Five suspected militants were killed in drone attack in North Waziristan by US drones on 10 November, 2010, writes Jim Wright. Fifteen were killed on 18 November and five more on 21 November. Although the US never acknowledges carrying drone attacks within Pakistan, “unnamed security sources” are generally on hand to confirm that the dead were insurgents, and provide a reason for the killing.
The US has unofficially asked Pakistan for permission to expand its drone attacks into Pakistan’s province of Baluchistan.
Deaths from drone attacks has trebled since Barrack Obama took office. The reported death toll increased to 700 this year under Obama, compared to 200 per year under George W Bush. An independent researcher, Christopher Rogers of the Campaign for Innocent Victims of Conflict, found that in nine drone attacks in Pakistan since 2009,
30 civilians had been killed, including 14 women and children.
According to Der Spiegel, the US has 20 drones on constant deployment in Afghanistan, double the number deployed in 2009.
With a limited market for military drones, the industry is promoting domestic police surveillance to keep profits up, with a focus (in the UK) on the 2012 Olympics.