There's an odd controversy in Washington just now--about the
ethics of using drones in our wars. A drone, of course, is an
unmanned plane which carries a bomb. The bomb theoretically lands on
the bad guy or guys, killing them while doing no harm at all to our
forces, who weren't there.
What on earth is wrong with that? Dana Millbank, whose work I
admire, argues in the Washington Post that it's an expansion of
presidential authority, but I don't think so. In any war the object
is to harm the bad guy while keeping your own forces safe. If you
learn that the bad guy is in a new place, why not whack him with a
drone instead of sending infantry?
War sucks, of course, and ought always to be a last resort, but
once you're in one, you play to win.
President Harry Truman no doubt knew that striking Hiroshima and
Nagasaki with the world's first atomic bombs would kill many innocent
Japanese, while it would save American casualties a land invasion
would involve. I've always thought that was wise.
In a war, you look out for your own.