THE PROS AND CONS OF DRONE TECHNOLOGY AND WHY IT SHOULD NEVER BECOME ROUTINE
Drones continue to perplex me. I believe that they are the best of all evils when it comes to combating terrorism worldwide. The Obama administration has embraced them and feels that they can help eliminate an imminent threat to the safety of the citizens of the United States. The drones have proven to be effective and have been a vital aspect in the abating of al Qaeda and the Taliban’s influence all over the Middle East. Since 2005, fifty top al Qaeda leaders have been killed including Anwar al- Awlaki, the American born extremist, Abu Yahya al-Libi, the second in command under Ayman al- Zawahiri, and Saeed al-Shihri, the second in command in Yemen’s branch.
With all of that being said, the idea of drone technology being used for the wrong purposes is extremely frightening. Drones should only be used for defense against dangerous terrorists abroad. Under no circumstances should they be used within the United States to kill anybody, even suspected terrorists. They should also never be used overseas to kill small-time criminals that pose no threat to the United States.
China almost gave the world a great example of when not to use drones. The Chinese government thought about using drones to kill a large-scale drug dealer located in Myanmar. The drug dealer killed a number of Chinese sailors, which initially prompted China’s angry response. Fortunately, China decided to hunt for the dealer and eventually arrest him.
If China did use a drone strike, they would have opened the floodgates for a litany of other unnecessary reasons to use the weapon. It would have also prompted other countries who have similar technology to use their drones on all enemies of the state no matter how minor they happen to be. Nobody wants to live in a world where drones do the work of police officers.
We, as global citizens, have a responsibility to make sure that the use of drones does not become casual or typical when it comes to fighting crime. In order for that to happen, the Obama Administration might have to stop using them as often as he does. We still have time to make sure two things do not happen regarding the drone: they do not become a tool of local law enforcement and they do not end up in the hands of rogue regimes such as Bashar al-Assad in Syria. To avoid those two occurrences, the United States might have to make short-term sacrifices that will pay off in the long-term.
1 50th Al-Qaeda Leader Killed in 338th Drone Strike. The News. Web 4 Dec. 2012.
2 Perlez, Jane. Chinese Plan to Kill Drug Lord With Drone Highlights Military Advances. Web 20 Feb. 2013.http://www.nytimes.com/2013/02/21/world/asia/chinese-plan-to-use-drone-highlights-military-advances.html?ref=global-home
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Global SUSTAINABILITY: MORE PEOPLE, MORE RESOURCES, MORE POLLUTION
As populations continue to expand all over the world, the need for dense sustainable cities is growing. With resources such as oil and water beginning to deplete, we as a society must re-think a lot of the ways we conduct things such as transportation, garbage pick-up, and land use. By living in New York City, I am able to witness on a daily basis the changes and improvements being made to a city that is already significantly more environmentally friendly than many other big cities in the United States. Because the 8,000,000 people who inhabit the area are not sprawled out, which forces transportation to be mainly dependent on car travel, New York is the densest city in U.S. This allows most of the travel to be public. As a teenager living on the Upper West Side I am able to go anywhere in the city by utilizing the MTA’s subway and bus system. Other metro areas such as Los Angeles can hardly say the same, because its populous are practically forced to own a car. Cars and the burning of fossil fuels being by far the most prevalent contributor of carbon emission city planning needs to continue, especially in terms of transportation, to move closer to more public ways of getting around.
With all the good work that New York City continues to do there are still many areas in which we will need to improve, especially in the next 10 to 20 years. The New York metro area is expected to grow by roughly 4 million residents. This growth brings the need for improved policies that will ensure that the already congested area stays sustainable. Some of the issues that are currently being worked on include harmful soot pollution that can be remedied by cutting diesel and cleaning up dirty heating oil in business and home. Other improvements are being made by implementing a new truck replacement program around NY/NJ port marine terminals, and advocating for expanded rail service. But these policies are only half the battle. On a personal level, we as Americans must make a consistent effort to cut our effect on the Earth. We must move away from habits and traditions that continue to contribute to the pollution and disregard for our planet. The only way we are going to be able to overcome the current obstacles is if there is an equal effort in politics and our daily lives to help sustain the planet. It is essential that humans make it their mission to habitually improve local communities.
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THE IMPORTANCE OF WOMEN’S RIGHTS
The globalization of women’s issues has garnered widespread support for a global society where women fully participate in international affairs. People believe women’s rights are an issue pertinent only to countries where religion is law; however, gender inequality remains an issue for all societies and cultures. Women have limited access to education, political representation and freedom of speech. In some countries, women live without the freedom to make personal choices related to their health and lifestyle. Particularly in extreme patriarchal societies, men treat women as objects of enslavement and disregard the necessity of women in a functioning community. Moreover, violence against women has become an issue at the forefront of U.N. Women’s agenda. Millions of women are battered, raped, or abused by the men in their community; nonetheless, in many cultures, women are revered and held with the utmost respect. Increasingly, people realize that the global community cannot continue communication and ignore the circumstances of many women who live in violence. As seen in the most recent publicized crime against a young lady in India who was brutally raped, women and men in India continue to protest for stronger laws to create a safer environment for women and girls. Despite the creation of the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women, a treaty that highlights the necessities of a state that ensures equal opportunities for women, many countries have not ratified the treaty such as the United States.
As more of these crimes against women become newspaper headlines, women, who are fortunate enough to live in safer communities, need to step forward to represent the voiceless women living under oppression. Without women speaking out about these issues, the global community will not understand the extent of the discrimination against innocent women. Women have basic needs and deserve equal rights just as any man would. Just as women cannot exist without men, men cannot exist without women. As we make steps toward a peaceful cooperative global community, we need women to be involved in political, economic and social discussion in order to find a compromise between the multitude of perspectives that exist today. The globalization of women issues indicates that women have leveraged their leadership opportunities and used their influence to speak out against the constant oppression of women. The activism for women issues will open doors for young women who have lost opportunities to pursue their goals in male dominated fields. As a young woman, I want to pursue my interests in international relations and be given access to the same opportunities as my male counterpart. Women have the capability to lead and empower people to address the issues complicating international relationships and with the right support and position, one woman can create change.
To address all the conflicts related to women issues is a difficult task for the one international organization. I suggest that UN Women create a program specific to each conflict in order to designate individuals who will address the issue directly. These individuals would advocate for issues such as violence against women and workplace policies abroad by working with state organizations that request assistance. In addition, I recommend for organizations that address women’s issues to implement programs that teach young women and men about the gender gap and young women specifically about their role as females who can advocate for political and social awareness of women’s rights.
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