Arguments Against Drone Strikes

1490 Words6 Pages
Based on current research and expert opinions I argue that U.S. drone strikes are an ineffective and damaging long-term counterterrorism strategy. Mounting evidence suggests that they do not only increase anti-American sentiment, but also allow the United States to become emotionally disconnected from the horrors of war. Michael Boyle, PhD, former member of President Obama 's counterterrorism expert advisory group, mirrors and builds on these ideas in his paper "The Costs and Consequences of Drone Warfare": "The Obama administration 's embrace of drones is encouraging a new arms race for drones that will empower current and future rivals and lay the foundations for an international system that is increasingly violent, destabilized and…show more content…
Many U.S. officials and prominent citizens have spoken out against drone strikes. General Stanley McChrystal, former leader of the US military in Afghanistan, echoes Boyle’s concerns in a Reuter’s interview. He says that the "resentment created by American use of unmanned strikes... is much greater than the average American appreciates. They are hated on a visceral level, even by people who 've never seen one or seen the effects of one" (Alexander). Ron Paul, MD, stated the following in his article titled "Ron Paul: Down with Deadly Drones”: "The use of drones overseas may have become so convenient, operated as they are from a great distance, that far more 'collateral damage ' has become acceptable. Collateral damage is a polite way of saying killing innocent civilians…” From these statements it is easy to conclude that U.S. drone strategy is causing far greater harm than good to our national security and international reputation. Some may feel that drones reduces risk to American service members, but this can be true only in the most shortsighted sense. Internationally the expanded use of drones is wildly unpopular and in fact creates more enemies than it eliminates and is only reinforcing the perception of American arrogance. We are in essence saying to the world that we can go wherever we want, whenever we want to and do whatever we want to. I strongly believe that this way of thinking has strongly influenced the unstable and unpredictable global environment…show more content…
Another great danger of drone warfare is the lack of empathy involved. Because of the cold disconnect, the remoteness of sitting behind a screen and control console, you can be totally disengaged from the act of killing someone on the other side of the planet. In Elisabeth Bumiller’s New York Times article, “A Day Job Waiting for a Kill Shot A World Away”, Keith Shurtleff, US army chaplain and ethics instructor, states that as soldiers are "physically and psychologically removed from the horrors of battle and see the enemy not as humans but as blips on a screen, there is a danger of losing the deterrent to war that its horrors normally provide." In the same article Colonel D. Scott Brenton acknowledged the disconnect of fighting a "telewar with a joystick and a throttle" thousands of miles away from the battlefield, then driving home to have dinner with his family. "I feel no emotional attachment to the enemy," he said. "I have a duty, and I execute the duty. No one in my immediate environment is aware of anything that occurred". Clearly there are unforeseen

More about Arguments Against Drone Strikes

Open Document