To Drone or Not to Drone

A U.S. Air Force MQ-9 Reaper unmanned aerial vehicle taxis into Creech Air Force Base, Nev., March 13, 2007. This is the first MQ-9 to arrive at Creech and will be assigned to the 42nd Attack Squadron. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Larry E. Reid Jr./Released)A U.S. Air Force MQ-9 Reaper unmanned aerial vehicle taxis into Creech Air Force Base, Nev., March 13, 2007. This is the first MQ-9 to arrive at Creech and will be assigned to the 42nd Attack Squadron. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Larry E. Reid Jr./Released)

Today the United States military confirmed that the Air Force conducted an airstrike in Somalia on Thursday. The target was Al-Shabaab’s – an al-Queda affiliate – operational commander Hassan Ali Dhoore. Dhoore was involved in a number of attacks in Mogadishu, one of which resulted in the death of three Americans. The statement from the Pentagon said Dhoore was planning another attack.

The use of drones has been under intense criticism from a wide range of political voices. Human rights activist cite the collateral damage. Strict constitutionalist see it as a loophole for the executive branch to circumvent the legislative branch and use a weapon of war. The libertarian minded voices warn of this sterile yet effective tool of warfare being used on Americans.

Collateral damage is a tragic fact of using such a terrifying device, but does it create more terrorist than it kills, as activist often claim? There’s yet to be any evidence to support that assertion. All executive orders in some way are intended to side step the intentional glacial pace at which congress moves. That’s not always practical when the intelligence community has evidence of an imminent threat and needs to act quickly. The pace of the world has sped up exponentially in the last 25 years. The fears of libertarians aren’t without some level of reality. The United States government could conceivably turn this flying robot of death on it’s own people, but to date it hasn’t even been used in the Western Hemisphere — that has been made public. The United States has had the world’s most powerful air force since 1947. It has never used it on the American population. Why would it be an option now?

These questions are healthy and should be asked regularly, but it’s impossible to deny the effectiveness and reach of the program in global struggle against Islamic extremist.

Link: http://www.abc10.com/news/nation-now/us-airstrike-targets-terror-leader-in-somalia/114734173

1 Comment on "To Drone or Not to Drone"

  1. Steve Caimano | April 24, 2016 at 7:19 pm | Reply

    I think the fears of libertarians aren’t just about the use of this force in the Western Hemisphere. I think they are summarized by these arguments:
    1) What if the person we’re targeting is a US citizen in Somalia (or Yemen, or Libya, or pick your favorite non-Western Hemisphere country). Who makes the determination they are subject to the Laws of War vice the laws of this country?
    2) As you talk about in the article, are we really comfortable giving the Executive Branch unfettered power to conduct armed strikes in any country without authorization from Congress? Could the administration conduct a drone strike in Eastern Ukraine, for example? Part of Congress’ glacial pace, and part of why the Executive Branch has been allowed to take more and more power for itself (in foreign policy and other areas) is the reluctance of career politicians in the Legislative Branch to take a definitive stance (through voting) in order to avoid electoral consequences.

    There’s more but I don’t want to go on a rant.

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