27 October 2012 @ 02:31 pm
Drones, Iran, and hating Obama  
* Today's top read is "the permanent war", on counterterrorism, drones, and secret bases. Parts one, two, and three.
* The lack of debate over the drone war.
* Sectarian violence threatens a fragile peace in Myanmar.
* What do average citizens in Iran think about their nuclear program.
* Next up for the anti-abortion crowd: requiring spousal permission.
* The rapid growth of Islamist groups complicated intelligence gathering.
* Debunking the campaign spending gap.
* Whoah. Cataloging the Obama Haters book club.

mediaprophet: bazookamediaprophet on October 28th, 2012 12:20 pm (UTC)
OK with drones
You know, I'm OK with drones killing terrorists in states that either support them or are so dysfunctional that we can't work with them. The alternative is what? Training a massive worldwide network of spies that speak these rare local dialects? It seems impractical. Drones speak a universal language.

There are places where I think we need to draw hard lines, though. Lines that we have crossed and I'm not OK with.

If they're American citizens, I draw a line. Those have to be captured. If it's overseas, fine. If robots do it, fine. But capture not kill. I disagree with assassinating citizens.

If they have not committed a capital offense, I also draw a line. I'm opposed to the death penalty, but not opposed to killing wartime enemies, which is what this is. But if they have not acted against the nation or committed a capital offense (such as organizing a murder from afar) I draw a line.

If they can't manage to kill the target without harming innocents, then they're no better than the terrorists. That's another line I draw. There should be zero casualties other than the target(s).
PMMJ: Newscheetahmaster on October 30th, 2012 04:17 pm (UTC)
Re: OK with drones
One of the problems with the Guantanamo situation was that we didn't have good intelligence on the ground. So certain shady types found out they could collect rewards by telling us, hey, this guy is an al Qaeda sympathizer. Even if that guy was a political opponent, or someone they just had a grudge against, or whatever. We're still dealing with that fallout today.

Without that solid intelligence from on the ground, we have had the same problem with the drone program. Yes, they work really well, as a weapon. But they can't tell a terrorist gathering from a wedding, or just a large family. Hence us sending drones against a lot of civilians, and killing a lot of innocent people.

So we need to be versed with lots of foreign cultures and dialects, and working with good stable partners from the local region, so we don' get lead astray by factionalism. And yes, it is worth the ridiculous investment to do so. Otherwise we end up bombing a lot of innocent people, which is bad in and of itself, and also works against our goals everywhere.