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May 31, 2015

Interfaith Letter on Drone Warfare

Leaders of over twenty faith communities have sent an “Interfaith Letter on Drone Warfare” to President Barak Obama and the U.S. Congress.

The signers stated the thousands of deaths, often of innocent people, due to lethal drone strikes are morally unacceptable. The letter also raises concerns that targeted killings by drones lack transparency and accountability. Finally the letter argues that drone strikes do not make the United States safer but aid recruitment by extremist groups.

Elizabeth Beavers, Co-Convener of the Interfaith Working Group on Drone Warfare, noted that many human rights groups and journalists have tried to tally the casualties from drone strikes. A recent study by the Open Society Foundation found that in nine case studies in Yemen, innocent civilians were documented to have been killed in all nine drone strikes.

In their letter, the interfaith leaders point to more effective methods of combating extremism through nonviolent-creative strategies, including sustainable humanitarian and development assistance, and programs that address the political, economic and social exclusion that fuel radicalization.

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