Last night my wife and I saw “Eye in the Sky” with Helen Mirren (see: http://www.wired.com/2016/04/eye-in-the-sky-modern-war-film/) .
The film does a nice job of dramatizing the decision making behind the go/no-go decision for an attack. The scenario is set in Kenya, an ally. Helen Mirren, as a British Colonel has been tracking a British national who was radicalized, her husband and two new suicide bomber recruits.
The plot leads all of the suspects to be in the same house at the same time in a militia controlled slum. The drama is moved along by having the audience identify with a local young (12?) girl who is selling bread outside the house.
Mirren’s staff calculates a 65% certainty that the girl will be killed in a missile strike.
Action goes back and forth until the two new suicide bombers are fitted with vests and explosives. Ultimately Mirren forces her targeting officer to lower his Collateral Damage Estimate (CDE) to 45% which she believes will turn the no-go into a go.
Part of the arguments center on the propaganda value of the strike. The diplomats argue that killing the one girl gives the propaganda victory to the enemy while allowing the suicide bombers to strike a soft target and cause extensive carnage would give the allies the propaganda victory.
While there was a flying cockroach like recon drone taking footage of the suicide bombers getting their vests – and of course everything was recorded, no mention was made of the need to justify the strike using that video.
Worth your time and probably a good write off as a business expense!
Photo Source: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hOqeoj669xg