"The use of remotely piloted aircraft was fast becoming one of the more effective and controversial elements of the Obama Administration’s strategy against al Qaeda and like-minded terrorists in hard-to-reach areas... [I]t was widely known that dozens of senior terrorists had been taken off the battlefield, and we later learned that bin Laden himself worried about the heavy losses that drones were inflicting... I thought it was crucial that these strikes be a part of a larger smart power counterterrorism strategy that included diplomacy, law enforcement, sanctions, and other tools."
"When it comes to drones, I think it makes a bad situation even worse. We end up killing innocents and fueling hatred as opposed to containing it. It just hasn't worked. We need to educate ourselves on the root causes of this, which is Islamic terrorism and the ideology of sharia law. In this country, we've become so politically correct that in the name of freedom of religion we have allowed sharia law and its adherents to advance. We need to differentiate between freedom of religion and the politics of sharia law. Freedom of religion, absolutely. But if you're talking about allowing sharia law that runs contrary to the US Constitution, that is ideologically the war that we need to take on."
Source: Anthony L. Fisher, "Exclusive: Gary Johnson Talks ISIS, Refugees, Black Lives Matter and Marijuana Legislation," reason.com, Nov. 19, 2015
"The drone wars are dreadful, it's said that they are actually hitting about 2% of their victims in fact are thought to be key operatives within al-Qaeda or associated groups, so the vast majority of the people being killed are not significant operatives. So when Barack Obama talks about creating coalitions with Yemen and Somalia, whatever his coalitions are doing, unfortunately they are vastly overwhelmed by what his drones are doing because we are seeing, in fact, people being driven into the camp of the avowed enemies of the United States because of the impact of these drone wars. So, they need to be put to an end."
Source: Democracy Now, "Expanding the Presidential Debate on Foreign Policy," youtube.com, Oct. 22, 2012
"This administration [Obama administration] has no trouble with using drones to kill terrorists all over the world, including American citizens, but apparently they have a problem with capturing terrorists, bringing them back to Gitmo, and interrogating them...
I think when we have enemy combatants on the battle field, honestly if we must kill them of course we should kill them..."
Source: "Would You Keep Guantanamo Bay Open?," carlyforpresident.com (accessed Oct. 26, 2015)
"I would not have [the drone program] in the CIA. I would have it located in the Pentagon. They're not the target experts. The experts in targeting is the Pentagon, the Air Force. The CIA's supposed to give us the intelligence to figure out whether the targeting makes sense... The expertise behind them is so absolutely critical. I'd use CIA intelligence and I'd be extremely careful when I used it."
Source: David Cantanese, "Kasich: CIA Shouldn't Drop Drones," usnews.com, Apr. 24, 2015
"Today, we are here not to condemn the use of drones in a general sense. Drone technology certainly has its merits and has been useful against our enemies. But the potential for the misuse of drones, or lack of foresight in using them as a general policy—at home or even on the battlefield against terror suspects—raises important constitutional and national security concerns.
We now know that the President has a kill list, which has already included American citizens, such as terror suspect Anwar al-Awlaki. But even overseas, even traitors deserve some due process if they are American citizens, particularly if they are not actively involved in combat. If he was actively engaged in combat against our soldiers, there would’ve been no question—you take him out...
This is not to say that drones should never be used, and they have been used sometimes to good effect. But some in the military community have argued that our current drone program actually makes the nation less safe and undermines our national security...
On the battlefield drones are unquestionably an important tool when Congress has authorized the action. But they are a unique tool. They are a tool that enables the Executive to stretch the limits of Congress' authorization of force.
That is even more true when targeting American citizens, and drone assassinations should not be used in lieu of due process. The Constitution already provides a guide for dealing with citizens suspected of collaborating with radical terrorists—try them for treason."
Source: Rand Paul, "Drone Wars: The Constitutional and Counterterrorism Implications of Targeted Killing," paul.senate.gov, Apr. 23, 2013
"[W]hat you can argue is that there are times and places where drone attacks have been effective, there are times and places where they have been absolutely counter effective and have caused more problems when they have solved. When you kill innocent people, what the end result is that people in the region become anti-American who otherwise would not have been.
So, I think we have to use drones very, very selectively and effectively. That has not always been the case."
Source: Hrafnkell Haraldsson, "Bernie Sanders Embraces Limited Use of Drones as One Tool of Foreign Policy," politicususa.com, Sep. 1, 2015
"We also need to build a new generation of weapon systems to protect our interests on every front – on the ground, on the seas, in the air or new frontiers even further out. We need to invest in unmanned aviation, directed energy weapons and space while continuing to be leaders in undersea warfare."
Source: "Taking on the Tough Issues," chrischristie.com (accessed Oct. 26, 2015)
"It seems to me that there is no serious question that if a foreign national is overseas and is actively taking up arms against the United States that lethal force can and probably should be used...
It seems to me there are many difficult questions about the use of drones and our current policy in using them overseas. There are strategic questions. Using a drone strike to take out a terrorist or even a leader of Al Qaeda means necessarily that individual will not be apprehended, that individual would not be interrogated. We will gain no actionable intelligence, and we will not as a result of any interrogation be able to prevent acts of terror in the future.
And of course with a drone strike, the risk of error is such that if that individual is not who we think it is, there's no process to correct that mistake. The consequences of mistakes are significant."
Source: Jenny Jiang, "Transcript: Q&A with Sen. Ted Cruz on Drones & Targeted Killing - Senate Judiciary Subcommittee on April 23, 2013," whatthefolly.com, May 6, 2013