I have been following the use of Predator and Reaper Drones by the U.S. ever since I first heard of them via a video presentation by P.W. Singer. Singer’s book, “Wired for War,” discusses them in great detail, as well as the future of military technology and how it will shape the future of battle.
Here is Singer’s Video:
If Singer’s video doesn’t have you convinced then maybe CNN will be more convincing. The following video by Fareed Zakaria describes still more frightening developments in this clandestine operation of Predator Drones, which is headed by the CIA and not the DOD like some may think. He also tells of an American who was approved for “targeted killing” by the drone program. The ACLU has filed a suit against the U.S. Government as a result.
Watch the Video:
The drones are controlled by their operators out of Creech Air Force Base, a remote Air Force Base in Nevada. This all sounds like something out of a conspiracy theorists notebook, or a corny low-budget film, but the fact is that you just can’t make this stuff up.
Fareed Zakaria states that the estimate of civilian deaths to terrorist targets killed is “fifty civilians dead for each terrorist.” This hardly seems effective to say the least, and the outrage it’s causing in Pakistan is evidence that we won’t make new allies in the Mid-East with this kind of policy in place.
If you watched the video, then you know that Pakistan was promised a dozen drones, which would be unarmed, as a means of diffusing the anger caused by the drone program. But is this an appropriate response for the killing of a nation’s citizens as a result of an invasive military strategy that erases sovereign borders?
We aren’t at war in Pakistan, but it seems that Harold Koh’s interpretation of the law, (described in the video) makes possible all kinds of ancillary military operations as long as we have declared war on “terrorists.” This sentiment is not unique with him and could explain the larger problem with American foreign policy post-9/11.
The problem in my mind is that the U.S. has a habit in the post-9/11 world of permitting these kinds of policies, not taking into account the potential for backlash, or blow-back, that may be associated with them. The U.S. can no longer afford to hide behind euphemisms like collateral damage. Furthermore, the more we broaden the scope of what the battlefield is, which is precisely the danger with drones, the more we risk the potential for total war.
I welcome your comments,