The effectiveness of drone strikes

Should the U.S. use an expanded campaign of drone strikes in Iraq to help push back the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS)? Among the many issues this question raises is the practical one: Are they effective in reducing attacks?

On the surface it would seem that they are, in that they enable the removal of potentially high-value targets with minimal risk to our troops. Looking a little deeper, though, reveals some problems. Many are discussed in a recent report from the Stimson Center, which suggests that heavy use of drone strikes “risks increasing instability and escalating conflicts.”

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