Botched Drone Strike (with Joe Cirincione)

US Central Command’s top general Kenneth McKenzie last week had to make one of the most painful mea culpas in the history of the US Government’s war on terror. A drone strike intended to save the lives of US soldiers had ended up taking the lives ten innocent Afghan civilians. Seven of them were children.  

A rare acknowledgment that a tool the Pentagon and CIA have relied on for years to target terrorists was in this instance tragically botched thanks to sketchy intelligence that confused a civilian aide worker with an ISIS suicide bomber. McKenzie came clean, only after reporters on the ground exposed the Pentagon’s mistake raising new questions about how many other civilians in Afghanistan, Pakistan, Somalia, and Yemen have also been killed in US drone strikes. And how does this affect the Biden administrations planned use of “over the horizon” drone strikes to prevent Al-Qaeda resurgence in the country we just abandoned? 

Joe Cirincione joins to discuss the botched strike and where we go from here.



  • Michael Isikoff (@Isikoff), Chief Investigative Correspondent, Yahoo News
  • Daniel Klaidman (@dklaidman), Editor in Chief, Yahoo News
  • Victoria Bassetti (@VBass), fellow, Brennan Center for Justice (contributing co-host)



  • The Quincy Institute for Responsible Statecraft - Here.
  • Yahoo News' Dylan Stableford and Chris Wilson's original piece on the bothced drone strike - Here.
  • Dan Klaidman's book Kill or Capture on focusing on drone strikes - Here.

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