Our Peace Prize president has now been at war longer than any other American president, and has overseen the use of military force in seven countries—Afghanistan, Iraq, Syria, Pakistan, Libya, Yemen, and Somalia. In the latter four countries, virtually all the force has come in the form of unmanned drones executing suspected terrorists said to be linked to al-Qaeda or its “associated forces.”Here is the scariest aspect of this war legacy--neither major party candidate will scale this back!
That an antiwar president has found the drone so tempting ought to be a warning sign.
The killing of people in other countries--sometimes even US citizens--without the politically hot "putting boots on the ground" is one awful, awful direction in which Obama has led as the commander-in-chief.
I have blogged about this plenty of times before (like here and here) and other than the peace-loving greenies in the Democratic coalition, most of the Democrats don't seem to care.
Further, this is not a legacy that Obama leaves behind merely for his successor.
Other countries are unlikely to be reticent about resort to unmanned aerial warfare to “solve” problems beyond their borders. Already, Israel, the United Kingdom, Iran, Iraq, Nigeria, and Pakistan have joined the US in deploying armed drones. China is selling them at a list price of only $1 million. In short order, most of the developed world will have them. And when other nations look for precedents, Obama’s record will be Exhibit A.What an atrocity!
Of course, when it comes to drone-killings, there is practically a bipartisan unanimity. On the other hand, try talking to the esteemed politicians about potentially helping the homeless and they will throw you out!
The question for President Obama is whether he wants to be remembered as the leader who ushered in the era of permanent, low-level drone warfare. His actions will be looked to for justification by those that follow, here and abroad. As Daniel Reisner, former head of the Israel Defense Forces legal department, has said, “If you do something for long enough, the world will accept it…. International law progresses through violations.”I suppose we have reached a point of no return as far as war and killings are concerned. Obama's legacy "will be as the Nobel Peace Prize winner who pioneered a dramatically dangerous and ethically dubious form of warfare."
Meanwhile, a lengthy essay in the Atlantic, "Is America any safer?" the author concludes:
As Trump’s hard-line rhetoric about the president being weak on terrorism demonstrates, Obama and anyone who follows him and tries to continue on that path will be an easy target for opponents who will claim that transforming homeland security from the fantasy of never-again prevention to a combination of prevention and mitigation and recovery is throwing in the towel.The droner-in-chief is labeled "weak" on terrorism! Which only further confirms George Carlin satirical comment that we like war :(
That this is still a debate in an election season 15 years after the 9/11 attacks is evidence that although we’ve made progress, we’re still a long way from adjusting—politically and psychically—to this new normal, where, unlike during the Cold War, there is no relying on deterrence for protection.