Magazine article Foreign Affairs

Recent Books: Military, Scientific, and Technological: Objective Troy: A Terrorist, a President, and the Rise of the Drone

Magazine article Foreign Affairs

Recent Books: Military, Scientific, and Technological: Objective Troy: A Terrorist, a President, and the Rise of the Drone

Article excerpt

Objective Troy: A Terrorist, a President, and the Rise of the Drone BY SCOTT SHANE. Tim Duggan Books, 2015, 416 pp.

Targeted assassinations using drones raise questions not only of legality and morality but also of efficacy and prudence. The martyrdom of drone targets and the anger at the civilian casualties that drone attacks cause might arouse more militant activity than the assassinations prevent. And terrorists themselves might someday use drones. Shane illuminates these issues by examining U.S. President Barack Obama's decision to approve the killing of a U.S. citizen in Yemen, Anwar al-Awlaki, whom U.S. intelligence suspected of having ties to al Qaeda. Shane suggests an intriguing parallel in Obama's and Awlaki's trajectories. Although Obama ultimately embraced targeting killing, he came to office wishing to build bridges with Muslim countries and troubled by how his predecessor had conducted the "war on terror. …

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