Originally, drones were a great idea. It provided the military with a convenient solution to both the safety of their pilots and their financial overhead. However, that convenience has its costs. Their rampant use has led to rampant civilian deaths, which in turn has led to more resentment toward the U.S.
According to a study done on drone strikes in Pakistan by the CNA Corporation, drones were ten times more likely to kill civilians than their manned counterparts. They’re not only clumsy but also counterproductive. Instead of eliminating radical threats and stabilizing the region, we’ve plunged the people of that area into a perpetual state of dread where blue skies have become an omen for death.
“I no longer love blue skies. In fact, I now prefer grey skies. The drones do not fly when the skies are grey,” said a 13-year-old Pakistani boy, Zubair, during a congressional briefing on drones. “When the sky brightens, drones return and we live in fear.”
If you want to stabilize a region and make them more sympathetic to your cause, you can’t do that while holding a gun to their heads.
“After these drones attacks a lot of people are victims and have lost members of their family. A lot of them, they have mental illnesses,” said on anonymous resident to CNN. “Before this we were all very happy.”
This is an ideological war; you can’t kill an idea by killing people. By fighting them, you galvanize their resolve and provide validation for their existence. That’s why to so many people, it’s become a question of choosing the lesser of the two evils, both of whom have no qualms about killing civilians.
We’re falling right into the role these extremists painted for us and making their argument for them. Drones can be a very effective solution to some things; however, in their current state, all they’re doing is perpetuating more and resentment resentment and thus more war. It’s like paying your credit card with another credit card. It provides the illusion that something has been fixed but it hasn’t. It’s still broken.