Although it is obvious to lots of people that a “thanatopolitics” – the mobilization of death to secure life – is doomed to failure, when U.S officials acknowledge this shortcoming, it crests in the news.
Consider Michael Boyle, who was on Obama’s counter-terrorist group in the run up to his election in 2008. He has come out to say that drone strikes are “encouraging a new arms race that will empower current and future rivals and lay the foundations for an international system that is increasingly violent”, in a story published by the Guardian.
He added that the reliance on drone technology was having “adverse strategic effects that have not been properly weighed against the tactical gains associated with killing terrorists”, and that most Americans remained “unaware of the scale of the drone programme … and the destruction it has caused in their name”.
Recall Mitt Romney’s key foreign policy quip in the 2012 Presidential election – “we can’t kill our way out of this mess”.