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Debate on drones: 'Are we going too far?'

December 03, 2013

The growing debate over America’s lethal use of remotely piloted vehicles to deliver strikes against al Qaeda and other targets, from Afghanistan and Pakistan to Yemen and beyond, will be the focus of the next installment of ASU's McCain Institute Debate and Decision Series, which is set to take place Dec. 5 at the Navy Memorial in Washington, D.C.

Watch it live on ASUtv and/or ASU Live on Ustream at 3 p.m. (MT). The McCain Institute viewing page is here.

The use of lethal drone strikes, initiated under the Bush administration, has grown substantially under the Obama Administration to become an integral component in America’s anti-terrorism campaign.  

Proponents highlight the low number of civilian casualties, the small cost in blood and treasure for the United States, and the powerful psychological impact on militant networks. Critics, however, worry that the United States is relying too much on drones, setting a dangerous precedent that powers may follow. 

The lack of transparency in Congressional oversight and the targeting of American citizens have led many to call for a reduced program. What kind of problems stem from this heavy reliance on drone strikes? Are drones an effective tool for combating terror networks, or are they creating a new generation of anti-American terrorism? Experienced experts will debate these questions and more.

Confirmed panelists include: Frank Kramer, vice chairman of the Atlantic Council Board of Directors and former Secretary of Defense for International Security Affairs; John Bellinger III, adjunct senior fellow at the Council on Foreign Relations and former legal adviser of the U.S. Department of State; Major General (Ret.) James Spider Marks, also principal of Willowdale Services, LLC; and Daphne Eviatar, senior counsel in Human Rights First’s Law and Security Program.

Author and Fox News contributor Juan Williams will serve as the debate moderator.