    iliitchitch 18 July 2016 05: 47
    Oh, America was discovered, for how many years their stupid ram operators beat hellfires wherever they hit, just to see a picture of how the "bomb explodes". They won't bend him in the bunker.
    In general, the most despicable tactics should be applied only as a last resort.
  9. Gormenghast
    Gormenghast 18 July 2016 06: 16
    Terrorist States of America. laughing
  10. Jurkovs
    Jurkovs 18 July 2016 07: 26
    American dream in action. War sitting on the couch in front of the TV and with a box of popcorn.
  11. darksoul
    darksoul 18 July 2016 08: 01
    they carry democracy .... what can I add and no one will say a word
  12. Kibl
    Kibl 18 July 2016 09: 00
    America has recently ceased to value the life of its citizens, so talk about citizens of other countries. And if we are talking about the inhabitants of the "third" world ..... In the course of the Washington monkey obviously licks its lips to the glory of Adolf Aloizych. Burn him in the hell of primates!
  13. Galleon
    Galleon 18 July 2016 09: 09
    The "collateral losses" that some in the West talk about fit very well into the strategy of others. The very ones who create and support the fire in the Middle East. Moreover, these losses are an integral part of this strategy, like the provision of weapons or the training of instructors - the supply of "fresh blood" to the bandits is no less important than weapons or money. More about this can be found in W. Engdahl's latest book, "The Holy Wars of the Western World." Very, you know, interesting ...
  14. sergey2017
    sergey2017 18 July 2016 09: 19
    According to aviation lieutenant colonel Andrew Brookes of the International Institute for Strategic Studies in London, “kill your wife, children, mother, or uncle - and people get so furious that the terrorist cycle begins anew.”
    By the way, it is very correctly noticed! States with their bombardments as a result of which civilians are dying only increase the number of supporters of terrorists! People go to avenge wives, children, mothers!
  15. alicante11
    alicante11 18 July 2016 09: 56
    I don’t understand why everything is so crucified for these drones? You would think that Amer pilots never killed any civilian. The United States is generally a terrorist state.
  16. KVashentcev
    KVashentcev 18 July 2016 11: 11
    It is already impossible to hide a log in the eye.
    I think the outgoing administration is taking on what is possible, hence the recognition of recent weeks. And to deny the obvious is somehow silly for a nation that is not shy in its actions, even its own stupidity ...
  17. gladysheff2010
    gladysheff2010 18 July 2016 21: 27
    Something worries me a lot about the arithmetic progression of terrorist activity in the world, and even more so near our borders - a monkey syndrome, or maybe a hohlyatsky one: "I'm not biting something!"