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Thursday, June 06, 2013

Drone Warfare: Terrorism and Winning a War

Winston Churchill encouraged people to read quotes.  
He said, "It is a good thing for an uneducated man to read books of quotations."

As deadly as Drone Warfare is, it's Sir Winston who gives me the  words to support my opinion about how our nation's National Security is dependent on killing terrorists, with drones (Winston Churchill is my authoritative source):

"A fanatic is one who can’t change his mind and won’t change the subject."

"If you are going to go through hell, keep going."

Critics of American "drone warfare" say killing terrorists with drones creates threats to National Security, because we're motivating more enemies to take the places of those who are killed. Of course, if the Pakistan and Afghan government were diligent allies against terrorism, a war threatening all Americans, then, maybe, we wouldn't need drones.  Instead, it's the Pakistan government that's most critical of drones - yet, they're the same country where National Security Enemy Number One, Osama Bin Laden found refuge for nearly a decade!

Since I'm uneducated about war, I take Sir Winston's advice about how to respond to critics of drone warfare.  "A fanatic is one who can’t change his mind and won’t change the subject."  Americans will never change the minds of the terrorist fanatics who want to kill us.  Terrorists who follow Bin Laden and his Al Qaeda movement want to kill us because they disagree with American and Western society's freedoms of speech, religion and how women are treated with respect.  

I'm wondering if drone warfare might effectively bring an end to terrorism, if we keep it going?

What little I know about warfare tells me that, when the drone critics, in Pakistan, provide harbor for the enemies we're fighting in the War on Terror, then the "drone warfare" is working. Maybe, we need more, rather than fewer, drones to finish this war.  

Although I have enormous respect for NBC news reporter Richard Engel, his apparent criticism of drone warfare, in my opinion, is misplaced.  Rather than count  how many armed militants are killed by drone attacks, Engel might consider how many civilian lives are potentially saved, when drones strategically target and kill those who want to kill Americans.  

Americans invest enormous resources to win wars.  Not winning is more costly than winning.  "If you are going to go through hell, keep going."

Let's count the casualties in the three years of the Korean Conflict.   Data from the US Department of Defense reports 33,686 battle deaths, along with 2,830 non-battle deaths during the Korean War and 8,176 missing in action. South Korea reported some 373,599 civilian and 137,899 military deaths.  

Of course, drone warfare was unheard of in the 1950s, but after loosing so many lives, it seems to me the huge numbers of deaths were not worth the peace.  Drones, had they existed, would likely have accomplished more than all the reported deaths. General Douglas MacArthur was fired over his conflict with President Truman about how win the Korean War.  Instead of winning in Korea, an unacceptable truce was declared. Since then, millions of North Koreans have suffered human rights indignities, tyranny and starvation because of our reluctance to win the "Korean War".  

Operation Desert Storm, or the Gulf War, is another example of the cost of not winning a war.  During the successful campaign of 1990-91, the Middle East war expert, General Norman Schwarzkopf, Jr. recommended finishing the war by attacking Baghdad, in Iraq.  Instead, President George H. Walker Bush disagreed.  Therefore, Americans didn't finish this war and now Iraq continues to be a nation in strife as a result of a subsequent American led invasion, begun on March 20, 2003, to capture and kill the dictator, Saddam Hussein. 

Americans cannot be paying, with lives, and money, for a war on terrorism and then not win.  

Sir Winston said, "The farther backward you can look, the farther forward you are likely to see."

Let's finish the war on terror, begun on September 11, 2001, when America was attacked by terrorists who continue their pursuit to kill all who disagree with their fanaticism.  If drones are winning this war, then we must support their continued use.  

I'm not educated about warfare, but I can read quotes and understand what history taught us about the cost of loosing wars.  

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