I have been busy with statistics on the UAV strikes in Pakistan and have come up with the following: between 2004 and 2011, the ballpark figure for the estimated civilian-combatant* casualty ratio is somewhere between 1:4 and 1:5. Torturing the New America Foundation’s figures to breaking point results in an outside ratio of about 1:3.
I am not a historian by trade, but I am struggling to come up with a war in which a “better” average occurred (from the civilian point of view) in the last hundred years. I can think of Israeli claims of a 1:28 ratio at points of its targeted killing campaign in Gaza, but that’s about it.
My question to KoW readers: do you know of one?
*Taken to be people estimated in datasets as militia/Taliban/AQ etc regardless of IHL targeting, and all ‘unknowns’ as civilians.