An examination of the collateral psychological and political damage of drone warfare in the FATA region of Pakistan
Dengler, Judson J.
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This research will examine the collateral psychological and political damage of the United States drone warfare program on Pakistani society in the Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA), to determine if this is an effective, proactive homeland defense tactic. The use of drone aircraft by the United States government has increased worldwide since this evolving technology was first utilized in 2001. Each drone strike impacts militants, noncombatants, and ordinary civilians. The potential for collateral damage and civilian casualties may overshadow the tactical gain of even successful drone strikes by inspiring radicalization, and creating recruiting opportunities for militants. The findings of this research will recommend an alternative framework from which to evaluate the effectiveness of drone warfare based on the collateral psychological and political impact on society in this region. Traditional studies of drone warfare have tended to analyze from a tactical perspective. The examination of drone warfare, based on the damage done to the psychological experiences and political attitudes of FATA residents who may turn against the U.S., provides policy makers with the ability to better assess the impact of drone strikes on communities, and determine the optimal situation to leverage this lethal tactic, while minimizing negative outcomes.
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