It's hard to get your head round America's drone war. The slaughter of women and children by people sitting in comfy chairs seems like a long term loss in terms of the terrorists it creates, while being a short term boon to recruiters who say they're a godless inflictor of death and destruction from the sky. How does a country get such a counterproductive foreign policy?
When you turn from global effects to American institutions the answer is just another demonstration of the power of markets. The CIA's budget is index linked to the size of the terrorist threat, particularly the rate at which terrorists are created because identifying new terrorists is more resource intensive than monitoring known ones. Drone war is the engine of this turnover. The CIA's profit column shows a growing terrorist threat, while their losses are only a few thousand foreign lives. Ker-Ching.
We can't test this with evidence of course because the CIA's budget is a secret.