Do Obama’s Drone Strikes Imperil America?
The Atlantic— This week opponents of President Obama’s prolific use of drone strikes hit the elite-media trifecta. High profile reportage in the New York Times and the Washington Post and on PBS together amplified a question that has been asked more and more by national security experts: DroneGraphic.JPG Is Obama sacrificing America’s long-term security for short-term political gain?
The long-term security risk was captured in the lead paragraph of a Washington Post story : “Across the vast, rugged terrain of southern Yemen, an escalating campaign of U.S. drone strikes is stirring increasing sympathy for al-Qaeda-linked militants and driving tribesmen to join a network linked to terrorist plots against the United States.”
More than 20 interviews conducted in Yemen by the Post–with government officials, tribal leaders, and others–revealed “a strong shift in sentiment toward militants affiliated with the transnational network’s most active wing, al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula or AQAP.” Since 2009, when Obama is first known to have authorized drone strikes in Yemen, the number of core AQAP members has more than doubled, growing from around 300 to at least 700. That’s not the direction in which the drone strikes were supposed to move the numbers.