Sunday, March 10, 2013

Air Force Stops Reporting Afghan Drone Strike Data

Concerned about the "disproportionate focus" on weapons related to unmanned planes, the U.S. military has removed data from monthly summaries related to drone strikes in Afghanistan:

U.S. Central Command, which oversees the Afghanistan war, said in a statement the data had been removed because it was "disproportionately focused" on the use of weapons by the remotely piloted aircraft as it was published only when strikes were carried out - which happened during only 3 percent of sorties. Most missions were for reconnaissance, it said.

U.S. President Barack Obama's administration has increasingly used drones to target against al Qaeda-linked militants overseas.

Civilian casualties from drone strikes have raised ethical concerns and angered local populations, creating tension between the United States and Pakistan and Afghanistan.

...The Air Force Times said air force chiefs had started posting the drone strikes data last October in an attempt to provide more detail on the use of drones in Afghanistan.

The newspaper said the statistics were provided for November through January, but the February summary released on March 7 had a blank spot where the drone data had previously been listed.

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