It is not surprising that ‘terrorism’ has become the bogeyman, in whose name, every last lunacy of the government can be justified; including committing acts that would otherwise be illegal and anathema to any civilised society. Using predator drones, equipped with hellfire missiles to summarily execute people based on ‘suspicious’ activities, without any due process of law, and even at the cost of substantial civilian deaths, all seem to be forgiven.

Ignoring for a moment the bogus methodology of counting all military aged males in a drone strike zone as combatants, the focus on civilian casualties of drone attacks seems to miss the bigger question. This was neatly summarised by Dr Paul Craig Roberts, former assistant secretary of the treasury;

It has never been revealed how a single citizen, or any number thereof, could possibly comprise a threat to a government that has a trillion plus dollars to spend each year on security and weapons, the world’s largest navy and air force, 700 plus military bases across the world, large numbers of nuclear weapons, 16 intelligence agencies plus the intelligence agencies of its NATO puppet states and the intelligence service of Israel.

It has also never been adequately explained why the most powerful military superpower in history, which overcame the mighty Wehrmacht, crushed the Imperial Japanese Army, and stared down a nuclear armed Soviet Union in an existential contest of Mutually Assured Destruction (MAD), now considers it necessary to carry out state sponsored assassinations, based on mere suspicion, of individuals who have none of the resources, technological sophistication, or military prowess of its erstwhile enemies.

The reality of ‘insurgent math’ and addressing root causes:

Notwithstanding the political instability caused by drone strikes, proponents tend to erroneously conflate short-term tactical victory with long-term strategic success. This fact is evident in the concept of ‘insurgent math’, coined by none other than the former commander of the US-led coalition forces in Afghanistan, retired General Stanley McChrystal, which rightly holds that,

"For every innocent person you kill, you create ten new enemies."

In this respect, note that Faisal Shahzad, the so-called Times Square bomber, cited the indiscriminate killings caused by drone attacks to rationalise his terrorist act. As a matter of fact, one of the most important observations made by the declassified 2006 US National Intelligence Estimate report is that,

"The Iraq conflict has become the ‘cause celebre’ for jihadists, breeding a deep resentment of US involvement in the Muslim world and cultivating supporters for the global jihadist movement."

Resentment to indiscriminate civilian deaths caused by illegal invasions and drone strikes fuels more terrorism, which directly undermines the end goal of achieving regional peace and stability. It is occupation and invasion that breeds terrorism, not vice versa. Thus, drone warfare is wholly counterproductive, in that it does nothing to combat the root causes of militant extremism...