Thursday, February 7, 2013

Drones, Foreign Policy, and Operational Art.

The folks over at Small Wars Journal ran a recent article of mine dealing with operational art in World War II. It goes along with a previous post I made here a few weeks ago about operational art. The article does not have too much to do with international relations; however, I think there is an interesting shift occurring with regard to realism ideals of self-preservation and the means to preserve one's self. Specifically, I am referring to the recent debates and actions related to drone warfare. My initial thoughts on the subject force me to think about the rule of law and the manner in which the U.S. is choosing to uphold the idea of rule-of-law. The right to due process, which is a cornerstone of our legal system, seems stretched when we prosecute subjects under the guise of terrorism. While I have not researched legal precedent for this sort of withholding of due process, I think there are historical cases of a similar nature - I just cannot recall what they are. I would need to crack open the law books briefly. Nevertheless, the legal arguments for and against remind me of the ongoing legal arguments for and against detainees held in suspect of terrorist activity, namely those at Guantanamo. The legal precedent for due process, in those cases has already been established warranting,  I think, a much more comprehensive debate about what constitutes terrorist activity, to what extent are extremist ideals (those counter to our paradigmatic norm) criminal or an act of war, and under which legal framework to we afford potential suspects rights? Even in war, enemies have rights. Therefore, although the Small Wars article deals mostly with the structure of warfare objectives, I wonder if today, operational art might entail a further blending of foreign policy objectives with military means.