Response from the Webs: Is the Drone War “Total” War?

Our recent post, Is the Drone War “Total” War? was shared last week on two different feeds on Reddit. I thought it would be fun to share some of the comments from the resulting thread. Profanity warning.

First, a quick recap of our post. There is strong evidence that the U.S. has employed “Double-Tap” strikes with drones in Afghanistan and Pakistan. These strikes are designed to target rescuers arriving to a strike site. The UN stated in 2012 that if this has indeed occurred, then it is a “war crime,” and the Bureau of Investigative Journalism has accumulated evidence supporting that fact. See the post (linked above) for sources and analysis.

Some people see no problem with Double-Tap strikes, calling it “SOP [standard operating procedure]” for war belligerents:


Others critiqued the UN’s position that “rescuers” and “medic” are interchangeable under the Geneva Convention. Still others seem extremely confused about the nature of drone warfare, and seem to think that drone strikes target military buildings or training facilities. The data provided in the piece from the Bureau of Investigative Journalism shows that in fact over 60% of targets in Pakistan have been domestic structures: houses, schools, and churches. A group of reddit users got in a debate surrounding who should constitute a medic:


A recurring theme was questioning whether or not it mattered that it was technically a “war crime,” because of deeper questions about morality, summed up succinctly as “Aren’t we supposed to be the good guys?”:


And finally, a commenter echoed my feelings on the thread: