Kill or Capture

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Drone (US Air Force/Wikipedia Commons)

Dan Klaidman, special correspondent for Newsweek and the author of Kill or Capture: The War on Terror and the Soul of the Obama Presidency, adds to the emerging details of President Obama’s personal involvement with “kill lists” and waging the “war on terror.”


Dan Klaidman

Comments [15]

Are you serious WNYC!? Mike from Unwood had 2 thumbs up and now none. How do you explain that?

Jun. 12 2012 07:17 PM
tom LI

to Patrol and GateKeeper. - that sounds great, but how good and how long would it take to use robots, etc with civilians in cultures that might see (sometimes all) Western technology as the work of the devil? We still have not abandoned the "win the hearts and mind" tactics - and Robots would certainly not do us much good in these cultures.

Jun. 12 2012 06:14 PM
Patrol and Gatekeeper Ground Drones

Our human ground forces are often ambushed in the processes
of patrol and gatekeeping activities. During these
activities they often draw first fire unexpectedly because
most of the interactions are not with combatants but with
neutral or innocent civilians. This makes for a high risk
of ambush by hidden combatants and for additional tragic errors
where civilians are mistaken for hidden combatants.

The technology exists to use remote controlled anthropomorphic
"ground drones" to safely perform many of these dangerous
gatekeeping and patrol tasks. If the "ground drone" draws
first fire, no human soldier is killed. This also allows for
added efforts to protect civilians.

Existing moderately expensive commercial technologies like the
Honda Asimo can be readily configured to perform many of these
tasks. Human troops can then respond to first fire without
being the targets of it.

Jun. 12 2012 01:31 PM
Live Capture Drone Technology

What about Live Capture Drone Technology -
that attempts to capture combatants or small
vehicles via an encapsulate, retrieve, remove
approach. Targets are encapsulated and temporarily
incapacitated (vehicles by ECM and metal mesh),
retrieved (vehicles by electromagnetics or hooks
and cable) and removed (by the flying drone).

It is neither necessary or helpful to only
use lethal drone strikes when alternatives may
be useable.

Jun. 12 2012 01:24 PM
John A.

Mike, did you not read in my comment that I am opposed to creating arbitrary groups to kill in the name of (now apparently obsoleted) "Just War theory" which did actually exist at one time.
Somebody said that when nuclear weapons were created there was a lot of scrambling to make sense of them morally right at the start. Same thing here. It can't just be ignored.

Jun. 12 2012 12:04 PM
Phil from NJ

Over the many years of leaks on the drone program it seemed quite evident that the purpose of leaking was part of the strategic and psychological warfare: to intimidate and discourage the enemy and reduce recruit enthusiasm with the promise of unheroic death. There was no meaningful criticism about such leaks over those many years.

Castigation of Obama now, wouldn't have any connection with the campaign, would it? Now that the falling price of gas now has diminished potential to denigrate him.

Jun. 12 2012 11:57 AM
Mike from Inwood

John A. reasons: "I read an excerpt from a retired Federal Judge claiming that Drone strikes couldn't possibly be considered assassination as assassination is often considered a form of murder. When will the light of true justice ever reach this situation? Lets begin in the press. Thanks Brian and Daniel."

John A.: Isn't all war murder then? Doesn't having a standing military then constitute pre-meditated murder? The next time you go down this garden path, or consider that it's only brown people being 'murdered' by drones sent by white people, consider the carpet bombing of major European cities during World War II and the civilian casualites the white people inflicted on one another and then marvel at how the civilian to military death rate has drastically changed with technology.

Jun. 12 2012 11:44 AM
Jack Jackson from Central New Jersey

The President's likely Republican opponent is running on the standard "Are you better off than you were 4 years ago?" platform that any candidate would use during an economic downturn. Even though his party caused the downturn and has done nothing to recover from it.

Can you imagine how the public and the press would turn on this president IF a terrorist attack were to succeed?

I dare say that there are more than a few Republicans who would trade the safety of Americans for a greater likelihood of taking the White House. Or am I just too cynical?

Jun. 12 2012 11:41 AM
Mike from Inwood

The President has 'lost the moral compass that he came into office with'? Please! This is only the moral compass that you imagined he came into office with! This is such a lame conversation; neither Brian nor the author can distinguish his own ruminations from reality.

Jun. 12 2012 11:37 AM
jgarbuz from Queens

Some of the Islamofascists are now crying that America's drones are winning the war that they declared on western civilization. Boo hoo. I applaud Obama's strategy of on the one hand seeking peace with the Muslim world, while on the other hand cutting down the terrorist murderers who would behead us all if only they could.

Jun. 12 2012 11:35 AM
John A.

I read an excerpt from a retired Federal Judge claiming that Drone strikes couldn't possibly be considered assassination as assassination is often considered a form of murder. When will the light of true justice ever reach this situation? Lets begin in the press. Thanks Brian and Daniel.

Jun. 12 2012 11:31 AM
oscar from ny

Obama might be the king (leo)"coward"...wizard of oz* but he has to perform according to all the murderers who control him(axelrod nd zionist company) because they are intenting to hornest their evil regime to control the love nd the land if the ppl...muslim are as just as bad nd work along the zionist...their vision of a world is like noah..only to save themselves...

Jun. 12 2012 11:22 AM

would Mr. Klaidman please give his thoughts on how, according to the NY Times, the Obama administration “counts all military-age males in a strike zone as combatants,” and how this cooks the books by under representing civilian deaths? does he not feel some responsibility as a journalist to report this?

Jun. 12 2012 11:20 AM
David from Fredericksburg, VA

Obama's leak accusations are "insulting" comment brings to mind Claude Rains in Casablanca:

"I'm shocked, shocked to find that gambling is going on in here!"

Jun. 12 2012 11:03 AM
Matt Watkins from Brooklyn

Did I just hear you guys say in the promo something about the conflict in the Obama cabinet between "liberals" and "pragmatists" re: hawkish national security policies? If my ears did not deceive, could you take a step back and consider the assumptions implicit in that opposition?

Jun. 12 2012 10:09 AM

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