Inherently Imprecise Killings: Civilian Victims in U.S. Drone Strikes in Afghanistan and Pakistan

  • Vasja Badalič
Part of the Palgrave Studies in Victims and Victimology book series (PSVV)


This chapter explores the impact of U.S. drone strikes on civilians in Afghanistan and Pakistan. The first section of the chapter examines three too-broad target selection criteria that led to drone strikes targeting civilians (e.g., adult males standing in proximity of known combatants, first responders who rushed to the site of a drone strike, individuals regularly communicating with known combatants). The second section examines two technical factors behind imprecise strikes (e.g., low quality of video footage), while the third section shows how malicious human behavior undermined the precision of the strikes (e.g., informers providing faulty intelligence). The last, fourth section of the chapter shows how the too-broad criteria for determining targets necessarily led to indiscriminate attacks against civilians.


U.S. military Drones Afghanistan Pakistan Civilian victims Indiscriminate attacks International humanitarian law Definitions of combatants 


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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Vasja Badalič
    • 1
  1. 1.Institute of Criminology at the Faculty of LawLjubljanaSlovenia

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