Will Biden’s Drone Policy Get Back to the Basics?
Is the United States truly wrapping up 20 consecutive years of “relentless war,” as President Joe Biden said during his Sept. 21 address at the United Nations? At first glance, it would appear so. In July, the Biden administration announced the U.S. combat mission in Iraq would end by the end of the year (although the significance of that decision is debatable). And on Aug. 30, the U.S. completed its troop withdrawal from Afghanistan, ending two decades of conflict.
The U.S. war on terrorism, however, is still very much alive. In reality, what the Biden administration is broadcasting as an end of an era is actually a continuation—except instead of thousands of troops on the ground and a system of forward operating bases in-country, the U.S. will be relying on discreet measures like drone strikes and “over-the-horizon” operations. But if Washington isn’t careful, the allure of targeted killing can generate even more problems. The U.S. must be far more specific about which terrorist…