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Drones are a relatively cheap, low risk, and discriminate way to deal global threats without getting entangled in protracted conflicts -- and, so far, the Obama has never felt the need to get congressional approval to use them. So why aren't they an option in Syria? In truth, it is because they are not as useful as often assumed.
Drones are not helping to defeat al Qaeda and may be creating sworn enemies out of a sea of local insurgents. Embracing them as the centerpiece of U.S. counterterrorism would be a mistake.
Adding the Haqqani network to the State Department's terrorist list is big on symbolism but slim on substance -- a domestic political gambit that may end up complicating life when the next administration tries to bring the Afghan war to a close.
At first glance, that the Pakistan-based Haqqani network is missing from a U.S. list of terrorist organizations is puzzling. But the criminal syndicate differs in form, function, and focus from most groups that make the terrorist list. Moreover, listing the organization might not achieve serve U.S. interests.
ISIS may use terrorism as a tactic, but it is not a terrorist organization. Rather, it is a pseudo-state led by a conventional army. So the counterterrorism strategies that were useful against al Qaeda won’t work in the fight against ISIS.