Tonight’s debate moderator, CBS News’ Bob Scheiffer, did ask about the use of drones, but failed to press either candidate on the controversial issue.
Here’s the question:
Let me ask you, Governor, because we know President Obama's position on this, what is -- what is your position on the use of drones?
This is what Romney said:
Well, I believe that we should use any and all means necessary to take out people who pose a threat to us and our friends around the world. And it's widely reported that drones are being used in drone strikes, and I support that entirely and feel the president was right to up the usage of that technology and believe that we should continue to use it to continue to go after the people who represent a threat to this nation and to our friends.
I had hoped the moderator would challenge President Obama’s expanding drone warfare program, grilling him on the morality, legality, and accuracy of these remote-controlled killers, and then apply the same set of questions to Romney.
How many civilians have been unjustly killed in Pakistan and around the world? Will the expansion of secret drone programs put the world in an endless state of war, eliminating the traditional costs, both financial and human, that have traditionally tempered nations? Who is held accountable when things go wrong? How are drones hurting our image abroad? As we kill and maim civilians, are we creating new generations of enemies?
We seem to be entering a new phase of modern warfare, and there are huge ethical questions that remain unanswered. The American people haven’t had a chance to weigh in on this important issue, and it’s disconcerting that both parties seem to have endorsed this new technology whole-heartedly without offering education and explanation.
Read more: America editorial, Drone War Under Law