Kenneth Anderson 13, Professor of International Law at American University, June 2013, “The Case for Drones,” Commentary, Vol. 135, No. 6
Targeted killing of high-value terrorist targets, by contrast, is the end result of a long, independent intelligence process. What the drone adds to that intelligence might be considerable, through its surveillance capabilities -- but much of the drone's contribution will be tactical, providing intelligence that assists in the planning and execution of the strike itself, in order to pick the moment when there might be the fewest civilian casualties.
Nonetheless, in conjunction with high-quality intelligence, drone warfare offers anunparalleled means to strike directly at terrorist organizationswithout needing a conventional or counterinsurgency approachto reach terrorist groups in their safe havens. It offers an offensive capability, rather than simply defensive measures, such as homeland security alone. Drone warfare offers a raiding strategy directly against the terrorists and their leadership.
If one believes, as many of the critics of drone warfare do, that the proper strategies of counterterrorism are essentially defensive -- including those that eschew the paradigm of armed conflict in favor of law enforcement and criminal law -- then the strategic virtue of an offensive capability against the terrorists themselves will seem small. But that has not been American policy since 9/11, not under the Bush administration, not under the Obama administration -- and not by the Congress of the United States, which has authorized hundreds of billions of dollars to fight the war on terror aggressively. The United States has used many offensive methods in the past dozen years: Regime change of states offering safe havens, counter-insurgency war, special operations, military and intelligence assistance to regimes battling our common enemies are examples of the methods that are just of military nature.
Drone warfare today is integrated with amuch larger strategic counterterrorism target -- one in which, as in Afghanistan in the late 1990s, radical Islamist groups seize governance of whole populations and territories and provide not only safe haven, but also an honored central role to transnational terrorist groups. This is what current conflicts in Yemen and Mali threaten, in counterterrorism terms, and why the United States, along with France and even the UN, has moved to intervene militarily. Drone warfare is just one element of overall strategy, but it has a clear utility in disrupting terrorist leadership. It makes the planning and execution of complex plots difficult if only because it is hard to plan for years down the road if you have some reason to think you will be struck down by a drone but have no idea when. The unpredictability and terrifying anticipation of sudden attack, which terrorists have acknowledged in communications,have asignificant impact on planning and organizational effectiveness.
Constraining targeted killing’s role in the war on terror causes extinction
Louis Rene Beres 11, Professor of Political Science and International Law at Purdue, 2011, “After Osama bin Laden: Assassination, Terrorism, War, and International Law,” Case Western Reserve Journal of International Law, 44 Case W. Res. J. Int'l L. 93
Even after the U.S. assassination of Osama bin Laden, we are still left with the problem of demonstrating that assassination can be construed, at least under certain very limited circumstances, as anappropriate instance of anticipatory self-defense. Arguably, the enhanced permissibility of anticipatory self-defense that follows generally from thegrowing destructiveness of current weapons technologies in rogue handsmay be paralleled by the enhanced permissibility of assassination as a particular strategy of preemption. Indeed, where assassination as anticipatory self-defense may actually prevent a nuclear or other highly destructive form of warfare, reasonableness dictates that it could represent distinctly, even especially, law-enforcing behavior.
For this to be the case, a number of particular conditions would need to be satisfied. First, the assassination itself would have to be limited to the greatest extent possible to those authoritative persons in the prospective attacking state. Second, the assassination would have to conform to all of the settled rules of warfare as they concern discrimination, proportionality, and military necessity. Third, the assassination would need to follow intelligence assessments that point, beyond a reasonable doubt, to preparations for unconventional or other forms of highly destructive warfare within the intended victim's state. Fourth, the assassination would need to be founded upon carefully calculated judgments that it would, in fact, prevent the intended aggression, and that it would do so with substantially less harm [*114] to civilian populations than would all of the alternative forms of anticipatory self-defense.
Such an argument may appear manipulative and dangerous; permitting states to engage in what is normally illegal behavior under the convenient pretext of anticipatory self-defense. Yet, any blanket prohibitionof assassination under international law couldproduce even greater harm, compelling threatened states to resort tolarge-scale warfarethat could otherwise be avoided. Although it would surely be the best of all possible worlds if international legal norms could always be upheld without resort to assassination as anticipatory self-defense, the persisting dynamics of a decentralized system of international law may sometimes still require extraordinary methods of law-enforcement. n71
Let us suppose, for example, that a particular state determines that another state is planning a nuclear or chemical surprise attack upon its population centers. We may suppose, also, that carefully constructed intelligence assessments reveal that the assassination of selected key figures (or, perhaps, just one leadership figure) could prevent such an attack altogether. Balancing the expected harms of the principal alternative courses of action (assassination/no surprise attack v. no assassination/surprise attack), the selection of preemptive assassination could prove reasonable, life-saving, and cost-effective.
What of another, more common form of anticipatory self-defense? Might a conventional military strike against the prospective attacker's nuclear, biological or chemical weapons launchers and/or storage sites prove even more reasonable and cost-effective? A persuasive answerinevitably depends upon the particular tactical and strategic circumstances of the moment, and on the precise way in which these particular circumstances are configured.
But it is entirely conceivable that conventional military forms of preemption wouldgenerate tangibly greater harmsthan assassination, and possibly with no greater defensive benefit. This suggests that assassination should not be dismissed out of hand in all circumstances as a permissible form of anticipatory self-defense under international law. [*115]
What of those circumstances in which the threat to particular states would not involve higher-order (WMD) n72 military attacks? Could assassination also represent a permissible form of anticipatory self-defense under these circumstances? Subject to the above-stated conditions, the answer might still be "yes." The threat of chemical, biological or nuclear attack may surely enhance the legality of assassination as preemption, but it is by no means an essential precondition. A conventional military attack might still, after all, beenormously, even existentially, destructive. n73 Moreover, it could be followed, in certain circumstances, by unconventional attacks.
Nuclear terrorism is feasible---high risk of theft and attacks escalate
Vladimir Z. Dvorkin ‘12 Major General (retired), doctor of technical sciences, professor, and senior fellow at the Center for International Security of the Institute of World Economy and International Relations of the Russian Academy of Sciences. The Center participates in the working group of the U.S.-Russia Initiative to Prevent Nuclear Terrorism, 9/21/12, "What Can Destroy Strategic Stability: Nuclear Terrorism is a Real Threat," belfercenter.ksg.harvard.edu/publication/22333/what_can_destroy_strategic_stability.html
Hundreds of scientific papers and reports have been published on nuclear terrorism. International conferences have been held on this threat with participation of Russian organizations, including IMEMO and the Institute of U.S. and Canadian Studies. Recommendations on how to combat the threat have been issued by the International Luxembourg Forum on Preventing Nuclear Catastrophe, Pugwash Conferences on Science and World Affairs, Russian-American Elbe Group, and other organizations. The UN General Assembly adopted the International Convention for the Suppression of Acts of Nuclear Terrorism in 2005 and cooperation among intelligence services of leading states in this sphere is developing.¶ At the same time, these efforts fall short for a number of reasons, partly because various acts of nuclear terrorism are possible. Dispersal of radioactive material by detonation of conventional explosives (“dirty bombs”) is a method that is most accessible for terrorists. With the wide spread of radioactive sources, raw materials for such attacks have become much more accessible than weapons-useable nuclear material or nuclear weapons. The use of “dirty bombs” will not cause many immediate casualties, but it willresult into long-term radioactive contamination, contributing to the spread of panic and socio-economic destabilization.¶ Severe consequences can be caused by sabotaging nuclear power plants, research reactors, and radioactive materials storage facilities. Large cities are especially vulnerable to such attacks. A large city may host dozens of research reactors with a nuclear power plant or a couple of spent nuclear fuel storage facilities and dozens of large radioactive materials storage facilities located nearby. The past few years have seen significant efforts made to enhance organizational and physical aspects of security at facilities, especially at nuclear power plants. Efforts have also been made to improve security culture. But these efforts do not preclude the possibility that well-trained terrorists may be able to penetrate nuclear facilities.¶Some estimates show that sabotage of a research reactor in a metropolis may expose hundreds of thousands to high doses of radiation. A formidable part of the city would become uninhabitable for a long time.¶ Of all the scenarios, it is building an improvised nuclear device by terrorists that poses the maximum risk. There are no engineering problems that cannot be solved if terrorists decide to build a simple “gun-type” nuclear device.Information on the design of such devices, as well as implosion-type devices, is available in the public domain. It is the acquisition of weapons-grade uranium that presents the sole serious obstacle. Despite numerous preventive measures taken, we cannot rule out the possibility that such materials can be bought on the black market. Theft of weapons-grade uranium is also possible. Research reactor fuel is considered to be particularly vulnerable to theft, as it is scattered at sites in dozens of countries. There are about 100 research reactors in the world that run on weapons-grade uranium fuel, according to the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA).¶A terrorist “gun-type” uranium bomb can have a yield of least 10-15 kt, which is comparable to the yield of the bomb dropped on Hiroshima.The explosion of such a bomb in a modern metropolis can kill and wound hundreds of thousands and cause serious economic damage. There will also be long-term sociopsychological and political consequences.¶ The vast majority of states have introduced unprecedented security and surveillance measures at transportation and other large-scale public facilities after the terrorist attacks in the United States, Great Britain, Italy, and other countries. These measures have proved burdensome for the countries’ populations, but the public has accepted them as necessary. A nuclear terrorist attack will make the public accept further measures meant to enhance control even if these measures significantly restrict the democratic liberties they are accustomed to. Authoritarian states could be expected to adopt even more restrictive measures.¶ If a nuclear terrorist act occurs, nations will delegate tens of thousands of their secret services’ best personnel to investigate and attribute the attack. Radical Islamist groups are among those capable of such an act. We can imagine what would happen if they do so, given the anti-Muslim sentiments and resentment that conventional terrorist attacks by Islamists have generated in developed democratic countries. Mass deportation of the non-indigenous population and severe sanctions would follow such an attack in what will cause violent protests in the Muslim world. Series of armed clashing terrorist attacks may follow. The prediction that Samuel Huntington has made in his book “The Clash of Civilizationsand the Remaking of World Order” may come true. Huntington’s book clearly demonstrates that it is not Islamic extremists that are the cause of the Western world’s problems. Rather there is a deep, intractable conflict that is rooted in the fault lines that run between Islam and Christianity. This is especially dangerous for Russia because these fault lines run across its territory. To sum it up, the political leadership of Russia has every reason to revise its list of factors that could undermine strategic stability. BMD does not deserve to be even last on that list because its effectiveness in repelling massive missile strikes will be extremely low. BMD systems can prove useful only if deployed to defend against launches of individual ballistic missiles or groups of such missiles. Prioritization of other destabilizing factors—that could affect global and regional stability—merits a separate study or studies. But even without them I can conclude that nuclear terrorism should be placed on top of the list. The threat of nuclear terrorism is real, and a successful nuclear terrorist attack would lead to a radical transformation of the global order. All of the threats on the revised list must become a subject of thorough studies by experts. States need to work hard to forge a common understanding of these threats and develop a strategy to combat them.
Nuke terror causes extinction---equivalent to full-scale nuclear war
Owen B. Toon 7, chair of the Department of Atmospheric and Oceanic Sciences at CU-Boulder, et al., April 19, 2007, “Atmospheric effects and societal consequences of regional scale nuclear conflicts and acts of individual nuclear terrorism,” online: http://climate.envsci.rutgers.edu/pdf/acp-7-1973-2007.pdf
To an increasing extent, people are congregating in the world’s great urban centers, creating megacities with populations exceeding 10 million individuals. At the same time, advanced technology has designednuclear explosives of such small size they can be easily transported in a car, small plane or boat to the heart of a city. We demonstrate here that a single detonation in the 15 kiloton range can produce urban fatalities approaching one million in some cases, and casualties exceeding one million. Thousands of small weapons still exist in the arsenals of the U.S. and Russia, and there are at least six other countries with substantial nuclear weapons inventories. In all, thirty-three countries control sufficient amounts of highly enriched uranium or plutonium to assemble nuclear explosives. A conflict between any of these countries involving 50-100 weapons with yields of 15 kt has the potential to create fatalities rivaling those of the Second World War. Moreover, even a single surface nuclear explosion, or an air burst in rainy conditions, in a city center is likely to cause the entire metropolitan area to be abandoned at least for decades owing to infrastructure damage and radioactive contamination. As the aftermath of hurricane Katrina in Louisiana suggests, the economic consequences of even a localized nuclear catastrophe would most likely have severe national and international economic consequences. Striking effects result even from relatively small nuclear attacks because low yield detonations are most effective against city centers where business and social activity as well as population are concentrated. Rogue nations and terrorists would be most likely to strike there. Accordingly, an organized attack on the U.S. by a small nuclear state, or terrorists supported by such a state, could generate casualties comparable to those once predicted for a full-scale nuclear “counterforce” exchange in a superpower conflict. Remarkably, the estimated quantities of smoke generated by attacks totaling about one megaton of nuclear explosives could lead to significant global climate perturbations (Robock et al., 2007). While we did not extend our casualty and damage predictions to include potential medical, social or economic impacts following the initial explosions, such analyses have been performed in the past for large-scale nuclear war scenarios (Harwell and Hutchinson, 1985). Such a study should be carried out as well for the present scenarios and physical outcomes.
The aff got it wrong – ending the war in failure won’t cause a shift to new narratives of national security – in fact, it entrenches current discourses by putting politicians on the defensive – that turns case and leads to the continuation of the conservative, realist logic that justified the war in _________ to begin with
Krebs, 11 – Ronald R., associate professor of political science at the University of Minnesota (“Military Conflict and the Politics of Narrative: The Rise and Fall of the Cold War Consensus,” pp. 1-2, 3/7/11, http://blog.lib.umn.edu/gpa/globalnotes/Krebs,%20MIRC%202011_final.pdf)Red
When it comes to many political phenomena, including the dominant discourses and ideas that underpin the making of foreign policy, the prevailing view is that inertia is the norm and that substantial innovation comes only in the wake ofmassive policy failure. Failure may not itself dictate the new path, but it discredits dominant ideas, reworks power structures, and shakes up stagnant organizations. When it comes to political language, however, a common view is that changeability is the norm: politicians adopt and jettison formulations as they see fit, maneuvering according to the political winds. This paper argues that these familiar perspectives both have it wrong when it comes to the rise and fall of dominant narratives of national security. First, such narratives exhibit far more stability than the realist view suggests, and they are marked by discontinuities, rather than continuous flux. Among scholars, there is growing awareness of the ways in which language structures politics and shapes contestation,1 which would be impossible if it were not often relatively stable.2 Second, the politics of failure trump its psychology. As a result, even substantial foreign policy failure is not likely to prompt a narrative revolution. In fact, policy success, more than failure, can open space for change in dominant narratives. These claims are provocative, but they nicely fit the history of the so-called Cold War consensus, as the paper shows. Its logic legitimated US intervention in two wars widely seen as frustrating failures.Yet the Korean War did not undermine, but rather consolidated the emerging narrative. The Vietnam War,often portrayed as the moment of that narrative’s unraveling, was nothing of the sort, because the prior consensus had begun to erode well before the war’s Americanization, let alone the Tet Offensive. In the wake of the Cuban Missile Crisis, liberal Cold Warriors increasingly argued that the rules of the international game had changed, that demonstrated American power and will had finally persuaded the Soviet Union of shared interests. Narrative divergence thus preceded the Vietnam War. If anything, the war limited the extent of the liberal-left’s challenge, and it even promoted a new consensus, as long-standing conservative skeptics finally jumped fully and enthusiastically onto the internationalist wagon. What accounts for this complex mix of stability and change in the Cold War narrative, and perhaps more generally in narratives of national security?I argue that the answer lies in the social-political production of conflict outcomes. Failures of military ventures do not reveal themselves as such all at once. Early on, political opponents have incentives to hedge their rhetorical bets, critique the war from the terrain of the dominant narrative, and thus reproduce or at best emend that narrative—as did conservative nationalists during Korea and liberal internationalists during Vietnam. Military failure provides the impetus for a challenge to the dominant security narrative, but its politics deprive alternatives of powerful advocates. In contrast, even though military success does not provide actors with strong reasons to challenge the underlying narratives, it does create conducive political conditions if they are so inclined: success can be interpreted as proving the wisdom of the status quo, but it can also can be interpreted as having been so successful as to require a new framework. Indeed, some liberals made precisely this argument after the Cuban Missile Crisis. Success, however, legitimates alternatives without delegitimizing the status quo, and the result, therefore, is not the establishment of a new dominant narrative, but rather the collapse of consensus.
The aff misidentifies the internal link to narrative change – winning the war on terror is key to create the space for broader change. The plan simply re-entrenches dominant ideas.
Krebs, 13 – Ronald R., associate professor of political science at the University of Minnesota (“Military Conflict and the Politics of Narrative: Explaining the Rise and Fall of the Cold War Consensus,” University of Minnesota, 8/30/13, Online //Red)
Contemporaries and historians have often blamed the errors and tragedies of US policy during the Cold War—from military brinkmanship and imprudent intervention to alliance with rapacious autocrats and brutal rebels to an inflated defense budget—on the “Cold War consensus.” By this account, an ideological and policy consensus so took hold by 1948 that alternatives to militarizedglobal containment could not get a hearing. That consensus dragged the United States into the disastrous Vietnam War, and it unraveled only amidst the trauma of Vietnam in the late 1960s.1 This story of the Cold War consensus’ rise and fall appears to fit well with a well-established and intuitive theory of change in major foreign policy ideas and discourses. That theory avers that large-scale shocks, often unexpected military defeats, unsettle settled minds and discredit dominant ideas with respect to national security policy and thus are crucial drivers of change.2 This article shows that the standard history of the Cold War consensus is wrong and develops an alternative theoretical architecture to explain its consolidation and collapse. It points toward a reinterpretation of major puzzles of the Cold War, but it also has substantial theoretical stakes: how we explain fundamental change in the national security arena and in other policy domains as well. Scholars have long invoked the Cold War consensus, but they have failed to study it rigorously. This article attempts to do so by conceptualizing the Cold War consensus as a dominant public narrative of national security and by tracking that narrative via a content analysis of foreign affairs editorials. The consensus’ history then looks quite different: the zone of narrative agreement was narrower than many believe; this narrow Cold War narrative did not achieve dominance—that is, the consensus did not coalesce—until well into the 1950s; it began to erode before the Americanization of the Vietnam War in 1965; and a new dominant narrative (or consensus) did not take its place. How to explain the Cold War narrative’s rise to dominance and its subsequent fall from that perch? The answer cannotlie simply with the shifting realities of global politics: the narrative was most dominant precisely when the communist bloc was becoming more diverse—that is, when the consensus was least apropos—and no new consensus took its place in the 1960s. This article points rather to the surprising domestic politics surrounding triumph and frustration on Cold War battlefields. In a nutshell, the argument is that the politics of protracted military failure impede change in the national security narrative in whose terms government officials had legitimated themission, while victory generates space for unorthodox ideas to penetrate.Dominant narratives of national security, such as the Cold War consensus, depict the protagonists and the setting of security competition, and they define the range of sustainable policy options. They endure as long as leading political and cultural elites continue to reproduce them, and their dominance erodes when elites publicly challenge key tenets. However, early on in an uncertain and protracted military campaign, battlefield setbacks give both doves (war opponents) and hawks (war supporters) in the opposition incentives to criticize the war’s conduct while reaffirming the underlying narrative. While opposition doves pull their rhetorical punches to avoid bearing the political costs of wartime criticism, opposition hawks are moved by the prospect of gain, but the effect is the same: to blunt the scope of wartime critique and to bolster the underlying narrative of national security.In contrast, victory creates a political opening for its “owners” to advance an alternative: riding a political high, they can argue that, as a result of their wise and resolute policies, the world has changed, thata different narrative is now more apposite.In short, this article argues that, when it comes to public narratives of national security, the conventional wisdom has it backwards: military failure promotes the consolidation or continuation of narrative dominance, while victory opens space for narrative challenge. Applying this theoretical argument to the two signal events of the first half of the Cold War, I show how the frustrations of the Korean War facilitated the Cold War narrative’s rise to dominance, while the triumph of the Cuban Missile Crisis made possible the consensus’ breakdown before the upheaval of Vietnam. The high costs of the Korean War might have undermined the Cold War globalism in whose name the United States had waged the war. But leading Republican opponents, who supported the war but opposed its globalist logic, insisted that the war had resulted from the fact that the Truman administration’s battle against communism had not been global enough.They thus helped consolidate the global Cold War that they feared would yield an imperial presidency and an imposing national-security state.The Cuban Missile Crisis, seen at the time as a one-sided triumph for John F. Kennedy, paradoxically created political space for the young president to deviate publicly from the previously dominant narrative, from the Cold War consensus. Kennedy had long privately articulated a more sophisticated view of the Soviet Union’s ambitions, the diversity of communist regimes, and the superpowers’ shared interests, but only after his great victory did he feel free to articulate publicly the narrative foundation for détente. Hawkish opponents drew precisely the opposite lesson: that the crisis was proof of the wisdom of the Cold War narrative’s core propositions. As a result, no new national security narrative emerged as dominant in the crisis’ wake. Documenting and explaining the rise and fall of the Cold War narrative is intrinsically important, as it speaks to enduring questions of the Cold War—from the origins of America’s national-security state to the conditions of possibility for détente to the drivers of the US intervention in Vietnam. But the Cold War consensus is also an important case. Hardly questioned narratives often structure national debates over security and foreign policy for a time. We know them by shorthand expressions that encapsulate their portraits of the protagonists, scene, and action of a global drama: the civilizing mission of liberal empire, the Nazi obsession with “living space,” the Gaullist vision of French restoration and grandeur, the communist faith in capitalist aggression and imperialism, the Iranian Revolutionary regime’s Great and Little Satans, the Israeli discourse of “no partner for peace,” and most recently the War on Terror.These constitute what the historian Ernest May once termed the “axiomatic” dimension of foreign policy: the“broad formulation that fixes priorities and provides standards by which the appropriate choices among alternatives may be made.”3 Scholars have devoted the lion’s share of their attention, however, to what May called the “calculated”: the level of effort expended, the scope of targets, the means states employ. Even Legro, in his important work on states’ ideas about international society, focuses on collective “causal beliefs” about the “effective means for achieving interests” in international politics.4 The narrative underpinnings of policy debate have received far less attention, yet are arguably more important. Through its examination of the Cold War consensus, this article suggests rethinking conventional theories of change in foreign policy—and perhaps in other arenas too.