Five Myths About Obama’s Drone War
This op-ed first appeared in the Washington Post. Click here to read the complete article.
Washington Post -- At least since Pope Innocent II banned the use of crossbows against Christians in 1139, new military technologies have always created strategic and ethical dilemmas. And armed drones — the weapons of choice for today’s battlefield without boundaries — are no exception. Do drone strikes provide a compelling option when battling terrorist networks, or do the controversy they generate outweigh the benefit?
While the use of drone warfare has come of age under Obama, whether he comes to be defined by this weapon is very much a political question. The tool kit of the war on terror includes far more than armed drones, but for a modern president, perception is reality. Drone strikes generate enormous controversy. It will remain critical for him and the White House to continue to articulate their overall approach to combating terrorism, making the case that drones are part of the strategy, not a substitute for it.
Mark R. Jacobson is a Senior Transatlantic Fellow at the German Marshall Fund of the United States. From 2009 to 2011 he served with NATO’s International Security Assistance Force in Afghanistan.