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17 Sep, 2016

How Everything Became War – Book Review – Truthdig

The laser-guided Hellfire missile is highly accurate. When one is fired from a Predator drone at an alleged enemy of the United States, whether in the deserts of Yemen, the mountains of Pakistan or elsewhere, it rarely misses. The remarkable innovation of pairing an unmanned aerial vehicle with a deadly precise missile emerged soon after Sept. 11, 2001. The United States has reportedly used this tool extensively against potentially thousands of terrorist targets around the world in the subsequent 15 years.

Rosa Brooks, a Georgetown University law professor, former adviser at the Defense Department and influential voice in U.S. policy circles, is one of the many critics of America’s “direct action” program using these drones. In her new book, “How Everything Became War and the Military Became Everything,” she argues that drone strikes rely on problematic legal justifications and that their effectiveness and legitimacy cannot be independently evaluated because of the program’s secrecy. These strikes, along with government opacity about them, she believes, will ultimately undermine the international rule of law, further weaken America’s moral standing and set the stage for others to follow our law-bending lead.

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