Ryan Arizona

Should we continue to use drones overseas?

The usage of drones overseas should be continued. They keep US military personnel safe, kill fewer civilians than any other military weapon, and are very effective.

Dear Future President,

Many people disagree with the usage of drones in foreign countries. Opponents say that drones are ineffective and make more targets than they kill. In reality, they help keep US personnel safe and drones have a low civilian casualty rate. They say that drones kill too many civilians and only kill low-value targets. People say that these killings are the cause for the increase in terrorists. When someone sees their loved one killed by a drone it angers them. For every target they kill, a new enemy of America is created. However, each time one of these drones kills a target, even if they’re low-value, it may prevent a future terrorist attack.

Drone strikes save American lives every year, especially those of US soldiers. Instead of sending in Special Forces the US can order a drone strike and don’t have to risk American lives. The fewer amounts of troops deployed, the fewer amounts of American deaths. Troops in hostile settings are vulnerable to a number of life-threatening situations such as bombs, mines, firefights, snipers, and just harsh environments. One of the leading causes for soldier’s deaths is friendly-fire. During the Gulf War, nearly 62% of the deaths were friendly fire or non-hostile. After the US started the usage of drones the non-hostile death rate has gone down to 21.5%.

On top of that, drone strikes are one of the most effective ways to eliminate foreign targets. A drone can use a couple of well placed bullets to eliminate a target whereas if you send in a soldier there’s a risk of crossfire on a civilian, or they miss the target. Drones also, have one of the lowest civilian casualty rates among American weapons, because they only have an 8-17% civilian death rate. Bombs on the other hand, have had 70%, 67%, 45%, and 31% civilian death rates in situations where they have been used. Since the US starts using drones in 2001 only 147 to 1047 civilians have died. That is an average of 9.8-69.8 civilian deaths per year. Since the US started their most recent bombing runs on ISIS in 2014 they have killed between 680 and 975 civilians. That’s an average of 340 – 487.5 deaths per year. 

Compared to other means of target elimination drone strikes is one of the most effective ways. In Yemen, Al-Qaeda forces tripled over the past 3 years. This surge in forces gave them the power to storm villages and occupy entire towns. America sent in drones and launched missile onto known terrorist locations. These strikes killed dozens of known terrorist threats and started an uprising in Yemen. Recently, Yemen was able to regain control of cities and have been able to hold their own with help from US drones.

When one considers the effectiveness of drones and how many lives they save it’s clear that they are necessary for foreign attacks. Their low civilian death rate and quick strikes help get the job done quickly and without a mess. They keep us from having to put soldiers into hostile situations whilst stopping terrorists overseas. The usage of drones in foreign threats is necessary for America to succeed.