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Edited by The Ambassador: 4/20/2013 12:55:50 AM

The U.S. Ought To Scale Down Its Drone Program

Since taking office in 2008, President Obama has increased the size and scope of America's drone program multifold, with little advantage to American national security in many cases. Besides success in Yemen and other African nations, where drones have coordinated to work hand in hand with ground forces, the U.S. drone program has begun to erode the American moral cause in our 'War on Terror'. Not only this, but Al-Qaida, the organization that our program was meant to target initially, hasn't been destroyed like many claim. Only 2% of those killed are actually A.Q. leaders, and even then, another person quickly takes their place. Moreover, while the group has been severely damaged from an organizational standpoint, it has transcended into a loose coalition of regional commands that have created a large network of allied jihadists to work with them. Since Obama has taken office, A.Q. has essentially become the Coca-Cola of the Salafi world. The Obama administration has defined success through the destruction of heavily interconnected command structure. In reality, the way America has quantified the A.Q. threat is wrong. Disorganization can prove to be a blessing for Al-Qaida commanders. Raiding a H.Q. in Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya, etc. is now a lot less likely to produce fruit about the operations of a group in the Pacific. The truth is that the largest blows to Al-Qaida have been operations that aim at building up, not knocking down (which is all a drone is good for). Programs that create economic prosperity, semi-reliable and transparent governments, and build security infrastructure have done the most to deter the group. This is isn't to say that the program has been entirely useless, our operations in Africa have given us a cheap and effective method to support ground forces. However, in places like Pakistan, where drones are not backed by on the ground engagement, we need to realize that our strikes end up making more enemies than they do kill. Thoughts?

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