Connect with us

Politics

Trump has expanded Obama’s drone war to “shadow war zones.”

Published

on


drone strikes
An
unmanned US Predator drone flies over Kandahar Air Field,
southern Afghanistan, on a moon-lit night.

Kirsty Wigglesworth/AP

  • President Donald Trump has significantly increased the number
    of drone strikes in places the US is not technically at war,
    according to an analysis from The Daily Beast. 
  • The increase in strikes in these countries is seemingly
    linked to Trump’s easing of restrictions on drone strikes, which
    were put in place by Obama in order to reduce civilian
    casualties.

President Donald Trump has significantly increased the number of
drone strikes in places the US is not technically at war,
according to
an analysis from The Daily Beast.

In former President Barack Obama’s first two years in office, the
US conducted 186 drone strikes in Yemen, Somalia, and Pakistan,
where the US is engaged in “shadow wars.”

Comparatively, in 2017 and 2018 so far, Trump has launched 238
drone strikes in these countries, The Daily Beast reported. The
report is based on data provided by US Central Command
(CENTCOM) and the Bureau of Investigative Journalism, which has
tracked US drone strikes for years. 

In 2017 alone, Trump oversaw 130 drone strikes in Yemen, more
than three times the year prior.


Read more:
The wars in Iraq and Afghanistan have killed at least 500,000
people, according to a new report that breaks down the
toll

Drone strikes in Pakistan have decreased significantly overall in
recent years as the country’s relationship with the US has
deteriorated, which was linked in part to America’s drone
campaign there. Obama oversaw 128 drone strikes in Pakistan in
2010, for example, but that number dropped to just three in his
final year in office. There’s been a modest increase in drone
strikes in Pakistan under Trump: five in 2017 but just one so far
in 2018. 

But there’s been a particularly notable increase in strikes in
Somalia. In 2017, Trump oversaw 35 drone strikes in Somalia,
which is more than the total number of strikes Obama presided
over in the country during his tenure (33). In 2018 so far, the
US has conducted 32 strikes in Somalia. 

The increase in strikes in these countries is seemingly linked to
Trump’s easing of restrictions on drone strikes, the report
stated, which were put in place by Obama
in order to reduce civilian casualties
. Trump has also
presided over a massive increase in spending on Hellfire
missiles, which are used by armed drones. 

“Under the Trump administration, the Air Force is spending
more on the Hellfire missiles used by armed drones,” according to
The Daily Beast report. “Even as the wars in Iraq and Syria wind
down, the Trump administration has sought to purchase more drone
missiles. Air Force budget documents show a 63 percent increase
in Hellfire purchases in Trump’s 2017 budget and another 20
percent increase in the most recent budget request.”


Read more:
Obama on US drone strikes: ‘Civilians have been killed that
shouldn’t have been’

President Barack Obama’s use of drones and drone strikes
was
among the most controversial aspects of his presidency
,
particularly due to the civilian casualties they caused. Under
pressure to combat terrorism but reluctant to commit to more
boots on the ground on foreign soil, Obama saw drones and drone
strikes as an ostensible solution.

The first drone strike under Obama occurred
just three days into his presidency
, and he continued to rely
on them throughout his time in the White House –
far more than his predecessor.

Foreign policy scholars and experts on conflict have often
argued America’s use of drones in the so-called “war on terror”

serves as a recruiting tool for
terrorists

In 2010, a man who attempted to
bomb Times Square
cited US drone strikes as his motivation.

Continue Reading
Advertisement Find your dream job

Trending