Friday, April 28, 2017

Why Drones Work

During the Obama administration, President Obama embraced the covert forces that were really covert during the Bush administration - drones. Drones quickly became a policy unto themselves, and the Obama administration came up with an almost algorithm of who should be killed and who should be captured - with drones playing a huge role in this.

Many believe that drones will cause a huge backlash in the Middle East. The idea is that those who watch their friends and families murdered by drones will be more likely to join terrorist organizations that resist Western occupation. However, drones are actually proving to be the most humane form of warfare ever. If we look back in history to the inventions of certain weapons, there are similar backlashes. At first people thought the bow and arrow was too cruel, quickly followed by the cannon, and then the musket. It is a pattern repeated throughout history.

The biggest argument for drones is that they reduce civilian casualties by allowing its "controller" to carefully stalk their target, which in most cases included large amounts of intelligence to study the activities and whereabouts of their target. There have been messy civilian deaths in previous conflicts that have reflected badly on governments. Drones eliminate this possibility.

Asides from civilian deaths, drones cost far less than putting boots on the ground. Stemming from that, there is no risk to US forces when drones are used in lieu of them. They are a critical component of a counterterrorism strategy, where terrorists cannot simply be allowed to operate in safe havens throughout the Middle East. Drones offer a low-risk way of targeting these areas while minimizing comparative damage.

Whether people agree with it or not, drone warfare is here to stay. If there are amendments to be done, it needs to be on drone policy. Drone policy needs to become cleaner and stronger, so other countries have a harder time trying to justify that drones are the cause for all their civilian backlash. However, the US must not become too trigger happy, as drone warfare does have the capability of dragging the US into more conflicts than it would like.

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