US Drones in Pakistan

I feel unprepared to form my own opinion on the drone strikes in Pakistan. Even if I had read the entire 182-page report I would still know less than the people who wrote it. For me to boldly state my opinion with any sort of confidence I would need to go to Pakistan and do my own research, to be sure of the truth of the current situation. I would talk to U.S. soldiers and Pakistani citizens to hear both sides. Once I was sure of the current situation, I could focus on predicting the future. I would need to educate myself about war strategies and what has worked and not worked in the past. I would have to hear all of the latest research about fatality projections and terrorist member growth projections and other relevant predictions. Even after I knew all this I would still seek the input of others to help me come to a decision. After seeing what currently was happening and what was likely to happen in the future if various paths were taken, I could begin to wrestle with the morality of the situation. If one innocent civilian dies, how many terrorists must also be killed for their loss of life to be “worth it”? Should anyone ever get to choose to sacrifice someone else’s life for the greater good? After all my hypothetical research and discussion, I would never be able to answer that question.

3 thoughts to “US Drones in Pakistan”

  1. I found it both interesting and comforting to hear that you feel unprepared to form your own opinion on the drone strikes in Pakistan. I too feel the same way and I am wondering why it is that I feel unprepared to form my own opinion. After thinking about it, I think it is because I have trouble forming opinions on issues that I have very little personal connection too. I am overwhelmed by the evidence presented in the full report, and even though I now feel more education I actually feel more confused. What is a way to handle this?

  2. I feel the exact same way! In fact, with any major political issue I can never feel 100% confident with my standing. The truth of the matter is that there are so many forces that need to be considered, from societal forces to international pressures, they all add up, and that’s exactly why we elect someone to make these kinds of awful decisions. After looking at the report, I took it upon myself to do additional research on it, and still I am confused as well. It saddens me that Obama has increased drone attacks in Pakistan since he’s been in office, especially since before he was elected he prided himself in “ending the war on terror”. Personally, I’m an Obama fan, and I realize that he may not have realized how many factors play a role in actually being able to make that claim a reality; however, like you said, I wish I could know more. Talking to those who have lived it and who have controlled the drones would give me a much more educated opinion versus reading articles on the internet which were likely drafted mainly from information given in the news (which we all know is subject to numerous social factors and isn’t always completely accurate).

  3. I had similar questions come to mind while thinking about how to respond to this report. Even if we had all of the data, it’s hard to say if the drone attacks have been worth it or not. The narrative insists that these attacks will (hypothetically) save American lives from terrorist attacks, but we’ll never have a quantitative value of how much life was saved. Meanwhile, innocent lives are being lost in Pakistan due to the drone attacks, and I wonder if, by continuing this practice, the U.S. is saying that is okay to kill some to save others. Is the loss of innocent lives justifiable in some cases? Morally and ethically, I want to say no. However, I have bought into the narrative for so long, I feel like a traitor saying that it could be wrong. I definitely want to protect my life and the lives of Americans around me, so if drone attacks help or appear to increase security, I guess I support them. Unfortunately, for most Americans, I think we care more about ourselves than others, and we think that our lives are more valuable than the innocent ones being lost in Pakistan.

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