2012: The CIA’s Shift to Yemen away from Pakistan

According to the Bureau of Investigative Journalism, 2012 saw the continued decrease in drone strikes in Pakistan, and the opposite in Yemen – with a rapid escalation in strikes when compared to 2010.

In Pakistan, there were 47 strikes in 2012, 75 strikes in 2011, and 128 in 2010.

In Yemen, however, where drones strikes are often coordinated alongside U.S. Special Forces, and therefore difficult to parse, there were 25 confirmed strikes in 2012 (58 possible), 13 (17 possible) in 2011, and 2 confirmed strikes in 2010 (with 6 possible).

According to the New America foundation, in Pakistan, 46 strikes were carried out in 2012, compared to 72 in 2011 and 122 in 2010. In Yemen, where the U.S. strikes against al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula, there were  18 strikes in 2011 to 53 in 2012. 

In Pakistan’s tribal areas, many of the strikes were in and around the regional capital of North Waziristan, Miranshah. These strikes, with Reaper or Predator drones, killed between 189 and 308 militants and at least seven civilians, the New America Foundation said.

Meanwhile, in Yemen, between 397 and 539 militants were killed by drone strikes in 2012, according to the New America Foundation, which did not specify the number of civilian victims.

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