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The Deal with Drones

Autor:   •  January 6, 2019  •  3,806 Words (16 Pages)  •  4 Views

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Effectiveness of Drones

The purpose of drones in military establishment is used for surveillance, intelligence, reconnaissance and in the case of effectiveness, targeted killings. Robert Farley has mentioned five states: the US, China, Israel, Iran and Russia who are actively using drones, but the US has by far the best and strong technology for drones.[34] Drones have become one of the most important tool of statecraft and weapon in the US due to “war on terror”. This section of the essay will focus mainly on the usage of drones by the US and how effective it is as a weapon and evaluate if it is only showing a positive signs. Despite President Obama’s recent interview to say that the US will stop relying too much on drones, he signed off 400 drone strikes, which is 350 more strikes then what President George Bush signed off during his presidency.[35] This made their drone program to be a centrepiece of the US and developed counterterrorism strategy. The main cause for the US to use drone in warfare is to overthrow terrorist groups or in fact to eliminate them forever. Thus, “war on terror” is their motivation which lead the US air force to first use their armed drone against the terrorist groups. There is only one simple reason why the Obama administration relies on drones: they work.[36] The New America Foundation have provided the data to illustrate how effective is was to use drone against the terrorist groups. Since Obama became the president of the America, the drone strikes have “killed an estimation of 3300 al Qaeda, Taliban, and other jihadist operatives in Pakistan and Yemen”.[37] It comprises over 50 senior leaders of Taliban and al-Qaeda which they cannot easily replace with someone else. Ulrike Esther Franke stated that drone is the most useful military inventions of all times which are very effective at targeted killings.[38] Out of all the possible argument to suggest the effectiveness of drone, the central argument is that they kill the key member of the terrorist group which has the high impact on the groups in terms of terror operation. Joshua Foust noted that compare to other military weapons, drones are more precise and accurate with killing leaders and insurgent.[39] The reason why taking leader out is important is that, without a leader in any form of groups, they are bound to be in chaotic situation.[40] In additions, less leaders’ means less skilful members in the organizations to manage the groups, and this has a huge impact on their morality. When the leader is dead, their fear of being killed increases rapidly, which sometimes make them to leave the terrorist group.[41] Furthermore, not only few members leaving the organization, the whole group might face the total collapse. The other key issue to support the effectiveness of the drone is that, constantly flying over terrorist territory would scared them off to underground, which would delay any sorts of their terrorist attack, and will not be able to move from the spot. Another point to say about drone as an effective weapon is that it grows the strong relationship between states. Similar to the World War Two that the alliance had common enemy to defeat, the US, Pakistan and Yemen did too. Advocating public sentiment, Politicians in Pakistan and Yemen consistently rail against the US drone strikes. However, in reality, both states have supported the US drone campaign.[42] In 2008, Pervez Musharraf, president of Pakistan periodically hosted the US drone strikes on their country, and Ali Abullah Saleh, the president of Yemen did too.[43] The Yemen government even covered for the US drone strikes and told their public that it was Yemeni air force which conducted the strikes. As much as it was effective in terms of targeted killings, the most effectiveness of drone is that it saved Americans lives. Loren Manning stated that, “drone strikes are not harming nor dehumanizing the war exertion: they are the best weapon to use while in a battle to obtain their goals with as few American soldiers’ lives lost as possible”.[44] Furthermore, the world common terrorist enemy Osama bin Laden was defeated partly due to drones. It was not drone which killed Osama bin Laden, however, it transmitted the video to the US government to allocate where he was hiding.[45] Without these intelligent tools, the American troops would had to search more and more while fighting against Taliban which could have bring more casualties. Taking into consideration all of the contentions above, it is clear to a say that drones are effective weapon to use, when using against targeted killings.

Despite the fact that it is effective weapon to use against targeted killings, many of the scholars and journalist have claimed that in the long-term it is ineffective. An International Crisis Group concluded that, the US drone strikes against Pakistan’ tribal region was an ineffective result to solve the problems that they try to address.[46] Since 2004, the US has used drone strikes in Pakistan’s Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA), and according to the US government, the strikes resulted with 20 to 30 top al-Qaeda leaders were killed. Although the strikes were successful, the International Crisis Group argues that the drone policy was only successful in short-term.[47] The policy “fails to deter militant groups in the long-term, which means, as long as FATA remains the region will be a hot-bed for jihadis”.[48] Moreover, the primary objectives of the US counterterrorism are threefold: a defeat of al-Qaeda strategically, the suppression of local war so that they do not expand their groups, and the security for American people.[49] However, drones did not achieve all these targets. First of all, although it killed many terrorist leaders, it creates more terrorist group due to resentment. Mark Bowden stated that, it is proven in the 20th century warfare that more civilians were killed in standard warfare compare to the drone strikes. However, the issue is not only with the number of civilian casualties. The innately mystery nature of the weapon makes a relentless sentiment fear in the zones where drones drift in the sky, and the misery of groups that are forced to bear strikes causes extreme backfire.[50] Reaction to drone strikes comes in numerous assortments. To start with, revenge is focused at those inside the simple scope of the insurgents and militants. The casualties of those revenge terrorist attacks also believes the drone strikes are accountable for all the chaos.[51] Therefore, terrorist and civilians become closer with each other out of sympathy creating more anti-US hatred. In additions, Pilkington noted that, callousness of drone killings increases propagates anti-US hatred as well.[52] Secondly, the US has failed to defeat al-Qaeda with their drone strikes. Simon Jenkins stated that, ‘there


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