The Drone War

U.S. counterterror operations have stretched beyond al-Qaida and the war in Afghanistan, with hundreds of drone strikes occurring in Yemen, Pakistan, and Somalia. But many aspects of the effort are shrouded in secrecy — including casualty counts, who exactly the U.S. is targeting, and the administration’s legal justifications for the war.

Drone Makers Gather to Defend Their Much-Maligned Machines

At a recent conference on drones, manufacturers argue that drones don’t kill; the people ordering them around do.

Does the U.S. Pay Families When Drones Kill Innocent Yemenis?

We requested information on how the U.S. handles condolence payments for civilian drone strike deaths in Yemen. But the military won’t reveal a thing.

Who Are We at War With? That’s Classified

President Obama has repeatedly said the U.S. is targeting Al Qaeda and “associated forces.” But the government won’t say who those forces are.

Boy’s Death in Drone Strike Tests Obama’s Transparency Pledge

Strike in Yemen allegedly killed a 10-year-old boy. Despite months of promises of new transparency around drone strikes, the administration won’t comment.

Hearts, Minds and Dollars: Condolence Payments in the Drone Strike Age

One measure of accountability for the U.S. covert drone wars is acknowledging civilian casualties and compensating families for their losses. Recent history in Iraq and Afghanistan shows that isn’t always simple.

How Does the U.S. Mark Unidentified Men in Pakistan and Yemen as Drone Targets?

What little we know about the evidence needed to justify a drone strike on unidentified people.

The Drone War Doctrine We Still Know Nothing About

The focus on the targeting of American citizens overlooks many other strikes in which the U.S. doesn’t know who it’s killing.

Drone Strikes Test Legal Grounds for War on Terror

The Obama administration has justified its counterterror strategy on a law Congress passed just days after 9/11. But more than a decade later, does it fit the facts on the ground?

Everything We Know So Far About Drone Strikes

The U.S. is conducting drone strikes in in at least three countries beyond Iraq and Afghanistan. Here’s a reading guide to understanding the U.S.’ shadow wars.

Have U.S. Drones Become a 'Counterinsurgency Air Force' for Our Allies?

Drone strikes appear to be increasingly targeting those who aren’t plotting against the U.S.

Interactive: Stacking Up the Administration's Drone Claims

How the government talks about a drone program it won't acknowledge exists.

How the Gov't Talks About a Drone Program it Won't Acknowledge Exists

The Obama administration still doesn’t officially acknowledge the CIA’s drone program, a stance that helps shield it from discussing the program’s most controversial elements.

Drone Documents: Why The Government Won't Release Them

The government has rebuffed attempts by the American Civil Liberties Union and The New York Times to obtain documents related to drone strikes and targeted killing. We lay out their argument.

Obama Administration’s Drone Death Figures Don’t Add Up

Administration officials often claim few or no civilian deaths from drone strikes in Pakistan, but are their own accounts consistent?

Dissecting Obama’s Standard on Drone Strike Deaths

What do we know about how the administration counts killings by drones?

Follow ProPublica

Latest Stories from ProPublica