Target: John Kerry, United States Secretary of State
Goal: Commend John Kerry for working to end drone strikes in Pakistan
Secretary of State John Kerry has said that the United States is working to cut back and eventually end drone strikes in the tribal region of northwest Pakistan. Over the past year, drone activity has decreased significantly in Pakistan compared to its use earlier in Obama’s presidency. A major reason for this decrease is the fact that terrorist organization al Queda has moved it activity from Pakistan to other countries in the Middle East and North Africa. Nonetheless, setting a timeline to end drone strikes in Pakistan is a step in the right direction.
Although drones are useful in taking out an enemy that may be unreachable by ground troops, the constant presence and use of drones in an area is dangerous and unfair to civilians. According to a US study, of the almost 3,000 people killed by drones approximately 176 have been innocent children. In addition, hundreds of civilians have also been killed due to the CIA’s ‘double-striking’ strategy. This leads to first responders being injured and killed during the second strike. As well as killing civilians, drones also have a large negative effect on the mental health of people living in Pakistan’s northwest region. Many of their family members have been injured or killed by drones and they must deal with the sounds of drones hovering twenty-four hours a day.
Drone strikes are not a magic bullet when it comes to fighting the war on terrorism and their use is dangerous to both the physical and mental health of civilians. In addition there are some unanswered questions in terms of the legality and ethics of their usage. President Obama and Secretary Kerry should be commended for their work to try and move away from using drones to fight terrorism in Pakistan and hopefully will continue to limit drone use worldwide.
Dear Secretary Kerry,
The use of drones in Pakistan has led to the infliction of injury, death, and mental distress upon innocent civilians. Although drones can be useful in eliminating terrorist targets, innocent lives should not be put at risk. Under your leadership the United States has set a timeline to end drone strikes in the northwest tribal region of Pakistan.
This is a step in the right direction; however, the next step is setting a timeline to curb and hopefully end the use of drone warfare in other regions of conflict such as the Middle East and North Africa. Please continue your work to try and eliminate the usage of drones when they pose potential dangers to innocent civilians.
Photo Credit: U.S. Air Force photo by Master Sgt. Michael Ammons via Wikimedia Commons