Criticism of drone strikes centers on the number of civilians killed and the fact that they are launched across sovereign states’ borders so frequently, far more than conventional attacks by piloted aircraft.
Retired U.S. General Stanley McChrystal, who devised the U.S. counterinsurgency strategy in Afghanistan, warned in January against overusing drones, which have provoked angry demonstrations in Pakistan.
Civilian casualties from drone strikes have angered local populations and created tension between the United States and Pakistan and Afghanistan. Washington has sought to portray civilian casualties as minimal, but groups collecting data on these attacks say they have killed hundreds of civilians.
(Additional reporting by Tabassum Zakaria and Roberta Rampton in Washington; Editing by Doina Chiacu)