CIA Waits Until Target is Away From Family Before Initiating Drone Strike, Trump Asks "Why Wait?"

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CIA Waits Until Target is Away From Family Before Initiating Drone Strike, Trump Asks "Why Wait?"

Well, here’s this:

Umansky's tweet comes from a Washington Post story by Greg Jaffe on the current state of our conflicts in Iraq, Syria, and Afghanistan. Recounting Trump's first day in office, Jaffe takes us to Langley, where Trump visited the CIA and was shown video footage of a drone strike:

Later, when the agency's head of drone operations explained that the CIA had developed special munitions to limit civilian casualties, the president seemed unimpressed. Watching a previously recorded strike in which the agency held off on firing until the target had wandered away from a house with his family inside, Trump asked, “Why did you wait?” one participant in the meeting recalled.

A couple things here. First off, there's only one immediate way to react to this news, and Glenn Greenwald captured it succinctly:

But also, as a pro-Trumper from the Washington Reporter pointed out, this is exactly what he said he'd do:

And it’s true—I don’t know why we’re surprised by this level of cruelty. It was what he promised to us on the campaign trail.

Meanwhile, the rest of the WaPo article is well worth reading if you want to get depressed not just about our status in each of these wars, but about the stubborn-yet-defeatist mindset of our military leaders. We’re losing in Syria, where Assad is absolutely not going to be deposed and our own generals have no idea if that’s even our main goal anymore. We’re losing in Afghanistan (in year 17 of that war), where a huge escalation in bombing has created a sort of temporary stalemate that will last only as long as we continue to drop bombs, at which point the government will start to lose ground to the Taliban again. And in all three countries, even our top military brass has adopted the view that forever wars without a chance of victory are actually a good thin…or at least not a desperately awful thing:

In the absence of a clear outcome, winning for much of the U.S. military’s top brass has come to be synonymous with staying put. These days, senior officers talk about “infinite war.”

“It’s not losing,” explained Air Force Gen. Mike Holmes in a speech earlier this year. “It’s staying in the game and .?.?. pursuing your objectives.”

It’s an ugly situation, and it’s not going to get better.