If Our Troops Aren't in Danger Then It Isn't War

More

Yglesias pivots off of this piece on military drones to note:


Part of what the White House is saying about the War Powers issue seems to rely on the idea that it makes a big difference if you're not dispatching actual human beings into an area of armed conflict. After all, everyone recognizes the difference between participating in a war and providing military equipment to someone. And a drone is just that, a piece of equipment rather than a soldier. By the same token, it's noteworthy that a lot of drone operating seems to be done by the CIA rather than the uniformed military services. The CIA can't raise an army -- that's the job of the Army -- but it seems that perhaps it can build up an army of remotely operated pieces of military equipment.

I understand this from the perspective of making an argument to Congress and the American people. But there's implicit message here to the rest of the world. Perhaps Americans don't consider it war, unless actual American soldiers are endangered. But why should, say, these guys draw the same conclusion?

I assure you if I were in Libya and my baby sister was killed by a NATO bombing, I would conclude, whatever my hatred of Gaddafi, that America was at war with me, that it had, indeed, commenced hostilities. I don't think I'd be wrong in that. 
Jump to comments
Presented by

Ta-Nehisi Coates is a national correspondent at The Atlantic, where he writes about culture, politics, and social issues. He is the author of the memoir The Beautiful Struggle.

Get Today's Top Stories in Your Inbox (preview)

What Crazy Tech Idea Could Become Real?

"There could be great intelligence enhancements, like infinite memory."


Join the Discussion

After you comment, click Post. If you’re not already logged in you will be asked to log in or register. blog comments powered by Disqus

Video

Why Do People Love Times Square?

A filmmaker asks New Yorkers and tourists about the allure of Broadway's iconic plaza

Video

A Time-Lapse of Alaska's Northern Lights

The beauty of aurora borealis, as seen from America's last frontier

Video

What Do You Wish You Learned in College?

Ivy League academics reveal their undergrad regrets

Video

Famous Movies, Reimagined

From Apocalypse Now to The Lord of the Rings, this clever video puts a new spin on Hollywood's greatest hits.

Video

What Is a City?

Cities are like nothing else on Earth.

Writers

Up
Down

More in Global

From This Author

Just In