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Last Friday, September 30th, the United States sent in a drone into Yemen to kill American citizen, Anwar al-Awlaki, an alleged Al-Qaeda leader who was especially successful at spreading the message of Al-Qaeda and recruiting future terrorists. I only use the word “alleged”, because there are some who claim that the significance of Awlaki’s role in Al-Qaeda is overhyped by the U.S.

One opinion found at the Daily Beast said that the leader of Yemen, President Saleh, is only compromising Yemen’s borders in order to regain America’s backing for this locally unpopular regime. The standing government wants to use this incident of cooperation in the future as a leveraging point to legitimize their own rule in a climate of increasing local hostility. Pakistan has done, and is continuing to use this tactic with the United States with some success. Pakistan’s cunning but ruthless military dictatorship has continually manipulated US foreign policy by playing the “terrorist containment” card, by positing that the demise of its own regime will lead to an increase of terrorist activities.

While the news is brewing with opinions and debates on the legality of the killing of an American citizen, I’m more concerned about the fact that America is bombing in countries across the world without a formal declaration of war in those countries. The list now extends to Libya, Somalia, Pakistan, and Yemen as some of the countries that America has bombed in recent years without formal declaration. While drones have proven their efficiency in battle, the Obama Administration’s increasing use of this risk-free instrument of war inversely affects its reputation abroad, especially in Muslim countries (but what else is new?). Furthermore the CIA’s assertion that drone attacks have resulted in ZERO collateral damage humiliates the people directly or indirectly affected by the United States’ drone campaigns.

 

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