View Poll Results: Are spy/assassinatin drones morally acceptable?

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  • Yes

    29 33.72%
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    34 39.53%
  • Yes, with explanation

    20 23.26%
  • No or undecided with explanation

    3 3.49%
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Thread: Assassination Drones are OK or morally questionable?

  1. #311
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    Re: Assassination Drones are OK or morally questionable?

    Quote Originally Posted by cpwill View Post
    That is correct, and if anyone was doing that, I would stand 100% in opposition to them. Bombing active members of enemy networks who are taking refuge in other countries in order to avoid targeting, however, is a good idea and does save lives.



    that is not a judgement that you are qualified to make.
    We are not at war with those countries. You cannot say otherwise. Enemy networks is akin to newspeak for military personnel. Such phraseology doesn't change that we are not at war with those countries, and there are civilians where we have bombed.

    As for judgements, thinking people can make them, can add, assess, measure. So, I quite disagree with your suggest that only a few can tell us what's best.

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  2. #312
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    Re: Assassination Drones are OK or morally questionable?

    Quote Originally Posted by EagleAye View Post
    It's true we are not at war with a country, but we most definitely are at war with individual groups. Groups, being composed of humans, must reside somewhere. Ultimately that means they must reside in one or more countries. These groups make war upon the citizens and the interests of the US through the use of violence, but what you are saying (whether intended or not) is that we may not retaliate against these groups with violence because we have not declared war upon a country. Your approach denies the US any right whatsoever to attack those who attack the US. We will not declare war against Pakistan because we have no reason to declare war on Pakistan; we only fight specific groups hiding in that country. The alternative you are apparently proposing is to dumbly decide our hands are tied without a declaration of war and wait until terrorists are strong enough to return to America. Perhaps they are as clever as you would like the US to be, and they will kill 3000 more Americans, "quietly" at least. We'll all feel better about that, I'm sure. Seems to me, this plan is far more likely to fail than anything involving drones.
    That stretches the definition of war. We do that all too often. War on crime, poverty, and now largely a tactic, regardless of the names of the groups who use it. Such terminology is mistaken. Care to count how many soldiers have died? We've topped three thousand. So, from their eyes, their still doing that. And it is easier over there than here.

    But all of that misses the point. What do something less effective that kills civilians, likely creating more enemies, than doing something more effective and efficient?

    AUSTAN GOOLSBEE: I think the world vests too much power, certainly in the president, probably in Washington in general for its influence on the economy, because most all of the economy has nothing to do with the government.

  3. #313
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    Re: Assassination Drones are OK or morally questionable?

    Quote Originally Posted by Boo Radley View Post
    We are not at war with those countries. You cannot say otherwise
    No one has ever claimed we are at war with Pakistan. You are arguing against a strawman.

    Enemy networks is akin to newspeak for military personnel.
    Not really. A network is anything along which information, personnel, or material flows. For example, an enemy command and control system made up of throwaway cell phones is a network for passing information. So enemy combatants can be part of a network, but they are not "the network".

    Such phraseology doesn't change that we are not at war with those countries,
    which is why we are not attacking them. If we were attacking Pakistan, then the first thing we would do would be to go after its' strategic High Payoff Targets, such as its' critical IADS and C4I nodes. You will notice we are not doing that, which means that you raising this point either A) demonstrates your ignorance or B) demonstrates your willingness to deliberately employ strawmen in order to cover an inability to respond.

    and there are civilians where we have bombed.
    Yup. The enemy does indeed employ human shields in the locale of his operations, in contravention to the laws of armed conflict. Which, according to those laws of armed conflict, makes him responsible for their deaths.

    As for judgements, thinking people can make them, can add, assess, measure.
    Yes. Once they have been trained and provided the tools and the information necessary to do so; none of which you have.

  4. #314
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    Re: Assassination Drones are OK or morally questionable?

    Quote Originally Posted by Boo Radley View Post
    That stretches the definition of war. We do that all too often. War on crime, poverty, and now largely a tactic, regardless of the names of the groups who use it. Such terminology is mistaken. Care to count how many soldiers have died? We've topped three thousand. So, from their eyes, their still doing that. And it is easier over there than here.
    This does not stretch the definition of war in the least. It is Westphalian Nation-State warfare that is relatively new to human history, not this kind of constant low-level conflict. Heck, this kind of conflict is the historical norm.

    But all of that misses the point. What do something less effective that kills civilians, likely creating more enemies, than doing something more effective and efficient?
    Your assumptions in this line of questioning are neither demonstrated nor warranted. Mitigated hellfires' are able to produce extremely tight Effects Radii (not that you likely even know what that means), and the UAV's that carry them (which, it is worth pointing out in the context of this discussion, you apparently did not even realize were a tiny minority of total UAV's in use) are generally able to provide support to each step of the targeting cycle, meaning that it is possible to conduct CDE calls in air. The whole "oh we're blowing up masses of civilians and creating more enemies" meme is typically uninformed by actual current operations. Just like you.

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    Re: Assassination Drones are OK or morally questionable?

    Quote Originally Posted by cpwill View Post
    No one has ever claimed we are at war with Pakistan. You are arguing against a strawman.



    Not really. A network is anything along which information, personnel, or material flows. For example, an enemy command and control system made up of throwaway cell phones is a network for passing information. So enemy combatants can be part of a network, but they are not "the network".



    which is why we are not attacking them. If we were attacking Pakistan, then the first thing we would do would be to go after its' strategic High Payoff Targets, such as its' critical IADS and C4I nodes. You will notice we are not doing that, which means that you raising this point either A) demonstrates your ignorance or B) demonstrates your willingness to deliberately employ strawmen in order to cover an inability to respond.



    Yup. The enemy does indeed employ human shields in the locale of his operations, in contravention to the laws of armed conflict. Which, according to those laws of armed conflict, makes him responsible for their deaths.



    Yes. Once they have been trained and provided the tools and the information necessary to do so; none of which you have.
    Tiresome CP, no one claimed you said we were. I'm making a proper distinction. You can't justify those bombings as war as we are not at war with Pakistan. Calling them enemies don't make this war.

    And I understand the military speak, but using it here is akin to new speaking, clouding the reality in a jargon that really doesn't apply.

    Also, the human shield descriptor doesn't alter the fact that civilian areas are being bombed in a country we are not at war with. This fact is inescapable.

    And, no, you can't over criticism by saying someone can't know everything. Sorry. But provide information and rebuttal,or concede.

    AUSTAN GOOLSBEE: I think the world vests too much power, certainly in the president, probably in Washington in general for its influence on the economy, because most all of the economy has nothing to do with the government.

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    Re: Assassination Drones are OK or morally questionable?

    Quote Originally Posted by cpwill View Post
    This does not stretch the definition of war in the least. It is Westphalian Nation-State warfare that is relatively new to human history, not this kind of constant low-level conflict. Heck, this kind of conflict is the historical norm.



    Your assumptions in this line of questioning are neither demonstrated nor warranted. Mitigated hellfires' are able to produce extremely tight Effects Radii (not that you likely even know what that means), and the UAV's that carry them (which, it is worth pointing out in the context of this discussion, you apparently did not even realize were a tiny minority of total UAV's in use) are generally able to provide support to each step of the targeting cycle, meaning that it is possible to conduct CDE calls in air. The whole "oh we're blowing up masses of civilians and creating more enemies" meme is typically uninformed by actual current operations. Just like you.

    Hyperbole and misdirection doesn't help your position. Despite the facts if you can:

    1. We bomb areas populated by civilians.
    2. Civilians have been killed.
    3. There is not much evidence of terrorism receding at all, dispute killing the number three man six hundred and ninety times (my hyperbolic for comic relief).

    AUSTAN GOOLSBEE: I think the world vests too much power, certainly in the president, probably in Washington in general for its influence on the economy, because most all of the economy has nothing to do with the government.

  7. #317
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    Re: Assassination Drones are OK or morally questionable?

    Quote Originally Posted by Boo Radley View Post
    That stretches the definition of war. We do that all too often. War on crime, poverty, and now largely a tactic, regardless of the names of the groups who use it. Such terminology is mistaken. Care to count how many soldiers have died? We've topped three thousand. So, from their eyes, their still doing that. And it is easier over there than here.
    Asymmetrical warfare has that effect. It's the intent, in fact. One of the primary goals of warfare is to force your opponent into an untenable situation where he cannot operate or maneuver or use his forces in the manner that is most effective. What you've been suggesting is to simply give up and concede all of Afghanistan to murderous thugs--who have repeatedly demonstrated an interest in murdering masses of people under their control--because even one person might die in the process of stopping them. And don't you think it's better to lose 3000 who were trained and expected battle over ten years, rather than 3000 civilians unaware that they were targeted for attack in a few hours? If the Taliban et al are tied up and busy in Afghanistan, they have to stay there. Wouldn't you say that's better than the Taliban et al shooting fourteen-year old girls in Times Square?

    Quote Originally Posted by Boo Radley View Post
    But all of that misses the point. What do something less effective that kills civilians, likely creating more enemies, than doing something more effective and efficient?
    You're comparing the British actions in Ireland where the antagonists were from the same region, a closely-related ethnicity, a very closely related language, and a closely related religion, where British police forces were already in place, and claiming that in Afghanistan where none of these similarities are present and honestly believing that identical tactics will be, "more effective and efficient." Ridiculous! On top of it, US "police" forces CANNOT operate in Pakistan and yet you're expecting police practices to make the difference. I'm sorry, this may be a happy fantasy, but it's a hail mary pass at the very best. As pointed out earlier by Sherman, the US has tried working closely with tribal elders in Afghanistan at establishing positive and constructive relationships with them. But the very barriers to this working effectively, are the very barriers that were not present between the British and Irish.
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    Re: Assassination Drones are OK or morally questionable?

    Quote Originally Posted by EagleAye View Post
    Asymmetrical warfare has that effect. It's the intent, in fact. One of the primary goals of warfare is to force your opponent into an untenable situation where he cannot operate or maneuver or use his forces in the manner that is most effective. What you've been suggesting is to simply give up and concede all of Afghanistan to murderous thugs--who have repeatedly demonstrated an interest in murdering masses of people under their control--because even one person might die ipn the process of stopping them. And don't you think it's better to lose 3000 who were trained and expected battle over ten years, rather than 3000 civilians unaware that they were targeted for attack in a few hours? If the Taliban et al are tied up and busy in Afghanistan, they have to stay there. Wouldn't you say that's better than the Taliban et al shooting fourteen-year old girls in Times Square?



    You're comparing the British actions in Ireland where the antagonists were from the same region, a closely-related ethnicity, a very closely related language, and a closely related religion, where British police forces were already in place, and claiming that in Afghanistan where none of these similarities are present and honestly believing that identical tactics will be, "more effective and efficient." Ridiculous! On top of it, US "police" forces CANNOT operate in Pakistan and yet you're expecting police practices to make the difference. I'm sorry, this may be a happy fantasy, but it's a hail mary pass at the very best. As pointed out earlier by Sherman, the US has tried working closely with tribal elders in Afghanistan at establishing positive and constructive relationships with them. But the very barriers to this working effectively, are the very barriers that were not present between the British and Irish.
    That may be the intent, but playing into their hands isn't helpful. They are small and mobile. Armies mostly large and clumsy. A blunt force where something more precise and surgical is needed. Small groups are not nations and to treat them as such is folly.

    And frankly, no where have I remotely suggested that we give up. The sound bite is so engrained in some they never really listen to what is being said. I want us to cut ally combat the problem, effectively, that one day it may actually end and not be endless like the situation in Palestine.

    And while there are some differences between the situations, the British method could work, with perhaps some minor adjustments. The rationale is sound. Instead of repeatedly making the enemy more appealing than us.

    AUSTAN GOOLSBEE: I think the world vests too much power, certainly in the president, probably in Washington in general for its influence on the economy, because most all of the economy has nothing to do with the government.

  9. #319
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    Re: Assassination Drones are OK or morally questionable?

    Quote Originally Posted by Boo Radley View Post
    Hyperbole and misdirection doesn't help your position. Despite the facts if you can:
    I think you meant to say dispute, but I have never disputed the first two pieces of evidence

    1. We bomb areas populated by civilians.
    2. Civilians have been killed.
    Yup. That makes this just like every other conflict (war, declared, or otherwise) that we have waged in which we have utilized aerial platforms since those platforms came online nigh on a hundred years ago. The major difference that has been produced over time is that we have dramatically increased our ability to minimize civilian casualties, meaning that we are now successfully fighting war in a more morally acceptable manner than we ever have before.

    3. There is not much evidence of terrorism receding at all
    We aren't targeting "terrorism". We are targeting leadership of enemy networks, and those networks have absolutely been degraded by those successful attacks.

    dispute killing the number three man six hundred and ninety times (my hyperbolic for comic relief).
    I think there you meant despite. However, ponder that for a second, boo. Take, for example, every member of your faculty in the English Department, and every one of your students, and then rank them in order of ability. Now, if we were to remove the 3rd highest person on that list, the former 4th highest person would become third, correct? Now, if we were to do this (say) 100 times, what would the effect be on the aggregate ability of your department to conduct academia? My bet would be, it would be fairly severely degraded, as by then you are reaching down into your sophomore students to serve as professors and so forth.

  10. #320
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    Re: Assassination Drones are OK or morally questionable?

    Quote Originally Posted by cpwill View Post
    I think you meant to say dispute, but I have never disputed the first two pieces of evidence



    Yup. That makes this just like every other conflict (war, declared, or otherwise) that we have waged in which we have utilized aerial platforms since those platforms came online nigh on a hundred years ago. The major difference that has been produced over time is that we have dramatically increased our ability to minimize civilian casualties, meaning that we are now successfully fighting war in a more morally acceptable manner than we ever have before.



    We aren't targeting "terrorism". We are targeting leadership of enemy networks, and those networks have absolutely been degraded by those successful attacks.



    I think there you meant despite. However, ponder that for a second, boo. Take, for example, every member of your faculty in the English Department, and every one of your students, and then rank them in order of ability. Now, if we were to remove the 3rd highest person on that list, the former 4th highest person would become third, correct? Now, if we were to do this (say) 100 times, what would the effect be on the aggregate ability of your department to conduct academia? My bet would be, it would be fairly severely degraded, as by then you are reaching down into your sophomore students to serve as professors and so forth.
    Again, were not at war with the country those civilians live it. You can't justify that as every other war. It just doesn't wash.

    And yes, we've killed that number three man many, many times. Odd how he keeps being replaced. And with no noticeable drop in ability. It's a mistake to think you can limit this tactic in this way, especially with all he training they're getting. Seems I recall a report that those we trained in Iraq will be killing us for a long, long time.

    However, the point is, there is no real evidence this tactic is working.

    AUSTAN GOOLSBEE: I think the world vests too much power, certainly in the president, probably in Washington in general for its influence on the economy, because most all of the economy has nothing to do with the government.

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