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Bomb dropper alert: precision missiles don’t stop civilian deaths

Modern guided missiles and bombs are capable of incredible, almost science-fiction-like precision. To research my book, Reaper Force, about the lives of drone operators, I was allowed to watch RAF MQ-9 Reaper drones in real-time action in Syria.

I sat with a three-person crew at a ground-control station in Creech Air Force Base in Nevada as they killed an Islamic State fighter with a Hellfire precision-guided missile. The Reaper drone being piloted was flying 20,000 feet above its target. He was on a moving motorcycle when the missile hit him.

Missile accuracy is judged by how close it gets to its aiming point. Precision refers to the size and predictability of the explosive blast. The strike I watched was accurate and precise and no civilians were hurt.



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