U.S. Robot Planes Kill People from the Skies

US Drone in Action
Drones are planes that fly without a human pilot. The Obama administration has used drones in Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Yemen, Ethiopia, Somalia and Libya to kill people it thinks are a threat. The practice is controversial and likely illegal.
PHOTO: Flickr/James Gordon


While U.S. troops have officially left Iraq, the U.S. State Department is operating a small fleet of surveillance drones (robot planes) there to help protect the United States Embassy. The Embassy in Baghdad is the largest and most expensive of any embassy in the world. According to The New York Times, some senior Iraqi officials are angry about the program, saying the use of unarmed aircraft is disrespectful of Iraqi sovereignty. “Our sky is our sky, not the U.S.A.’s sky,” said Adnan al-Asadi, Iraq’s acting minister of the interior.

Iraq is not the only place where people are upset about U.S. military drones. In February, hundreds of Pakistanis protested against U.S. drone strikes that kill people. The protesters burned an effigy of President Obama. Pakistan’s foreign minister, Hina Rabbani Khar, explained that killing people only leads to more people who hate the United States. “… if one strike leads to getting you target number one or target number three today, you are creating five more targets or 10 more targets, in the militancy that it breeds,” reported Democracy Now.

Sovereignty (SOV-rin-tee): the ability of a country to have independent authority over its territory, without any interference from other countries.

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