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View Diary: If we policed the U.S. the way we do Afghanistan (113 comments)

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  •  I am aware (10+ / 0-)

    that the rules of war are different from the rules of domestic policing. The point of this cartoon is to provide a thought exercise about how we might feel living under the constant existential threat of death from above.

    Employing drone strikes (or airstrikes of any kind) to take out a few suspected militants -- especially in populated areas -- is using excessive force. It's both cruel and dehumanizing to the Afghan people, and counterproductive strategically.

    •  How do you know that it is "cruel and (0+ / 0-)

      dehumanizing to the Afghan people"?

      The bulk of non-military airstrikes take place in Pakistan....

      you may not be aware of this, but Pakistan is not exactly popular in Afghanistan.  In fact, it may well be the least popular country/govt. to Afghans.

      And there are good, historical and current reasons for that attitude being prevalent amongst Afghans.

      I doubt that the vast majority of Afghans are losing even one iota of sleep over drone strikes in Pakistan.

      "A candle loses nothing by lighting another candle" - Mohammed Nabbous, R.I.P.

      by Lawrence on Wed Dec 26, 2012 at 01:05:55 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Where to start (0+ / 0-)

      First - Having been in Afghanistan and having actual real live Afghani friends, I can tell you that the majority of Afghanis have one issue with drones - they dont do enough.  Every day Afghans who live in the border region are killed not by drones but by artillery FROM PAKISTAN.  Every day.  This is a DAILY subject in Kabul because just about everyone in Kabul has a "family member" in the areas impacted.  Just because we don't think of a third cousin on your wife's side to be family doesn't mean they don't.  Within minutes it seemed like ever phone got a text message from a friend either saying they were fine or informing who was dead.  Every time I would get the same look and question "Why wont you stop this?  Why don't you destroy these people?  Why cant you control Pakistan?"

      Second - the targeting process is egregiously long in order to reduce the likelihood of hitting the wrong guy.  Any thought that we do not exercise extreme care is wrong.  Yet mistakes happen.  That is a fact in life that is not waived for war.

      Third - the idea that the answer is to just not do anything is naive.  These are not people with a mild dislike for the US.  You don't "earn" a JDAM or Hellfire for being anti US.  You get on the drone hit list by actively killing or seeking to kill Americans.  

      We use drones BECAUSE they are discriminate.  We use them BECAUSE we can wait for people to leave so only the bad person gets dead.  We use them BECAUSE the alternative is artillery or dumb bombs.

      I am not a fan of the Global War on Terror because I think the vast majority of it is a police function and soldiers don't make good cops.  But I am also not a fan of letting people sit safely in ungoverned spaces so they can train and organize to harm my country.  Would it be better of Pakistan joined the responsible adult world and fixed this problem with arrests?  Yes.  Is that going to happen in the next 1500 years?  No.

      In the spectrum of good any war is far at the end of the scale.  But if I can prevent harm to my country using technology that allows me to not place soldiers lives at risk I am all for that.  And If I can use something that has a close to 80% success rate (success being killing JUST the bad guy we are targeting) then while the remaining 20% is regretful is is in fact acceptable.  The alternative of returning to systems with success rates (same criteria) that approach zero is unacceptable.

      It is well that war is so terrible -- lest we should grow too fond of it. Robert E. Lee

      by ksuwildkat on Wed Dec 26, 2012 at 02:55:50 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

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