A panel of former senior U.S. officials is cautioning against relying too much on drones for targeting perceived terrorist threats, the Washington Post reports.
In a report published Thursday by the Stimson Center, a group of ex-defense and intelligence officials faulted the Obama administration for not carrying out a “strategic analysis” of the pros and cons of using unmanned aerial vehicles to strike suspected terrorists in nations such as Pakistan and Yemen.
“A serious counterterrorism strategy needs to consider carefully, and constantly reassess the balance between kinetic action and other counterterrorism tools, and the potential unintended consequences of increased reliance on lethal UAVs,” the 81-page report states.
White House National Security Council spokeswoman Caitlin Hayden would not respond to the specific issues raised in the report but said the U.S. government adheres to domestic and international law.
The report warned that drone strikes were more damaging to the U.S. reputation abroad than the American public realized.
“The resentment created by American use of unmanned strikes … is much greater than the average American appreciates. They are hated on a visceral level, even by people who’ve never seen one or seen the effects of one,” retired Gen. Stanley McChrystal, who formerly headed up U.S. military operations in Afghanistan, was quoted as saying in the report.