CIA drone attacks produce Americas own unlawful combatants

Discussion in 'Current Affairs, News and Analysis' started by jumpinjarhead, Mar 12, 2010.

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  1. My colleague, Gary Solis, is spot on in his analysis of our shadowy friends at the CIA in today's Washington (Com)post.

  2. Even the RAF( 39sqn)are now useing civilian contractors to arm and service their Reaper UAVs in Afghanistan
  3. There has been a trend towards blurring the line between civil and military over probably the last 10-20 years. However, it also cuts the other way. If civil organisations and contractors are now increasingly doing direct combat and combat support roles, military is increasingly being tasked with civilian support, logistic and police roles.

    In terms of cost and deniability having a force of anonymous contractors means never having to worry about more flag-draped coffins coming home. They are all assumed to be in it for the cash, and no one worries about one more dead mercenary or opportunist contractor.

    To my mind, though, there is a real problem with accountability. If he who pays the piper calls the tune, who is actually in real control of some of these organisations? The taxpayer? the Government who has contracted them? The shareholders? The pension funds or hedge funds? The banks? What are their agendas, and what happens if they have clients on both sides of the conflict?

    Who keeps an eye on upper management of these firms? Is the military qualified to do this, or should it be someone within the Int world?
  4. Come On Chaps Let's Stick To The Rules...

    Mr Taliban Does.........

  5. Which is a very different thing to 'flying' them and initiating weapons release, so what point are you making?

    There's a very slippery slope here of the state sub-contracting the application of force to civilians rather than uniformed combatants. I had always understood that CIA et al could happily operate stuff for USC Title 50/intelligence purposes since it doesn't matter if intelligence collection is military or civilian, but that Title 10/'warfighting' was DOD/JCS business? So how have CIA acquired a combat role? I know they always have done covert warfare, but what's the legal basis?

  6. If I understand you correctly, you are suggesting that we should not have to follow the "rules" since our enemy does not. With respect, this has been pretty much the case ever since the German practice (other than those few "minor" excursions involving the Gestapo) in WWII in that "we" (US and UK military at least-not our intelligence services mind you) have generally fought the "bad guys" so it is not a great surprise that they are not especially concerned with such niceties of the Geneva Conventions etc.

    Especially in COIN ops, one key pillar of our enemies' doctrine is to get us to violate the "rules." If we do so, we play into their hands (regardless of the emotional satisfaction it may seem to give at least temporarily to the squaddie who does it--except for the psychopaths among us, the aftermath is usually quite destructive emotionally to those involved--not to mention politically on the national or coalition level given the "strategic corporal" era in which we fight).

    To use an overworn expression popular in the US at least---"it is what it is" and if we professionals in the military cannot accept that we fight asymmetrically at many levels, many of which actually favor the "poor" insurgent/terrorist and are thus extremely frustrating at times, we should hang up our kit and uniforms and go be greeters at your local BQ or Tescos.