Former Defense Secretary Robert Gates believes that the benefits of using drone strikes to kill possible Al Qaeda operatives significantly outweighs the negatives. While there have been innocent lives lost as a result of drone strikes targeting potential terrorists, Gates argued that these numbers are "extremely small." However, Gates believes that there needs to be some sort of a checks and balances system in order to restrain the President's ability to use drone strikes whenever he deems fit. The New American Foundation estimates that in Pakistan, in the year 2012, the nonmilitant casualty rate of drone strikes was approximately 10%. Although there are a significant amount of people that believe these drone strikes are benefical and perfectly legal, including President Obama and recently nominated CIA Director John Brennan, many lawmakers and human rights organizations have questioned their legality. Many of these individuals have questioned the oversight procedures surrounding these drone strikes, particularly when they are being used against American citizens overseas. Such was the case when New Mexico-born Anwar Al Awlaki, who was believed to have played an operational role in Al Qaeda near the Arabian Peninsula, was killed by an United States drone in 2011. Opponents of these drone strikes on American's overseas cite the 5th Amendment, which states that "No person shall denied life, liberty or pursuit of happiness," as their reasoning behind their opposition of them. During hearings last week, Senate Intelligence Committee Chairwoman Diane Feinstein said that she would consider legislation limiting/ monitoring these drone strikes in an attempt "to ensure that drone strikes are carried out in a manner consistent with our values." However, such legislation has yet to be drafted. 
Photo Credited to http://www.myvisitingcard.com/2011/anwar-al-awlaki-targeted-by-drone-but-remained-safe.html

2/14/2013 01:44:04 am

I think that the strikes are fine as is. They have a system in place for the authorization of a drone strike. When too many people know something, it compromises operational security, which could include the target disappearing, and we'd have to spend more time and millions of more dollars to find the target again. If it ain't broken, don't fix it


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