Tuesday, May 24, 2011

 

The coming age of drone warfare


by Larry Geller

Mainstream news seldom tracks the hundreds of drone attacks carried out by the United States in Afghanistan, Pakistan and Yemen. Of course, the citizens of those countries are well aware of who is killing so many of their fellow citizens.

Kathy Kelly, co-coordinator of Voices for Creative Nonviolence, noted in an interview on Between the Lines that 49 countries now possess the drone technology and there are over 250 companies manufacturing different variations of drones. She suggests that the key word is “proliferation.”

You can even build your own drone.

The US drone attacks are attractive to the military because they do not place soldiers at risk, meaning no objections from folks back home. As it happens, the US drones are controlled by the CIA, which is a civilian, not military, organization.  Of course, all of this should raise red lights, particularly the large number of civilian deaths caused by video game jocks located safely back in the USA. But in the absence of news coverage, any outrage is bound to be muted.

One day fleets of drones may dominate the skies. But what out, it could be our skies--they could conceivably be launched from hidden airfields within the USA to attack US targets. Internationally, warfare may be a case of drone-against-drone, or more likely, drones against civilian populations on each side. For example, after a drone attack on Times Square that kills hundreds, we launch a drone attack killing civilians in some country of our choice in retaliation. And so on.

For information on drones, a good place to start is the drone awareness webpage of Voices for Creative Nonviolence. Google yields plenty of news and information.

Drone warfare, or robot warfare, seems to be just around the corner.

Duck!


Update: Drones in Hawaii.  Just in time for APEC?

Right at the top of Wednesday’s Star-Advertiser is a large picture of a Shadow 200 RQ-7B unmanned aerial vehicle deployed in Hawaii.

An unveiling ceremony was held Tuesday for the National Guard's four new Shadows, a UAV that has had widespread success in Iraq and Afghanistan.

"The Shadow represents the future of aviation," Lt. Col. Neal Mitsuyoshi, commander of the 29th Brigade Special Troops Battalion, said at the ceremony.

Officials said National Guard brigades in 11 states are receiving Shadows this year, bringing the total to Guard units in 30 states.

[Star-Advertiser, Hawaii Guard gets flock of Shadow UAVs, 5/25/2011]

Speaking of proliferation. Why would National Guard units have drones if not to use them? Will they be deployed before and during APEC to detect peace demonstrations?


Update 2 : Don’t miss the comment posted to this article by Old (but wise) Diver:

If success is measured by how many innocent men, women and children one has killed not to mention the thousands of new terrorist it has created, then yes the drone program has been a success.



 

This work is licensed under a Creative Commons license.


Comments:

"An unveiling ceremony was held Tuesday for the National Guard's four new Shadows, a UAV that has had widespread success in Iraq and Afghanistan."

If success is measured by how many innocent men, women and children one has killed not to mention the thousands of new terrorist it has created, then yes the drone program has been a success.
 

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