US Senator (R-AZ) and Former Fighter Pilot and Drone Squadron Commander in the US Air Force
Pro to the question "Should the United States Continue Its Use of Drone Strikes Abroad?"
"Once a decision has been made that it is legal and wise strategy to conduct a targeted strike, the RPA (remotely-piloted aircraft) platform is usually the hands-down best choice to maximize precision, persistent intelligence, responsiveness, and oversight by commanders/intelligence experts/legal experts. It also has the benefit of minimizing civilian casualties at with risk of U.S. casualties and at relatively low cost.
Due to the time sensitive nature of actionable intelligence and the potential for the target and collateral damage circumstances to be fleeting, legal and strategy approval is desired in advance for a specific target with strict strike criteria required prior to weapons release. Using a variety of intelligence resources, it can take minutes, hours, days, weeks or longer to meet strike criteria. Further, favorable conditions often suddenly present themselves. Therefore, a fighter/bomber strike is often impractical for targeted strikes due to the additional lead time required for planning, asset deployment, and overflight clearances. It is also impractical and cost-prohibitive to have fighters/bombers in 24 hour orbits waiting for strike criteria to be met.
Similarly, a boots on the ground capture/kill mission could be impractical due to the requirements and time for the assets to deploy and remain on alert for potentially long periods of time waiting for strike criteria to be met. The risk of U.S. casualties and civilian casualties and the diplomatic/strategic implications of the presence of ground forces make this option often undesirable unless the target is of extraordinary value or ideal operational and intelligence circumstances exist."
Testimony delivered to the Senate Judiciary Subcommittee on the Constitution, Civil Rights, and Human Rights, available at the website of the Homeland Security Digital Library, Mar. 24, 2013
Won a lawsuit against the Department of Defense in 2001 challenging military policy requiring servicewomen stationed in Saudi Arabia to wear the body-covering abaya when traveling off base in the country
First woman in US history to command a fighter squadron in combat, earning the Bronze Star and six air medals for her combat leadership and 325 combat hours in the single-seat A-10 "Warthog."
Received a Lifetime Achievement Award from the National Center on Women in Policing
Received the Al Neuharth Free Spirit Award in 2002
Honorary Doctorate, Civil Law, Rhode Island College