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Working Paper: The Drone Wars and Pakistan’s Conflict Casualties, 2010 (2nd version)

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Jacob Beswick
1 May 2011

This January, the Recording Casualties in Armed Conflict programme launched www.everycasualty.org. One of the website's goals is to provide thorough information regarding casualty recording in conflict settings. To this end, the RCAC team has launched its Working Papers series, which aims to explain and provide insight into particular subjects related to casualty recording. 

The first paper of the series is titled The Drone Wars and Pakistan’s Conflict Casualties (2010). In Pakistan, the use of unmanned aerial vehicles (‘drones’) has preceded and succeeded the death of Osama bin Laden. Drones’ use, in particular by the US within Pakistan, is surrounded by debate over their dubious legality. All the while, civilian and militant deaths continue on.

The paper was written by Jacob Beswick, Project Manager for ORG’s Recording Casualties in Armed Conflict (RCAC) programme, and compares the methodologies and findings of the organisations dedicated to reporting on casualties caused by drones within Pakistan. The paper highlights and discusses why gaps in data exist and what can be done to address them.


For further ORG reports that address the use of drones in conflict see:

'Discussion Paper: The Legal Obligation to Record Civilian Casualties of Armed Conflict’

‘Discussion Paper: Drone Attacks, International Law, and the Recording of Civilians of Armed Conflict’


Picture credit: http://www.flickr.com/photos/sdasmarchives/4564936730/in/photostream/

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