Obama, Trump, and drone attacks

AT reader Robert B. Ripley raised an interesting point in an email.

The other day, it occurred to me one never hears a word about President Trump personally authorizing the killing of a person by drone strike in some far off land.  

On the other hand, his useless and vacuous beanpole predecessor seemed to revel in such actions and they were continuously reported with great fanfare.  (Or so I recall.)  There was emphasis on the fact that the president personally authorized these executions.

Robert is correct.  Micah Zenko totaled up Obama's drone strikes for the Council on Foreign Relations:

On January 23, 2009, just three days into his presidency, President Obama authorized his first kinetic military action: two drone strikes, three hours apart, in Waziristan, Pakistan, that killed as many as twenty civilians. Two terms and 540 strikes later, Obama leaves the White House after having vastly expanding and normalizing the use of armed drones for counterterrorism and close air support operations in non-battlefield settings – namely Yemen, Pakistan, and Somalia.

President Obama was so closely identified with the drone strikes that he even joked about using drones against suitors of his daughters at the White House Correspondents' Dinner: "The Jonas Brothers are here; they're out there somewhere.  Sasha and Malia are huge fans.  But boys, don't get any ideas.  I have two words for you: 'predator drones.'  You will never see it coming.  You think I'm joking."

In fact, Obama came in for criticism for his use of drones but persisted, probably relishing the ability to inflict harm on enemies without danger of U.S. casualties.

President Trump has authorized the use of drones but, in accord with his policy of pushing authority for strikes down to commanders in the field, does not appear to have any role in personally authorizing them.  According to these graphs from Foreign Policy Magazine, from late March of this year, his use of drones has been far more sparing than his predecessor's:

Because Trump Derangement Syndrome requires a steady stream of manufactured outrage, I suppose that sooner or later, we will see drone strikes under President Trump used to hyperventilate over his barbarism and inhumanity.  As we have seen with the border children separation meme of the past week, the fact that the Obama administration did the same thing is no obstacle to the media fanning the flames of outrage.

AT reader Robert B. Ripley raised an interesting point in an email.

The other day, it occurred to me one never hears a word about President Trump personally authorizing the killing of a person by drone strike in some far off land.  

On the other hand, his useless and vacuous beanpole predecessor seemed to revel in such actions and they were continuously reported with great fanfare.  (Or so I recall.)  There was emphasis on the fact that the president personally authorized these executions.

Robert is correct.  Micah Zenko totaled up Obama's drone strikes for the Council on Foreign Relations:

On January 23, 2009, just three days into his presidency, President Obama authorized his first kinetic military action: two drone strikes, three hours apart, in Waziristan, Pakistan, that killed as many as twenty civilians. Two terms and 540 strikes later, Obama leaves the White House after having vastly expanding and normalizing the use of armed drones for counterterrorism and close air support operations in non-battlefield settings – namely Yemen, Pakistan, and Somalia.

President Obama was so closely identified with the drone strikes that he even joked about using drones against suitors of his daughters at the White House Correspondents' Dinner: "The Jonas Brothers are here; they're out there somewhere.  Sasha and Malia are huge fans.  But boys, don't get any ideas.  I have two words for you: 'predator drones.'  You will never see it coming.  You think I'm joking."

In fact, Obama came in for criticism for his use of drones but persisted, probably relishing the ability to inflict harm on enemies without danger of U.S. casualties.

President Trump has authorized the use of drones but, in accord with his policy of pushing authority for strikes down to commanders in the field, does not appear to have any role in personally authorizing them.  According to these graphs from Foreign Policy Magazine, from late March of this year, his use of drones has been far more sparing than his predecessor's:

Because Trump Derangement Syndrome requires a steady stream of manufactured outrage, I suppose that sooner or later, we will see drone strikes under President Trump used to hyperventilate over his barbarism and inhumanity.  As we have seen with the border children separation meme of the past week, the fact that the Obama administration did the same thing is no obstacle to the media fanning the flames of outrage.