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These Powerful Visualizations Show The Scope Of The US Drone War

Paul Szoldra

The use of weaponized unmanned aerial vehicles — often referred to as drones — has risen steadily in the decade after the 9/11 attacks.

We see reports of the latest drone strike that may have killed a wanted terrorist, but the bigger picture is often lost of just how prolific the drone has become in modern warfare.

Using the real-time dataset from Josh Begley's Dronestream, software developer Mantas Jasinevicius put together heat maps of the most heavily targeted areas for drone strikes, charts of the countries that see the most attacks, and a graph of deaths and injuries caused from strikes.

Mantas gave us permission to share these images:

drone heatmap 2

Mantas Jasinevicius

As you can see from this heatmap, the hotspots are right on the Pakistan-Afghanistan border and in southern Yemen. Here's the breakdown by country:

drone piechart

Mantas Jasinevicius

And this visualization provides a bit more detail on drone activity in the volatile region of the Af-Pak border.

drone heatmap

Mantas Jasinevicius

In this stacked-bar graph, you see the results of drone strikes from 2012-present (all the way back to 2002 is here). This shows the number killed — including children — and also numbers of injured. You can see a March 2012 strike in Yemen was particularly devastating, with dozens of civilians injured.

drone graph

Mantas Jasinevicius

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