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American Diplomacy
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Summer 2017

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Possible Future of Drone Warfare
by Darryl Scarborough

Oversight, is what the public decries in this recent War on Terror. We must think beyond the scope of, what we are going to do in the future and how will we fight future wars. The demand for transparency grows, the longer we conduct any strikes overseas. We are fighting for hearts and minds, and our actions, transmitted at the speed of cyber space.

Our drone capabilities must continue in the conflicts the United States faces, due to Unmanned Arial Vehicles (UAV) provide us space and confirmed victories. If we lose our eyes and the ability to strike at will, we allow the enemy to believe they have the freedom of movement in any area of operation around the world. This type of action would embolden and appease the enemy. Appeasement would result in the enemies’ boldness to conduct operations on our homeland and other nation states (i.e. France).

Due to mounting domestic and international pressure, we may find ourselves one day either lessening or scraping the drone program all together. If that were the case, the next and only steps would be to place boots on the ground and risk another scenario of a costly, long war.

To alleviate these worries and increased troop levels in an unfriendly are of the world, the United States must develop an independent committee, separate of any political appointees (i.e. Secretary of Defense) or by any President or his/her appointees, which would produce unbiased decisions to develop policy based on transparency and shared goals by the nations’ citizens.

The President should sign a directive, which combines lead executive authority and planning, interpretation to battlefield and non-battlefield strikes. Unifying oversight of drone strike operations under this committee, which could end the current situation and confusion over who has oversight and the legality of a strike.

Technology evolves rapidly and so will our capabilities on how we will conduct missions in the future. A committee or an oversite group would bring transparency, solutions, policy and law knowledge, which is not swayed by any political seat. We are often slow to adapt to the changing times of Drone Warfare. This is why a committee, made of independent citizens and appointed can come together to make those decisions with a reasonable head that is not swayed by an administration or its ideals.

The committee should not be appointed by any President or his/her administration. The committee should be balanced with civilians, with a policy back ground, judges (preferably a specialty in National Security Law), a member from the Department of Defense and a representative from the Intelligence Community. The appointment should be no more than two years terms and cannot be elected to another term.

This war, we cannot kill our way out of. If we continue on this path of strike and no clear lines, we will develop a pattern of killing that will never end, and we will always be fighting one, two conflicts at a time. Every time we drop a bomb to kill one terrorist, we potentially multiply the potential for more terrorists in the future. This leaves our next generation to fight these never-ending conflicts.bluestar

American Diplomacy is the Publication of Origin for this work. Permission to republish is freely granted with credit and a link back to American Diplomacy.


Author Darryl Scarborough has served on many Board of Director positions. He has a Bachelor’s of Science through the Minnesota State University. He also holds a Master’s Degree in Business Administration through the University of Mary and a Policy Fellow at the Humphrey School of Public Affairs at the University of Minnesota. Darryl is a veteran and a Staff Sergeant in the Army National Guard. Darryl is involved in community advocacy activities. Darryl enjoys running, skydiving and other outdoor sports.





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