In this 2013 document photo, one X47-B navy drone bring away the wire as it lands aboard the nuclear plane carrier USS George H. W. Shrub off the Virginia coast. | AP Photo/Steve Helber
If I gave you a pop quiz ~ above recent existing events, i bet you’d execute pretty well, thanks to a 24-hour cable news cycle, so late night talk shows, society media and also popular culture.

You are watching: How many drone strikes under obama

You undoubtedly know that Prince Harry and also Meghan Markle had their an initial child this week. You can likely get in some detail around the Mueller report. You probably have an opinion the Attorney general William Barr.


But what would you speak if ns asked girlfriend the following multiple choice question?

When it pertains to President Obama’s drone wars, chairman Trump has:

A. Ended them

B. Ongoing them

C. Escalated them

You’re forgiven because that not discovering the answer. That C. This management has not only surpassed the vault one’s drone strike volume overseas, it has made the drone battles even an ext secretive, if that’s possible.

We have the right to cobble with each other some report on the numbers, however finding specific figures ~ above drone strikes in the Trump management is difficult. More on the in a minute.

According to a 2018 report in The everyday Beast, Obama launched 186 drone strikes in Yemen, Somalia and also Pakistan during his an initial two years in office. In Trump’s very first two years, he introduced 238.

The Trump administration has lugged out 176 strikes in Yemen in just two years, compared with 154 there throughout all eight years of Obama’s tenure, follow to a counting by The linked Press and also the office of Investigative Journalism.

Experts additionally say drone strikes under chairman Trump have surged in Afghanistan, Iraq and also Syria.

And, together was the case during Obama’s presidency, this strikes have resulted in untold numbers of civilian casualties. Follow to the unified Nations help Mission in Afghanistan, U.S. Drone strikes in Afghanistan killed much more than 150 civilians in the first nine months of 2018.

Amnesty global reports drones have killed at the very least 14 civilians in Somalia since 2017.

As of January that this year, U.S. Drone strikes fighting ISIS in Iraq and Syria have killed at least 1,257 civilians, follow to the Pentagon, and a security group, Airwars, estimates the number to be as great as 7,500.

That you can not be aware of what must be a startling and also deeply troubling escalation in unaccountable remote-control warfare by the U.S. Is both through design and also default.

For one, the Obama management paved the way for popularizing and normalizing drone wars, which additionally included the extrajudicial death of U.S. Citizens, an initial by hiding it, then by begrudgingly acknowledging it, and also then through pretending come meaningfully constrain it.

Obama at some point put in ar arcane needs to issue public reports on civilian death tolls (but simply in certain military theaters), to border targets to high-level militants (again, in particular battlefields), and require interagency approval (also just for certain targets).

Trump has peeled earlier all the those needs because, well, the can. We now know an ext than us did around U.S. Drone wars when Obama very first took office, however less than as soon as he left.

You can also blame cowardly, partisan national politics for hearing tiny from lawmakers around these escalations. Republicans, that course, no longer slam these kinds of things — even if they subscribe to Trump’s Obama-rebuking, “America First” isolationism. And also Democrats who could take concern with unaccountable wars and also civilian deaths know to perform so they’d have to acknowledge Obama’s role in the mess, and also so …Trump’s tax returns the is.

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You can’t, however, reference the media because that this one. Refreshingly, numerous mainstream outlets have been reporting on this escalation because that months if no years. From international Policy to The new York Times, The wall Street newspaper to Fox News, The Washington write-up to CNN, the concern is obtaining coverage. Whether Americans treatment or no is another story.

De-escalating our involvement — also shadow or unmanned — in overseas conflicts was miscellaneous that numerous Trump critics and also supporters were welcoming, particularly abroad. One CBC title from 2016 read, “Drone King Barack Obama will certainly not be missed.” Another, from The Guardian: “At least President Trump would certainly ground the drones.”