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View Diary: On the Lethal Use of Drones (112 comments)

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  •  Apart fom the legal and moral problems (2+ / 0-)
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    truong son traveler, Onomastic

    with the use of these drones, I think it's going to come back and bite us on the ass. Not just a few people will come to despise us for using this cowardly, impersonal method of killing them.

    Tactically, drones make a lot of sense -- but strategically I think they will prove to have been a bad mistake.

    First of all, because the mere assassination of Al Qaida leaders will never stop, nor even much slow down the spread of fundamentalist terrorism. If anything, it is likely to increase local enthusiasm for it.

    Second, because for every terrorist leader we kill, we are also killing members of his family or tribe, who may or may not have any sympathy with terrorist tactics. In other words, we are radicalizing more people than we are killing.

    Third, we are undermining the role and importance of international law. By flagrantly disregarding protocols that have been widely respected, we are weakening our moral standing vis a vis the international community, and our ability to enforce the codes to which we want other nations to comply.

    Fourth, by developing and refining our drones we are opening up a technological can of worms whereby this technology will soon be available to nearly everyone, friend and foe alike. With untold consequences.

    Granted, Obama's practice of assassinating terrorists by remote control is preferable to Dubya's all-out warfare and occupations. Perhaps we are indeed going in a better direction. But I don't think we have yet understood the nature and character of the "enemy" we are so blindly, and expensively attacking.

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