No need for introductions bro, I've been following your work. I know people are on you about shifting U.S. counter-terrorism policy to "targeted, surgical pressure" on militant groups intent on attacking the homeland, but whatever -- people harass us for our frat's policy of "targeted, surgical pressure" on sororities all the time. Screw it, you do you.
There's some stuff I'm not cool with though, like you supporting George W. Bush's "enhanced interrogation" policies (that's messed up). But let's pretend we both got hammered and blacked out for four years.
Anyways, let's not drone on about the past (hardcore wit, right bro?); what I want to talk about are drone strikes and transparency. Now, let me just start this off by saying that I am not chill with the killing of innocent civilians in any country, that's cray and deeply unsettling. That being said, there are legitimate arguments on both sides of the debate that I think people give you misplaced criticism for. Whatever.
But seriously bro, what's up with not openly discussing the legality of the drone campaign you yourself pioneered? A HuffPost/YouGov survey found that 59 percent of Americans say they approve of the Obama administration using drones, only 18 percent disapprove. It makes sense, no one wants to think about war and if there's a way to target high-level al Qaeda officials without putting troops on the ground, why not?
But how are you going to front on the American people like this and not provide a sound legal justification and public framework for targeted killings of American citizens?
I don't come to your house, bang your wife and just say, "sorry bro, love is a battlefield and your wife posed an imminent threat to this D," so how are you going to come up and throw some punk erroneous legal documents in my face like you're at an And1 Mixtape tour.
Bro, I do believe that drone strikes can be an effective counter-terrorism strategy, at least in the short term. But you need to put them in a context where human intelligence, diplomacy and trade are considered equally and fairly. Drones should be a last resort. You can't just kill any bro with an AK-47 in the desert, nah mean?
So at the very least create some oversight process and clarification. How about for starters, more clearly define who qualifies for targeting. Right now all you're saying is a "senior, operational figure" in al Qaeda. It's almost begging for some bureaucrat to come in and err on the side of drone strike, without an appropriate cost-benefit analysis.
And bro, go public about the broader justification for each strike. There needs to be some codified process to justify assassinations to ensure every other option has been considered equally. Especially looking beyond the Obama-administration.
Finally, create a minimum oversight process to ensure that strikes face some kind of approval by outsider parties, whether in the form of a panel of judges, congressional committee or whatever makes sense. Just do it.
Our frat prides itself on openness and transparency. Our rush process is totally inclusive; our parties are open to any bro that wants a taste of our swag; our frat holds weekly informative meetings for pledges. But there's a lot we keep to ourselves to avoid other frats copping our style or the University administration cracking down on our swag.
So I get it, drone strikes are a sensitive defense issue; I'm not saying to put every drone strike to a vote in congress. And I also understand, at least, the rationale behind drones as a counter-terrorism tool.
But bro, just be open about it and give the American people a chance to review the policy and process behind such a contentious military campaign; we're not going to put up with this for much longer.
A Concerned, Pragmatic Bro
This post first appeared on the satirical blog BroPolitics, political commentary and analysis for bros and by bros.