This news flash from AP talks about the use of drones to kill alleged militants in Pakistan near the Afghan border. The use of drones raises big issues for a civilized society, though not for a society that considers itself essentially at war with the world.
I am very disturbed that US society has chosen not to engaged in a robust discussion about the use of drones as a military tool. I think this is a major mistake that will cost the US people dearly in years to come. There has been a pubic debate about nuclear weapons going back to the 1950s, and a broad concensus that nuclear weapons should not be used, with some people thinking they should not even be allowed to exist. There has been dialog about poison gases ... there has been dialog about landmines.
But there has not been any dialog about drones. At the moment the United States has a technological advantage in drone capability ... but that is not likely to be true in 20 years time. At the moment the US is the only nation with advanced drone capability, but that will change relatively quickly. The international law about drone incursions is probably not very robust ... which may suit the Americans today, but will be less desirable in a world where many nations have advanced drones.
The Bush and Cheney doctrine which can be summarized as 'might is automatically right' should not be embraced by the Obama administration ... the military should not be given free rein on this matter.