U.S. drone attacks appear to be increasing dramatically although the government conceals information on the scope and intensity of drone operations. https://www.wired.com/2012/08/somalia-drones/

Indicators of this expansion include the August 2016 Air Force announcement http://www.airforcemag.com/MagazineArchive/Magazine Documents/2016/August 2016/0816reapers.pdf  that it would increase bonuses for drone operators as part of its “get well” plan to address the high rate of attrition among drone operators.  Causes for attrition include long hours at drone control consoles and the psychological stress of being responsible for drone killings.  The Air Force also said it would mobilize more Air National Guard members to fly drone missions and hire more private contractors to fly military drone surveillance missions.  The shortfall in drone operators in early 2016 was about 500, according to Congressional testimony of Air Force General Herbert Carlisle.  http://www.cnn.com/2016/03/17/politics/air-force-pilot-shortage/index.html

The goal of the Pentagon, according to a Los Angeles Times report, is to increase U.S. Air Force combat air patrols from 60 a day in 2016 to 90 in 2019.  Each combat air patrol has four drones operating of the course of a day. http://www.latimes.com/nation/la-fg-drone-contractor-20151127-story.html 

In addition, the Pentagon has increased its orders for Hellfire missiles and 500 hundred pound bombs used by drones as well as other aircraft.  http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-3499552/Look-ISIS-Lockheed-Martin-QUADRUPLES-manufacturing-laser-guided-bombs-boosts-production-hellfire-missiles.html

The U.S. is also building new drone control bases in Niger and Tunisia, in addition to its other African bases, in what appears to be a plan to progressively create a global sphere of capacity for U.S. drone surveillance and attack.



In short, drone casualty figures from the U.S. government and non-governmental organizations hide the reality that drone attacks are an ongoing, expanding atrocity conducted largely against extremely poor Muslim people of color who have no means to defend themselves against U.S. drone terrorism.