Drone Killing Requires No Courage or Bravery / by kevin murray

The United States of America is the premier country in the world for technology in the field of war and there isn't any country that is close to our sophistication, accomplishments, and comprehensiveness.  The United States has made it their particular mission to try to create weaponry that reduces our men and women's exposure in the field of combat.  The United States has in most jurisdictions of the world, command of the air by virtue of our great power and advancement in fighter jet technology, but fighter jets need to be flown by pilots and their associated personnel, they also cost a lot of money to build and maintain, and there is also the attendant risk of failure, crashing, being shot down, or similar.  Drones on the other hand are relative to our air force, inexpensive to buy and to operate, devoid of any personnel being in danger, and yet still highly effective in getting to their targets and delivering their payload.  For the United States, drones appear to be the perfect weapon, because the military and politicians know that as long as they can keep our men and women in uniform off the front page as casualties of war that most of Middle America won't really care what we do on foreign shores.


While there is absolutely no question that drone killing is highly effective, it also is highly controversial, and highly problematic for the following reasons.  Firstly, drone killing or drone targeting is done in such a manner that the country launching the drone is in a safe command bunker or other such area in which his or her life is simply not in danger.  Further to that point, the actual targets are given dehumanized terms such as bugs that needed to be terminated, and their termination is known as "bug splat".   Secondly, there is often peripheral damage, when drones are utilized.  For instance, if a drone targets a building, it is simply an unknown as to whom or what exactly is inside the building.  If the drone is targeting someone that is on the outside, that particular person or persons are usually not alone or encumbered with just villains, but with regular people and civilians also.  Thirdly, and finally, emotionally and psychologically drone killing and drone targeting does not viscerally feel to the operator as if they are actually taking away a human life, or destroying a building, or devastating a town or a community, because to the operator it feels more akin to a video game or to an exercise, but in actuality it is very, very real, very accurate, and very effective.


While the United States is currently the world leader in armed drone warfare, it is only a matter of time before other countries, including avowed enemies of the United States, are able to utilize drones too for military or quasi-military operations.  That certainly isn't a path to peace and prosperity for our world and for our country.  Additionally, and pointedly, armed drone killing is a coward's perfect weapon, it takes no courage, it takes no bravery, to sit safely and then to calmly, coolly, and collectively, use a drone system to wreak havoc on your enemies as you perceive them to be.