Honors World Regional Blog Post #9

Slightly different blog assignment this time. Write a 500+ word critique of the movie you’re seeing in class this week. Please include consideration of the following in your discussion:

 

The difference between military and intelligence service criteria for targeting “terrorists”

 

The use of double-strike missile hits, is this a war crime?

 

The ethics of drone strikes on countries with which we are not officially at war

 

The ability of drone warfare to permit the prosecution of a permanent state of war.

 

18 thoughts on “Honors World Regional Blog Post #9

  1. In my personal opinion this film does a very good job in analyzing a very controversial topic in a mostly non-biased way, therefore allowing for a more clear analysis of the issue at hand without one side being glorified over the other.
    One of the main conflicts portrayed during the film is the definition of terrorists and side casualties used by the military. The movie first start by portraying the use of drones as ethical, as they are used during wartime instead of risking the lives of American soldiers, yet the distance between the operator and the mission eliminates the emotial attachment that soldiers usually experience during their missions. Yet this all changes once the crew in the film starts working for the CIA as their targets less ethical, and their methods more brutal. According to the military only combatants were supposed to be harmed, with the military avoiding side casualties at all costs. Yet according to the CIA any person present at the scene whether a combatant or not, is to be considered a target leading to an increasing amount of side casualties. Thus raising the question if national security is worth the life of innocent people in different regions of the world.
    Personally I believe that second strikes and strikes in non-combatant countries should be treated as a war crime. While in different circumstances the second strike wouldn’t be so unethical if it weren’t because the CIA was killing civilians in the process. Also violating other countries sovereignty to carry out operations, whether for national security or not, violates every single international treaty signed by the United States, basically nullifying international law, thus invalidating the very laws the United States claim to be protecting in the first place. Yet the ramifications exhibited by this moral issue range deeper than what could initially be seen. For example the very definition of a terrorists is of a person that in times of peace will carry out attacks against the civilian population in order to create terror; therefore if the CIA keeps killing civilians in large numbers, as well as combatants in countries that aren’t at the war with the united states that would technically mean the CIA could be considered a terrorist organization, meaning that in its increasing ruthlessness to protect national security, they have become the very organizations they’re fighting in the first place, raising plenty of ethical issues, as well as hurting America’s image in the international community.
    Yet more importantly the widespread use of drones has allowed to create a state of constant war that has been used to scare the population into supporting several policies regarding international relations, yet the question at hands remains whether there really is such a state of imminent war, or is the government just exaggerating conflicts in order to sway the opinions of the media. By the end of the film it becomes clearly evident that the original purpose of the Drone program has been twisted and uncorrupted into a unethical practice, whose policies should be revised

  2. According to the agency, the CIA definition of “terrorism” is “premeditated, politically motivated violence perpetrated against noncombatant targets by subnational groups or clandestine agents.” This was interesting to find because while watching this movie I couldn’t help, but notice that starting in the middle, and towards the end, the targets these drone soldiers were striking were becoming less and less clear “terrorist” targets, perhaps turning these soldiers into the real terrorists. This was made obvious in several moments throughout the film because Thomas was visibly, emotionally shaken when he had to strike down targets surrounded by civilians. The CIA agent called them “collateral damage” and had “proved” their accidental extermination necessary for the safety of our own country. Ethan Hawke’s character and his co-pilot are increasingly disturbed with their missions, because they do not view these gun wielders as terrorists. They do not know these people and the CIA agent they are contacting through a phone is not giving them enough information about these targets for them to consider them terrorists. Who knows if the agent himself considers them terrorist, but orders were taken and regretted. Suarez even mentions that they themselves may be the true terrorists because according to the CIA’s definition of “terrorism” they fired on noncombatant targets under a politically charged act of violence. There was a point in the movie where they had to fire twice on a certain area because people began digging in the rubble from the first attack. Suarez begins to argue against this order stating that they are simply rescue, but the CIA agent ignores this and orders them to fire. When discussing their mission later, Suarez asks her fellow soldiers if they just committed a war crime, and I believe technically they did. What was interesting, was that the drones were also used for protection of our soldiers. It gave the drone pilots a sense of heroism to the viewers, and this puts drone warfare under a greater light rather than it just being a silent evil waiting in the United States. This leads me to talk about the ethics that comes along heavily with drone warfare. Being able to shoot missiles at “enemies” from a world away, is probably the safest form of warfare you can have. But It was very hard for these soldiers to actually kill people they felt were not causing harm to anyone. They ended up firing on people in countries they weren’t officially in a war with. This is brings up the argument for whether drone warfare is just a underhanded form of war. No body on our side is in danger when everyone on their side is in danger and they have no idea when it is coming and innocent people are being killed. These civilians, in the movie, are changed to be “terrorist threats” as to sound like they were striking threats against the United States, when in actuality, we become the terrorists. And we are the kind hiding behind a computer which makes a little easier to strike down someone you don’t have watch die face to face. The Drone Program deteriorated Egan’s trust in the valiance of his duties because it has become a corrupted system.

  3. Good Kill
    The movie Good Kill by Andrew Niccol was an interesting and shocking movie. The overall story and characterization was very dark and depressing. The movie showed the effects of drone warfare on Air Force pilots. Rather than just exploring the ethics of drone missile strikes, this movie examined the hearts and minds of airmen who face combat on a screen, killing people 7,000 miles away. The movie showed how a Major in the Air Force suffered from not being a true pilot. The battles of alcoholism and a crumbling home life were side effects of his mission.
    In the movie, the drone strike airmen are contacted by the CIA in order to take down suspected terrorists via drone missiles. According to the movie, the military strikes targets who have committed acts of terrorism, or attempted to. The CIA wants the airmen to destroy suspected criminals by whatever means necessary. In the movie the CIA orders strikes when civilians are present, even children. The CIA even ordered the strike on a funeral because the attendees must be terrorists because they are mourning the death of a terrorist and his family. The Air Force members are very upset by this and do not want to obey the orders, but they do because it’s the law. The CIA makes them double strikes to kill the people who rush to the scene and help clean up/remove bodies. These double strikes are war crimes, in my opinion. We should not kill people just for helping others, in fact we should encourage helping. If the military continues to destroy whole villages just because they help each other out, there will be nothing left. Even if the man is a known terrorist, the other members of the family may not be. The neighbors may be the wife’s sister, or cousin, just helping because they are family, not because they are activists of terrorism. Attacks like these are unethical.
    Flying in air space without permission, killing citizens, collecting data, spying, etc. are all considered acts of war by most countries. If we are not officially at war, what gives us the right to do such things? On the other hand, they are gathering intelligence and killing our citizens, so why don’t we just agree that we are at war? War is no longer boots-on-the-ground, firing guns, WW2 kind of affair. War is long and ugly and the reasons for fighting are complicated. It’s not the type of war Americans can rally behind. It’s terrible from a PR standpoint. I believe all governments involved believe fighting a war but not calling it a war is the most cost effect way to kill each other over ideology.
    Like I explained earlier, this war will never end until someone wins. Even if the other side stops shooting, one side will always shoot back. We are in a permanent state of war using drones. We can say we don’t have soldiers in the area. They can say their soldiers aren’t fighting, but we are killing each other one surprise attack at a time. It’s no longer about territory or skin color or taxes. It’s about freedom, being able to go somewhere without getting shot. Sleeping at night without hearing bombs go off. And each side believes when they are in control there will be peace, but not everyone can be in control, so there is no peace.

  4. Good Kill is a moving visual experience. Well written, researched, and acted, it forces the viewer to consider a broad range of subjects. It makes itself unique by refraining from the norm; it is not intended to be cinematic entertainment, but rather a video form of rhetorical questions. These questions are deep, and have few clear answers: what effect does drone warfare have on American servicemen and women, on terrorists, on civilians? What are the strategic and tactical repercussions of drone warfare? What is the legality and morality of specific drone tactics, such as double strikes? Is it ethical to be fighting an undeclared, global war? And ultimately, is drone warfare successful?
    Good Kill dives deep into the emotional toll that drone warfare takes on drone operators. It expertly shows it as a slowly unraveling experience. At first, things seem relatively fine. Subtle hints otherwise appear, however, as the movie progresses and by the end those problems are glaring. It becomes apparent that things were never truly okay, and it was all a slow but steadily accelerating downward spiral. Ethan Hawke plays Major Thomas Egan, an Air Force F-16 fighter pilot who has been switched to piloting drones now for some time. Piloting them may seem like the ideal assignment; after all he is never in any danger and gets to go home after work. What’s to miss?

    For Maj. Egan, he misses flying. Misses combat deployments, where the danger was real and the war fighting game was on more level playing fields. It becomes clear that transitioning from war in the drone piloting station to home life on a daily basis is an imperfect process at best and a disaster at worst. He struggles with reversing the amount of emotional shutdown that is necessary for warfighters who need to steel themselves for the inevitable horrors of war, such as the scene where the child accidentally appears out of nowhere and runs into the path of the missile at the last second. Even though it’s an accident, it could damage someone for life. Maj. Egan has to pack it in emotionally though, and switch from airmen to civilian— warfighter to neighbor, father, husband— in the short timeframe of a drive home.

    The emotional strain is ultimately too great for him to handle. He increasingly turns to alcohol to aid in masking the deep tension within him about his current job. And as his wife says, even when he is home he is not entirely present. He cannot turn the switch from emotionally hardened to emotionally free on a daily basis. In the end, he is simply not himself at home. Rather, he is distant and quietly numb. He is so closed off he doesn’t even tell his wife what he is experiencing until almost the end of the movie. As a result, his family life is corroding. It does so quietly though, with only brief moments of emotions that manifest themselves as anger, confusion, and despair.

    All of this is only intensified when Maj. Egan and his team are requisitioned by the Central Intelligence Agency to aid in their program of surveillance and striking. It quickly becomes apparent that the CIA and the Air Force have vastly different rules of engagement. The drones they fly are now around the world, no longer patrolling Afghanistan and Iraq alone but also places such as Somalia, Pakistan, and Yemen too. Places where officially, the United States is not at war. He and his team are now tasked with striking targets that have presented no directly observable military threat. They are also ordered to strike even at the risk of significant “collateral damage,” otherwise known as non-combatants, otherwise known as innocent civilians. Furthermore, the CIA is alleged in the movie to make frequent use of controversial attacks such as double strikes, where first responders to the original strike are targeted as terrorist’s sympathizers or supporters.

    The movie uses character dialogue to point out that these tactics may well be the best propaganda for terrorist organizations to recruit new members, seemingly ensuring an endless cycle of violence. Suarez, one of the members on Egan’s team who seems to most closely associate with his suffering, even asks directly, “Is this a war crime?” Furthermore, characters dialogue points out the immorality of accepting significant civilian casualties in strikes of already questionable importance.

    To be certain, the use of double strikes most certainly is a war crime. In fact, it is a tactic straight from terrorists themselves. A well-known example is the recent Paris attacks, where ISIS cells coordinated and timed their attacks to hit fleeing civilians and first responders. This maximized the death and injury toll. Equally immoral is the allowance of significant civilian casualties. True, terrorists are aided and abetted by civilian sympathizers that should be found and prosecuted. Drones, however, are an imperfect tool for prosecuting them. It takes manpower and human intelligence, and all the risks that boots on the ground implies, to be able to sort through who is guilty and who is simply a bystander. Drones can aide in that, but they are not an omnipotent source of intelligence. Such attacks must be stopped, as they do not save American lives but rather ensure continual views of the US as an oppressor. The Air Force’s rules of engagement are much more effective as a strategy of protecting American interests and lives.

    As for the other questions raised by the movie, that of global war and potential for success, there is no clear answer. Is fighting in undeclared war zones ethical, moral, or ultimately successful? Or does it simply fan the flames that ignited large terrorist organizations in the first place? My personal opinion, it is defensible and necessary. To aide my stance I point to Vietnam, where the United States placed limits of geographic engagement zones in order to appease the American public. Fighting the shadowy, ill-defined forces of Viet Cong holds parallels to today’s fight against ill-defined terrorists and their sympathizers. Whenever Americans, be in it in Vietnam or in the MENA, are forced to fight only in a small, contained zone, the enemy will simply place its base of operations outside of that zone. Ultimately, America will be fighting with one hand behind its back. In Vietnam, it helped ensure defeat. Today, fighting globally means the terrorists never hold the home field advantage. The US has made use of not only drones but also special operations forces, soldiers who specialize in fighting in shadowy, undeclared environments, to combat terrorist wherever they may be hiding.

    Is forcing them into operating underground successful though? And does the increasingly broad reach of shadowy American military might only create new terrorist? Forcing terrorist into hiding, into operating more clandestinely, certainly makes them more difficult to defeat. That being said, it places extreme limits on how much they are allowed to operate. Though they have not entirely died out, and in some cases they might count more members today when they began, they are no longer able to operate at the mass scale they once did. There have been no major attacks on American soil since September 11th, 2001. A variety of small ones, for sure, but all of those attacks don’t even add up to a fraction of the casualties produced with the falling of the Twin Towers.

    Thus, I believe that fighting this global war, even if it does create a steady recruiting tool, is ultimately successful as the best, worst option. Post 2001, there were no longer any good options. The time for diplomacy, and peaceful solutions, had passed. What the world, particularly the United States, was left with, was a series of options that were varying degrees of bad. In my opinion, the current course is certainly imperfect, but on the whole, it is successful in decreasing the total loss of American life. Until someone finds a better solution, it is the least bad option and as such, is ethical and moral. Imperfect, and needs improvement, but ethical and moral.

  5. I’ll be the first to admit that before watching Good Kill, I hadn’t given much consideration to drone warfare. Of course I had heard about it, read about it, and even seen some really strong arguments for both sides, but I had never given much thought as to what my opinion was or the greater implications using drones would have. Good Kill did a great job of depicting the emotional toll that utilizing drones has on the American men and women ordered to use them. I also thought that this film depicted such a controversial and polarizing topic in a balanced manner. After watching the movie, I am just as torn as to which side I believe is correct.
    The use of double-strike missiles is not only a war crime, but a common terrorist tactic. What are the implications for a superpower using such a tactic? I’m not entirely sure. Obviously it causes more hatred against the United States (or other superpower) that uses drones, but the argument, as portrayed in Good Kill, that using drones minimizes casualties at home, is a strong argument. In fact, it’s an argument that will almost always win in a debate with the American public as the audience. What shocked me was the fact that these multiple strikes that attacked waves of rescuers and helpers was depicted more than once in the movie, and each time it was as sickening as the last.
    The difference between the military and the intelligence service criteria for targeting “terrorists” was shocking to me. I think it is often portrayed that the military has a more broad definition, when in reality, it benefits intelligence agencies to expand the definition of terrorism. Even more shocking was the expansion of the definition to include noncombatants, children, and civilians. Other than convenience, I don’t understand why this definition is so broad. And I don’t understand why intelligence services continue to use such a broad definition if it only inspires more terrorism, violence, and extremism.
    It strikes me as unethical for drones to be used against countries we are not officially at war with, but even more unethical when we realize how drone warfare creates an unending war. With drones, everyone becomes a target (as depicted by the Langley targets in Good Kill). Those people in the countries that we do use drones against who survive drone attacks, but are close enough to see the aftermath of multiple strikes, not only have a greater potential to become radicalized, they now have a legitimate reason for their anger and mistrust. In essence, drone warfare just creates another generation of terrorists to attack…continuing the cycle into a permanent state of war.
    I am still not sure what the correct answer to the question of drone warfare is. Is it more “fair” and “just” to not use them? Of course. But, like in Good Kill, I don’t want to be the person to tell a mother or father that their son has died in war when they didn’t have to be in a compromising position in the first place.

  6. Good Kill excellently demonstrates to its audience the stress and ethical dilemmas that a U.S. drone operator undergoes while on duty. Instead of simply trying to make an argument to its audience of whether drone warfare is good or bad, the movie instead provides the viewer with the example and lets it decide. This is obviously skewed by the fact that we feel sympathetic for the main character Thomas Egan. We see his life fall apart as he tries to keep his work and home life separate but finds it nearly impossible. Nearly every day, Egan sees some form of atrocity thousands of miles of away and is asked to act in the interest of the U.S. (typically meaning a drone strike) and later has to return to his wife and kids who he cannot tell.

    Originally, Egan is able to deal with his duty because he sees the targets as clear-cut terrorists. The problem occurs when he is asked to strike areas with kids and clear non-terrorists in order to get the known ‘bad guys.’ On top of these problems on duty, Egan has to deal with many around him perceiving his new job as a reprieve from real duty and consider him lucky. Egan turns to alcoholism to deal with this inner dilemma and begins hoping to get surveillance duty to avoid drone strikes which he clearly has an aversion to towards the end of the movie (with the exception of the rapist).

    In terms of the general questions, the movie brilliantly shows the problem with trying to clearly identify terrorists. Typically, to attack one of these people means attacking the kids and women around the target. As seen in the movie, the U.S. military has a protocol of not sympathizing with those close to terrorists and saying they should not be around such a dangerous person (clearly unfairly). This become especially hard for Egan to stomach when the use of a double-strike (striking an area once recovery has started) is given the okay. The scene is clearly a war-crime and begs the question of how often these crimes are occurring and swept under the rug.

    Using drone warfare in countries we are not at war seems a smaller problem than double-striking to Egan, even though it shouldn’t be. Clearly using such weaponry in areas that we are not at war is not a very good idea as it leads to a very slippery slope and seems to just make the U.S. terrorists themselves. Nevertheless, the American military allows such interference in adjacent areas of warfare and has so far not received backlash for such attacks.

    Overall, drone warfare is clearly painted in a very bad light in the movie. It shows that it is very hard to fairly divide terrorists and non-terrorists and asks if using the drones are actually a form of terrorism itself. Even so, it does seem clear that drone warfare is effective and does seem to get rid of high risk targets that the U.S. does not want to invade to get to. With that being said, it is clearly providing psychological damage to the officers asked to carry out these orders. At the very least, it is important to make sure these individuals are better understood and not pushed from society.

  7. Good Kill is an incredible film on presenting the idea of drone warfare to the American public. I think that many people in the U.S. do not understand the severity, or the existence even, of drone strikes in Somalia, Yemen, Pakistan, and others. The drone campaign has limited the amount of American lives being lost, but has placed the U.S. in a state of perpetual warfare, where the conflict is being waged asymmetrically. In the concept of breeding “terrorism”, we are essentially the farmers of this. The rock and a hard place in this is that we are waging a war against “terrorism and terrorists” while actively creating them… kind of as oxymoronic as BP funding the British Museum. This is a serious human rights violation, and allows actually the U.S. to be seen as a catalyst in promoting the idea that American lives mean more than Pakistani/Somali/Iraqi/Afghani/Yemeni/Syrian lives, and the list goes on. But even in the realm of American lives, there is still a hierarchy. There is the suburban nuclear family and there is the drone pilot. Who is experiencing more trauma, or rather, who is being placed in the more psychologically damaging position? I guess that’s a difficult example, but essentially, look at the toxic waste worker and the CEO, that may be a better example.
    In regards to the film, military criteria seems to target small groups or individuals who are known to be threats to whatever security mandate is actively being followed. Langley (CIA) criteria is a little more loose and can be anyone from an individual (any age is acceptable) to a large group, where age is blurred and all people in the area of a suspect are also combatants, including children. If one were to philosophically analyze this, the conclusion would be “well, the kids are combatants because we are about to traumatize them and kill their family and make them hate us, so eventually, they will grow up to be a combatant at some point.” However, this is inhumane in one million and one ways, and places these human beings in a hard situation through a lens of being combatants or noncombatants (subhumans worthy of death or subhumans unworthy of death). Double-tap missile hits, funeral strikes, bombing aid workers, and other criteria of the like would be considered war crimes in my opinion, although, except for bombing aid workers, the language of the Geneva convention can be twisted and turned to mean whatever the arguer wants, but I think the language of Conventions I and IV and Protocols I and II seems clear enough to protect the human rights of targets whom we are attacking. But regardless, I guess when it conflicts with those who hold immense power, it becomes a little more difficult to prove. We should not be executing drone strikes unless we have declared war, for without declaring war, it can be argued that we are not subject to the rules of war. We are taking lives everyday nearly abroad, so they should have rights just as we do.

  8. Good Kill is a film which looks into the life of a U.S. drone operator and is extremely moving. The movie forces the viewer to consider the ethics of the type of warfare. Drones are a hot topic right now, but I will admit that I had not previously given the topic adequate consideration or research. This film was extremely well done and powerful and gave me a new perspective on the topic and its ethics.

    The main character begins into a downward spiral has he is taken out of the sky and forced behind a computer screen where day in and day out he covertly monitors potential “enemies of the United States.” Then if the surveillance data determines these people guilty, he puts them to death from nearly half way around the world without formal judicial proceedings. Major Egan character’s decline accelerates drastically when the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) chooses his team to carry out their drone strikes. Major Egan quickly discovers that the CIA’s protocols are drastically different from what him and his team are accustomed. These differences include that he is uninvolved in previous surveying and data collection and must just taking the anonymous voice word for it while listening to him say over and over, “even though they are not presenting a direct threat to U.S. interests, their pattern of life is a strong enough indicator that they are or will be committing acts against the U.S.” The standard of evidence needed for the CIA to authorize a strike was much lower than what Major Egan was used to under the military supervision which weighs heavily on his conscience and propels him to self-destructive acts and alcohol abuse.

    During these CIA authorized strikes, all of the cameras and recording technologies are turned off so the missions stay secret. The use of “double strike missile hits” is also employed. This means that after the target is hit, a second round of missiles are fired to ensure the target’s “execution” is carried out. These second round hits attacks first responders and concerned non-combatants within the community who are trying to provide aid and damage control. I believe that attacks that lead to the deaths of these people are in fact war crimes regardless of the high value nature of a target. This deliberate killing of non-combatant first responders is against the Geneva Convention which outlines the criteria of war crimes. This is why all of the CIA mission in the film are kept secret so there is no evidence of these war crimes.

    These drone strikes occur within countries with which the United States is not officially at war. The fact that we are attacking countries we are not at war with is hidden under the fact that the United States has declared war on terror. I think this creates very questionable ethical practices. When we attack these countries covertly, we are promoting more distrust and allowing for horrific to take place without official accountability. With these attacks occurring outside of officially declared warfare, the attacking country is able to hide out on the edge of the Geneva Convention which is difficult to apply in these unofficial circumstances due in part to the fact that it is extremely challenging for international organizations to monitor.

    Another problem with drone warfare is that it does an exceeding good job in perpetuating a permeant state of war. The United States attacks these terrorists or “enemy combatants” to keep them from attacking us or because they have committed or attempted attacks on the United States. This results in these groups planning more attacks to avenge our attacks. As this cycle of aggression continues, it increases hate, prejudice, and desires for revenge on both sides leading to more people craving the continuation and increase of these attacks. The further and further this cycle progresses; the more difficult it will be to stop. In turn, drone warfare is possibly creating more enemies faster than either side can kill them.

    Good Kill does a spectacular job of opening up a dialogue in which viewers can discuss and consider the ethics and potential repercussions behind drone warfare and start to develop stances on drone strike tactics.

  9. The movie Good Kill was, in my opinion, a moving and shocking look at drone warfare, both its effects on pilots and its consequences in the Middle East. My heart hurt as I saw the psychological battle that Major Egan went though everyday, Good Kill portrayed what I imagine is only a glimpse into what it is like for someone to live with the actions demanded of drone warfare. The ethics of drone warfare as a whole are shown from the perspective of Major Egan and his colleagues.
    It was obvious that while killing another human being can never be taken lightly, it was a pill that could be swallowed because the military had legitimate reason to end these peoples’ lives, but as the movie progressed the CIA began to use the Air Force drone power to take out targets. Their boundaries were significantly greyer than what Major Egan and his fellow pilots were used to. Certainty had a different definition; in the CIA’s book it meant probably. “Terrorists” were killed without measures to ensure they deserved their fate. Moreover, the CIA ordered strikes on people who were not even terrorists, simply bystanders because it was for the greater good. The pilots were asked to first strike a target, but then strike again once the smoke cleared in order to kill everyone that flooded to the scene to help. I watch too many movies and television shows to be shocked by these actions, but I have to ask myself if this is really okay. I think the CIA would argue that these double strikes are worth the compromise in ethics to protect the safety of the United States. And while this question is beginning to sound like a broken record I still think it needs to be asked: are our actions reducing us to the level of the terrorists we say we cannot allow? After all, our reason for actively seeking out people who are plotting to harm others based on their beliefs. I know it is an over simplification, but we are making it all to easy for the terrorists to say the exact same thing about us. From the perspective Good Kill presents, I do think this type of action is a war crime. We have come to be a powerful state that does not have to worry about people violating our sovereignty, but when I think about the United States before the first World War, for many decades we were vulnerable to attacks from more powerful countries. We would have been outraged if they had done so because we spent many years fighting for independence and for a government we wanted. The countries at hand may not have a government by the people, but they are sovereign, and striking them without declaring war is cheating. I think crossing this line will come back to haunt us in the future. Especially at the rate we are going with drone warfare.
    The United States is so reluctant to put boots on the ground and risk losing any lives, but drones have given us the capability to fight wars effectively with almost no American casualties. This has exacerbated the disinterest of the American people with the progress of wars we are fighting. Most Americans couldn’t even tell you if and with who we are currently at war with because they don’t have to know. It is so much easier to say “yes those people are bad, stop them, and let me know when you are done” than it is to send your child or spouse to war knowing they very well may not come back. Because of drones, the general population does not worry about war, and there is no pressure to end it until we are satisfied with the Middle East, but this will never truly be over, and the perceived necessity of drones will likely only increase to more and more countries.

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