Many Americans remain oblivious to the drones strikes that continue to rain down weekly around the middle east at an alarming rate. Just yesterday, another drone strike allegedly killed two children in Yemen. In early March, the Pentagon conducted over 30 airstrikes in Yemen over the course of just two days. This is a continuation of the bombing of Yemen which started sometime in Oct. 2016 in support of the Saudi’s war on the Iranian backed Houtis.
This involvement plunged America deeper into it’s involvement in the Yemen civil war beyond material support. Due to America’s involvement in Yemen’s civil war and other operations overseas, America is undergoing a massive escalation of the drone war under the Trump administration. Trump’s drone strikes have been estimated to be triple that of his predecessor. Beyond the strikes themselves, the U.S. has pledged to continue to it’s controversial massive arms sales to Saudi Arabia to wage war in Yemen. These sales have been criticized for their ties to civilian deaths.
Too often, civilian casualties have been underreported in the drone campaigns of the past 12 or so years. These civilian casualties could certainly radicalize more people towards hostility towards the United States. How careful of a cost/benefit analysis being conducted before these strikes occur? It is uncertain on account of very limited oversight of these strikes by the legislative and judicial branch.
Several American citizens have been assassinated under the drone program without the due process of the judicial branch. These include children such as 8 year old Nawar al-Awlaki. No matter one’s opinion on the war on terror itself, the state sanctioned killing of American children is certainly worthy of public scrutiny and debate. While some may call the deaths of civilians “collateral damage”, one person’s collateral damage is another person’s daughter, mother , or sister. Merely attacking the terrorists themselves fails to address the root ideology which causes anti-American sentiments and violence.