U.K. University Takes Moral High Ground in Ending Its $2 Million Investment in U.S. Drones
Officials at a top university in the United Kingdom have bowed to public pressure and withdrawn the school’s investment in U.S. drones.
The University of Edinburgh had a $2 million (£1.2 million) stake in Ultra Electronics, a British firm that manufactures navigation controls for Predator and Reaper unmanned aerial vehicles and ground control stations.
Investing in drone development was deemed not “socially responsible” by the university as well as students and campaign groups that lobbied Edinburgh to pull out of the business.
“The covert US drone program has killed hundreds of civilians and traumatized populations in Pakistan and Yemen,” Catherine Gilfedder of the human rights group Reprieve told The Guardian. “In divesting from Ultra Electronics, Edinburgh University has demonstrated its disapproval of companies profiting from such killings, and the importance of socially responsible investment.”
American drones have been used on covert missions in Pakistan, Yemen, Somalia and other countries. The Bureau for Investigative Journalism says more than 430 strikes have occurred since 2002, killing at least 428 civilians, of whom 173 were children.
In Afghanistan, British drones have been more than three times as likely to lead to strikes as American drones, according to the Bureau’s analysis of drone data recently released by the British government.
To Learn More:
Edinburgh University Ends Funding for US Drone Component Maker (by Rob Edwards, The Guardian)
UK Drones Three Times More Likely than US to Fire in Afghanistan (by Alice K Ross, Bureau of Investigative Journalism)
Obama Using Drones to Kill Others besides al-Qaeda despite Public Statements (by Noel Brinkerhoff and David Wallechinsky, AllGov)
Unnamed U.S. Official Denies Drones Have Killed 168 Children in Pakistan (by Noel Brinkerhoff, AllGov)
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