Summary: We now have enough experience with drone warfare to study its effects. Just as in physics, our actions affect ourselves as well as our targets. Social science research shows that drones are a gateway to moral disengagement dehumanization, and deindividuation. The great distances drones operate over, manipulated by faceless-nameless-lawyeristic-voyeurs, creates an emotional, mental, and physical divide between “us” ( i.e. our government) and the enemies we kill. Drones allow us to dissociate our actions from our values, a useful high-cost and high-tech justification. At the end are links to gain more information about this new form of warfare.
For every action, there is an equal and opposite reaction. — Newtons Third Law of Motion, Mathematical Principles of Natural Philosophy (1687)
Winslow Wheeler: His article gives a chilling rebuke to those who glibly see them as “the future of warfare” and essential for counter-terror operations without acknowledging the consequences.
Robert Steele: The US Government has lost both its intelligence and its integrity. This has been a consistent theme of this web site, and while I have distanced myself from the day to day operations of Phi Beta Iota–they now have a life of their own–G. I. Wilson is one of the original Marines in this era able to demonstrate both intelligence and integrity, and one of the original gurus on asymmetric warfare. That he got to be a Colonel is a credit to the Marine Corps. “Authority” in the U.S. Government is now irrational, illegitimate, and out of control. Even from a practical stand-point, the bandwidth for remote killer drones costs more than human pilots would, and human pilots would have the added advantage of situational awareness, something that simply cannot be achieved from a one-dimensional cockpit in the middle of the USA. From killer drones to JSOC assassinations to the totally illegal war on Libya, the US Government is now a monstrous collage of atrocities being perpetuated against its own public (22% unemployment, 18 veterans a day committing suicide, just under 16% under the poverty line) as well as foreign publics from Palestine and Libya to Central Asia to the Southern Hemisphere. What is being done “in our name” is unaffordable, reprehensible, and long over due for presentation to the International Tribunal with a long list of “by name” perpetrators that should run from Congress and the White House down to the individual pilots and squadron commanders that have betrayed their Oaths of office. What we are doing every day is neither patriotic nor moral.