Pakistan Drones' Success Rate: 2%

| Mon Jan. 3, 2011 4:13 PM EST

[Editor's Note: NAF researcher Katherine Tiedemann reminds us that US-led drone strikes in Pakistan tend to be CIA-run, not military-operated. The headline and post have been updated to reflect this.]

Our indefatigable editorial coordinator, Jen Phillips, pointed me to a New America Foundation study this morning on drone strikes in Pakistan...and the data does not inspire confidence.

According to NAF's research, there have been 215 drone attacks since 2004 in the bad-guy tromping grounds of northwest Pakistan, killing between 1,372 and 2,125 people. (The wide variation in estimates shows how difficult it is to track these stats, even with press and government reports.) Of those, 1061 to 1584 were called militants "in reliable press accounts." For those of you keeping score at home, that means that between 23 and 25 percent of all deaths from drone strikes are noncombatants. But here's the worse news:

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