The debate over the use of drones falls into three paradigms: legal, practical and moral. The panel hosted on Wednesday by the Bi-Partisan Policy Center (BPC) followed this pattern.
A crucial problem is lack of transparency. The Obama administration needs to prove that what they are doing is lawful. So far they have not succeeded. Who is making the decisions? What are the legal standards? Who are the targets and why? Restricted access to White House legal memos on the drone program inhibits Congress from constructing an adequate legal framework and from conducting oversight.
No other nation has publicly agreed with our drone program. To others, the US appears indifferent to civilian casualties. The perception of America as ruthless undermines our legitimacy as a world power.