Opinion: Covert use of drones ultimately endangers US security

The United States government has been using drones as a weaponized platform since at least February of 2002, when the Central Intelligence Agency launched a Hellfire missile from a Predator drone, killing neither Osama bin Laden—the presumed target—nor any militants, but rather four civilian men scouring an abandoned military base for scrap metal.  This intelligence failure was…

The Toll of Russian Air Strikes on Kafr Nboudha

By Natasha Hall Since their start at the end of September 2015, Russian air strikes have displaced over a quarter million Syrians. According to Amnesty International, civilian harm attributable to Russia is on the rise. “We ran for our lives. We didn’t get to take anything with us. No blankets, nothing,” said Fatima, who fled Kafr…

Syrians Under Fire: The Islamic State group is far from the only threat that Syrian civilians face

By Natasha Hall In last week’s Republican presidential debate, we heard all about saturation bombing and destroying the Islamic State group. Republican contender Sen. Ted Cruz recently proffered his opinion that we should “carpet bomb ISIS into oblivion.” In the past two weeks, a 34-nation Islamic military coalition to combat terrorism was announced, President Barack…

Just how many civilians have died in the West’s campaign against ISIS?

But unmentioned in all the the stories of military triumphs is a problem that Western officials behind the campaign to defeat the Islamic State tend to downplay: civilian casualties… …Sahr Muhammedally, senior program manager for the Middle East Center for Civilians in Conflict (CIVIC), a nongovernmental agency that works to prevent civilian casualties, says that…

IRIN | Is the Saudi war on Yemen legal?

On Monday, a coalition airstrike allegedly struck a camp for displaced Yemenis. Human Rights Watch said the attack “heightened concerns” that Saudi Arabia and its partners were not sufficiently protecting civilians.“The policy needs to come from the top – from Saudi political and military leadership – that protecting civilians is a priority. That then stretches down the chain of command,”…

Prioritising protection of civilians in peacekeeping in the Central African Republic – ODI HPN

The crisis in the Central African Republic (CAR) has resulted in more than 300,000 refugees and over 630,000 internally displaced people as of June 2014. Thousands of people have been killed. The international community turned to African and European forces and the United Nations to deploy troops to stabilise the country and stop the violence….…