Former U.S. Intelligence Chief Calls For End Of Drone War

Noah Schachtman of Wired reports on some subversive thoughts expressed by former Director of National Intelligence Dennis Blair (thanks to Liam P for submitting this story):

ASPEN, Colorado — Ground the U.S. drone war in Pakistan. Rethink the idea of spending billions of dollars to pursue al-Qaida. Forget chasing terrorists in Yemen and Somalia, unless the local governments are willing to join in the hunt.

Those aren’t the words of some human rights activist, or some far-left Congressman. They’re from retired admiral and former Director of National Intelligence Dennis Blair — the man who was, until recently, nominally in charge of the entire American effort to find, track, and take out terrorists. Now, he’s calling for that campaign to be reconsidered, and possibly even junked.

Starting with the drone attacks. Yes, they take out some mid-level terrorists, Blair said. But they’re not strategically effective. If the drones stopped flying tomorrow, Blair told the audience at the Aspen Security Forum, “it’s not going to lower the threat to the U.S.” Al-Qaida and its allies have proven “it can sustain its level of resistance to an air-only campaign,” he said.

It’s one of many reasons why it’s a mistake to “have that campaign dominate our overall relations” with countries like Pakistan, Yemen, and Somalia. “Because we’re alienating the countries concerned, because we’re treating countries just as places where we go attack groups that threaten us, we are threatening the prospects of long-term reform,” Blair said…

[continues at Wired]

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  • FusionSaint

    Unless they are going to compeltely call off this “war on terror” then no way in hell should they call of the drone war. The drones are actually working, they are the most effective way of hunting down terrorists/rebels/subversives/etc… however the billions could be better spent elsewhere. I think it would be better to send the troops home and keep using the drones.

    • Hadrian999

      drones aren’t effective sure they kill people but that doesn’t have any positive big picture effect, the decentralized nature of the groups we are fighting doesn’t present a head to cut off and no matter how many rank and file you kill there are always more and every non combatant death creates more. Until the root cause is removed military action will not defeat terror groups

    • Redacted

      I’m subversive for being a Socialist. I’m also a “war on terror” veteran as an Infantryman. Do you want a drone to come blow up me and my house because I might be plotting something?

      This site gets into the histrionics sometimes regarding the Military and its people, but boots on the ground means brains on the ground. Drones are a bum deal for everyone.

  • Guest

    Yet another former anti-terrorist honcho who speaks out too late to affect policy. Typical lack of courage from those who kill in our name.

    • E.B. Wolf

      My thoughts exactly. When someone grows a pair and says this while they still hold their job; it will be newsworthy. Coming out with statements like these after you’ve retired makes you either a disingenuous opportunist or a coward.

  • Anonymous

    Unless they are going to compeltely call off this “war on terror” then no way in hell should they call of the drone war. The drones are actually working, they are the most effective way of hunting down terrorists/rebels/subversives/etc… however the billions could be better spent elsewhere. I think it would be better to send the troops home and keep using the drones.

  • Anonymous

    Yet another former anti-terrorist honcho who speaks out too late to affect policy. Typical lack of courage from those who kill in our name.

  • E.B. Wolf

    My thoughts exactly. When someone grows a pair and says this while they still hold their job; it will be newsworthy. Coming out with statements like these after you’ve retired makes you either a disingenuous opportunist or a coward.

  • Hadrian999

    drones aren’t effective sure they kill people but that doesn’t have any positive big picture effect, the decentralized nature of the groups we are fighting doesn’t present a head to cut off and no matter how many rank and file you kill there are always more and every non combatant death creates more. Until the root cause is removed military action will not defeat terror groups

  • Anonymous

    I’m subversive for being a Socialist. I’m also a “war on terror” veteran as an Infantryman. Do you want a drone to come blow up me and my house because I might be plotting something?

    This site gets into the histrionics sometimes regarding the Military and its people, but boots on the ground means brains on the ground. Drones are a bum deal for everyone.

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