Brendan H. Colorado

The Past and Future of Drone warfare.

The effects of Drone warfare and why they need to change so drones may continue to be used

Dear Madam or Mr. President:

Since the end of World War 2 the world has entered a era of advanced warfare; the most recent innovation being drone warfare. The ability to fly over hostile airspace to conduct reconnaissance or to make a tactical strike against a target of opportunity and not risk a single life is a massive jump forward for warfare, but so far this worthwhile method has been under unnecessary scrutiny for the many civilians killed during strikes. If one of the first forms of unmanned combat is buried under the criticisms of the current engagement methods which yields a very public amount of collateral damage, then it could lead to the deaths of airmen and women from all nations that employ drones. I for one don’t like to read about our soldiers coming home in coffins when their was a way to complete the mission without risking our own.

For every civilian killed during a drone strike in addition to hopefully eliminating the target on question it just creates more problems than it solves. Because in the eyes of those whose family are killed and other third party observers all we just did was killed some terrorist and that we didn’t care who we killed in the process. So, we hopefully killed a terrorist, but we also just created more from the ranks of the family members of victims and those who are now convinced that we in the west are truly the enemy. It’s like the Greek myth of Heracles and the  Hydra, every time the hero cut off one of the heads two more took its place. For every terrorist we kill when their are civilian casualties, we just create two more to take his place. And prove that we are no better than they terrorists we seek to eliminate.

According to claims from the government the total casualties killed during drone strikes are this; 2,372-2,581 combatants and 64-116 non combatants. But according to sources such as the Bureau of Journalism the total Civilians killed by drone strikes are 424-944 in Pakistan alone. While the number of enemy combatants killed compared to civilians is noticeably and thankfully higher, the fact still remains that nearly as many as half the number of combatants killed can be matched with civilians killed. And those numbers only cover the region of Pakistan, but drones have been reported to be used in several nations like Libya,Syria,Yemen,Iraq, and several other countries around the world. So given the information there could be even more than we know.

I believe thhe way that drones are deployed that needs to be changed. Drones that are being used to eliminate a target of opportunity there should be a strict set of rules for engagement. The primary rule to prevent a significant loss of civilian life is to engage a combatant only when the target is isolated. When a target is in a car or in a training camp where intelligence has confirmed there is no civilian presence, this way there is no collateral damage. And when there is a target that is in a heavily populated area, the time for a drone strike must to be put off till he is no longer in that area or the use of other methods that will inflict a higher civilian casualty rate. This style of war should be used, but how can it with a continuing dark reputation? Do we want to taint our country's name a methods by killing civilians in such numbers? And even worse than the dishonor of killing the innocent, we prove that what our enemies are saying about us is true.

I thank you for lending me your attention most sincerely for your time,

Brendan H.

Wheat Ridge HS

Composition for the College Bound English

Twelfth graders in Colorado

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