Wild claims by anti-drone activists dominate the conversation, since the CIA and military have an official policy of not commenting on drone strikes. Average U.S. citizens cannot talk to drone pilots to find out whom they are killing based on what intelligence and why. However, recently, at a conference on drones at Boston College, I got the extraordinary opportunity to do just that.
It appears we will be engaged in the terrorist war for a long time, and drones are a useful weapon. But we cannot win wars from the air, and we need to keep in mind -- we need to seriously consider -- the consequences of using drones. Every bit of "collateral damage" we inflict creates deep-seated bitterness against us that will linger long after the fighting abates.
There's a growing dissatisfaction with the traditional view of the church among emerging generations. This dissatisfaction has any number of causes, which the disaffected would name as anti-institutionalism, hypocrisy, judgmentalism, etc. But there's one area of vexation that always seems to come up: the Jesus Gap.
The reality is that when it comes to the science of flying death robots, the United States is the world leader. Our drone systems may not be 100 percent perfect, but they rarely fail. When it comes to killing people remotely from the air, nobody does it better. Technologically, that is. Morally, it's a different story.