The U.S. is using drones more and more under the Obama administration. Not so much, I think, because of Obama, but because the technology is bearing fruit at this time in the history of warfare.

Drones can gather intel as well is shoot missiles. 

The advantage is that the drone pilots can be safe far from the battlefield. My father has a friend who has a daughter who flies drones in Afghanistan from a base in the Southwestern U.S. Then she goes home, after killing people during the day, to her husband and kids in the evening.

This is the future of warfare. Is it better or worse?

One thing to bear in mind: drones, like any military technology will be used against us someday.

Your thoughts?

Tags: drones, impersonal, warfare

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I would like to see the use of drones and millitary robots like the TALON, only if they could be exlusively used against one another, thusly removing the element of human casualty from battle and effectively turning war into a game. Unfortunatly I don't think that would ever even cross the minds of the power structure people. They love killing other people, even on a collateral basis because they want to intimidate on lookers. Thats half the purpose of a drone is the intimidation factor.  

Hank, I think you subscribe to a rather simplistic idea of why countries go to war. It sounds like your view of war is that it's plutocrat vs. plutocrat, as if common people don't have a dog in the fight. Actually, most wars are over disagreements over perceived justice would never go forward without a high degree of popular consent.

Some wars may be fought over plutocratic greed, but many wars are fought over land claims which may have some substance to them, depending upon your view. China honestly believes Tibet belongs within its sphere of influence as, they argue, does Taiwan. After all, political borders are ever-shifting. Then there are wars of liberation, civil wars.

To argue that wars of aggression and acquisition are wrong is to assert a nonexistent overriding ethical structure.

Besides, it's absurdly hypocritical to argue against such wars, because if the world were THAT just, we wouldn't exist because the history of the world would have been so different that the chain of inheritance leading up to each one of us would have taken a different turn. You and I would not exist in a world without aggressive/acquisitive wars, or even one or two fewer such wars.

Human conflict, like the state of nature, is values neutral. Whoever wins is right, or as it's often put: "might makes right."

At the same time, does President Obama or even the Military Chiefs of Staff wake up in the morning hoping to kill people? While killing people to achieve their ends may be necessary, I seriously doubt any of them enjoy that particular aspect of their jobs.

Many good points raised about the nature of war.

"does President Obama or even the Military Chiefs of Staff wake up in the morning hoping to kill people? While killing people to achieve their ends may be necessary, I seriously doubt any of them enjoy that particular aspect of their jobs."

As for that, I don't think Obama sits there with tented fingers like Mr. Burns, saying "Ah yes, more innocent people dead!" But I think that drone warfare is meant to act as a deturant, so the people operating it are happy when it is noted as being successful. Consider operation shock and awe, do you think that all the dead civilians where part of the intended "shock and awe"? I'm really curious to know what you think, beacuse I wonder about that a lot.  

I think that drone warfare is meant to act as a deturant, so the people operating it are happy when it is noted as being successful. Consider operation shock and awe, do you think that all the dead civilians where part of the intended "shock and awe"? I'm really curious to know what you think, beacuse I wonder about that a lot.

I think any major military enterprise is inevitably going to impact civilians no matter how well planned and focused. I'm quite sure that minimizing civilian casualties was part of the planning of Shock and Awe, but minimizing American losses probably trumped it for obvious reasons, so a compromise was reached. And also, the primary objective was to be successful, as in any military operation.

Look, any enterprise is a compromise but in the end the major objective is to succeed. Why aren't cars perfectly safe? Well, what is the point of designing the perfectly safe car if hardly anyone could afford it? All a military can do is attempt to reach its objective will keeping civilian losses low. Unlike Saddam Hussein, the U.S. may have terrorized civilians, but terrorizing civilians was never an objective, just an unavoidable consequence of reaching the goal.

Human conflict, like the state of nature, is values neutral. Whoever wins is right, or as it's often put: "might makes right."

In nature this is true. But the distinction for humans is that we can correctly realize that oftentimes the pen should be mightier than the sword.

What kind of pen reclaims stolen land from a country that intends to keep it?

The kind that wrote the Declaration of Independence.

War should be fought with spears and maces by the politicians who represent the warring countries.

Why? Much of the time the populace is complicit, if only in the sense of not rebelling against their governments. Remember the Nuremberg standard? It's based on the idea that even a soldier is first and foremost a responsible citizen, responsible for his/her actions and, it is implied, inaction. Being a civilian is no excuse. Do we feel WWII Germans had no responsibility for Germany's actions simply because Hitler was a dictator?

The German people did have a certain amount of responsibility to bear. Perhaps they didn't realize until too late the monster that was unleashed. It is disturbing that one individual could persuade and brainwash an entire nation about the concept of aryan supremacism and the necessity for genocide. 

Probably very much like Bush/Cheney got us to attack Iraq, that had no WMD's --

You're ignoring the fact that Saddam didn't do a whole lot to dispel the idea he had WMD's. It was the combination of bad intelligence and Saddam's seemingly-guilty behavior that resulted in the war and his own demise.

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