u.s. security officials grapple with the issue of home-grown terrorism, congress will address a problem of adifferent sort in the
war on terror
-- drones. since the first drone strike was conducted under
george w. bush
in october of
, nearly 4,000 have been killed in killings operations using drones. in afternoon the senate will hold its first hearing on their use abroad. as a candidate in
rode to office with sharp criticism of
and his anti-terror policies. in the days and years since the first strikes,
is estimated to have ordered five times as many drone strikes as the
. and although the strikes have been credited with decimating
, they've also been executed entirely in secret and without judicial oversite. a policy that differs significantly with what the president has told the
i am not somebody who believes that the president has the authority to do whatever he wants or whatever she wants whenever they want, just under the guise of counterterrorism.
today's hearings will address proposals to increase their transparency. for a president who voted against the wars in
and won the
nobel peace prize
, his policy on drones have come as a surprise to many. the president's hawkishness has not been universal. that was apparent this week when the president ignored calls from gop hawks to hold a suspect of the
bombings, dzhokhar tsarnaev, as an
and said, dzhokhar, an
. will be given full rights and tried in civilian court. yesterday press secretary
made clear where
differs from his predecessor.
he will not be treated as an
. we will prosecute this terrorist through our
of justice. under
united states citizens
cannot be tried in
tends to either stain or illuminate a president's legacy. time will tell which
position will define the obama years. joining us to discuss from washington is former assistant secretary of state and professor at
george washington university
, professor pj
. professor, thank you for joining us.
pj as we talk about the legacy of the obama doctrine, vis-a-vis our war on terrorists drones. the attacks were motivated to do what they did by the wars in
. i'll quote a little bit from that story. the 19-year-old suspect in the
bombings has told interrogators that the
, motivated he and his brother to carry out the attack. what do you make of that, pj?
i'm not surprised at all that has been a motivator for jihadists around the world, particularly the
u.s. invasion of iraq
. so this just continues a theme, and it's not even unique to the
. faisal shazad, the
bomber, said he was motivated by the ongoing drone campaign in
, as someone who has seen combat, we're having our first hearing on drone strikes, which is interesting given how long we've been using them as a terrorism measure. generally stanley mcchrystal told "reuters," the resentment creates created by use of unmanned drones is much greater than appreciated. it issed perception of american arrogan arrogance.
when we look at what happened in
, first to show that the crude nature of ieds, one of the things it showed is a, how easy it is to develop these things as we've seen now for a decade in
. i think the other thing it's important to remember that all of these things that happened to reform policy are not done in isolation. whether we're talking about drone strikes, whether we're talking about you know,
, collection of other things, these things are noticed by people around the world. and you know, a perfect example was the past weekend, i was overseas. the number one lead overseas, the number one and the number two lead overseas, was in europe on bbc was first the
bombings, something is happening outside the
and the second thing were the drone strikes, this was on the bbc. these things not happening in isolation and it's important to understand that our
is being interpreted and understood by people well past our own borders.
what's interesting is that --
take it away, david.
there's a dilemma here. one reason that
and others have turned to drones is because they want to get the
out. and you know, when the troops are there and they're going
door to door
and they're going into, and doing sweeps, they're creating enemies and resentment as well. so then they move to the drone strikes and again that shows arrogance and you, we saw the figure, 4,000 people killed. 10% civilian, maybe? or unintended people? hundreds at least who have been killed. and if we're engaging in any sort of
region, yemen, or in
as we had previously, we get into this position where we're going to tick off a lot of people. and resentiments will build, almost regardless of whether you do it with troops or with drones. but you know, i'm glad that finally we're having a hearing to discuss some of this out in the open.
and pj, the
of this of course, what are the reasons the roles of gitmo haven't been going, the questions around extraordinary rendition and torture have been put to rest because the administration has pursued a less aggressive policy and mid-level and high-level terrorists are being extinguished overseas by the counterterrorism strikes. if you didn't have those strikes, you would have a whole class of quote-unquote
or enemies to the
that would have to see
or civilian trials, opening up a host of questions about what to do with them.
there are a wide range of tools to deal with the challenge. what's important is number one, effectiveness and number two, a sense of the external costs of what you're doing, to make sure that as
said in a
memo -- that in trying to deal with extremists, you're not creating more. and so not only should congress be focused on the legality of what we're doing, but at some point we should have a debate about the strategic impact of what we're doing. for example, in
, 74% of pakistanis believe that the
is the enemy. and drones are a major element of that. you know, if playing whack-a-mole in
is creating a dynamic where people come out of the woodwork like faisal shazad or the tsarnaev brothers, we've got to relate to that, or perhaps keep the tool, but use it less.
i want to go back to something that
was talking about. the other piece of this as somebody who has a loved one in
, on a fifth
tour of duty
right now is the impact that the bombing in
and how we treat these two men, now one, has on our soldiers on the ground. i mean they're the ones who are there on the front lines trying to make the case for america and we undermine that work. i mean gitmo undermines that work to some degree. on the
of that, though, you know, on the one hand, as a good liberal i hate the idea of drones. on the other hand there's a part of me that like if a drone strike means my guy doesn't have to go in? it's a very hard issue.
i think would you rather see more american casualties? would you -- it is a question, i mean to be blunt about it, to some degree it's us versus them. i don't think the american public really understands for a variety of reasons, the collateral damage, the civilians that are killed.
this is a question for pj, is there another way to go in terms of how our overall approach to fighting terrorists or,
that wouldn't, that would, that would be more global cooperation,
, things that have been raised. so it's not as militarized. is it necessary to you know use the full weight of the
is a good question for
, too, to deal with the threat. or have we perhaps -- i say this theoretically, overexaggerated the threat justifiably in response to 9/11?
pj, with some of the drone strikes, granlted there's not a lot of transparency around the issue, there's a question of how high-level the targets are, do they need to be assassinated and "the new york times" has done some great investigation into this. it would seem like we are being very aggressive, if perhaps not overly aggressive in our targeting of these folks overseas.
our approach is currently over-militarized, i think we have to have greater transparency and eliminate the bargain we've made with
and yemen, who are doing things in their country that they see as violating their sovereignty. we need a dialogue so that this becomes a shared challenge. not just america's problem.
indeed, the dialogue begins today in the senate. we will be watching it closely. pj
, i'm going to call you that every single time on the show from now on, thanks for your time.
after the break, assimilation, alienation and ultimately radicalization, we'll talk to the director and the star of "the reluctant fundamental" when they join us in