Why Drones Fail: When Tactics Drive Strategy

TitleWhy Drones Fail: When Tactics Drive Strategy
Publication TypeMagazine Article
Year of Publication2013
AuthorsCronin, Audrey Kurth
MagazineForeign Affairs
Issue Number4
Pagination44 - 54
Date Published07/2013

The article looks at the use of drone aircraft for targeted missile attacks as part of U.S. counterterrorism policy, as of 2013. The author presents a case for the view that drone attacks are an ineffective tactic in meeting the strategic goals of U.S. counterterrorism policy. She says killing the leaders of a terrorist organization, as drone strikes have done in the case of the al-Qaeda terrorist group, does not necessarily destroy the organization. She argues that such killings, as well as the collateral civilian deaths, enhance al-Qaeda's propaganda and recruitment. She also says the use of drones has weakened strategic cooperation on counterterrorism between the U.S. and the countries targeted by U.S. drone strikes, particularly Pakistan and Yemen.

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