US Diplomat: Each US Drone Attack Creates '40 to 60' New Enemies
By Jon Queally / commondreams.org

The U.S. military, according to one former diplomat with a frontrow seat to its drone policy in Yemen, is creating new terrorists in that country at breakneck speed.

In an article published at TomDispatch earlier this week, the site's editor Tom Engelhardt gave the recent and ongoing counterterrorism strategy of the U.S. military an unkind moniker by dubbing it a perpetual "blowback machine."

In the post-9/11 world, according to Engelhardt, "wherever U.S. military power has been applied," the consistent outcome of armed intervention—from the illegal invasion of Iraq and the NATO-backed overthrow of Gaddafi in Libya to the ongoing U.S. drone campaigns in Pakistan, Yemen and elsewhere —has been to "destabilize whole regions."

But—despite being one of the most informed and sharply critical voices on the failure of the U.S. drone war—you don't have to take Engelhardt's word for it.

As the Huffington Post's Matt Sledge reports, a former high-level U.S. State Department official in Yemen, Nabeel Khoury, is saying that for every drone strike launched by the U.S. military, as many as  "40 to 60 new enemies of America" are created.

Spurred by an article Khoury wrote for The Cairo Review slamming the misguided drone policy in Yemen, Sledge reached out to the now retired diplomat.

"My former colleagues are probably going to get upset with me, because the policy now is to do this," Khoury said.

No military dove, Khoury told the HuffPost he was not"absolutely against the use of drones," but added, in "any country where we're not at war, then it has the complications of sovereignty, of popular opinion. In the end, I'm not talking about international law. I'm talking about cost-benefits."

And the HuffPost continues:

Khoury said his estimate, while not "scientifically drawn," was based on his knowledge of the tribal nature of Yemeni society. His concern over drone strikes is based more than anything else, he said, on the pragmatic question: Should the U.S. be creating this many future enemies?

A report released on Tuesday by Human Rights Watch found that the U.S. policy of not acknowledging drone strikes means innocent victims' families are without the ability to seek U.S. compensation -- further fueling anti-American anger.

This argument is by no means a new one—foreign policy analysts, Yemeni citizens, and knowledgeable experts have been making the same case for years. But Khoury's role as a former insider, especially with a recent focus on the drone wars brought by a series reports from both the UN and independent human rights groups, his comments offer unique weight at a possible crucial moment.

As Engelhardt, taking a slightly broader view of U.S. imperialism and its flailing attempt to maintain military dominance and power projection, summarized:

Washington’s military plans and tactics since 9/11 have been a spectacular train wreck.  When you look back, counterinsurgency doctrine, resuscitated from the ashes of America’s defeat in Vietnam, is once again on the scrap heap of history.  (Who today even remembers its key organizing phrase -- “clear, hold, and build” -- which now looks like the punch line for some malign joke?)  “Surges,” once hailed as brilliant military strategy, have already disappeared into the mists.  “Nation-building,” once a term of tradecraft in Washington, is in the doghouse.  “Boots on the ground,” of which the U.S. had enormous numbers and still has 51,000 in Afghanistan, are now a no-no.  The American public is, everyone universally agrees, “exhausted” with war.  Major American armies arriving to fight anywhere on the Eurasian continent in the foreseeable future?  Don’t count on it.

But lessons learned from the collapse of war policy?  Don’t count on that, either.  It’s clear enough that Washington still can’t fully absorb what’s happened.  Its faith in war remains remarkably unbroken in a century in which military power has become the American political equivalent of a state religion.  Our leaders are still high on the counterterrorism wars of the future, even as they drown in their military efforts of the present. 

_____________________________________________

3.5 ·
1
What's Next
Trending Today
Have You Heard of The Great Forgetting? It Happened 10,000 Years Ago & Completely Affects Your Life
Daniel Quinn · 15,301 views today · (Excerpted from the book, The Story of B) With every audience and every individual, I have to begin by making them see that the cultural self-awareness we inherit from our...
A Hauntingly Beautiful Short Film About Life and Death
5 min · 10,355 views today · The Life of Death is a touching handdrawn animation about the day Death fell in love with Life.
10 Stunning Images from the Wildlife Photographer of the Year People's Choice Award
Natural History Museum · 9,044 views today · These incredible images are a selection from of the 25 shortlisted by The Natural History Museum for the People's Choice Award from this year's Wildlife Photographer of the...
The Myth of Positivity: Why Your Pain Holds a Mighty Purpose
umair haque · 8,178 views today · Of all the great myths of contemporary life, one of the most toxic is positivity. It says: there are negative and positive emotions, and only the positive ones are worth...
Van Jones: Only a 'Love Army' Will Conquer Trump
Tim Dickinson · 5,752 views today · Though it's important to fight Trump's policies, "it's at the values level that we need to do a reset," says Jones
Seven Must-Have Skills for the 21st Century
Tommy Lehe · 2,897 views today · We live in a world that moves faster than we do. Trying to keep up can be an overwhelming task that at times feels hopeless, like we are falling further and further behind—but...
A New History for Humanity - the Human Era
8 min · 1,832 views today · It is time to reframe how we think about our past. We need a new year 0 for humanity. But which one should we choose and why?
David Graeber: We Need a Revolution in the Way We Think about "Work"
4 min · 1,735 views today · David Graeber on the Value of Work. Does the world really need neuroadvertisers, PR researchers and branding consultants? Renowned academic and coiner of the ‘we are the 99%’...
Forget Air Force One, Pentagon Wastes Billions and Billions Every Month
Nadia Prupis · 1,645 views today · President-elect Donald Trump's focus on single Boeing contract ignores enormous waste of bloated Pentagon budget
Trump: The Illusion of Change
Helena Norberg-Hodge · 1,436 views today · “Only by restoring the broken connections can we be healed.” — Wendell Berry
The Most Powerful Algorithm in the World
Joe Brewer · 1,288 views today · After the insanity of the U.S. election, a lot of people are blaming Facebook for its algorithms that parse us into ideological bubbles and spread “fake news” and other kinds...
John Lennon's "Imagine," Made Into a Comic Strip
John Lennon. Art by Pablo Stanley · 1,177 views today · This is easily the best comic strip ever made.  Pabl
How to Expose Trump's Dastardly Bait-And-Switch
Robert Borosage · 1,173 views today · Trump is not an economic populist, he’s just playing one on TV.
Asylum-Seeker Faces a Dangerous Deportation Back to Afghanistan
3 min · 1,134 views today · After an EU deal with Afghanistan, more than 80,000 rejected Afghan asylum-seekers are facing deportation back to that country. Alim says being sent back to Afghanistan could...
15 Easy Things You Can Do to Help When You Feel Like Shit
Maritsa Patrinos · 1,087 views today · You don’t have to tackle it all at once.
Today I Rise: This Beautiful Short Film Is Like a Love Poem For Your Heart and Soul
4 min · 1,048 views today · "The world is missing what I am ready to give: My Wisdom, My Sweetness, My Love and My hunger for Peace." "Where are you? Where are you, little girl with broken wings but full...
The Problem with Hating Our Enemies
Charles Eisenstein · 968 views today · He who fights too long against dragons becomes a dragon himself; and if thou gaze too long into the abyss, the abyss will gaze into thee. —Nietzsche
Stunning Summary of US Imperialism and Native Resistance... on MSNBC!
4 min · 933 views today · On The Last Word with Lawrence O'Donnell on MSNBC, Lawrence explains why a protest by Native Americans in North Dakota reminds us of the history American always tries to forget.
It's The Damn Police
Walter Fields · 871 views today · From an early age Blacks are socialized to live defensively and to absorb the mental body blows that come from the day-to-day indignities that are hoisted upon us by the very...
Amanda Abbington Introduces iAnimal - 42 Days in the Life of Chickens
4 min · 677 views today · Shot undercover in British factory farms and slaughterhouses, this immersive 360° video gives you a birds-eye view of what happens to chicken from farm to plate.
Load More
Like us on Facebook?
US Diplomat: Each US Drone Attack Creates '40 to 60' New Enemies