2014 Symposium: Do we need to re-think our overall foreign policy?

Asheville: The biggest foreign policy change of the last 30 years has been a shift toward drone-based force projection and away from troop deployment. On one hand, this has been a very beneficial step. Drone forces cost much less and put fewer lives at risk. On the other, though, this policy has been an unmitigated disaster. According to the UK-based Bureau of Investigative Journalism, 2,500 civilians have been killed by drone strikes. While some of these deaths could rightly be called “collateral damage,” the worst cases are actions called “signature strikes.” The CIA identifies a target of Middle Eastern decent, male, between the ages of 22-35, walking alone in the mountains of Northern Afghanistan. This fits the profile of a suspected terrorist, so a drone strike is authorized based on the “signature” of the target. Continue reading