America’s Drone Campaign is Both Moral and Effective

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Host: Intelligence Squared
Location: Sadler's Wells Theatre, Rosebery Avenue, London EC1R 4TN
Speaker: David Aaronovitch, Douglas Murray, Professor Noel Sharkey, Clive Stafford Smith

Bug splats. That’s what the US operators of drones, sitting thousands of miles away, call the casualties of a drone attack in Pakistan or Yemen when they show up on screen. Many of those splats were in fact innocent bystanders unfortunate enough to be nearby the “target”. Quite apart from the collateral damage, drones allow our leaders to assassinate anyone they want, unhampered by public scrutiny. What's more, they are counterproductive: drone strikes inflame communities against the West and throw them into the arms of the local militants.

But do the critics of drones have a better strategy for dealing with far-off militants intent on harming us? Drones, in fact, cause far fewer civilian deaths than conventional warfare and are often welcomed by the local population who are only too happy to see the militants attacked. They may not be pretty but in an imperfect and often violent world, the use of drones is moral and effective.

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