Droning on and on…

Speigel has a host of articles about drones and their use in the military today, particularly in the Afghan war.  The interview with P.W. Singer is quite good with some interesting points about the impact of drones on our society.

SPIEGEL ONLINE: Which consequences does the drone war have for the nations that lead them?

Singer: War used to be a very serious decision. Now we don’t even declare war anymore. We don’t pay war taxes, we don’t buy war bonds. Now we can carry it out without having to deal with some of the consequences of sending our sons and daughters into harm’s way. It also changes the way politicians think about war. You already have society’s barriers against war dropping, and now you have a technology that takes the barriers to the ground.

Is war becoming an obsolete concept, no longer clearly distinguishable from peace?  Of course, we were able to invade and occupy two countries (for years) with somehow avoiding a declaration of war so maybe drones aren’t too important in this process.

Their article ‘Killer App‘ is an interesting counterpoint to the Cheney argument that President Obama is just dying to surrender the country and see the U.S. become part of a greater caliphate…

The US’s drone war has been expanded dramatically in the last year and a half, an escalation that began under former President George W. Bush. But his successor, Nobel Peace Prize winner Barack Obama, has not just continued the program. He has elevated it to the preferred method for killing al-Qaida and its allies. More missiles have already been fired from drones in the 13 months since Obama has been in office than in the entire eight years of the Bush presidency. Dozens have been fired since the beginning of the year, and this year the US military will, for the first time, likely train more drone pilots than fighter pilots…

Finally, this interview with a drone pilot is a pretty good look at the difference between flying fighters and drones in combat.

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