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PERSPECTIVE: Understanding the Strategic and Tactical Considerations of Drone Strikes

PERSPECTIVE: Understanding the Strategic and Tactical Considerations of Drone Strikes

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This American Security Project report, the second in our series on drone strikes and targeted killing, examines the known data to generate a series of ten metrics to gauge the effects of MQ-9 Reaper Dronethe program.

Divided between five tactical and five strategic metrics, it argues that while drones are successful at accomplishing their narrow mission of attacking terrorists, from a strategic perspective their effects are ambiguous. They are a primary driver of anti-Americanism in every country where they’re used, and have the potential to turn large portions of a host population against the U.S.

It is precisely this dichotomy – tactical success but strategic ambiguity – that should concern policymakers. Sound strategy underpins effective foreign policy. Yet it is difficult to say whether the current strategy of using drones is sound or not.

This paper presents a factual, apolitical discussion of the many aspects of the lethal drones program, and suggests how policymakers and the public can make it more effective.

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Understanding the Strategic and Tactical Considerations of Drone Strikes by The American Security Project

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