STIGMERGY: The C4SS Blog
The Faux Withdrawal and Other Thoughts on Militarism

What do you call a “withdrawal” that doesn’t end drone strikes? A faux one. The term withdrawal implies an exit from the area. If U.S. drones will continue to kill people in Afghanistan, the military presence is not truly over. We should be worried about the continued and apparently indefinite use of imperial violence by the U.S. government.

A full exit from the area is the only ethical and practical course of action. There is no moral justification for the further killing of Afghans to prop up a local state. This is especially true of a state as corrupt as the Afghan one, but it would apply to any state. On the practical side of the equation, it isn’t safe to keep making enemies via military occupation. The U.S. government endangers countless people by doing this.

Drone strikes are particularly noxious. They allow for easy remote control killing of suspected enemies of the state anywhere in the world. There are very few obstacles placed in the way of these death machines. Radicals are preferably the ones leading the charge against these killer devices. We left-libertarians can lead the way in opposing the death and destruction created by these monsters.

In the absence of ground troops and drones, the U.S. can still maintain control through a local client regime. This proxy force can wreak plenty of death and destruction too. It is preferable to be resolute in our opposition to both forms of control or occupation; both deserve condemnation for furthering coercive power exercised against Afghans and anyone else who happens to walk into territory claimed by the Afghan state. Power will not stand down without a determined opposition. We left-libertarians can take the lead in furthering that opposition.

What are the implications of continued U.S. drone strikes for the domestic front? At home, we can expect the importation of drones as a method of control. They can be used to surveil people anywhere on Earth. Such invasions of privacy are unacceptable and represent the growth of unaccountable concentrated power. This power will be exercised against all who displease the ruling class in some way or another. The time to fight back is now.

The state’s expansive military power is a threat not only to world peace, but the lives of those in the “homeland” too. The present superpower status of the U.S. does nothing but foment empire. We know that empires wreak death and destruction on a massive scale. Let’s put an end to the U.S. one.

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