Trump vastly expands drone program compared to Obama

Former president, Barrack Obama, a Nobel Peace Prize winner, earned the ire of anti-war activists by expanding on President George Bush's use of drones.

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During his term, Obama ordered ten times more drone strikes than Bush. By one reckoning up to 90 percent of drone casualties were not the intended targets. No doubt they could still be described as suspected terrorists. President Trump campaigned on a policy of less intervention, often complaining of failed attempts at nation-building and invasions that were misguided. Yet Trump has himself vastly expanded the drone program.
Michael Zenko an analyst with the Council on Foreign Relations summarised the situation:During President Obama’s two terms in office, he approved 542 such targeted strikes in 2,920 days—one every 5.4 days. From his inauguration through today, President Trump had approved at least 36 drone strikes or raids in 45 days—one every 1.25 days.The increase is well over 400 percent. The January 28 Navy Seal attack was included. There is a recent acount of that attack in the Intercept based on a visit to the village atttacked. The article brings the official description of the attack as a success into question.
Zenko points out that there were 3 drone attacks in Yemen on January 20, 21, and 22. There were more than thirty strikes in Yemen on March 2 and 3, and another on March 6. There was also a rare strike in Pakistan on March 1st.
Trump appears to take no notice of the casualties in such strikes unless they involve Americans. In his speech to Congress, Trump praised the dead Navy Seal, Owens, but failed to mention the civilians including women and children also killed. As the Intercept notes:THE RAID IN Yemen that cost Owens his life also killed 30 other people, including “many civilians,” at least nine of whom were children. None of them were mentioned by Trump in last night’s speech, let alone honored with applause and the presence of grieving relatives. That’s because they were Yemenis, not Americans; therefore, their deaths, and lives, must be ignored (the only exception was some fleeting media mention of the 8-year-old daughter of Anwar al-Awlaki, but only because she was a U.S. citizen and because of the irony that Obama killed her 16-year-old American brother with a drone strike).
While seen by some as a peace candidate no doubt in contrast to Clinton, his support for the military was also evident during the campaign as he openly and often advocated increasing the size of the military. He promised to act more aggressively to defeat the Islamic State. His rhetoric against intervention was obviously just a campaign tactic to woo some anti-war voters.
Trump actually made false claims about his position. He said he opposed the 2003 Iraq war when he supported it. He also claims to have opposed the Libya intervention, but strongly supported it. Trump has even suggested that he might favor US ground troops entering Syria. There already appear to be ground troops there. Zenko notes that Trump is continuing policies that he formally criticized himself policies that spawn the creation of more terrorists.
Former, National Security Advisor for Trump General, Michael Flynn, said: "When you drop a bomb from a drone… you are going to cause more damage than you are going to cause good." However, Flynn is gone and Trump is not likely to face much internal opposition to his intensification of the drone and other military progams.


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