On Drones and Democracy
By Peter Hart 4/13/2012 FAIR
Yesterday (4/12/12) Pakistan’s parliament unanimously voted in favor of a resolution that, among other things, calls for an immediate end to CIA drone strikes in their country.
The Washington Post‘s account of this news included this curious observation:
From Washington’s perspective, the debate in Parliament was a healthy exercise in democracy but one that is unlikely to affect the drone war. The military leaders of both nations see the drones as efficient and effective in eliminating hard-core Islamic militants that plague both the U.S. and Pakistani armies.
I know that the Post is merely conveying “Washington’s perspective,” but let’s think about this for a second. A sign of a healthy democracy is one where civilian political leadership has no power over the military–either in its own country or a nominal ally launching air attacks on its soil?
The New York Times, meanwhile, had this take (4/13/12):
Still, the demand for an “immediate cessation of drone strikes” has no easy solution. In 2008 Parliament also demanded an end to drone strikes, only for the CIA to continue attacking Taliban and Al Qaeda targets in the tribal belt along the Afghan border.