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Flanagan: You Cannot Do a Drone Strike Without Intel

Newsmax TV's "America Talks Live"

By    |   Thursday, 02 Mar 2017 03:46 PM

Missile-firing drones should not be employed to strike war zones until Navy SEAL teams and other forces have thoroughly scoped out the enemy and made informed judgments, former congressman and U.S. Army captain Michael Patrick Flanagan told Newsmax TV.

"We need to have the SEAL teams, the Special Forces, the Delta teams, and others go in and collect intelligence. Drones don't give us intelligence. Drones are the absolute end of the intelligence line," Flanagan, R-Ill., told Thursday's "America Talks Live" host Miranda Khan.

"Once we suspect someone of being a terrorist, then we find evidence if they are a terrorist, then we find evidence of their whereabouts, and then we kill them. That's what the drone does. You can't send a drone until you have the first three things, at least you shouldn't.

"So, to collect the intelligence, you need the SEAL teams and others to go on the ground, to collect Twitter accounts, to collect computers, to collect up all sorts of hard intelligence, bring it back for its analysis, and then you can plan drone strikes."

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A suspected missile-firing U.S. drone reportedly killed two Afghan Taliban militants in a Pakistani village near the Afghan border Thursday. If confirmed, it would be the first in the nuclear-armed nation since U.S. President Donald Trump took office in January.

In the past, the U.S. has used drones to launch missiles in countries like Yemen, where three alleged al-Qaida operatives in the country's southwestern Bayda province were killed last month.

Flanagan said he believed for too long the Obama administration was striking targets with drones, using old intelligence gathered by the George W. Bush administration and others.

"The White House redefined who died in a drone strike to say any adult male near the target was considered a terrorist as well, and so that way we wiped out all collateral damage, because we just ran up our total on the number of terrorists we killed," Flanagan, president of Flanagan Consulting, a Washington, D.C., lobbying and consulting firm, told Khan.

"Hopefully, Trump will redefine this back to civilians are civilians and terrorists are terrorists, and we can get better intelligence and kill real bad guys, real often and that would be a good and wonderful thing."

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Missile-firing drones should not be employed to strike war zones until Navy SEAL teams and other forces have thoroughly scoped out the enemy and made informed judgments, former congressman and U.S. Army captain Michael Patrick Flanagan told Newsmax TV.
Michael Flanagan, missile, firing, drones
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2017-46-02
Thursday, 02 Mar 2017 03:46 PM
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