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  • I think so.

    Also:

    Between 2009 and 2015, out of 473 strikes between 64–116 non-combatant deaths occurred. However during that period, the Obama Administration did count all military-age males in strike zones as combatants unless explicit intelligence exonerated them posthumously.

    The argument for the drone policy is that it tends to kill fewer people than air raids and lets face it, the US was never going to just walk away...

  • So the implication is the majority of those non-combatants were not military age males, and there were a lot more military age males included as combatants by default.

  • Not that I'm defending unaccountable death from the skies, but wouldn't a lot of that increase be down to drones getting better?

    I wonder how the number of air / ground strikes would have changes, had there been no drones.

  • I was thinking that. There is no control for this piece of data. Could have gone up 1600% under another potus for all we know.

  • So the implication is the majority of those non-combatants were not military age males, and there were a lot more military age males included as combatants by default.

    Thats definitely the implication but as you can probably imagine the US DoD likes to be a little hazy on the facts.

  • Could have gone up 1600% under another potus for all we know.

    It certainly does feel that the Obama drone strike policy comes up in political debates more often than actual real war atrocities conducted by the US.

    Edit: Such as https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Haditha_ma­ssacre

  • Yes! That’s a good point. I think maybe because there’s the slightly misguided notion that the democrats would ideologically pacifist (thereabouts) so it seems extra egregious when the military industrial complex is seemingly given free reign no matter who’s in charge.

    Wonder what will happen to all those weapons deals trump made with Saudi Arabia etc...

  • They literally shit the bed

  • I'd much rather the US wasn't killing anybody at all but I suppose, through gritted teeth, the use of technology to kill fewer people might be just about seen as a step in the right direction....maybe. Ugh.

  • This, surely, belongs in the WTF thread. No?

  • 100%. It’s always going to be moral gymnastics to some degree. I thought it was interesting that the strike orders have to get prior court approval but in all likelihood this is/was just a formality to insulate the decision makers.

  • Most US politics for the last half decade does.

  • I went to a talk a while back about RAF drone operations; one of the panelists was an ethicist (and former RAF officer) who was talking about how the pace and structure of drone ops means that lawyers are embedded in the decision-making chain, and can so can ensure adherence to the laws of war in a way that you can't do in other battlefield situations. I wasn't entirely convinced, but it was an interesting perspective from the inside.

  • There's a film that covers this. Possible Drone strike on a compound, kid selling bread outside wall or something. Not sure how true it was to real world, the back & forth reminded me of trying to get management to agree to progress things at work.

  • Eye in the sky? Alan Rickman's last movie.

  • Definitely the one, good movie.

    so can ensure adherence to the laws of war in a way that you can't do in other battlefield situations.

    That’s the ideal. In reality, a lot of the time the lawyers make decisions based on what’s reasonably defensible, to the press/in a court/etc. Adherence to the law becomes distorted when, for example, being a male above the age of 12 means means you’re fair game as a ‘military age male’, whether you’re a combatant or not.

    That shit reminds me of what the Soviets pulled in Afghanistan, conscripting boys and men into their Afghan support forces or simply executing them all, literally just because they have a penis and were in a conflict area (like they could just up sticks and move somewhere else). I’d hope we would be above that sort of shit.

  • Yes! That’s a good point. I think maybe because there’s the slightly misguided notion that the democrats would ideologically pacifist (thereabouts) so it seems extra egregious when the military industrial complex is seemingly given free reign no matter who’s in charge.

    One could argue that's because there isn't much difference between the two parties in the current climate of Neo-Liberalism; we're given the choice of two warmongers wearing either a red or blue hat.

  • I'd much rather the US wasn't killing anybody at all but I suppose, through gritted teeth, the use of technology to kill fewer people might be just about seen as a step in the right direction....maybe. Ugh.

    I'd argue the next step in this train of thought is to take a moment to ask who the US is killing and why and go from there. The US had a direct hand in creating just about every group that threatens us in the world today - especially in the Middle East.

  • Yup, that one.

  • Probably the technology matured around the same time, so you could wonder if there was a commensurate reduction in other (dumber?) types of strikes.

  • Mike Flynn pardoned

  • I'm shocked, shocked I tell you.

  • At least we can definitely say he has got to the Don’t Give a Fuck Mate stage of the Presidential transition.

    He’s also apparently trying to get firing squad executions up and running again

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US Politics

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