The CIA chief, Leon Panetta, calls drones the ‘only game in town’. The figures bear him out. Between 2004 and 2012, the US reportedly conducted over 350 drone strikes in Pakistan, killing between 2,600 and 3,400 people. Drone strikes have killed more than 200 children alone in Pakistan and Yemen.
In 2000, the Americans had fewer than fifty aerial drones; ten years later, it had a fleet of nearly 7,500, and the US Air Force now trains more drone ‘pilots’ than bomber and fighter pilots combined. Drones are already a $ 5 billion business in the US alone.
American activist Medea Benjamin, a co-founder of the peace group CODEPINK and the international human rights organization Global Exchange, provides the first extensive analysis of who is producing the drones, where they are being used, who controls these unmanned places, and what are the legal and moral implications of their use. Benjamin also looks at what activists, lawyers, and scientists across the globe are doing to ground these weapons.