Drones Are Scary, but They’re the Answer to Asymmetrical Warfare
Drones are better than war, but sometimes drones are used when war is not the alternative.
One of the great controversies of Barack Obama’s presidency has been the pervasive use of drones, or unmanned aerial vehicles, which are used to target enemies in the so-called War on Terror either in or outside of established war zones, that is, not only in Afghanistan, but in Pakistan or anywhere else enemy leadership might be found. In essence, drones can make any location a war zone, even if no soldiers are present.
The drone does not target armies, but individuals, and some of those individuals are civilians, more, critics say, that the U.S. government is willing to admit. Yet Pakistan itself, where many of these drone strikes occur, tells us that only about 3 percent of casualties are civilians. According to The Huffington Post early this year - five years into the drone campaign - casualties totaled 2,400. In a more conventional-style campaign in Iraq, the ICCC offers a figure of 43,099 civilian casualties alone from from April 28, 2005 to August 22, 2008. Yet civilian casualties seem to be more in the news now than when they were dying in droves. What is is about drones that stirs up such controversy?