Yesterday a drone strike was responsible for killing an insurgent, two women, and a child. Karzai came out and decried this as another reason he’s opposed to the latest deal with America. I’m sure Al Qaeda and The Taliban will be releasing their own statement about his soon. Drone strikes are effective in killing terrorists, but does it just grow hatred for America?
I don’t have a problem with us killing the terrorist. I also don’t have a problem killing their wives and adult relatives that are hanging out with the terrorists. These people know who they’re hanging out with and are complicit with their support. My doubt on the effectiveness of drone strikes comes when small children and innocent bystanders are killed.
There are all kinds of numbers being floated out there about how many kids and civilians we’ve killed in drone strikes. In an early November statement, Pakistan stunned the world by revising their numbers on the amount of civilians killed. Their revised number stated that 67 people out of the 2,227 killed by drones since 2008 were civilians. This is less than 3% of all casualties in drone strikes. Not a bad number, but it still means our government killed 67 innocent people. So why do we always hear about the thousands of civilians we’ve killed? Why does this differ from the numbers that human rights groups have been claiming and what Pakistan had claimed earlier? We know the answer to this. Most human rights groups would rather call us there terrorists than those that are actually committing the terrorism.
This brings us to the crux of the problem with drone strikes: Propaganda. These human rights groups, The Taliban, and Al Qaeda inflate numbers to increase public hatred towards America. The Taliban and Al Qaeda use this as their greatest recruiting tool. This might be the best gift we could give our enemy and ultimately may result in many American deaths. It doesn’t matter what our government says because it’s still our military dropping bombs on people in another country. I tend to think about how we’d feel if another country were dropping bombs and missiles in Kansas killing our fellow countrymen.
As you can gather from my rant, I’m not sure where I stand on the issue. Do you think these drone strikes increase anti American sentiment or do you believe they’re effective in stopping terrorism? I’m not so sure they’re the right course, but I may be convinced with good information.