In view of the attention Drones are getting, it's wise to review how we reached this point, if that's possible in this volatile PR-FOX Mis- and Disinformation-oriented "news" world. My input, for what's it worth:
Civilians are always killed in war - a fact.
"Collateral damage" is that widely used expression today ... i.e., innocent bystanders who are accidentally killed in an air raid or air strike.
Now we have a totally new approach: Drone warfare and the number of civilians in Pakistan (our ally, too), Yemen, and Somalia has grown.
The so-called Presidential "Kill or Hit List" (excellent story here) illustrates my point... in short, we have entered a new world and it is not pretty (war never is), but this new approach, by careful design, is not only growing, but growing at an alarming rate.
I know for a fact that war is nasty and ugly. The attacks and events ever since 9/11 have made the face of war change dramatically and now, Drone warfare it about to make it worse, and we try to paint it or make it appear clean and somehow easily justified to include hitting or taking out Americans (that DOJ white paper memo just released — three-point policy graph shown above).
I wonder how many of us who sit all safe and sound and comfortable in our homes would feel if a Drone from Mexico entered Texas or New Mexico or Arizona or Southern California airspace without permission while "chasing a bunch of drug runners" that some "informed, high-level Mexican official deemed a target. They fired a missile or three and took out your home, wife, kids, a few in-laws, and erased your life? Then called it "collateral damage" or worse: the wrong target. How would we feel? Yet we have done exactly that in many countries including our own allied country (Pakistan), where and untold number have been killed - both presumably "bad" guys and innocents.
I assure you this form of warfare will worse before it gets any better. High-tech killing machines are not the sole property of the U.S., is it? Drone warfare and their production is now a huge growing cottage industry.
I have quoted former Marine General Smedley Butler who wrote about and spoke about "War is a Racket" - it surely is.
When policy people speak out, like this fellow, a number of options present themselves -- look what happened to him -- one of our own (former Director of National Intelligence).
Stay tuned, and as Yogi Berra would say: "It ain't over till it's over." Besides, a Drone may be on the way to your location soon.