Author Archives: Alexander Mayer

The debate over civilian casualties from drone strikes continues

The Jamestown Foundation’s Terrorism Monitor released a study last week claiming to shed new light on the accuracy of the CIA’s drone strike campaign in northwest Pakistan. The authors of the Jamestown study compiled a database of statistics on civilian and militant casualties from drone strikes, relying on both Western and English-language Pakistani news reports […]

Pakistan’s leaders okay with unmanned airstrikes — but not manned ones

On Sept. 28, reports emerged that US military helicopters may have pursued a group of Haqqani Network fighters in Afghanistan across the border into Pakistan to fire on the fleeing militants, killing five and wounding nine others. ISAF later denied its troops crossed the border, but did carry out two such “hot pursuit” actions into […]

Muslims account for 85 percent of casualties in al Qaeda attacks

The Combating Terrorism Center at West Point recently released a stunning report which found that Muslims have accounted for 85 percent of the casualties from al Qaeda attacks between 2004-2008. Even more astounding, during the last two years of the study (2006-2008), the percentage of al Qaeda’s Muslim victims skyrocketed to an almost-unbelievable 98 percent. […]

Are drone strikes making more enemies in Pakistan?

Andrew Exum linked to my recent Threat Matrix post in his own post about drone strikes — as an example of how “careless readers of [Exum and Kilcullen’s] argument mistakenly assume we agree with open-source reporting out of Pakistan.” A few points in response. First of all, I have a lot of respect for Andrew […]

Predators, Taliban, and civilians

Click image to view The Long War Journal’s data related to the US air campaign in Pakistan. Peter Bergen and Katherine Tiedemann have published an analysis for the New America Foundation about US drone strikes in Pakistan. Citing previous analyses of drone strike statistics, including the recent report in The Long War Journal, Bergen and […]