The American government has had to implement strategic measures in efforts to counter terrorism. Indeed, after the 9/11 attacks, America has been on the offensive with the strategy premised on prevention. However, while every effort to defend the territorial integrity and sovereign of America is welcomed, it is essential that such processes adhere to the law. In that strain, it is partially regrettable that America has resorted to using drones against its own citizens. Indeed, the confession by the Attorney General that since 2009, four citizens have succumbed to drone attacks comes as a wakeup call to the observation of the rule of law. It should, however, be appreciated that the terrorism waters are murky and conforming with the law at times is difficult. It is on this premise that this paper embraces the use of drones against American citizens. However, the rider is that such an approach should only be applied as the last resort. In the ensuing discussion, the paper shall canvass the issues resonating around the use of the supposed drones.
Recent literature reveals that some American citizens have committed the unforgivable. This is by the fact that they have opted to collude with the enemies of the nation. These citizens are involved in the planning of terrorist attacks whose motives have often been to injure the America people and their territorial integrity. In that vein, it can be argued that these citizens have forfeited their own people and have committed a betrayal that should not go unpunished. Common sense dictates that these citizens should be arrested and prosecuted. Successful conviction should land them jail terms where a chance of rehabilitation would be afforded to them. This, in this paper’s view, is the best solution. However, the solution is only availed to the citizens within the jurisdiction of the United States of America. This jurisdiction may be extended to allies of America who may aid in the extradition and or deportation of these dissident citizens back to the purview of America. However, in many cases citizens are always in hiding in non-ally nations. In addition, some of them are in hiding in bases out of control of any recognized government. Indeed, Anwar Al-Awlaki, one the American casualties, was in hiding in bases within Pakistan but out of the control of the Pakistan government. In such situations, the dilemma that confronts American authorities is whether to trace such a citizen and have him subjected to the legal process or attack by use of drones. Again, at this point, the decision is based on the common interest of the American people. Tracing dissidents like Anwar could be fatal and may lead to the loss of even more lives. In that breadth, in order to subvert the organization of terrorist activities, the authorities often sanction drone attacks. In that respect, this paper supports the limited use of the drone attacks on the American citizens.
In conclusion, it is necessary to strike a balance between individual rights and public rights. From a utilitarian point of view, it is often advisable that public rights be protected over the individual rights in the event of conflict of interest. In the dilemma over the use of the drones, the government merely resorts to protecting the public rights to safety and territorial integrity over the individual right to the due process of the law.
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