Election 2016

Obama’s Holiday Weekend Civilian Drone Death News Dump

nationalreview.comIn the fine tradition of dumping unpleasant news on the Friday of a holiday weekend, the Washington Post reported this afternoon an admission by the Obama Administration that it has “inadvertently killed between 64 and 116 noncombatant civilians in drone and other lethal attacks against terrorism suspects in places not considered active war zones” such as Pakistan, Yemen, Somalia and Libya.

The “transparency” is progress of a sort, in this Administration’s last year in office, but it’s still symptomatic of the moral blinders that have accompanied drone warfare under Obama. There is nothing illegitimate about using unmanned drones as weapons of war; if you would be justified in taking a man’s life by sending a soldier to kill him, you’re equally justified in sending a flying death robot to do the same job. There’s no moral requirement that you risk the lives of your own people in order to use force. And while there are compelling moral and strategic arguments for an obligation to minimize civilian casualties, it’s a sad reality of war that it is rarely conducted without the accidental deaths of innocents, especially when the enemy deliberately uses them as human shields.

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