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View Diary: How Democrats and Republicans Wage War (26 comments)

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    This is an interesting and detailed look at some of the major policy differences between Democrats and Republicans when it comes to war.

    You may be interested in this old diary of mine on President Obama's philosophical thinking with regard to war and peace, which informed his Nobel Peace prize acceptance speech:

    The bottom line is that these differences do run deep, in both philosophy and theory, and in policy and results.  

    Also worth pointing out that on the issue of civillian casualties, and that has been a major issue with regard to the drone strikes in this administration, the evidence is that a good deal of progress has been made there as well.  For example:

    The New America Foundation analysis of the drone campaign in Pakistan found that:

    -- The civilian casualty rate has been dropping sharply since 2008. The number of civilians, plus "unknowns," those individuals whose precise status could not be determined from media reports, reported killed by drones in Pakistan during Obama's tenure in office were 11% of fatalities. So far in 2012 it is close to 2%. Under President Bush it was 33%.

    -- Conversely, the percentage of militants killed has been rising over the life of the drone program. The number of militants reported killed by drone strikes is 89% of the fatalities under Obama compared to 67% under Bush.

    There are some reasons to think New America may be undercounting civillians, but I don't see any reason to doubt the overall trend, which is that we've at least done much better during this administration at avoiding civillian casualties.  And this does take some time, as it involves how you soldiers are trained, target identification practices, etc.

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