Covert Drone War

The use of Predator and Reaper drones (unmanned flying vehicles that are often armed with video-guided missiles) by the US military and CIA is a largely untold story of the "Global War on Terror / Global Contingency Operation" - yet has caused thousands of deaths in Pakistan and Afghanistan, many of whom are women and children.

Home of the “Hell Hounds,” Whiteman AFB drone squadron ‘most lethal’ in US

Brian Terrell | October 3, 2022

Note: Brian Terrell delivered this talk at the Oct. 1 peace witness sponsored by PeaceWorksKC,  at Whiteman AFB, near Knob Noster, MO.

Leading up to this protest there was discussion among organizers about the nature of drone operations here at Whiteman Air Force Base. Is this a training facility, or are Reaper drones engaged in lethal activities, are actual murders committed from this place, in real time in places far away by remote control? While the details of drone operations are shrouded in secrecy, broken only by courageous whistleblowers, the Air Force exposes enough of itself for us to know that crimes with global consequences are being committed in this very place.


Reminders Of Why We Keep on Keeping On

Nick Mottern | September 28, 2022


"The Ethiopian military's increasing use of drones to conduct airstrikes over the last year has changed the conflict landscape. In theory, drones should allow for more precise targeting of military objectives; however, our investigation indicates that their use has exposed civilians to new and heightened risks. Our findings are especially concerning given reports of airstrikes in Tigray since August, which have killed and injured civilians, including children."   

                                                 - Steven Ratner, noted U.S. human rights attorney and member of the U.N. commission investigating war crimes in the Ethiopian civil war, commenting on the group's report on September 19, 2022.  Turkey is supplying Turkish-made TB2 killer drones to the Ethiopian government, just as Turkey has done in Libya and Ukraine


Call of the Ban Killer Drones Campaign: No armed drones for the German Military

Brian Terrell | Janurary 19, 2022

Action month is January, 2022 in the run-up to the vote at the 47th Federal Delegates Conference of the Green Party on 28/29 January 2022 on the possible arming of German military (Bundeswehr) drones.

While the use of armed drones is proliferating around the world, led by the United States and its allies, Germany, almost alone among the industrialized nations, has not added lethally armed drones to its arsenal. Ironically, after last year’s elections when the long standing conservative coalition that governed Germany lost power, leaders of the new coalition of liberal parties made a move to arm their country’s drones. In a coalition agreement at the end of November 2021, the party leaders of the Social Democrat Party SPD, the Green Party and the Free Democrat Party FPD, stated: “Subject to binding and transparent conditions and taking ethical and security aspects into account, we will therefore enable the arming of Bundeswehr (German military) drones during this legislative period.”


Airstrikes allowed America to wage war with minimal risk to its troops.

Azmat Khan | December 20, 2021

For Ali Fathi Zeidan and his extended family, West Mosul was in 2016 still the best of many bad options. Their longtime home in a nearby village, Wana, had been taken by ISIS, then retaken by Kurdish pesh merga forces, and — as if that were not enough — it stood just seven miles below the crumbling Mosul Dam, which engineers had long warned might soon collapse, creating a deluge that would kill everyone in its path. The family had avoided the camps for internally displaced people, where they would have faced a constant risk of separation, and found their way instead to the city, to a grimy industrial neighborhood called Yabisat. They moved into a storage facility, divided it up into separate rooms, brought in a water tank, built a kitchen and a bathroom. Though ISIS had taken Mosul, parts of the city were still relatively safe. Now it was home.


The Civilian Casualty Files: Hidden Pentagon Records Reveal Patterns Of Failure In Deadly Airstrikes

Azmat Kahn | December 20, 2021 

Forward by Debra Sweet:

nytdronesAn extraordinary - as in the top half of the front page, and 5 full inside pages, with photos - investigation series of U.S. military-caused civilian deaths began in The New York Times this weekend.

Readers of this newsletter, which began in 2005, will know that the series headline "Hidden Files Bare Military Failures in Deadly Strikes," fails to convey the fact that failure to protect non-combatants is built in to the unjust, illegitimate, immoral and imperialist wars the U.S. wages.

But it's important to read and digest this series in print, interactive digital and audio formats. If you can't access The New York Times series, scroll down below.

The Times ran journalist Azmat Khan's second piece in the series, "The Human Toll of America's Air Wars."

In the first piece, Khan states:


Call for a Global Ban on Weaponized Drones

Debra Sweet | April 14, 2021

debradronesAnnouncing BanKillerDrones, an international grassroots campaign working to ban aerial weaponized drones and military and police drone surveillance. Our friend Nick Mottern of and other activists decry the spread of drone war atrocities since modern day drone warfare was started in 2001 by the United States, with the extent of human loss and suffering held in secret by the perpetrators, and call for a global ban.

This is the endorsement of the ban from Debra Sweet:

When George W. Bush, then Commander in Chief of the year-old U.S. "war on terror," authorized a Predator drone strike on a car in Yemen in November 2002, the act was shocking and the details hazy for years. The CIA, which ran the operation, the first known targeted killing by Hellfire missile from an armed drone, says the six men killed were "suspected" al-Qaeda members.  


Daniel Hale

Debra Sweet | April 14, 2021

danielWe met Daniel Hale in 2013 at the "drone summit," a gathering of activists to stop US drone warfare in Washington DC.   He was trained and used by the Air Force in the first years of the secret U.S. drone program, courageously spoke out about it, and was charged with violating the Espionage Act by the Trump Justice Department. Biden's Justice Department was about to try him this month, when he pled guilty to one count of the Act.
CommonDreams reported: "Hale admitted in court to writing an anonymous chapter in Scahill's 2016 bookThe Assassination Complex: Inside the Government's Secret Drone Warfare Program, which divulged information taken from top-secret documents about drone strike protocols, civilian casualties, and Pentagon officials' debate about the accuracy of intelligence."


"Unmanned" is a short feature film dealing with the conflicts of a drone pilot...

Debra Sweet | April 13, 2021
"Unmanned" is a short feature film dealing with the conflicts of a drone pilot stationed somewhere in the United States. Its 21 minutes register with viewers just like reading an impactful short story would. We show clips from it during many of our We Are Not Your Soldiers classroom visits.
After viewing it with his high school class, one young man described how he felt like he had just been knocked over by a big wave. A young woman wrote, "When I watched those bodies fall on the screen, the father screaming for his child, I felt a punch to my gut. It hurt. It hurt because I asked myself what if that was my father and sister on the screen? What did their family feel when they returned home but only one could speak?"
Screenshot from 2021-04-13 16-55-45


NO to German military using weaponized drones

Debra Sweet | June 2, 2020 

droneRockCenterThe German Bundestag is set to decide soon whether its mlitary will deploy weaponized drones.  It's not a minor question, given that the whole world was thrown into war when the Nazis attacked Europe and because fascist and right-wing parties are again seriously contending for power in Germany. Germany, to its credit, signed on to the call by UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres for a worldwide ceasefire during the Covid-19 pandemic and could take a further stand against endless war by refusing to take part in the crimes against humanity carried out via drone warfare.


We Must Reach Out To Tech Giant Workers Now

Richie Marini | July 6, 2018

googledronesOn June 27, 2018, a small group of us consisting of members of The World Can’t Wait, Know Drones, Refuse fascism and World Beyond War set up an eight- foot long model of the U.S. military Reaper drone outside of Google offices in New York City. 

Why? Because Google was developing image recognition algorithms using artificial intelligence for the U.S. military, as part of a project called “Maven”, to be used with military drones.  Currently, these death machines are controlled remotely by members of the U.S. military staring at computer screens, as if they’re playing video games, except they’re killing very real people and causing very real “collateral damage” in which very real innocent civilians are killed.  And now, thanks to Google and the artificially intelligent image recognition algorithms they developed, these drones can detect, suggest and choose targets on their own.


Madiha Tahir podcast: Drones & The Military Present

Click To Play
This four-part series explores various aspects of how the present is shaped by war. To do so, we've invited anthropologists to help usmake sense of the current political moment.


Main Covert Drone War


World Can't Wait mobilizes people living in the United States to stand up and stop war on the world, repression and torture carried out by the US government. We take action, regardless of which political party holds power, to expose the crimes of our government, from war crimes to systematic mass incarceration, and to put humanity and the planet first.