In his talk on Oct. 22, Scott Shane addressed some of points of the United States’s drone program, and while he said nothing noticeably different from what has already appeared in his writing for The New York Times and elsewhere, he was articulate, unbiased and very interesting in his analysis.
Mr. Shane first talked about the life of Anwar al-Awlaki, a well known once-moderate Sunni Muslim cleric and U.S citizen who joined al-Qaeda. Mr. Shane noted that his path toward radicalization may have started after the FBI discovered his transgressions with prostitutes. Alwaki feared that these documents would be leaked and so he fled to Britain, where he became more and more radical until he and his family traveled to Yemen and joined al-Qaeda, where he was ultimately killed by a CIA drone strike, in 2011.
Mr. Shane concluded that while there are indeed some who joined al-Qaeda as a result of drone strikes there is no conclusive evidence that drones create more terrorists than they kill.