by Marque A. Rome
Use of militarized drones leaves civilians in Middle Eastern war zones with little choice but to join the insurgents. Why? Drones overhead terrorize the population, inhibit communications and reduce commerce. One simply never knows when missiles will come hurtling down from the sky: thus it is foolhardy to go to work, to walk down the street, to gather with friends at the coffee shop, or visit relatives in the next town.
When the men have no work the family has no money, putting the former under tremendous personal stress; so when insurgent recruiters come a-knocking, it is no wonder they find plenty of volunteers. I suspect such recruits are actually a-political: they will fight for whomever pays them. But as the US never sets up a recruiting desk, only rains downs missiles and bombs, it is easy to comprehend why the Islamic State has been so successful in so short a period.
I am also confident that this circumstance is not lost on US planners, that in fact they well know drones are the chief factor driving Islamic State and al-Qaida recruiting, and that they need to have ground troops in place to do their own recruiting. I can assert this with considerable assurance mainly because the US used that very strategy to co-opt the Sunni insurgency in Iraq after the fall of Saddam Hussein. Readers may recall the daily bombings and massacres in that country that filled the news during 2007 – 8, and that it was when Gen Petraeus hit upon the expedient of paying insurgents US$800 dollars per month per man to join the US side that a semblance of peace was created.
So the US knows the score, knows what needs to be done to promote peace, has the wherewithal to do it — and is not, which I think is no accident. Why? Presumably because there’s no money in peace, but perpetual profit in war. Therefore the latter is perpetuated by avoiding what must be done to facilitate the former.
Moreover, use of drones allows the corrupt stooges who make US policy to proclaim they are doing all they can to win the war — employing the latest, most advanced, most precise weapons available — and will continue to ‘fight on’ till the insurgency is suppressed. That’s what they say. But they know, it never shall be suppressed as long as such methods are employed; and that, as a result, with each passing year, a new appropriation for war will be voted on.
I don’t suppose you’ll want to hold your breath in anticipation of how they cast their votes.