A “Second Snowden” leaked a cache of secret documents that has put the CIA’s and United States military’s use of unmanned aerial vehicles (drones) back into the spotlight. Drones have been used post-9/11 to carry out lethal strikes on those deemed enemies of the United States – even if the strikes take place outside of a declared war zone.
Armed drones were first used by George W. Bush in 2003 and have been President Barack Obama’s “weapon of choice” since his first days in office, according to The Intercept. But the public’s knowledge of the drone program’s inner-workings has been extremely limited. That may be changing thanks to the newly released documents.
As the use of drones has intensified over the years, the number of questions surrounding the program have increased. What intelligence is used to determine the targets? Who makes the decision to carry out specific drone strikes? Does a military with a power drone program make us safer?
In this video, George Mason University economics Professor Bryan Caplan argues that having an army is perceived as a threat by other countries, causing them to feel angered or provoked. As a general rule, he says, being better armed doesn’t make you safer, and can even have the opposite effect.
While Prof. Caplan made his argument in regards to our traditional notion of the military, the same questions and principles could be applied to the borderless “War on Terror.” What do you think about the use of drones for counterterrorism operations? Let us know in the comments.