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Debate:Predator Drones

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Debate.png This is a Debate page.
Feel free to add your own spin on the story. Please keep it civil!
Information icon.svg This debate was created by Jsonitsac.


Proposition[edit]

As long as there has been civilization (and probably even before then) there seems to have been armed conflict. However, one thing was constant, from when Pharaoh wanted to attack the Hittites to when we decided to clamp down on the Taliban, it involved physically taking your soldiers to another part of the world, with full knowledge that they might not return, or if they did that it was possible that they would not be whole. However, America's current armed conflicts have seen the emergence of the Predator Drone, an unmanned aircraft that carries a cruise missile that will explode inside a Taliban cave. This technology, however, isn't piloted from the front, instead they are piloted and controlled from just outside of Las Vegas (Nellis AFB if I'm not mistaken). This is a major change in the way war has been fought. The airmen and women can drive to work, pilot their shift for 8 hours, then drive home to their families. Naturally this is revolutionizing the way war could be fought. So here is my question, does this make war too clean, and will humans be more willing than before to go to war because of this technology? Keep in mind that the USA won't have a monopoly on this technology forever.

As for my views, I'm not sure what to believe. After all humans have had access to ICBMs for over 50 years now, which could also have made it possible to go to war without physically sending soldiers, and thankfully we've never used them in anger. However, ICBMS also carried the possibility of extinction of the human race. These drones, however, carry conventional weapons not nukes. Now, don't get me wrong, I'm all for trying to preserve American soldiers lives, and I don't care if the Taliban gets blown up. But I don't know if we, as people, will realize that these drones cause real damage, not virtual damage like a video game which it looks so much like. Anyway, what do you think? Jsonitsac (talk) 03:17, 2 March 2010 (UTC)

Weapons are largely weapons[edit]

Like clubs, bows, catapults, guns, bomber planes, ICBMs, etc...another step away from the reality of your actions, though conceivably a step toward smashing each other's tools in place of each other, if used right. Or leaders will just keep sending ground troops, I guess. But I think my position is that it's just another long-ranged weapon.
Also, it's not very hard to shoot them down if there aren't any other enemies to worry about, I imagine...so it's still support weaponry. ~ Kupochama[1][2] 06:35, 2 March 2010 (UTC)

Predator drones are simply a further development of the pretty logical idea that you want to be as far away from the person as possible while you are attacking him. Presumably we first fought hand to hand, then we invented spears and arrows, then guns, then aeroplanes which dropped bombs, then missiles, then ICBMs, then cruise missiles. Planes now fight each other with "fire and forget missiles" - very logical but bad cinema. If we want to talk about morality it should be the morality of war and not of one particular weapon system.--BobIt's windy! 08:41, 2 March 2010 (UTC)
Werner Von Braun wasn't exactly near the front when the doodle-bugs were launched at London during WWII. Plus ca change... Jack Hughes (talk) 11:21, 2 March 2010 (UTC)
It's my first time posting here, so appologies if I'm doing it wrong. "another step away from the reality of your actions", I'd argue that watching your target for a protracted period of time on a screen, before killing him and then continuing to watch the aftermath, which is what many drone operators have to do, can bring the operator closer to the reality of their actions, than the pilot of a manned aircraft briefly seeing a target during the 30 seconds they're overhead, or a soldier shooting at an enemy who briefly pops his head up on the horizon. Fizzy (talk) 19:29, 12 March 2015 (UTC)
I think the main problems are:
  1. The allure of "costless war" means that the barrier to ordering a Predator strike will be at least as low as the cruise missile strikes which have already caused plenty of what with a callous U.S. euphemism is known as "collateral damage" (i.e. killing innocent civilian bystanders). This is likely to prove counter-productive in the long run.
  2. The rather naive current attitude based on a U.S./Western monopoly on drones has created a rather permissive attitude towards how, when, where and why the drones can be called in. Try to consider other states/organisations applying similar permissive policies once drone technology becomes (even) cheaper and widely diffused... Not a nice thought...
So quite apart from the larger concerns about "impersonal killing", the practical implementation should be cause for at least as much worry. ScepticWombat (talk) 19:49, 12 March 2015 (UTC)
(Have you noticed the people who apologize for possibly doing things wrongs are never the ones who do?) At any rate, you're right. The day Russia flies a drone to take out a Chechen dissident in Japan is the day that everyone in the US realizes just how fucked up that policy is. ikanreed You probably didn't deserve that 19:58, 12 March 2015 (UTC)
Or Russia taking out some Chechen living in the suburbs of Boston or a Ukrainian in Frankfurt. Or Iran taking out a Wahabbi imam advocating the murder or Shias by a drone strike on a Cairo street. Or a Saudi drone striking an Iranian mullah on the outskirts of Qom. Or (far less plausibly) Cubans "droning" some right-winger on the streets of Miami. Not to mention a group like ISIS adopting a drone policy à la the current U.S. one(!) ScepticWombat (talk) 20:17, 12 March 2015 (UTC)