The Flaws of Drone Warfare
American tax dollars fund a secretive CIA operation that causes more terrorism than it prevents.
Is there ethical basis for a drone strike that kills civilians and children as well as intended targets? Can these high civilian casualties be considered war crimes? As a tax paying American, should I feel ethical guilt for funding a terrorizing campaign that was intended to be kept secret from the general public?
American drone strikes in the Middle East during the last ten years do not combat terrorism; they themselves are terroristic attacks that terrorize civilians, who in turn develop hated for the U.S. This hated leads towards terroristic tendencies, thus completing the perpetual circle of attack for attack, eye for an eye. There will always be hatred fueled plots against a world power that fires missiles from flying robots onto developing villages. The first step in ending this cycle is putting an end to the most terrifying aspect: the drone operations.
“A drone strike is a terror weapon, we don’t talk about it that way. It is; just imagine you are walking down the street and you don’t know whether in 5 minutes there is going to be an explosion across the street from some place up in the sky that you can’t see. Somebody will be killed, and whoever is around will be killed, maybe you’ll be injured if you’re there. That is a terror weapon. It terrorizes villages, regions, huge areas. It’s the most massive terror campaign going on by a long shot.”
— Noam Chomsky
According to the Bureau of Investigative Journalism:
All actions 2004 – January 31 2014
Total Obama strikes: 330
Total US strikes since 2004: 381
Total reported killed: 2,537-3,646
Civilians reported killed: 416-951
Children reported killed: 168-200
Total reported injured: 1,128-1,557
All actions 2002 – January 31 2014
Confirmed US drone strikes: 59-69
Total reported killed: 287-423
Civilians reported killed: 24-71
Children reported killed: 6
Reported injured: 74-185
Possible extra US drone strikes: 87-106
Total reported killed: 306-486
Civilians reported killed: 24-47
Children reported killed: 6-8
Reported injured: 79-110
All actions 2007 – January 31 2014
US drone strikes: 5-11
Total reported killed: 11-39
Civilians reported killed: 0-16
Children reported killed: 0
Reported injured: 2-24
Hundreds of collateral civilian deaths that could have been prevented via other more precise forms of ‘threat elimination’ will lead to stronger motivations for terrorist groups such as Al-Qaeda. There have undoubtedly been hundreds of Pakistanis who now have hatred for the U.S. because of sloppy drone strikes. And I am one of many who unwillingly or unknowingly footed the bill for this destructive multi-million dollar campaign of terrorism.
Submitted by Eli Miller
Dilemma Situationen, erarbeitet von InterMedia Studierenden an der FH Vorarlberg in der Lehrveranstaltung Medienethik.