Drone Accidents Are the Symptom, Not the Disease

Posted April 29, 2015 at 5:00am

Daphne Eviatar argues that “the accidental killings of two innocent hostages by US drones in Pakistan… and of the two other al-Qaeda-affiliated Americans who weren’t specifically targeted, is the logical consequence not simply of the US drone program, but of the murky definition of a war against an ever-changing terrorist organization and its ever-growing and shifting affiliates.”  

“One consequence of the heavy reliance on drones in places like Pakistan and Yemen, where the US is apparently conducting a war but not really admitting it, is that we’ve seen a complete abdication of responsibility by Americans for the consequences of the wars we’re fighting. The President isn’t talking about those wars, except in the rare instance when verifiably innocent Westerners are inadvertently killed, and Congress has abdicated its responsibility to oversee them.”  

“So long as the president and Congress leave in place the legal authorization for a worldwide war against an uncertain and ill-defined enemy, there will be innocent civilians killed. To be sure, most of them won’t be Americans or even Westerners, and we therefore won’t hear much about them, if at all. We certainly won’t hear many more apologies. But equally innocent people will continue to be killed, without a clear connection to a specific goal.”