Whose ‘signature’ is on Signature Drone Strikes?
Blame Barack Obama if you like or George Bush (who began the drone program), even technology if you care to. But in the Islamic mind, it’s primarily America itself and the West follows as a byline. After all, do we operate drones against non-Muslims? I guess not.
The controversy is currently on innocents killed while pursuing targets, but it goes way beyond that. There is substantial evidence that the operation of drones, as well as the actual strikes, is militant Islam’s greatest recruiting agency. Numbers differ, but thousands (if not tens of thousands) join the militant cause as a result of drone programs. We may as well put up billboards, “Sign up Here to Defeat America.”
Congress diddles and flounders, investigates and takes no part in statecraft. That might require thoughtful consideration and we are too polarized for that. The question should be “does this work?” A follow-up would be “is it worth the cost in world opinion and terrorist recruitment to justify the gains paring back…