Now that he's teaching at Yale and writing memoirs, Stanley McChrystal is getting brutally honest about the ethically questionable war he helped architect in Afghanistan and environs. Specifically, he voicing serious concerns about the use of unmanned drones to fire missiles at terrorists hiding in the mountains -- or farmers or goat herders or whomever happens to be in harm's way. This is a great way to piss off not only more terrorists but also the rest of the world."The resentment created by American use of unmanned strikes … is much greater than the average American appreciates," McChrystal told Reuters on Monday. "They are hated on a visceral level, even by people who've never seen one or seen the effects of one." He added that drones add to the "perception of American arrogance that says, 'Well we can fly where we want, we can shoot where we want, because we can.'"
The rest of us have known about this problem of drone-induced rancor for a while now, at least since last October when the United Nations launched an investigation into America's use of drones. The UN turning against us must've served as a wake-up call of sorts for President Obama, because a month later, news emerged that his administration had been frantically trying to put together a new rule book -- there is no old rule book -- for targeted killings by drone strikes. The election had a lot to do with the urgency, and now that we're getting close to Obama's second inauguration, there's been little mention of drawing up rules or even coming up with a better way of carrying out the strikes so that civilians don't end up in on the wrong side of a missile.