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You Might Have Missed: Drone Strikes, Malaria, and Defense Contractors

December 13, 2013

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Blog posts represent the views of CFR fellows and staff and not those of CFR, which takes no institutional positions.

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Hakim Almasmari, “Yemen says U.S. drone struck a wedding convoy, killing 14,” CNN, December 13, 2013.

A U.S. drone mistakenly targeted a wedding convoy in Yemen’s al-Baitha province after intelligence reports identified the vehicles as carrying al Qaeda militants, two Yemeni national security officials told CNN on Thursday.

The officials said that 14 people were killed and 22 others injured, nine in critical condition. The vehicles were traveling near the town of Radda when they were attacked.

"This was a tragic mistake and comes at a very critical time. None of the killed was a wanted suspect by the Yemeni government," said a top Yemeni national security official who asked not to be named because he is not authorized to talk to media. U.S. officials declined to comment on the report.

(3PA: It should not matter whether an individual is wanted by the Yemeni government, but rather they are lawfully targeted under the White House guidelines for lethal targeting. If this is not the case, then the real question is—why is the United States using armed drones to enforce Yemeni arrest warrants?)

The Iran Nuclear Deal: Does it Further U.S. National Security?” House Committee on Foreign Affairs, December 10, 2013.

Rep. Eliot Engel: Mr. Secretary, as you continue to engage with the Iranians, and I know you know this but I really need to mention it, I would urge you to remain cognizant of the fact that Iran remains the top state sponsor of terrorism in the world

(3PA: It is hard to make the case that the top ten terror groups (by number of attacks in 2012) are connected to Iran. In fact, if you look at the State Department’s own data, the top sponsors of terrorism in rough order would be Pakistan, Afghanistan, Nigeria, Iran, Iraq, India, Somalia.)

Top Terror Perp 2012

Leon Panetta Revealed ‘Top Secret’ Information to Hollywood Filmmaker at bin Laden Assault Awards Ceremony,” Judicial Watch, December 10, 2013.

Judicial Watch announced today that it has obtained more than 200 pages of documents from the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA), including a previously unreleased CIA internal report confirming that former CIA Director Leon Panetta revealed classified information at a June 24, 2011, bin Laden assault awards ceremony attended by “Zero Dark Thirty” filmmaker Mark Boal.

(3PA: As expected, no one has been punished for this unauthorized release of the classified information.)

Contractor Support of U.S. Operations in the USCENTOM Area of Responsibility to Include Iraq and Afghanistan,” U.S. Department of Defense, October 2013.

DoD Contractor Personnel

(3PA: In Afghanistan, there are 65,000 U.S. troops and 85,528 contractors (27,188 of which are Americans.)

World Malaria Report 2013,” World Health Organization, 2013.

WHO Malaria Data

Modelling suggests that an estimated 3.3 million malaria deaths were averted between 2001 and 2012, and that 69% of these lives saved were in 10 countries with the highest malaria burden in 2000; thus progress is being made where it matters most.

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