It seems that “Drone attacks” have become more fashionable as US foreign policy decision makers rely on it greatly. Concerning Pakistan, 150 drone attacks have been performed since 2004; about 100 of these attacks are performed by the CIA since Obama took the office. Many of the drone attacks were carried out at northwestern Pakistan resulting in hundreds of casualties. The losses there are beyond estimation as journalists have no access there whatsoever.
Playstation killing mentality
The UN special rapporteur, Philip Alston, claimed that drone attacks must be stopped. He said that such operations must be carried by the armies and not by the CIA as the US Army is more accountable and is aware of war laws.
Philip Alston also described such unmanned drone attacks as “a path towards ‘Playstation’ mentality towards killing”, as the targets are situated hundreds of miles away and the process is entirely carried out through computer screens. This makes killing just an act of pressing buttons, nothing more.
Bill Burton, the White House deputy press secretary, responded to Alston’s report by saying that president Obama is doing “everything that he can to protect Americans [and] to advance our strategic interests”. But is this strategy really useful to the US foreign policy?
The results of drone attacks on the US foreign policy
Attacking sovereign states with which US isn’t at war, such as Pakistan and Yemen, is internationally criticized and is against the Geneva Convention. Besides, such drone attacks raises possibilities that they might be war crimes. But aren’t there enough war crimes? Does the United States need more war crimes to be added to the list?
Pakistan is under a huge pressure from the United States to stop the flow of Taliban across its borders with Afghanistan. Pakistan itself is suffering from suicidal bombings and civilians being killed with big numbers. On the other hand, the drone attacks are worsening the situation. Add this to the recent catastrophic floods, the instability of the government, angry Pakistani masses and finally catastrophic economy. All what you’ll get from such an equation is a disaster.
According to Reuters, the Pakistani Taliban leader Mehsud said: “We will launch attacks in America and Europe very soon” as a response to drone attacks. Such drone attacks are giving reasons for such elements to attack either inside Pakistan or outside of it. It will charge even ordinary civilians against the United States.
What is such US foreign policy aiming at? America isn’t only at war with Iraq and Afghanistan, American is at war with hearts and minds of millions of people, and she’s losing it. Such US foreign policy will cost the United States its credibility which is already gone and will damage its reputation which is already lost.