Strategic Horizons: Amid Debate, U.S. Shares Drone Approach With Partners
While Americans debate when and where the United States should use drones to strike at insurgents and terrorists who cannot be reached by other means, they may be overlooking an important trend: the move to supply a targeted killing capability to allied nations. This began when the Bush administration decided to provide technology and advice to help the government of Colombia kill the leaders of its narco-insurgency. Today, the U.S. military is also helping the armed forces of Yemen field systems for the targeted killing of anti-government extremists associated with al-Qaida. This is the beginning of a trend, as more states will field such capabilities, including drones, with or without American help.
President Barack Obama explained the rationale of America’s drone strategy during a May 2013 speech at the National Defense University in Washington:
Although the technology used in drone strikes may be new, using limited force to strike terrorists, insurgents, bandits, pirates or raiders beyond the limits of civilization is not. Nations and empires have launched what are called “spoiling attacks” for most of recorded history. Drone strikes are simply the latest method. But is it a good idea? ...