Killing and injuring the people you are trying to protect is the definition of failure and the U.S. drone strikes that have led to civilians casualties in Syria and Iraq is just that.
On March 17, the U.S. launched an airstrike in Mosul, Iraq that is believed to have killed over 150 civilians and injured many more, according to NPR.org. This makes it one of the worst civilian casualty counts in the war against ISIS.
In 2016, former President Barack Obama’s administration released that 116 civilians had been killed due to drone strikes from the years 2009 to 2016. When you compare 150 deaths in a single bombing to 116 over the course of seven year, it’s clear how bad things are getting.
This is unacceptable. If we aren’t fighting for the safety and freedom of the people of these countries, then we shouldn’t be involved.
Things look like they are not going to change though, with President Donald Trump repeatedly claiming to increase efforts in the war against ISIS. Even stating back in 2015 that he would “bomb the shit out of ISIS.”
However, it’s not just Trump’s fault, in 2016 former President Obama dropped over 24,000 bombs in Syria and Iraq alone, according to the Council on Foreign Relations.
Many try to justify that the bombings are okay when you compare it to sending U.S. soldiers on the ground. But this is an absurd argument.
In the war against, ISIS there is no need for U.S. soldier involvement because there are already native military presence in both countries whether it’s Syrian rebel forces or Iraqi soldiers.
The fact remains that airstrikes are counter intuitive to helping the civilians trapped in the middle of war.
Then, on April 11 a U.S. led airstrike in Tabqah, Syria killed 18 Syrian fighters allied with the U.S. Not only are these haphazard airstrikes killing the innocent, but they are even killing those who are fighting to help the U.S.
It’s absurd to think these airstrikes are productive in any way.
In addition, the cost of a single bomb or missile is astronomical. One tomahawk cruise missile, like the 59 launched by President Trump against the Syrian airfield on April 6, are estimated to cost around a million dollars each. That one attack cost the U.S. almost 60 million dollars. That is too much money.
A predator drone cost $12.5 million, and each missile it fires cost an additional $70,000.
When you recall that Obama dropped 24,000 bombs and missiles just in 2016, dollar signs start to add up. The U.S. spends millions upon millions every year on airstrikes.
When you couple the fact that these attacks cost insane amounts of money and that they kill and injure the people they intend to help, it becomes all too clear the failure of U.S. in its use of airstrikes.
It’s obvious that the U.S needs to cease all use of drone and missile strikes.