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By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

6/30/2014 (9 months ago)

Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

Unregulated drone strikes setting bad international precedent

A new report from senior U.S. officials published on June 26 paints a worrying picture about future military involvement by the U.S. if President Barack Obama continues to rely on drone strikes abroad.

A new report from senior American officials has warned that the Obama administration's continual and unregulated use of drone warfare is setting a dangerous precedent which may lead to endless war.

A new report from senior American officials has warned that the Obama administration's continual and unregulated use of drone warfare is setting a dangerous precedent which may lead to endless war.

Highlights

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

6/30/2014 (9 months ago)

Published in Politics & Policy

Keywords: US, International, Legal


LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - The report acknowledged that armed unmanned aircraft have been and will continue to be a useful tool in America's counter-terrorism arsenal, but that continued reliance upon them may create a "slippery slope" leading to endless war.

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The report also indicated that the Obama administration should allow increased public scrutiny and tighter oversight over the secretive program while developing international norms.

"We are concerned that the administration's heavy reliance on targeted killings as a pillar of U.S. counter-terrorism strategy rests on questionable assumptions and risks increasing instability and escalating conflicts," said the Stimson Center sponsored independent panel.

The 10-member panel was comprised of high-ranking Pentagon and State Department officials, and their report has coincided with President Obama's consideration to use drone strikes to support the beleaguered Iraqi government in their war against the Islamic State for Iraq and the Levant.

These officials warned that the low-risk, low-cost nature of drones may lead to major use and eventually "may create a slippery slope leading to continual or wider wars."

The report concluded that "while tactical strikes may have helped keep the homeland free of major terrorist attacks," continued use has cost the White House "blowback" in places like Pakistan and Yemen.

Drone use "outside of hot battlefields is likely to be imitated by other states as well," risking widening of conflicts around the world because of President Obama's "dangerous precedent."

The panel's co-chair, Rosa Brooks, a Georgetown University law professor and former Defense Department adviser, said the U.S. must take the lead in establishing international drone use standards before "bad guys" acquire the technology.

"If Vladimir Putin were to use drone strikes to take out those he felt were politically inconvenient in eastern Ukraine, for instance, it would be a little tough for us to have an adequate response," she said.

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