The United States' increasing use of drone warfare has become increasingly controversial. Proponents claim that drones 'can silently observe an individual, group, or location for hours on end, but take immediate action should a strike opportunity become available--all without putting a pilot at risk. This combination of capabilities is unique and has allowed the United States to decimate the leadership of al-Qaeda in Afghanistan and disrupt the activities of many other militant groups.' Also, the distance from combat allows the drone operator to be more focused and precise, which can prevent unnecessary loss of military and civilian lives.
Opponents claim that drone warfare has exacerbated anti-American sentiment because it has killed thousands of innocent civilians. Also, since drone warfare reduces American loss of life, it lowers the political and psychological barriers to war, conceivably making it easier and more likely for America to attack. Finally, some of America's drone warfare is shrouded in secrecy. Information about drones used by the military is publicly available, but not for drones used by the CIA. The Obama Administration has claimed that it is abiding by the rules of war, but has classified its drone warfare policy. Since the U.S. is the only country using drone warfare, the U.S. is setting precedent, a precedent that is currently covert and boundary-less.
Is drone warfare be the future of American warfare? Should it be?
Should we have a clearly defined, transparent drone warfare policy?
References are below.
All views and political orientations are welcome.
We welcome beginners and policy wonks alike. Feel free to join the discussion or just to listen and learn.
If you sign up and change your mind, please change your reply so that someone else may attend.
Meetup to last 1.5 hours (until 5:30 PM) although, of course, people are welcome to continue beyond that point.
America's New Air Force ('60 Minutes' Video)
Everything We Know So Far About Drone Strikes
Exploring Effectiveness, Consequences of Drone Warfare
Ethics of Drones
US General Admits Drone Attacks Cause 'Visceral' Resentment
Reforming U.S. Drone Strike Policies (Audio and Transcript)
President Obama Should Limit Drone Killings
The Moral Case for Drones
In Defense of Drones
Judge Denies NY Times' Bid to Uncover Details on Drone Strikes
Two Birds with One Drone (Stephen Colbert)