After reading this article, as well as most of the responses from my classmates, it is easy to see that most people feel that the drone strikes are unnecessary and, frankly, un-American. I absolutely agree with the fact that anything that kills innocent civilians is reckless and morally wrong. However, just like in class last Friday when I felt compelled to defend the male sex (we aren’t all pigs, I promise!), I feel like someone needs to play devil’s advocate and vouch on behalf of the US government.
For one, this is not the first time the US has carried out missions where innocent lives were killed. Do the cities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki ring a bell? While that was on a much different level, the US has never shied away from asserting their dominance on the rest of the world. I clearly don’t know Obama’s ultimate motive of the drone strikes, but he has faced accusations from both political parties for being too soft on foreign policy. 11 years after 9/11, Obama may be using the drone strikes as a message to prove to the world that we are back, that we as a country will not back down from any threat of terrorism.
Secondly, the report says that, “The number of “high-level” targets killed as a percentage of total casualties is extremely low—estimated at just 2%.” Yes, this is an extremely low number, and you would like to hope that the government’s main terrorism prevention strategies would yield better results. But is 2% worth it? For instance, a drone strike in June was confirmed to have killed the Al-Qaeda second-in- command, Abu Yahya al-Libi. If the drone strikes are chipping away at the leadership of Al-Qaeda, the US is clearly hoping to dismantle the terrorism organization piece-by-piece. Is it the safest and most morally correct strategy? Absolutely not. But will it help prevent another 9/11 from happening? Definitely.
I hope people don’t look at me as endorsing the killing of civilians. I certainly am not. But there are two sides to every story, and its impossible to think that the US government has not thoroughly thought through the pros and cons of drone strikes. I guess I have a little more faith that the government knows what they are doing. Anybody have any thoughts on this of the story?