The Machiavellian Drones

Machiavelli said that ends justify the means. His philosophy referenced princes that are feared rulers that are willing to do violent and dangerous things to secure both peace and power. The Machiavellian prince also appears to be a fantasy whenever it is mentioned in academic dispute. However, is it possible that Machiavellianism not only exists in this modern day and age, but it can also be attributed to the United States of America? Obviously, the USA is a democracy. The people have power in the government to elect representatives who we put our power and trust in. That part of our constitution is fair, however, once you dive into the conflict of foreign affairs, it becomes a much harrier issue.

Replace the Machiavellian prince with the United States of America’s foreign policy officials. Consider the violent things that the prince is wiling to do to secure power the use of Drones, unarmed vehicles of war. Finally, imagine the power and peace that is being secured as stopping terrorists in the Middle East, particularly ISIS. Now, I am not saying that the USA stopping ISIS is bad, in fact, it is right that we are putting in effort to stop a frightful terrorist threat to the country and world, but there is a bit of Machiavellianism in the way that it is carried out. Drones aren’t perfect. They have someone controlling a plane, one that hovers around villages and neighborhoods, terrorizing innocent civilians, miles and miles away, using a video feed that drone operators have admitted to not being clear enough to distinguish civilians from terrorist targets.

Not only that, but the amount of civilian casualties isn’t truthful either. Every male casualty of a drone strike, whether it is a common man living in his house, or a terrorist planning his next attack, is considered a militant. A man carrying a shovel could be shot down, mistaken to be someone carrying a rifle, and that man would still be another hash mark on the long list of “militants” killed by drone strike. Now, once again, it is crucial that ISIS should be stopped, but having the mentality of drones being acceptable, and their mistakes justifying the means of casualties of war is not right. It is making the USA seem like the Machiavellian prince, which ideas we do not incorporate in our government. We should stop using drones in the capacity that we are using them, and instead, use them only when absolutely necessary, because the ends do not justify the means when civilians are killed.

One thought on “The Machiavellian Drones

  1. This is a great connection. While I support the use of drones in the Middle East to a point, it is surely a case of Machiavellian ideals. Drones are not nearly perfect machines, and there is plenty of controversy surrounding the deaths of innocent civilians. In the case of eradicating dangerous terrorist threats, I’m sure Machiavelli would side with the US Government in saying that the ends justify the means. What we must watch out for, however, is something that Machiavelli pointed out as well. While the use of force is viable to a point, cruelty and ruthlessness will lose a Prince the respect of his people.


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