recommended reading

Commentary: Let's Make Drone Strikes Safe, Legal, and Rare

Plenty of pundits on the left and right still support targeted killing, as do voters, military brass, think-tank fellows, and Congressional majorities. It is nevertheless worth giving the issue another look, because the Obama Administration's apologists seldom acknowledge the strongest arguments against our particular drone policy. Their rhetoric, however effective, depends on a subtle, sometimes unconscious evasion. It's surprisingly easy for an interested observer to be led astray.

Can you spot the problem in the following arguments? Joshua Foust, a fellow at the American Security Project, acknowledges that unmanned aerial vehicles sometimes terrorize and kill innocents, but asks, "Is there a better alternative to drone strikes for counterterrorism in northwest Pakistan?" He concludes that, in the short run, there simply isn't. "The targets of drone strikes in Pakistan sponsor insurgents in the region that kill U.S. soldiers and destabilize the Pakistani state," he writes. "They cannot simply be left alone to continue such violent attacks."

Says David Frum, defending the extrajudicial killing of American citizens, "The practical alternative to drones isn't jury trials. It's leaving U.S. passport carrying terrorists alone unharmed to execute their plans." Max Boot in Commentary agrees that citizens are fair game. "Given the need to continue these drone strikes," he argues, "it would be silly and self-destructive to grant certain al-Qaeda figures immunity just because they happen to have American citizenship."

Read more at The Atlantic

Threatwatch Alert

Thousands of cyber attacks occur each day

See the latest threats


Close [ x ] More from Nextgov

Thank you for subscribing to newsletters from
We think these reports might interest you:

  • It’s Time for the Federal Government to Embrace Wireless and Mobility

    The United States has turned a corner on the adoption of mobile phones, tablets and other smart devices, outpacing traditional desktop and laptop sales by a wide margin. This issue brief discusses the state of wireless and mobility in federal government and outlines why now is the time to embrace these technologies in government.

  • Featured Content from RSA Conference: Dissed by NIST

    Learn more about the latest draft of the U.S. National Institute of Standards and Technology guidance document on authentication and lifecycle management.

  • A New Security Architecture for Federal Networks

    Federal government networks are under constant attack, and the number of those attacks is increasing. This issue brief discusses today's threats and a new model for the future.

  • Going Agile:Revolutionizing Federal Digital Services Delivery

    Here’s one indication that times have changed: Harriet Tubman is going to be the next face of the twenty dollar bill. Another sign of change? The way in which the federal government arrived at that decision.

  • Software-Defined Networking

    So many demands are being placed on federal information technology networks, which must handle vast amounts of data, accommodate voice and video, and cope with a multitude of highly connected devices while keeping government information secure from cyber threats. This issue brief discusses the state of SDN in the federal government and the path forward.

  • The New IP: Moving Government Agencies Toward the Network of The Future

    Federal IT managers are looking to modernize legacy network infrastructures that are taxed by growing demands from mobile devices, video, vast amounts of data, and more. This issue brief discusses the federal government network landscape, as well as market, financial force drivers for network modernization.


When you download a report, your information may be shared with the underwriters of that document.