Category Archives: military weapons

Pushing Our Buttons, Hype or Threat

This is a blog I posted on July 1, 2010 with my arguments against using unmanned drones, even though I also can see that they can have the very desireable outcome of saving soldier’s lives.

Unmanned drones have very obvious advantages. We can see our enemy but they don’t know we’re watching. Drones can cover rough terrain where we can’t go physically without great risk to the lives of our soldiers. They can target and kill small groups (of people) with great accuracy.

We can all, I think, see the dangers of this kind of technology. We know it changes war by depersonalizing it. We all saw Star Wars. Soldiers do not meet face to face. There is no warning. An attack comes as, literally, a bolt from the blue. We know drone pilots can pinpoint a group of people, but we also know they can not differentiate between civilians and combatants. We can all agree that one day everyone will have this technology and then the “enemy” of the moment could be hovering over our own neighborhood to drop a bomb on us at anytime. Our relatively impregnable status – gone. Even though this technology seems so helpful to us now shouldn’t we just bury it, develop military amnesia,ban it. I guess this is just the beginning of robot armies and the total annihilation of humankind from the face of the earth. We never backtrack. You can’t really uninvent something.

Last week, in December, we hear that the unthinkable has occurred, a supposedly intact drone has fallen into the hands of a hostile nation.

A drone has fallen in Iran: pul-lease, how did this happen? This is one of the worst places in the world to lose a drone. Is the drone intact? Pictures suggest that it is, although experts say the pictures are not of an actual drone. Other experts say the drone could not have survived impact. I hope the experts are correct. I always felt it would be a nightmare if an enemy of America developed the technical capability to attack America without setting foot on American soil. I knew this would happen eventually, but I did not think it would happen so soon, or if it did I thought it would be Pakistan who stole the technology since it is being used most frequently on the Afghanistan-Pakistan border. Iran, really? How did this happen?

“Iran says it’s almost done decoding US drone”, says the headline of an Associated Press release reported today, December 12, 2011¬†on rr.com. The article can be found at http://www.rr.com/new/topic/article/rr/55254887/57450985/Iran_says_its_almost_done_decoding_US

The article says that “Tehran has flaunted the drone’s capture as a victory for Iran and a defeat for the United States in a complicated intelligence an technological battle.” Iran has the skill, an Iranian lawmaker (Parviz Sorouri) reports, to “reverse engineer” the drone and build one of its own. The Iranians are saying that they shot the drone down, but American officials say the drone malfunctioned. We know how Iran likes to push our buttons, so it is hard to know how much of what they say is true. Still the potential exists that this technology will eventually be used against American targets someday, in some way. We also know that every technological advance is a double-edged blade that can cut for or against life as we know it on our little planet. But may I be permitted to say, in case this technology is compromised now, Yikes!

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