Drone usage and its effects in US Counter-Terrorism (Policy Generation)

Drone usage and its effects in US Counter-Terrorism (Policy Generation)


How should current policy be changed, adapted, reformed, or replaced to deal with your threat issue?
What areas of current policy are more in need of dramatic reform?
How would your alternative policy prescriptions help solve or improve the flaws/problems in current policy?
How well do you base your policy suggestions/advice within a realistic and achievable goal framework?
Are you simply tweaking existing policy or making a complete and clean break from existing policy?
What are the consequences to your policy advice? Are there obstacles or opponents that need to be dealt with if these suggestions had real impact in the policy community?
below is a copy of the past four areas of the paper, Policy Generation is the final piece of the paper that you will use bring together close points.
Be SURE to tie more explicitly all of this literature discussion and overview INTO your main thesis, ie, show the reader how and where YOUR argument will fall – with whom do you agree? with whom do you disagree? what are you adding to? what are you tearing down? You show you know what the literature is BUT also show clearly where you fall within it and why!

Part (1)

Drone usage and its effects in US Counter-Terrorism (Threat Assessment)
The US has become a safer place to live in through the constant use of drones to curb the issue of war and terrorism. The use of drones in this country has protected its citizens through the enabling of ?targeted killings? of terrorists with minimal downsides or collateral impacts. According to interviews conducted with victims, witnesses and experts, US has undergone a series of counterproductive effects of current US drone strike policies. Pakistanis living in the regions that were directly affected by the strikes as well as medical workers were also affected by these policies,which have also caused a number of negative effects on the civilians.
According to The Bureau of Investigative Journalism (TBIJ) reports, from June to September, the available data indicates that drone strikes killed nearly 2500-3300 people in Pakistan of whom about 800 were civilians.A number of people who happened to be our witnesses and whomanaged to survive theattacks confirmed that, there were three detailed accounts of strikes for which there was recorded evidence of civilian injuries and deaths. These included a strike that took place in March 2011 on a tribal elders meeting that happened to kill approximately 40 individuals.
The spreading use of drones in attacks can be attributed to their effectiveness in killing terrorists who operate in inaccessible regions without causing casualties among the civilians. Drones are also said to cause limited collateral damage. According to the former CIA director, Michael Hayden, drones have made regions such as Pakistan?s Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA), ?neither safe nor a haven? for the Al-Qaeda group and its affiliated networks. The former president advocated the use of drones because drone strikes had wiped out all the members of the Al-Qaeda group(Berner, 2004).
Drone strike policies have also been recorded to cause considerable and un-accounted for harm beyond death and physical injury to the ordinary lives of civilians in the US. Drones are said to hover 24 hours a day over communities based in the northwestern region of Pakistan whereby they strike homes, vehicles and public places without warning. Their presence causes a lot of anxiety and psychological trauma among individuals and communities. These people live in constant worries that a strike maybe fired at any moment, and this causes desperation as they have not the least power to protect themselves or prevent the strikes.
These strikes have resultantly led to change in behavior, whereby people are become resistant to help or protect others from the attack. This isbecause large numbers of rescuers have met their death in these attacks. Some members of the community also tend to shy away from gatherings, which in some cases include significant tribal dispute resolution bodies due to the fear that they may attract the drone operators. Most of the children also do not attend school because of fear from their parents that their children may end up getting killed. The strikes have also interrupted cultural and religious practices such as funerals and other important ceremonies.
These killings can be attributed to lack of the US government to ensure basic accountability and transparency in its targeted killing policies, providing necessary details about the killing program and adequately setting out the legal factors involved in making decisions to strike. This isnecessary for egalitarian debate about a major aspect of US overseas and national security policy.The US may also be said to facilitate recourse to the lethal force around the world through the establishment of dangerous precedents for other governments. The risks associated with drone strikes constantly increase as the drone manufacturers and officials successfully reduce the export control barriers, and as more countries manage to develop lethal drone technologies.
An example of a drone attack is the bombing of the Times Square that marked the arrival of blowbacks from president?s Barrack Obama?s embrace on the drones-first counterterrorism policy on America.There has been a reported negligence on respect for the rule of law to America?s counterterrorism policies whereby the current president has been reported to issue the use of drone strikes, sophisticated surveillance and special operations to fight a brutal covert war against Al-Qaeda.
Drones in the US are mainly used to wage war against terrorists in states such as; Afghanistan and Somalia.However, these operations are unknown by most people in the US,anddestruction caused by this remain to be a top secret.On the other hand,drones are said to be highly effective in fighting terrorists but corrode the stability and legitimacy of local governments whereby they create new recruits for the Islamist networks and with an aim of overthrowing the governments.
Drone strikes also serve as powerful signals of the helpless state of governments and subservience to the United States. This undermines the summoned claimsthat these governments have the credibility of beingeffective competitors for the loyalties of the population.In this regard, the establishment of partnerships depends on the availability of capable and legitimate governments that can cooperate with the United States effectively. In this regard thereby,
America seems to operate on a cross-purpose counterterrorismpolicy where it provides a steady flow of financial resources and arms to the government whose legitimacy has been undermined through conduction of unilateral drone strikes on their territory. The embracement of drones in the US has rampant effects as it encourages a race of new arms for drones which will empower the current,as well as future rivals. It will also lay the foundation for an international system that is increasingly violent, polarized and destabilized between the nations using drones in their attacks and the victims upon whom these drones are being used(Cooper, J., Skelton, I., Hunter, D., Conaton, E., Lewis, M., Hawley, T., et al. 2008).
The use of drones also has a lot of effects and pressure on terrorist organizations, to an extent that it degrades the capacity of the organizations and their ability to strike.China has also adopted the use of drones in warfare with an example of an incidencewhereby the country?s security forces were under pressure to capture a river drug lord, named Mekong.
The country?s aerospace firms have developed dozens of drones that are also known as unmanned aerial vehicles. This is in response to the use of the same in the US which is an indication of improved technology and the need to enhance protection in the country. The country?s move into deployment of UAVs is an indication of its growing sophistication, whereby it has been reported that it could pose a challenge to the US military dominance in the Asia Pacific(Werenskjold, 2002).
Many countries have suffered due to the use of drones in the Americasince most of them arevictims of war between countries whereby the country involved in war with the US does not have the drones. In this case, citizens in the country which do not use drones end up suffering because of lack of adequate protection from the government forces. The activities in the countries involved are also disrupted as most people suffer from trauma and worry that strikes may arise at any time.
In this effect, it is of paramount importance that the US government conductsa fundamental re-evaluation of current targeted killing practices while taking into account all the evidence that is available, concerns of various stakeholders and the short, as well as long term costs and benefits. The policy makers and American public should not continue to ignore the evidence brought forward about the counter-productive impacts of the targeted killings andcivilianharm, but instead should take measures to control and eradicate the situation.The US should also fulfill its international obligations in respect to transparency and accountability and also ensure a proper democratic debate about the key policies. It should also release the US Department of Justice memoranda,which outlines the legal basis for the US targeted killings in Pakistan. Independent investigations should also be conducted in consistence with the call made by a UN special Rapporteur on the protection and endorsement of human rights (Masson, 2006).
According to the international humanitarian and human rights law obligations, the US should avoid all instances of double-striking targets with the arrival of first responders. Data and information released to the public by the media should also be counterchecked by the government to ensure that the information is correct and not ambiguous.The media should also cease from relying on anonymous government sources or using false records or government reports. Instead,they should embark on developing a true and reliable source of true information relating to the activities conducted by the government(Miller, 1998).
Use of drones has been of paramount help to America?s forces in fighting terrorists and capturing ?bad guys? ion the country. This has enhanced adequate protection in the country and has also enhanced proper running of activities within the country. However, this has had a number of effects on the country and its environs as most of the activities in the victim country are disrupted, such as failure to attend school by some children in fear of harm by the strikes. Most people in these countries also live with worry and trauma that a strike may occur at any time and take away the lives of many people(Sanger, 2012).
Berner, R. A. (2004). The effective use of multiple unmanned aerial vehicles in surface search and control. Monterey, California: Naval Postgraduate School.
Cooper, J., Skelton, I., Hunter, D., Conaton, E., Lewis, M., Hawley, T., et al. (2008). U.S. House of Representatives Committee on Armed Services Panel on Roles and Missions: Initial Perspectives. Ft. Belvoir: Defense Technical Information Center.
Masson, S. R. (2006). Unmanned Aerial Vehicle use in Army Brigade Combat teams increasing effectiveness across the spectrum of conflict. Monterey, California: Naval Postgraduate School.
Miller, R. D. (1998). Unmanned Aerial Vehicles: Improving Warfighting Capabilities in the Urban Environment. Ft. Belvoir: Defense Technical Information Center.
Sanger, D. E. (2012). Confront and conceal: Obama’s secret wars and surprising use of American power. New York: Crown Publishers.
Werenskjold, C. J. (2002). The effect of unmanned aerial vehicle systems on precision engagement. Monterey, California: Naval Postgraduate School.

Part (2)

Drone Usage and Its Effects in US Counter-Terrorism (Policy-Appraisal)
The use of drones has become a central focus in war against terror. For many years, the United States has been using drones as one of the counter-terrorism strategies (Wilkinson, 2011).Using unmanned aerial systems have been successful in getting targets unaware (Strawser, 2013). The use of drones has a substantive advantage over other conventionalweapons and technologies. Forexample, drones can be usedto monitor a region without raising an alarm of presence. Moreover, drones have been used by military personnel to conduct air strikeswithout endangering the lives of the pilots from reiterations. For years, the United States has used drone attacks in Afghanistan, Somalia, Iraq and Pakistan.Following the launch of the first and subsequent drone attacks, there has been a contentious debate regarding the use of drones. There have been some worrying reports that drone attacks have been usedto kill innocent civilians. Moreover, thereexist no regulationsand policies that control the use of drones (Durant, 2007). In years to come, the useof drones by the United States may be imitated by other countries in case of war. This research paper examines the current United States policy on the use of drones and its effect on counter-terrorism. This paper researches also on changes on drones policy and its effectiveness. This paper also examines both short-term and long-term ramifications of the policy. Finally, the paper describes both the allies and adversaries of the policy.
Current policy
The use of drones came into effect, when the United States launched its firstdrone attack on 5th November 2002. The first drone attack happened in Yemen, where the United States was launching an operation against al Qaeda operativesin the country.The useofdrones was amongthe counter-terrorism initiatives created by the American Security Project (ASP). The ASP has integrated the use of drones as a strategy in ensuring that counter-terrorism becomes effective. It is important to note that the use of drones include the use of advanced technology in waging war against theterrorists. The manner in which drone attacks are launched makes this strategy the most effective tactic in counter-terrorism history. The continued and persistent war againstterror is one of the major objectivesof using drones in counter-terrorism. The drones are deemed to dismantle any threat that is waged against the stability of the United States and safety of its citizens. The policy to ensure there is instant and agile response to enemy threats has been made possible by the use of drones. The drones are faster than any othermissile used by the military. In fact, drone attacks are faster when launched to long distances. This means that war against terror can be worn without a physical presence of the military troops.
Drone usage has remained one of the United States secrets for many years. It is important to note that the current policy on drone usage has been recommended forchanges. This has been due to the fact that there is a certain degree of disadvantage and damagescausedby drone attacks. In this regard severalchangeshave been conducted on the policy as well as recommendations.
Changes on drone policy
It is important to note that drone usage has been in placesince the year 2002 (Zenko, 2010). First, the useof drones has now become public knowledge unlike in previous years. This has been changed and recommended byPresident Barrack Obama, who asserts that war on terror should be more specific. This means that drone usage and attacks will only be targeted to specific terrorist locations. Another important change that has affected the policy on drone usage has been an additional funding to embassy security. This means that the United States tends to use alternative means to ensure there is adequate security for American citizens assigned in foreign countries. Another change that affects the use of drone usage is the transfer of inmates from the Guantanamo bay. This is aimed at making sure that the United States does not riskfurtherattacks from terrorists. Another change that may affect droneusage is the use of remotely piloted aircrafts with narrow parameters. This is to ensure that casualties of drone attacks are reduced.
Effectiveness of drone policy
It is important to acknowledge the fact that the usage of drones as a counter-terrorism strategy has been effective (Crelinsten, 2013). Drones have been effective in ensuring that safety of Americansliving in foreign countries like in Pakistan, Yemen and Iraq is safeguarded. Moreover, this has been viewed as a great victory over terrorism attacks. The counter-terrorism objective in ensuring that there is a quickresponse towards enemies and terrorist has been made possible by drones (Siegel, 2012). The use of the newtechnology in the fight against terrorismhas seen a reduced number of war casualties. Using foot soldiers and their physical presence in enemy regions have been minimized by drones. Compared to manned aircrafts, drones are able to stay airborne without any detection from enemies for a period of not less fourteen hours. The drones are known for their ability to transverse hostile regions without endangering the livesof the pilots and other military personnel on the ground.However, it is important to note that drones are highly lethal and their weaponry is indeed advanced (Gross, 2002). This can be based on the fact that the magnitude of damage caused by the drones is prolific.
Short-term and long-term ramifications
According to Finkelstein, Ohlin & Altman (2012), short-term ramifications of the usage of drones are the continued casualties, unending terrorist attacks and costs. It is important to note that use of drones has continually claimed a lot of innocent lives. In some instances, drone attackshave also claimed the lives of American citizens.The considerable magnitude of physical and emotional injuries caused to casualties is immense. There is a lot of evidence showing that civilian casualties involved in drone attacks increase day by day. Another short-term ramification is that the United Statesstands a chance to have a political standstill following the abuse of presidential powers.
According to Finkelstein, Ohlin & Altman (2012), long-term ramifications of the usage of drones can be evidenced by proliferation of drone strategies by other countries, while waging war against rival countries. The use of drones can now be used by countries like China, Russia and in the United Kingdom. Countries like North Korea have lately been on warpath with the United States. In this respect, there are concerns thatUnited States rivals may start waging war against fellow countries using this tactic. Drones are unregulated and theiruse has along-term consequences. Just like weapons of mass destruction, there are chances that countries using drone attacks will be branded perpetrators of crimes against humanity. It is important to note that some countries and activist have already started branding the United States as a violator of human rights.
The possibility of the United States losing its credibility as a defender of democracy and human rights is in jeopardywith continued use of drones. There is a possibility that the United States economic status will be affected with the continued use of costly counter-terrorism tactics like drones.This was once evidenced when the country waged war on terrorism in Iraq and Afghanistan. The country had economic ramifications that saw the country go into an economic recession and incur huge debts.Thereis a concern that in the long-term, the United States will damage its relationship with other countries due to use of unregulated military operatives like drones. The prolonged use of drones and public unawareness of such tactics is likely to cause a public outrage in the United States. This is because the use of such strategies causes deaths to innocent civilians and Americans without any public knowledge.
Allies and adversaries to the policy
The use of drones has been a critical element in counter-terrorism. In this respect, President George Bush andBarrack Obama have been on the forefront in championing the use of drones. The conservativesin the congress have also championed the use of the drones with believe that such would keep America safe. Other allies to the use of drones include the military strategists and countriessuch as China and Russia. The United States hasbeen able to convincecountries in Africa and Middle East to host their drones. However, countries that have fell victims of drone attacks have greatly condemned the use of drones. Leftists in the United States congress and humanrightsactivists have alsocondemned the use of drones.
Part (3)
Drone Usage and Its Effects in US Counter-Terrorism (Strategic Comparative Analysis)

The history about security may be traced back to ancient times where individuals used crude weapons, gates, cliffs, mountains or even lakes as a means of protection. Rulers during this time saw the need for security and started to appoint some men who were then charged with the responsibility for both private and public securities. This was hard for them since by then there were no comprehensive laid down rules and laws, and for the few that existed, some individuals would not adhere to them. This saw the need for further security measures to enable individuals at that time adhere to the existing rules. Rulers were forced to start forming groups of individuals; by then the armies, to protect the people, property and their kingdoms (History of private security, 2009).
The Strategic Comparative Analysis
The U.S is a very technologically advanced nation compared to many other countries. The country has adopted some of the best and most recent technologies in almost every aspect including; security, food security, health, agriculture, energy and space exploration among others. For example, the country has the technological capacity to monitor what is going on around the world through satellites. In terms of security, the U.S has gone an extra mile by using Drones. Boyle (2013) asserts that drones or UAVs are fundamentally independent systems that are operated without being identified or noticed during attacks. As a result, drones have grown to be a most significant policy tool in the U.S. counterterrorism strategy.
The U.S uses drones to patrol the skies, and once in a while they are used to instigate lethal strikes against alleged terrorists. Drones get the target unaware making them successful. Nevertheless, the utilization of drones has a substantive benefit over other conventional weapons and technologies, in that they can be used to monitor a region without raising an alarm of presence. Moreover, drones have been used by military personnel, to conduct air strikes without endangering the lives of the pilots from retaliations (Saas, 2012). There are several countries that are against the use of drones, for instance, Somalia, Afghanistan, Yemen, Iraq, and Pakistan. The U.S military patrols the skies of these countries because the countries are known to be widely threatened by terrorism, as well being sources of threat.
According to Sadat (2012), the United States holds and emphasizes that the utilization of drones in Pakistan is highly effective. This is because it is used as a tool that targets only terrorists with the least effects possible. However, this is not true according to many researchers, reporters, investigators, witnesses, and victims. There have been some worrying reports that drone attacks have been used to kill innocent civilians. The substantial magnitude of physical and emotional injuries caused to casualties is huge. There is a lot of evidence that indicates that civilian casualties involved in drone attacks rise day by day. For instance, there are threats to both the U.S. security and Pakistani inhabitants who live at the Pakistani boundary areas that are currently targeted by drones.
Precisely, by use of drones, the U.S. will be proficient to defend itself from terrorist threats, and leave the Pakistani civilians unguarded. Thus, it calls for a debate on the U.S. policies on the use of drones against terrorists in Pakistan, and other countries. Instead of soothing the region through getting rid of terrorist leaders, the counter terror program has caused violence and unsteadiness. For instance, in 2002 the U.S. targeted an alleged terrorist with a fatal drone strike. Consequently, a U.S. Predator Drone let off a hellfire rocket at a car that was itinerant through the Mar?ib province of Yemen, demolishing the car and assassinating all the six people that were in the car. Among the six who died was a US inhabitant, while another was the country?s senior al Qaeda operator, who was required for the October 2000 terror campaign of the USS Cole. In the campaign, 7 people died.
Additionally, as much as drones are said to be more effective than the customary counter terror actions, the number of people who have died due to drone assails in Pakistan since 2004, ranges between 1,500 and 2,500. Besides that, the community is usually comforted by being told that the highest numbers of those dead are radicals, but the dead are usually not mentioned. There are no further investigations that are done on the civilians who could have died due to the attacks.
On the other hand, there is an indication of unsteady trust and inadequate transparency in drone policy, procedure, tactical, and predetermined uncertainty inside the U.S. security, and intelligence agencies. The confusion has confirmed to be disobliging as depart policies for the Afghan war are disputed, and ongoing assessment of U.S. ? Pakistan affairs are being investigated.
The use of drones can now be adopted by countries like China, Russia and the United Kingdom, and effectively used through appropriate policing. Countries like North Korea have lately been on the warpath with the United States. In this respect, there are concerns that United States rivals may start waging war against fellow countries using this tactic.
Apart from that, some countries train their military forces and organize them, so as to fight and win against the counter terrorism attacks. In addition, police are prearranged and taught on how to give ordinary police services, retain public order and deal with everyday crime. The use of special security forces results in a lot of challenges, as regards legal authority, supervision and responsibility, as well as the probability for violence and coercion. These strategies have failed because the terrorist is usually aware of the tactics used by the military and police, and more often than not will try their best to accomplish their mission by seeking to engage the enemy.
Despite the myriad counterterrorism measures available, those states that have experimented with counterterrorism have had only limited success, and often run the risk of alienating significant elements of the population. Moreover, terrorism and counter-terrorist responses typically have been related to nationalism and self-determination movements, where inequities and injustice are rooted in the historical or colonial experience. Additionally, the traditional way of dealing with terrorism as it has been, has also been used for legitimizing terrorism whereby supporters of terrorism would find ways to justify their cause. Secondly, the just war tradition is limited in that it focuses on the good and bad of terrorism, rather than the implications on the terrorized and the terrorist, which Bat-Amin bar On considers being the most significant factors.
Consequently, Hudson, Owens & Flannes (2011) argue that due to the ongoing killings of the innocent civilians by drones in various countries, there are a number of drawbacks as a result of the use of UAVs/ drones by the U.S. (a). The reprisal against the United States, (b) the manufacture of new rebellious, known as the ?accidental guerrilla? syndrome, (c) the additional snag of U.S. tactical harmonization and interests (d) the deterioration of Pakistan and (e) the worsening of the U. S. -Pakistani relationship.
The use of drones has been a critical element in counterterrorism. In this respect, President Bush and Obama have been on the forefront in championing the use of drones. The conservatives in the congress have also championed the use of drones, with the belief that such would keep America safe. Other allies to the use of drones include the military strategists and countries such as China and Russia.
Drone usage remained one of the United States secrets for several years. The use of the new technology in the fight against terrorism has seen a reduced number of war casualties. Using foot soldiers and their physical presence in enemy regions have been minimized by adoption of drones. Compared to manned aircraft, drones are able to stay airborne without any detection from enemies and can, therefore, be used to track the enemy?s movement. ASP is looking forward to comprehending the manner in which the local people and institutions respond to the drones. This is because the matter is significant towards accepting the strategic insinuation of a policy on drones? use.
Likewise, there is no adequate public information as regards the number of drone strikes that have taken place since they were first launched, the actual number of people who have been killed or wounded by them, and the social and political consequences. This is because a lot of public studies disagree with each other or indicate figures and conclusions that are not possible to resolve. Thus, since the information as regards drones is so full of loopholes, public dialog is needed (United Nations, 2013).
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Part (4)
Drones Usage and Its Effects in US Counter-Terrorism
Since the inception of the Obama administration, the drone program has become his signature foreign policy initiative in the war against terrorism. More than 4,000 drones have reportedly been deployed in areas deemed to be the terrorist?s strongholds since the September 11 attack. According to the congressional budget office, the United States department of defense will spent an estimated amount of $36.9 billion in its drone operations by 2020 excluding the extensive explorations expenditure on the same.
The number of people killed by these drones still remains unclear due to the secrecy with which the drones operations are carried out by the United States government. According to Senator Lindsey Grahams? recent remarks, he estimated the number of those killed by the drones to be about 4,700 of which some of them were innocent civilians. The impact of these strikes has generated much controversy with much focus on their legality and moral cost.
Critics argue that the civilian casualties imposed by drones? warfare inadvertently aggravate terrorist activities by radicalizing the affected locals. This will arguably create a large sphere of terrorist spies and make the militants revert to using more force to regain their lost control over the local population especially when the anti terrorism forces get intelligence on militants from the locals.
It has also been noted that drone strikes have curtailed insurgents and terrorist aggression in militant sanctuaries. The direct targeting of suspected militants and the overhead surveillance has reduced the terrorists? activities in areas prone to drone attacks. This has created an enticement for militants to lie low or revert to shifting their operations to other safer areas.
The Bureau of Investigative Journalism (TBIJ) has reported an increase of signature drones attack by a six fold under the president Obama Administration. The Foundation for Fundamental Rights has compiled testimonials from victims of drones? attacks, which have cast doubt in the precision and accuracy of these attacks since it has been noted that they kill as much civilians as militants. The manner in which the attacks are made in quick succession has made it impossible for bystanders to approach an attack site to rescue survivors.
The presence of drones hovering above target areas is a course of psychological trauma to the local civilians residing in that particular area. People in these areas live in constant fear of being attacked by drones which has resulted to post trauma stress and anticipation anxiety. In such cases, the residents tend to avoid normal daily duties such as farming, driving and going to school for fearing drones attacks.
Psychiatrists have noted this behavior as a symptom of anticipatory anxiety, which is characteristic to people living in war tone areas that prevents them from living normal lives. This has been largely criticized as a violation of fundamental international human rights imposed by the United Nations such as the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR).
In some countries where the Al Qaeda pose the greatest risk such as Pakistan, the use of drones as a counter-terrorism approach has generated diplomatic row and, as a result, reducing the counter-terrorism cooperation between the two countries. This negativity has also created an anti American attitude within the Pakistani people. A case in example is in January 2011 where two Pakistani men were killed by a CIA contractor Raymond Davis in a botched mugging incident at Lahore causing vehement uproar in Pakistan.
Whether the use of drones by the US as a counter terrorism tactic has bore fruits is still debatable. As is expected, every measure introduced to disrupt terrorism activities will be faced with a counter reaction. The militant groups will soon adapt to life under the drones and device methods of countering the attacks. This clearly shows that the lethality of the drones warfare does not necessarily mean it will end terrorism. It has been noted that the militant groups in areas struck by drones do not entirely shut down their operations despite the heightened danger posed to them by the drones.
Attacks have reportedly continued to occur in these drone prone areas but with reduced frequency. Due to the heightened risk posed by the drones? constant surveillance, the militant groups have changed tact and reverted to using junior members of their organizations in planning and executing terrorist attacks. Under these circumstances, the senior members of the organizations are compelled to delegate some of their responsibilities down to the junior members. This will in turn empower the junior members and thus cropping up new breeds of skilled terrorists.
This shift in decision making from the senior levels to the junior level is done to protect the more experienced senior operatives who are more valuable to the militant organizational group and are much sought out by the anti terrorism units. In cases of a botched operation that will result to fatality, the junior operatives will be easier to replace than the senior members. This shift of operations has also seen more senior members of organized militant groups flee from their areas of operations to other areas to avoid the wrath of the drones? attacks.
Frequent reports have shown that militant groups in Pakistan were advised to relocate to the neighboring province of Kunar in Afghanistan to avoid US drone attacks. This shift can also be linked to the continuing reluctance of the local tribesmen to provide shelter to the militants in fear of being victims of drone attacks.
The movement of the militant leaders from their traditional areas of operation has largely contributed to a change of the violence pattern in the affected areas. This can explain the escalation of violence in the neighboring countries after the US forces invaded Afghanistan and the increased suicide bombing activities in the urban areas of Pakistan. This pattern clearly shows that the use of drones to eliminate terrorists in their stronghold bases has actually diverted terrorism activities to other areas. It is, therefore, evident that drones attacks only reduce terrorism violence in nearby areas.
The flexibility of drones? attacks is also largely criticized. Unlike foot soldiers on the ground, drones would not make a decision on whether to capture or kill a surrendering militant. This goes against the rule of law which offers everyone a right to free and fair trial. The degree of destruction inflicted by drones strike makes it difficult to gather intelligence that could give more leads to terrorist organizations.
The long term implications of this technological advancement in warfare is that in the future we might have an uncontrollable response in the use of drones by the US, whereby militant groups will most likely try to adapt this technology for use against their purported enemies. This will stream down to other organized criminal groups and insurgents as hey sought counter measures to reduce their vulnerability to more adversaries. With no proper laws of preventing drones proliferation, other nations will also develop their own with fewer limitations in their export regulations which might lead to easy access by the wrong hands.
Though much criticized, the inception of Unmanned Aerial Vehicles as counter terrorism tact has drastically reduced the lethality and frequency of terrorism activities in the targeted areas. This is attributed to their ability to distort the environment through which information is relayed in the organized militant groups in a way that the physical presence of troops would not achieve. The high speed in which a drone can be deployed against a target has greatly limited danger to troops and pilots in a similar mission especially where the areas accessibility is poor.
The use of drones has also improved surveillance and the ability to gather intelligence which in many cases has prevented occurrences of terrorism attacks by discovering and preventing terrorist plots. High value terrorist targets have also been captured or eliminates by the use of drones. In recent times, the deployment of drones has denied militant organizations a safe heaven for carrying out their training activities and conducting recruitments.
Drones have been effective in disrupting the insurgence of militant groups by monitoring and cutting their supply lines. This denies them access to expertise, resources and arms which has resulted to considerable political calmness in the affected areas. A case in point is where drones attacks against Al-Qaeda linked militia group Ansar al-Shari?a in southern Yemen forced the terrorist group to retreat to safer areas in the eastern Yemen mountains denying then control of their stronghold.
Finally, it is not easy to draw any clear conclusions from the scanty restricted data available to the public sphere on whether drones warfare on national and international security is effective or not. In most areas, insurgent groups remain active and still carry out violent activities even with in the presence of the drones. On the other hand, there has been a considerable incident of major terrorism attacks in recent years outside the militant bases.
In the future, The United States would require doing away with the secrecy in which it is conducting its drones operations and engage with other nations in developing clear diplomatic regulatory laws to govern the drones? warfare before it gets out of hand.
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