The New European asks: “What might Trump do with a new generation of autonomous drones in a second term, with no fear of censure by voters or sanction by other arms of the US government?”
Its journalists, Fred Harter and Giles Whittell, point out that there are there no internationally agreed rules to stay his hand, or those of other contenders in the AI-driven arms race – Israel, Pakistan, Turkey, Russia and the UK anyone else’s. They focus on the June experiment undertsken from Fort Benning a US army base in Georgia.
In his first two years in office Donald Trump authorised more than 240 strikes and last year he rescinded an executive order signed by Obama that required the CIA to publish an annual total of civilian drone strike casualties in non-combat zones.
CNN now reports that the Senate passed an Iran War Powers resolution on Thursday 13th February aiming to rein in his ability to use military action against Iran without congressional approval.
The President had warned the Senate not to green-light the measure on Wednesday, tweeting that “it is very important for our country’s security that the United States Senate not vote for the Iran War Powers Resolution,” and adding, “If my hands were tied, Iran would have a field day.” The White House also issued a veto threat against it.
The resolution “directs the President to terminate the use of United States Armed Forces for hostilities against the Islamic Republic of Iran or any part of its government or military, unless explicitly authorized by a declaration of war or specific authorization for use of military force against Iran.” It includes a provision stating that no part of the resolution “shall be construed to prevent the United States from defending itself from imminent attack.”
The resolution – prime mover Democratic Sen. Tim Kaine of Virginia – won bipartisan support. Several Republican senators, including Lee, Paul and Collins, signed on as co-sponsors. The vote was 55-45. Eight Republicans voted in favour.
Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, who warned two years ago that Congress would have to give approval before more troops could be sent to Afghanistan, said that the Senate is sending a warning to the White House that even if the President vetoes the measure:
“It sends a shot across his bow . . .”