Opinion from a Libertarian ViewPoint

What We Don’t Know About U.S. Airstrikes in Somalia and Everywhere Else –

Posted by M. C. on January 26, 2019

…President Donald Trump’s regime has loosened restrictions on airstrikes, and Trump has subsequently been looser with his use of bombs. That meant a supposed removal of an alleged rule of “near-certainty” that no civilians would be killed in an attack before the US proceeded (most likely barring ones on proper battlefields like Afghanistan and Iraq), and letting military leaders especially in Afghanistan, make decisions on the ground without White House oversight. However, with the constant domestic distractions sucking up even more attention, and his abrupt threats to end wars, Trump’s reputation as an actual warmonger––or at least someone happy to keep the war on terror running as briskly as ever––is underrated. Not since Obama’s first years in office (who, if you can recall, was big on continuing to fight in Afghanistan) has the U.S. dropped so many bombs on Afghanistan––10,000 in the last two years, including the most powerful non-nuclear bomb.

Trump’s desire to kill the families of terrorists, which, if done deliberately, would likely be a violation of the Geneva Convention, was memorable, but still doesn’t have the reputation of a bomb-dropping kind of guy. In part because he likes to keep enemies guessing, but also because of policy in-fighting and indecision.

Realistically, however, Barack Obama’s inclination toward tying his own hands in his final years in office came after he became notorious for pioneering a drone assassination program that he refused to admit existed for years. By the time he was a lame duck, and therefore suddenly aware that someone else was going to take the reins of death soon, he decided to take control over drone strikes away from the intelligence agencies and the Pentagon. He also issued a 2016 executive order to try and catalog civilian death from drones.

Not only were Obama’s lame duck attacks to clean up his own mess generally infuriating––since he set the world’s precedent for drone warfare and all––but the Department of Defense and intelligence agencies under Obama were not exactly trustworthy in their civilian casualty counting skills either…

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