Do Drones Work?

For the American Prospect, I ask do drones actually accomplish the goal they’re meant to?

Taken as a whole, drones seem to be quite good at what they’re supposed to do: disrupting terrorist groups. But that isn’t enough to actually end the threat posed by terror groups. Are the civilian and psychological costs drones incur worth it?

There is no question drones have caused dramatic, explosive anti-Americanism in the countries where they’re used. In Pakistan, the massive public outcry over the arrest of Raymond Davis, a CIA contractor who killed two people in Lahore, was a disaster for relations between Washington and Islamabad. His involvement in the CIA’s drone program in Pakistan elicited deep anger. Yemen, too, has seen increasing public fury at drone strikes—as witnesses like Farea al-Muslimi recounted during the Senate hearing.

But does this matter? Should the United States care that it’s disrupting the political balance of the countries in which it operates drone programs, and does rising anti-Americanism really matter in the long run?

Read the whole thing at the American Prospect.

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