Friday, October 19, 2012

Drone Warfare

The inevitable blowback to high-tech warfare. Walter Pincus Oct 15 The Washington Post

[Excerpted] A Jan. 3 Congressional Research Service report noted that last year there were 680 drone programs worldwide, up from 105 in 2005. The United States has about 7,000 drones.
the Pentagon is looking toward developing drones as possible replacements for strategic bombers and eventually fighter aircraft.

And there are even smaller ones under development, according to Peter Singer of the Brookings Institution. He described to ABC News in March a robotic drone with munitions “about the size of a rolled-up magazine.”

“A soldier can shoot it off, it flies, observes and then . . . it’s going to turn into a little cruise missile and fly into the target,” he said....

Majia here: for a discussion of the terrors of drone warfare see this article:

"Collectivized Torture": Drone Warfare and the Dark Side of Counterinsurgency  by Jacob Levich Oct 18, 2012 Monthly Review Magazine
[Excerpted] The recent Stanford University report on drone strikes in Pakistan, Living Under Drones, raises the possibility that the US is intentionally using drones, not merely as hi-tech assassination devices, but also as weapons of state terror intended to subdue unruly regions and populations.  The appalling reality of drone warfare along the Afghanistan border closely resembles the scorched-earth counterinsurgency strategy described by the martyred Tamil journalist Taraki Sivaram as "collectivized torture." 

Based on extensive interviews with victims and witnesses, Living Under Drones1 decisively refutes US propaganda claims that drones are "precision weapons" capable of executing "surgical strikes" -- i.e., targeted assassinations -- while minimizing civilian casualties.  In this respect the report breaks little new ground, but it is an important addition to already overwhelming evidence that armed drones have caused many thousands of civilian deaths.2

What is groundbreaking is the report's portrayal of the social devastation wrought by drone attacks.  The research shows that, in addition to the killing and maiming of individual civilians, drone warfare has destroyed the wellbeing of an entire people, causing widespread economic hardship, mental illness, political turmoil, and social dislocation.

read the entire article linked above


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