Barack Obama has continued (perhaps expanded) George Bush's use of Predator drones to attack suspected terrorist or Taliban targets in both Pakistan and Afghanistan. It certainly seems like a good idea to kill the bad guys when we practicably can, but stories like this suggest that we may be causing more trouble than we're preventing:
United States officials acknowledged Thursday for the first time that at least some of what might be 100 civilian deaths in western Afghanistan had been caused by American bombs. In Afghanistan, residents angrily protested the deaths and demanded that American forces leave the country.
. . . The deaths drew hundreds of Afghans into the streets to protest outside police stations and the governor’s office in Farah Province, where two villages were bombed after Afghan forces were ambushed by Taliban insurgents on Monday night.
Outside the governor’s office, police officers fired on demonstrators who threw stones, wounding three of them.
The United States defense secretary, Robert M. Gates, questioned by journalists as he visited the capital, Kabul, apologized for any loss of innocent life. But he said that “exploiting civilian casualties and often causing civilian casualties are a fundamental part” of the insurgents’ strategy.
I'm sure the insurgents do play up civilian casualties, but they do that because people understandably get very pissed off about civilian casualties. That's why we shouldn't carry out attacks that entail civilian casualties unless it's absolutely necessary.