While the US’s steps towards greater transparency concerning its drone programme may appear disingenuous, the UK needs to start moving in a similar direction.
First published in The New Arab on 21 July 2016:
A recent report from the Director of National Intelligence (DNI), designed to present some transparency to the US drone programme, has met with cynicism while also being acknowledged as a step in the right direction.
The data states that 2,372-2,581 combatants and 64-116 non-combatants (civilians) were killed in 473 targeted killings in countries outside of hostilities where the US was an active party. However, these figures differed greatly from those collated by other monitors.
Appeasing the ACLU
NGOs have been pressuring the Obama Administration for years, to disclose the names and numbers of those killed under its controversial programme, and some might say the US had simply paid lip service to these calls. It has come under legal pressure from the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), while simultaneously preempting criticism of the numbers by claiming that NGOs simply do not appreciate facts on the ground.