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IRIN Examines Impact Of Drone Warfare On Humanitarian Aid

“In places like Afghanistan and Pakistan, strikes by unmanned planes are increasingly affecting humanitarian operations, aid workers say, necessitating a greater discussion by humanitarians on how to deal with the impact and a greater focus by U.S. policymakers on how to mitigate it,” IRIN reports in an article examining how drone warfare is impacting humanitarian aid. “The issue will be increasingly relevant in coming years, as drones, also used in Somalia, Yemen and Gaza, become an ever more popular weapon of choice in counter-terrorism operations,” the news service writes. IRIN examines the legal framework applicable to drone operations and humanitarian aid; how the use of drones affects civilian perceptions of aid worker neutrality; how suspicion of drone activities hampers aid workers’ abilities to collect information; and the chain of communications, or lack thereof, for humanitarian workers and drone operators. The article also addresses civilian casualties caused by drone strikes, writing, “[W]hile the U.S. government is under more and more pressure to address civilian casualties of drone strikes, observers say the impact of drones on humanitarian action is almost surely not on the radar screen” (Aly, 3/20).