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FP: Obama’s Most Dangerous Drone Tactic Is Here to Stay


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http://foreignpolicy.com/2016/04/05/obamas-most-dangerous-drone-tactic-is-here-to-stay/

Obama’s Most Dangerous Drone Tactic Is Here to Stay

 

From Yemen to Somalia, the White House has gone back to bombing men it can’t confirm are militants — potentially leaving innocents trapped in the crossfire.

 

May 2013, President Barack Obama’s aides indicated that they were prepared to phase out the most controversial element of the administration’s drone war: so-called “signature strikes” against military-age men on battlefields around the world that took place even if American officials didn’t know who the targets were — or if they were actively plotting against the United States.

 

The tactic had sparked fierce criticism from human rights groups and some lawmakers, who said it effectively gave the CIA carte blanche to bomb groups of men in countries ranging from Yemen to Pakistan simply because of where they lived and whether they showed any behavior commonly associated with militants. 

Signature strikes like the ones in Somalia and Yemen form a key element in Obama’s aggressive drone bombing campaign, one that will be handed over to the next president 10 months from now. The signature raids have been carried out in Pakistan, Yemen, and Somalia — countries where the United States is not engaged in a publicly declared war — and, unlike targeted killings against specific extremist leaders, do not require presidential approval.

 

Signature strikes were first used during George W. Bush’s administration, and the name refers to the fact that the targets — by virtue of their ages, actions, and locations inside countries known to house terrorist operatives — bear the “signature” of militant activity. U.S. intelligence and defense officials believe the strikes have inflicted heavy damage on al Qaeda and other terrorist groups. But critics say the rules for the drone strikes against large numbers of military-age men are too vague and carry an unacceptably high risk of killing innocent civilians who have no connection to any terrorist plot.

Asked about the recent U.S. bombing raids in Yemen, Somalia, and Libya, Obama told reporters on April 1 that the United States employs a “vigorous set of criteria” for its counterterrorism operations and that intelligence is “checked, double-checked, triple-checked before kinetic actions are taken.”

 

If the U.S. identifies a training camp that is clearly linked to al Qaeda or the Islamic State, then “a strike will be taken.”

 

“But what we have been very cautious about is making sure that we are not taking strikes in situations where, for example, we think there is the presence of women or children, or if it is in a normally populated area,” Obama said.

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training camps clearly linked to AQ seems good enough, or do ya'll prefer we send in troops or just leave them to train terrorist scum.

 

add

 

We are in a publicly declared war by nature of the AUMF and it is rather widespread.

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Yeah, drone use has become too common and while a rigorous system of checks could lessen the issue, I somewhat doubt all those checkboxes are being ticked before strikes go in.  Obama has leaned more neo-con than I'd prefer on certain things, and drones are one of them.

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Drones make war so palatable, don't they?

 

more cost effective and less deadly to those around the target.

 

I don't see them changing the NEED to kill factor,which is controlling

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using our troops is a failure. we do not have the stomach to fight the fight that is needed.

 

we're not going to nuke the whole region.

 

drone strikes are a failure because it pisses people off if you're not 100% on it

 

funding the ME countries to do it is a failure because they just use our money/weapons to further their own agendas, under the guise they're actually furthering ours. to boot the crap riddling the region is stamped with US of A on it, so they still hate us even though we didn't drop the bomb or order the bomb to be dropped.

 

we could just leave it all alone but i think it's pretty clear that it's too late to walk away. they are driven to get after 'us' in some way. maybe we can just be content with them attacking europe and not us? not really a sure thing they won't attack us.

 

any other ideas?


So... water boarding = not ok. unconfirmed bombing = ok.

Just checking.

sleep deprivation also not ok

neither is loud noises

 

on that note i wonder if we need to make drones that use silent bombs... is it torture if the exposure is very short term?

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we could just leave it all alone but i think it's pretty clear that it's too late to walk away. they are driven to get after 'us' in some way. maybe we can just be content with them attacking europe and not us? not really a sure thing they won't attack us.

When's the last time we tried?
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When's the last time we tried?

 

If you think we can just say - Hey guys, we're done, leave us alone and we'll leave you alone from now on - then that's fine.

 

I think we're a little past that but it wouldn't be the first time i was wrong.

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I'm all for taking out arseholes like Al Alwaki. The dangers to me are twofold:

In places like Yemen, is the government there feeding us bs intel that has us bombing non-terrorist rebels, thus getting us to do their dirty work for them while reinforcing the jihadist propaganda that we are propping up oppressive dictators (which in turn radicalizes an otherwise disinterested populace against us).

2. In places like the Waziristan region of Pakistan, are we causing so much collateral damage that we create more radicals than we kill.

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using our troops is a failure. we do not have the stomach to fight the fight that is needed.

 

we're not going to nuke the whole region.

 

drone strikes are a failure because it pisses people off if you're not 100% on it

 

funding the ME countries to do it is a failure because they just use our money/weapons to further their own agendas, under the guise they're actually furthering ours. to boot the crap riddling the region is stamped with US of A on it, so they still hate us even though we didn't drop the bomb or order the bomb to be dropped.

 

we could just leave it all alone but i think it's pretty clear that it's too late to walk away. they are driven to get after 'us' in some way. maybe we can just be content with them attacking europe and not us? not really a sure thing they won't attack us.

 

any other ideas?

sleep deprivation also not ok

neither is loud noises

 

on that note i wonder if we need to make drones that use silent bombs... is it torture if the exposure is very short term?

Can you give them a massage? Maybe once they are relaxed and sleepy and the masseuse has gained their confidence they will start talking?

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From what I understand to qualify for the Drone List you have to pose a clear and imminent danger to the United States. That pretty much includes the top tier of AQ Leadership. The candidates are run through a multi agency screening of DoD, CIA, DIA, NSA, State and the National Security Council. Then it's subject to DoJ review and Obama has to sign off.

 

It isn't "Let's Drone __________ today."

 

The ROE on the strike is pretty restrictive. There is pre-strike recon to ID & confirm the target. You can't shoot if there is unacceptable collateral damage. You have ISR assets keeping an eye on the target before the strike is launched. And there is a Special Ops Team close to the target with a laser designator watching and illuminating the target for the missle. A Predator can self designate a target, but I have the feeling there are ground assets involved. And only after all ROE conditions does an officer give the fire command.

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From what I understand to qualify for the Drone List you have to pose a clear and imminent danger to the United States. That pretty much includes the top tier of AQ Leadership. The candidates are run through a multi agency screening of DoD, CIA, DIA, NSA, State and the National Security Council. Then it's subject to DoJ review and Obama has to sign off.

 

It isn't "Let's Drone __________ today."

 

.

Yes it is!!! This is the Internet. I think people know what they are talking about.

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I'm all for taking out arseholes like Al Alwaki. The dangers to me are twofold:

In places like Yemen, is the government there feeding us bs intel that has us bombing non-terrorist rebels, thus getting us to do their dirty work for them while reinforcing the jihadist propaganda that we are propping up oppressive dictators (which in turn radicalizes an otherwise disinterested populace against us).

2. In places like the Waziristan region of Pakistan, are we causing so much collateral damage that we create more radicals than we kill.

 Even better, we've outsourced majority of the effort to places like Saudi Arabia.

 

Where they don't have to tell us what they're doing and why, they just drop bombs that further their own agenda then ask our government for more.

 

"Leading" other ME countries to fight the war on terror sounds like a great plan until you realize they don't give a crap about the war on terror and have other, more pressing agendas to work on.

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