Does It Matter Who Pulls the Trigger in the Drone Wars?


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Drone warfare has changed engagement with adversaries at many levels. Rules of war are being rewritten. This needull looks at one of Trump’s decision related to drone warfare.

The issue being raised by some of Trump’s opponents is that the new policy will kill more civilians, as it will be carried out by an unfettered military instead of a “restrained” executive. Those additional deaths will lead to more radicalization of Muslims, which will impede America’s strategic progress toward an unclear goal—maybe a world without radicalized Muslims.

Such logic ignores the fact that President Obama approved 540 drone strikes killing 3,797 people in non-traditional war zones. No one knows how many of those bodies were civilians, although for the record the U.S. says it was precisely 324. The Council on Foreign Relations, however, estimates that drone strikes outside of Iraq and Afghanistan killed 3,674 civilians at last count.

Bottom line: There are already a lot of bodies out there under a policy of “restraint.”

The complete article

Peter Van Buren — The American Conservative

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