The ‘drone precedent’ arg is incoherent---their claim is that other states will use drones in far different ways than the U.S. does---proves our drone policies are irrelevant, and pretexts at best for what states will inevitably do
Kenneth Anderson 13, Professor of International Law at American University, June 2013, “The Case for Drones,” Commentary, Vol. 135, No. 6
This critique often leads, however, to the further objection that the American use of drones isessentially laying the groundwork for others to do the same. Steve Coll wrote in the New Yorker: "America's drone campaign is also creating an ominous global precedent. Ten years or less from now, China will likely be able to field armed drones. How might its Politburo apply Obama's doctrines to Tibetan activists holding meetings in Nepal?"
The United States, it is claimed, is arrogantly exerting its momentary technological advantage to do what it likes. It will be sorry when other states follow suit. But the United States does not use drones in this fashionand has claimedno special status for drones. The U.S. government uses drone warfare in a far more limited way, legally and morally, and entirely within the bounds of international law. The problem with China (or Russia) using drones is that they might not use them in the same way as the United States. The drone itself is a tool. How it is used and against whom -- these are moral questions. If China behaves malignantly, drones will not be responsible. Its leaders will be.
SCS tension inevitable but won’t escalate, even if they win a huge internal link
Michal Meidan 12, China Analyst at the Eurasia Group, 8/7/12, “Guest post: Why tensions will persist, but not escalate, in the South China Sea,” http://blogs.ft.com/beyond-brics/2012/08/07/guest-post-why-tensions-will-persist-but-not-escalate-in-the-south-china-sea/#axzz2Cbw54ORc
These tensions are likely to persist. And Beijing is not alone in perpetuating them. Vietnam and the Philippines, concerned with the shifting balance of powers in the region, are pushing their maritime claims more aggressively and increasing their efforts to internationalise the question by involving both ASEAN and Washington. Attempts to come up with a common position in ASEAN have failed miserably but as the US re-engages Asia, it is drawn into the troubled waters of the South China Sea.¶ Political dynamics in China – with a once in a decade leadership transition coming up, combined with electoral politics in the US and domestic constraints for both Manila and Hanoi – all augur that theSouth China Sea will remain turbulent. No governmentcan afford to appear weak in the eyes of domestic hawks or of increasingly nationalistic public opinions. Therisk of a miscalculation resulting in prolonged standoffs or skirmishes is therefore higher now than ever before. Butthere are a number of reasons to believe thateven these skirmishes are unlikely to escalateinto broader conflict.¶ First, despite the strong current of assertive forces within China, cooler heads are ultimately likely to prevail. While a conciliatory stance toward other claimants is unlikely before the leadership transition, China’s top brass will be equally reluctant to significantly escalate the situation,since this will send southeast Asian governments running to Washington.Hanoi and Manila also recognize that despite their need for assertiveness to appease domestic political constituencies, a direct confrontation with China is overly risky.¶ Second, military pundits in China also realize that the cost of conflict is too high, since it willstrengthen Washington’s presence in the region and disrupt trade flows. And even China’s oil company CNOOC, whose portfolio of assets relies heavily on the South China Sea, is diversifying its interests in other deepwater playselsewhere, as its attempted takeover of Nexen demonstrates.