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Creating foes everywhere

We are going to have get used to the widespread use of drones - especially by the USA.    The impact, not all positive by any means - and clearly illegal - cannot be under-estimated.  

"What makes Obama's drone wars so important is that they are right at the centre of foreign policy in South Asia, the Middle East and North Africa. Drones were used by George W Bush between 2004 and 2008 on a smaller scale, but their mass use since is not just the fruit of technical developments or tactical convenience.

One of the most important changes in world politics over the past decade is that the US has failed to win two wars, one in Iraq, the other in Afghanistan, despite deploying large and vastly expensive land armies. Equally telling, these failures were against relatively puny forces of guerrillas. For American hardliners and neo-liberals these wars were designed to lay the ghosts of Vietnam and Somalia, enabling the open use of US military might, but they turned out to be Vietnam and Somalia revisited. American popular and establishment support for military intervention abroad using ground troops is at a low ebb."






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"Drones do not change very much on the ground. They do provide political camouflage at home and abroad, concealing the US retreat in Afghanistan and Iraq. They store up trouble because they may create more enemies than they eliminate. They rely on a network of informants that can only be established in weak, failed or failing states. They also invite other states such as China and Russia to invest in drones to kill their dissidents beyond their borders. Secret assassination campaigns by drones, hot-air balloons, bombs or rare poisons all carry the risk that somebody, somewhere is plotting their retaliation."


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