Should the president have unchecked authority to use drones to kill enemies? | The Tylt

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Should the president have unchecked authority to use drones to kill enemies?
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The Obama administration's drone program allows the president and a group advisers to secretly determine which of America's enemies live or die. Critics say this is a gross overreach of power and could be easily abused by bad actors. Supporters of the program say drone strikes deny terrorists safe havens and send a message to enemies of America. What do you think? Vote now!

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Critics argue the drone program gives a president the power to singlehandedly decide who gets to live or dies. They allege the current drone program uses unreliable data and places too much faith in technology. 

In undeclared war zones, the U.S. military has become overly reliant on signals intelligence, or SIGINT, to identify and ultimately hunt down and kill people. The documents acknowledge that using metadata from phones and computers, as well as communications intercepts, is an inferior method of finding and finishing targeted people. They described SIGINT capabilities in these unconventional battlefields as “poor” and “limited.” Yet such collection, much of it provided by foreign partners, accounted for more than half the intelligence used to track potential kills in Yemen and Somalia. The ISR study characterized these failings as a technical hindrance to efficient operations, omitting the fact that faulty intelligence has led to the killing of innocent people, including U.S. citizens, in drone strikes.
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Critics say the number of civilian deaths is also much higher than what the administration claims. Since many strikes rely on signals intelligence to determine the targets, drones are attacking people who fit a pattern of behavior, not necessarily known terrorists. 

A controversial US tactic, signature strikes, demonstrates how identities of the dead, and their status as a combatant or non-combatant, eludes the US. These strikes target people based on so-called pattern of life analysis, built from surveillance and intelligence but not the actual identity of a person.
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And the CIA’s own records leaked to the news agency McClatchy show the US is sometimes not only ignorant of the identities of people it has killed, but also of the armed groups they belong to. They are merely listed as “other militants” and “foreign fighters” in the leaked records.
Post by Chris Bush.
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Drone strikes allow for the administration to target leaders of international terror groups decisively. Supporters of the drone strike program argue there are few opportunities to target leaders—we should take every chance we get to disrupt their operations and save lives. The downside is the strikes provide terrorists with recruitment propaganda. 

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The former head of the CIA argues the drone program is an uncomfortable, but necessary reality. 

TARGETED killing using drones has become part of the American way of war. To do it legally and effectively requires detailed and accurate intelligence. It also requires some excruciatingly difficult decisions. The dialogue above, representative of many such missions, shows how hard the commanders and analysts work to get it right.
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The longer they have gone on, however, the more controversial drone strikes have become. Critics assert that a high percentage of the people killed in drone strikes are civilians — a claim totally at odds with the intelligence I have reviewed — and that the strikes have turned the Muslim world against the United States, fueling terrorist recruitment. Political elites have joined in, complaining that intelligence agencies have gone too far — until they have felt in danger, when they have complained that the agencies did not go far enough.
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The program is not perfect. No military program is. But here is the bottom line: It works. I think it fair to say that the targeted killing program has been the most precise and effective application of firepower in the history of armed conflict. It disrupted terrorist plots and reduced the original Qaeda organization along the Afghanistan-Pakistan border to a shell of its former self. And that was well before Osama bin Laden was killed in 2011.
FINAL RESULTS
Politics
Should the president have unchecked authority to use drones to kill enemies?
#stopDroneStrikes
A festive crown for the winner
#NoSafeHavens