Recently there has been a rise in civilian deaths….both reported and those that are hidden from the light…..and it is not limited to one conflict or another it is across the spectrum in our War on Terror…..
“There is no military solution” is an often-heard saying since the “global war on terror” began almost 18 years ago.
We need political solutions to the military conflicts we’ve embroiled ourselves in over the last two decades, most policymakers agree. But in the meantime, the last three administrations have sent in the military to pave the way for a political solution—and have kept them there, allegedly to protect civilians from the Taliban in Afghanistan, ISIS in Syria and al-Shabab in Somalia, among other militant groups.
Yet all too often, these civilians become casualties of the very military forces Washington supposedly deployed to protect them.
A series of new reports document an alarming escalation of civilian casualties caused by U.S. operations in Syria, Afghanistan and Somalia — and with it, a pattern of U.S. denial about the scale of the problem. The result is a global war on terror that persists in killing and injuring civilians—including children—in ever rising numbers.
Ever heard of a missile that doesn’t explode? That, the Wall Street Journal reports, is a key feature of a secret weapon adapted by the US military. It’s a modified version of a Hellfire missile that hits pinpoint targets but doesn’t explode on impact, meaning reduced damage and less risk of civilian casualties. The weapon, which the Journal likens to a “speeding anvil” falling out of the sky, is known as R9X. But it also has a nickname, “the flying Ginsu,” inspired by its hidden ring of six blades, which emerges just before impact and shreds anything it meets. The missile was in development as early as 2011—a similar weapon was reportedly considered in the plot to kill Osama bin Laden—but so far the Journal has found only two instances in which it’s been used.Essentially, the weapon is employed when a regular airstrike on a high-value target would pose a risk to innocent bystanders. Aware that the US would want to avoid civilian casualties, terrorists routinely hide in places with women and children. With the R9X, the US can minimize the risk. After the CIA used the R9X to kill an al-Qaeda terrorist traveling by car in Syria in 2017, for example, photos showed a large hole in the vehicle’s roof, along with some cracks in the windshield. Otherwise, the exterior of the car appeared in pretty good shape. Gizmodo notes rumors have been swirling about a secret weapon since that time.(antiwar.com)